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Off with old road tax sticker
Tip & Guides

Off with old road tax sticker

It's amusing to see some car windscreens with a series of road tax stickers plastered on one side, presumably because the owner is either a sticker collector or find it too bothersome to remove the old ones.

But it need not be hard to remove them if you know how.

However, you have to be a bit more careful if the windscreen is tinted.

The following steps to remove the sticker neatly applies for a tinted screen

1. Materials  needed are cotton-towels/microfibres, a solvent, for example alcohol-swabs (from the pharmacy) or lighter fluid (i.e Zippo) and a detergent. A basic pen-knife and a plastic card would suffice as tools.

2. Place soft cotton towels or microfibres on the dashboard area below the windshield.

3. Paste a few layers of quality cellophane tape on the back of the road-tax sticker overlapping each layer by about one centimetre so that the entire sticker is held together in one piece. It’s a simple trick but will make your job removing the road tax sticker so much easier.

4. Using the pen-knife, carefully prise open a small gap under the edge of the road-tax. Leveraging carefully, begin to peel away the sticker slowly.

Spread even pressure widthwise so that you can retain as much of the road tax in one-piece to make for easier cleaning later on.

5. Once the sticker is removed, wipe the alcohol swab or using an older disposable towel, apply some of the lighter fluid onto the leftover adhesive residue. Gently rub in a circular motion and the residue should come off easily.

6. Next use a piece of newsprint and wipe away any of the solvents left over during the removal process. Immediately spray some detergent onto a cotton towel/microfibre and clean the affected area. Wipe with a clean damp microfibre to remove any unsightly marks.

7. Before sticking the new road tax onto the screen, use a clear thick film for the adhesive part to stick onto first. This would make it easier to replace the next time. They are usually provided by service centres, tint-installers or detailing facilities. Can't find one? Buy from hypermarkets and stationary or accessory shops.

Don't do these:

>  Don’t use a hair dryer to heat up the expired road tax sticker as the windshield might crack if there is excessive heat in a localised spot. Tint installers use heat guns/hair dryers but understand how to control their usage better.

>  Don't use heavier duty solvents as they might deform or cause the tint film to degrade.

>  Don't use polishes/compounds to remove residue on tint as they might abrade the material. They are suitable for windshield’s that aren’t tinted as you’ll be working directly on glass.

- Adapted from the Darren Chang detailing series

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