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Thread: How do I remove glue residues of adhesive tape on car paint?

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    I LUV MY PRIUS!!! the Interceptor's Avatar
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    How do I remove glue residues of adhesive tape on car paint?

    Okay, so I swapped my sunroof for this carbon fiber replacement panel a while ago. I had to seal the gap between it and the surrounding roof for a couple of days before I had it sealed tightly. To do so, I used plastic adhesive tape - a pretty weak and thin, transparent type. Nonetheless, said tape left marks of glue on the roof panel as well as the car paint. These marks have somewhat disappeared over time, but now I'd like to remove the rest of it completely.

    So what agent/technique can I use that isn't agressive to the paint?
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    The Deported Spectre's Avatar
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    If it's residue, this is about the only thing WD40 is good for.
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    Can't Start His Wank argatoga's Avatar
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    I'd suggest brake fluid and fire, but I'm guessing you want something a bit more subtle.

    Do you know what glue? There maybe a solvent out there that won't eat clearcoat.
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    I LUV MY PRIUS!!! the Interceptor's Avatar
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    WD40 I didn't expect do to the job, will try that! I suppose I put it on, let it rest for a couple of minutes and then scrub the residue off with an old t-shirt or something?
    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by argatoga View Post
    Do you know what glue? There maybe a solvent out there that won't eat clearcoat.
    I have no idea. It was normal tape, like Scotch tape.

    EDIT #2: something like this:
    Last edited by the Interceptor; August 12th, 2010 at 7:04 AM.
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    The Deported Spectre's Avatar
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    Pretty much how it works. WD40 is such a weak solvent that this is the only thing it's really useful for. It certainly isn't a penetrant and lord knows it's not a lubricant or rust protectant.

    Edit: Depending on the residue and how long it's been on there, it may take a few passes to get it off. After you've done that, wash the car (or at least that section) and apply wax to bring the protection back up to snuff there.
    Last edited by Spectre; August 12th, 2010 at 7:02 AM.
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    Brake cleaner, if removed shortly after being applied, should be okay for the paint and do the job.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Grip View Post
    Brake cleaner, if removed shortly after being applied, should be okay for the paint and do the job.
    Brake cleaner is not safe for the newer water-based paints at all.
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    Clay bar?

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    I've always found standard lighter fluid, as used in my trusty Zippo, on a lint free cloth is the best way of removing this kind of adhesive. You can also use methylated spirits or surgical spirit.

    Suggest whatever you use test on an inconspicuous area first.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mineworksfine View Post
    I've always found standard lighter fluid, as used in my trusty Zippo, on a lint free cloth is the best way of removing this kind of adhesive. You can also use methylated spirits or surgical spirit.

    Suggest whatever you use test on an inconspicuous area first.
    What he said or rubbing alcohol.
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    I was going to add rubbing alcohol as well

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    3M Adhesive remover.
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    I've always used some form of Naphtha lighter fluid, made for wick lighters like Zippos. Works a charm at removing glue residue and other crud from cars - especially tar.
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    I wanted to be careful with everything agressive, which is why I asked in the first place. I'm sure that they all work very well, but I wouldn't want to ruin the paint. Anyhow, WD40 did the job quite well, the residue is gone now.

    Thank you all for your tips, and feel welcome to add more information for anyone who might stumble over this thread in the future.
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    I did work experience in a local body shop many moons ago, which was a crap week but taught me a few things (mainly don't do this as a job). I used a rubber wheel in an air drill to remove the glue.

    Similar to this, but this fits into a grinder.
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    I LUV MY PRIUS!!! the Interceptor's Avatar
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    In todays sunny weather I saw that the residue is not completely gone yet, there are some faint leftovers. Another go with WD40 or whatever should fix that however.
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    at the paintshop, we use something called a silikon fjerner, roughly translated to silicone remover, on plastic parts, just cleaning spirits, then using some blue paper towels specifically made for cars, won't make swirls, or leave residue before painting.
    we use a lot of tape when masking the car before paint.
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