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Old 07-10-2017, 10:22 PM   #1
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How to Remove Airbag Warning Decals from US-spec Vanity Mirror Covers

DIY: How to remove ugly US-spec airbag warning decals from vanity mirror covers:



[Note: there is related, but 10 year old thread seemed to cover a similar technique, and it has non-functioning pictures, but nonetheless, I'll link to it here: Bye Bye Airbag Warning Decals]

Step 1: assemble the supplies:

* "Hi-test" isopropyl / rubbing alcohol (I used 91%, but the more readily available 70% may work OK)
* paper towel
* short-nap microfiber cleaning cloth
* disposable nitrile gloves (not shown, but recommended)

Step 2: put the top down, and orient the sun visor down a bit for easy working access. Note: I recommend a flat surface, so the alcohol won't run excessively in any particular direction.

Step 3: fold the paper towel, soak the corner, and rub away the bulk of the decal with a first, initial pass. The decal will soften when exposed to the alcohol for a minute or so, and gentle agitation of the paper towel will easily rub it away - sort of balling up fragments into crumbs, and smearing it a bit.



Fold over or tear off "spent" areas of paper towel, and start again on a new fresh section of the paper towel:


Take your time to not make a mess. Keep the alcohol and decal residue away from the crevices, and the hinge area! Keep going until the high spots of the textured plastic underneath are all bare to the colored decal, and no "crumbs" remain.

Step 3: when you're gotten off the bulk of the decal in a first pass, switch to a disposable, short-nap microfiber. Like the paper towel, wet with alcohol, and rub in small back and forth or circular motions:


The idea is to flip-flop the short bristle tips of the microfiber back and forth, so they work down into the get the valleys of the textured plastic, to get out the remaining decal.

The result, after about 10 minutes, looks really good under ordinary lighting from about 1-2+ feet away:


(If you used a high-powered light and microscope or high-powered magnifying glass, you could probably find some residue in some of the deeper pits of the texture, but this is probably adequate for most applications.

Alternatives:
1. I've read some people use a black dye afterwards, or perhaps even over the top of the factory graphic. This may shorten the time required rubbing.

2. Other people buy matte black, cover-up decals from eBay, and stick them on over the factory decal. I'd imagine this "cover-up" would be quicker, but might be more noticeable up closer. An eBay listing example for a set of these "cover-up decals":
Porsche Sun visor Cover-up decals 911 Boxster Cayman Carrera S 997 987 986 996 | eBay
Note: The seller advertises the decal is thin enough to assume the grain of the plastic, but it's hard to imagine vinyl decal not changing the texture somewhat. The only picture from the above-linked eBay auction doesn't provide more than about a 5-10 foot quality level of detail:


3. Other people have reported purchasing ROW (non-us spec) vanity mirror assemblies and swapping those for the us-spec assemblies, as the ROW spec don't have the warning labels.

Cheers!
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Last edited by jakeru; 07-10-2017 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:51 AM   #2
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My wife used her clothes steamer and they came off in about 5 pieces each, in about 5 minutes each. Applied Solution Finish afterwards. Tried the cover-up decals but they quickly bubbled.
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Old 07-11-2017, 02:53 PM   #3
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I removed mine as you described but was never happy with the result. Good but up close there was a residue that I could see. I tried the sticker route and the one I got from an ebay seller (sorry it's been years and I no longer know who the seller was) fit nicely from edge to edge and was easy to apply. The results were better then just removing and I never had a problem with bubbling and the texture is a really close match.

I just wish the lawyers would not make the auto manufacturers put on these ugly stickers. On some cars they are virtually impossible to remove. With the Boxster's top down it is a real eye sore
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Old 07-11-2017, 04:11 PM   #4
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I did this:

Sunvisor Cover Ups stickers that fit Porsche models 911 997 987 996 Boxster S | eBay


Works great. Two years later, still looks great.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filastein View Post
My wife used her clothes steamer and they came off in about 5 pieces each, in about 5 minutes each. Applied Solution Finish afterwards. Tried the cover-up decals but they quickly bubbled.
It would be interesting to see pics of how the decal comes off with steam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porsche9 View Post
I removed mine as you described but was never happy with the result. Good but up close there was a residue that I could see.
You may have not rubbed long enough, or used a compliant enough cloth (and/or enough pressure with a paper towel) to get down into the crevices for the texture. Or maybe, you just have OCD and the little specs of pigment, no matter how little, that you just know are in the pits of the texture, just drive you crazy (only visible on mine from a few inches away, by the way, and under very bright lighting).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porsche9 View Post
I tried the sticker route and the one I got from an ebay seller (sorry it's been years and I no longer know who the seller was) fit nicely from edge to edge and was easy to apply. The results were better then just removing and I never had a problem with bubbling and the texture is a really close match.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 10/10ths View Post
Cool, guys! We need pics, however which show the true, as-installed, full-gory details of those decals (the color match, the texture and the stickers' seams/edges...) or they DIDN'T HAPPEN!
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Old 12-02-2017, 04:59 PM   #6
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I am a new member here on the forum and I had heard about using the rubbing alcohol to remove the decals. I did use the alcohol with some microfiber rags (paper towels tore up to quickly) and had to use a lot of effort to remove most of the decal/adhesive. After I was finished I used a black magic marker to cover the entire area where the decals were located. It looks surprisingly good and even up close it is hard to detect. Anyone not knowing about the removal would never know there was ever anything there.
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:03 AM   #7
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I removed mine with some brake clean on a rag but it still left some very slight residue trace in the texture. I colored it over using a black sharpee marker and while the ink was still wet wiped it down with a dry paper towel. I still can't say it's perfect but it sure looks better than what I started with.
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Old 03-27-2019, 04:49 PM   #8
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Removed Decals

I removed the decals from the visor vanity mirror cover with my steamer. They came right off. I then came back with a little isopropyl alcohol to get the remaining residual glue. The steamer really did the trick. It looks so much better without that ridiculous safety warning decal. Good luck.
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Old 03-27-2019, 05:35 PM   #9
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Steamer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjkarp View Post
I removed the decals from the visor vanity mirror cover with my steamer. They came right off. I then came back with a little isopropyl alcohol to get the remaining residual glue. The steamer really did the trick. It looks so much better without that ridiculous safety warning decal. Good luck.
What is this steamer you are referring to?
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