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A car wrap is the perfect way to transform your vehicle into a moving billboard that can advertise your products and services whenever you are on the road. An attractive and cost-effective signage solution for businesses of all types, they can last a long time with a little care and maintenance. Ausign is Melbourne’s leading signage company specialising in the design and installation of car wrapping for businesses all sizes. If you have invested in your business by getting a vehicle signwriting for your car, there are things to be aware of if you want a long-lasting wrap.

How Long Does a Vinyl Car Wrap Last?

There is no definitive answer to this question, it depends on a number of factors including sun exposure, climate, frequency of washing and more. Wraps do not last as long on vehicles that are out on the road every day and constantly exposed to the sun. Something as simple as parking in the shade could increase the life expectancy of your vehicle wrap dramatically. Under normal conditions, the average lifespan of a vehicle wrap is about five years.

How to Care for A Vehicle with a Car Wrap

While you want your vehicle to stay clean so it portrays a professional image, improper washings can reduce the life expectancy of a vehicle wrap. Here are some helpful care tips for wrapped vehicles:

Wash your vehicle wrap often – if you’re in traffic a lot and exposed to dust, dirt, debris and pollution, consider washing your vehicle every 1-2 weeks to stop any build-up that could damage the vinyl surface.

Hand wash with a non-abrasive cleaner – a gentle hand washing is the best way to maintain your wrap. Grab some mild detergent and hand wash your vehicle with a nice soft sponge or rag. Remember to avoid hard scrubbing and rinse thoroughly after washing to ensure all soap residue is removed.

Avoid the car wash – strong jets can cause the vinyl to lift at the seams and automated brushes can lift loose edges and scratch the surface. Car wash facilities also tend to use harsher chemicals that are more abrasive which may lead to colours fading and becoming dull over time.

Avoid pressure washing – pressure washing isn’t recommended because the high pressure can damage graphics. However, for large commercial fleets, it may be the most practical option. If you need to pressure wash, follow the below guidelines:

  • Set the water pressure no higher than 800 psi to 2000 psi
  • Keep the water temperature under 80 degrees
  • Maintain a minimum distance of 12 to 14 inches between the nozzle and the vehicle
  • Don’t spray damaged wraps or wrap seams

Remove stains, insects, and dust quickly – Vinyl is made to withstand insects, sap and dirty deposits, but removing these things sooner rather than later is essential to prolong the life of your car wrap. Soak the affected area with warm, soapy water and gently rub it with a soft cloth. For stubborn spots, try a specialised car bug and tar remover solution. Avoid any solvents or oil-based products, as these can damage your vinyl and make sure to rinse thoroughly once done.

Don’t use wax – wax does help protect a vehicle against wear and tear, but it will degrade the vinyl and shorten the life of your wrap. So don’t wax, don’t polish, don’t add anything to the top of the car wrap other than a gentle soap and a soft cloth or sponge.

Vehicle wraps are an excellent form of promoting and advertising your business. If you have made the investment in car wrapping, ensure you follow the above tips to help keep your car wrap looking new for a long time. For more advice on vehicle wrapping or to enquire about our professional car wrap service, contact Ausign today on (03) 9419 0970 and our trained team members can assist with any questions you may have.