Words from the wise: Don't EVER get the VentShades that stick to the car with 3M tape! Get the in-channel versions that clip into your window with no tape. It took me forever to get all the residue off my car. However, since I couldn't find a good walkthrough on the internet at all, I am writing one for all you people who have VentShades on your car and are scared to take them off.
Here we go.
Items I used:
- 1 long plastic zip-tie
- 2 small rags/washcloths
- a blow dryer
- Windex/Paper towels
- 1 can of 3M residue/wax remover. I got mine at Advance Auto Parts.
First, plug in the heat gun and get the VentShade's glue nice and warm/hot. Just evenly heat the VentShade up until it's warm to the touch. Be careful not to overheat it, the heat through the glass could cause damage to your tint if you aren't careful.
Once the VentShade has been heated, take the zip-tie and slide it between your car and the Ventshade. You're going to "floss" between the car and the VentShade to seperate them. When you do this, be sure to have the smooth side of the zip-tie against the car and the ridged side against the Ventshade. You don't want to mess up your window trim in the process. You can also use any other material that will floss between them, but zip-ties work great.
Take your time flossing, gradually making your way from the front to the back of the window. When the whole VentShade is seperate from the car, use the heat gun to soften up the area glued to your door pillar and simply pull it off.
After you have completely removed your Ventshade, roll off as much glue residue as you can with your fingers. This will make the next step easier.
After you have removed as much residue as you can with your fingers, moisten a small area of your washcloth with the 3M Residue Remover. Starting at the front of the window, slowly saturate the residue with the 3M Remover. Do about 7 inches at a time and move the cloth back and forth very slowly. After you repeat this for about 30 seconds, flip the cloth over to a dry side and strongly scrub the residue off. Use fast back and forth motions until the majority of the residue is gone. If you still see some stains on the trim, don't worry about it yet. As long as the area is mostly smooth and glue-free.
Repeat this process until the trim is completely free of residue. Also, be sure to use a lot of elbow grease on the door pillar, as this can be the trickiest spot to remove the glue. You will probably have a slightly noticable mark on it permanentally from where the glue was.
After the residue has been removed from the door pillar and trim, re-moisten the cloth with 3M Remover and strongly go over the trim and pillar, scrubbing back and forth with the cloth. Keep doing this for approximately a minute. When you finish, the glue/residue should be mostly gone. Go over problem areas repeatedly until the glue is gone or almost invisible.
Repeat for the other doors. Your car should be Ventshade-free and the nastiness should be gone! I Armor-Alled the trim, wiped off the car with a clean cloth, and Windexed the windows (which will get filthy) after I finished to get it nice and shiny.
Here's a few more things to remember:
- DO NOT GET THE 3M REMOVER ON THE PAINT! If it is on there for an extended amount of time, it can cause damage. If you get any on the paint, wipe it clean quickly to avoid problems.
- Keep in mind that while this will eliminate most, if not all residue, you may or may not have visible marks from the VentShades. I had mine on for exactly one year, and I barely have any evidence that they were there (just a smear on the door trim, which I may paint gloss black).
- Be sure to wash the area after you finish to avoid any chemicals staying on the car.
Anyway, I hope this helps someone out there, I know I really could have used this. But I'm glad I did it, because now I don't have those cheap pieces of crap glued to my Focus! :D