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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In Canada, all new vehicles are obliged under federal law to be provided with large, ugly airbag warning labels on the sunvisors. This is our government’s way of protecting fools who don’t read the owner’s manual from their own stupidity.
I don’t have kids, I read the owner’s manual, and I don’t like the look of these stickers. I find that they are distracting when the sunvisor is in the lowered position – I have a big yellow, red and black label right in front of my face.
There is a way to get these labels off, but I am going to warn you right up front: It involves toxic chemicals, it requires careful preparation and timing, and it is best done only to new cars (within the first month after delivery). If you have any doubts about doing this, don’t try it.
The chemical you use is cheap and can be purchased at any Home Depot or plumbing supply store. It is the cleaning solvent that is used to clean ABS or PVC pipe before the plumber puts the glue on the pipe. I don’t know what is in this chemical, but it is really volatile, highly flammable, and has a very objectionable smell. You will want to do this job outdoors, for sure.
Prepare for the job by removing the sunvisor from the car. Don’t even dream of trying to do this with the sunvisor installed – the car will stink so bad you can’t drive it for 2 days, and if you get one drop of the cleaner on your dashboard or seats, you’ll regret it.
To remove the sunvisor, pop off the little protective cap with a jeweler’s screwdriver, then remove the single Philips screw that holds the visor in place. The visor will then drop down about 1 cm (1/4 of an inch). Now push the sunvisor mounting clamp towards the back of the car (you can assist by gently pushing on the inside of the clamp with a flat screwdriver), and rotate the entire assembly down and towards the back of the car.
If you have a lighted vanity mirror on your sunvisor, gently wiggle the wire and you will discover a connector about 5 cm (2 inches) up the wire. Don’t bother trying to disconnect the wires at the spade lugs where they connect to the sunvisor mounting point – it is much easier to wiggle the wire out of the roof, then disconnect at the connector.
Set up your work area with a towel under the sunvisor (to absorb runoff) and the sunvisor tilted away from you. This is so any excess solvent runs away from you, rather than spreading out in all directions.
Using the applicator that comes with the can of solvent, soak the label (only) with the solvent. Re-apply the solvent about 3 times over a 30 second (total) time period.
Now, using a facecloth or another towel (don’t try to shortcut and use paper towels, they won’t work and the result will be a mess), gently rub the warning label from one end to another. It should peel off and gum up together into a sticky ball. If it does not come off easily, apply more solvent. But, work quickly, because the solvent will dissolve the plastic cover on the sunvisor if you leave it on long enough (more than about 3 minutes).
As soon as you have the label off, take the whole sunvisor assembly and rinse it off under a tap with warm water, and rub it with a wet towel that you have applied normal household dish detergent to. This will remove any solvent that remains on the sunvisor. Don’t forget to check for drips that may be on the opposite side.
If you have to ‘touch up’ later, to get any little bits of label off, apply some solvent directly to a towel, and rub the affected area. Then repeat the warm water and soap process.
Even if you have worked quickly, the plastic covering the visor will be soft afterwards, and it will look a bit puckered. Don’t worry about this. Leave the sunvisor outside for 24 hours, the plastic will stretch back out to being tight, the softness will go away, and the stink will go away also.
If your car is more than a month old, you might want to think twice about doing this. The area underneath the sticker will be nice and clean, like new, but all the rest of the sunvisor will be somewhat faded from the sun, and perhaps a bit dirty from smoke, industrial pollution, etc. The sticker will still come off OK, but it may be obvious where the sticker used to be.
Below are two photos that illustrate the process.
Let me repeat the warnings:
1) This is not a simple, cut and dried process. You need to be familiar with working with strong solvents, and you also need to be familiar with the safety precautions needed when working with strong solvents (a. do it outdoors, b. no flames or sparks around c. wear proper personal protective equipment d. don’t breathe the fumes e. read the warning label on the can).
2) Test an area of your visor first to make sure the solvent does not adversely affect the colour. I have my doubts about whether this would be a good idea on one of those all black GTI interiors.
3) Don’t put the visor back into the car for at least a day, to allow the solvent to fully evaporate. Last thing you want is to get stoned as you drive along, with a stinky visor right in front of your nose.
4) Don’t leave the solvent on the visor for a moment longer than you need to. If the solvent is on there too long, and/or you rub too hard, you will damage the texture of the visor covering.
5) Get written permission and approval from your federal government, provincial or state government, municipal government, insurance company, tort lawyer and your mother before you start work.
Michael
PS: To protect my own ass I need to add the following comment, which is not meant to be disrespectful or condescending in any way: I note that there are many young drivers here on the Vortex forum. I suggest you not even think about doing this unless you have the permission and approval of whoever paid for and owns the car you drive.
Sunvisor and solvent can, ready to go to work

60 seconds later

90 seconds later



[Modified by PanEuropean, 6:10 AM 12-6-2001]
 

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Re: How to remove Canadian Airbag Warning Labels from the Sunvisors (PanEuropean)

I'm going to try this, if it works my wife (former FSS) might change her opinion of pilots
(just joking).
What is the active ingredient listed on the solvent container? I'm a chemist so I might be able to find something in my lab that'll work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: How to remove Canadian Airbag Warning Labels from the Sunvisors (F1_Fan)

Hi F1 Fan:
It contains a mixture of MEK (about 70%) and acetone (about 30%). The chemical formula is CH(3)COC(2)H(5)+CH(3)COCH(3).
Did your spouse ever work at Wiarton, ON?
Michael
 

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Re: How to remove Canadian Airbag Warning Labels from the Sunvisors (PanEuropean)

quote:[HR][/HR]It contains a mixture of MEK (about 70%) and acetone (about 30%). Did your spouse ever work at Wiarton, ON?
[HR][/HR]​
MEK = methyl ethyl ketone
Very similar to acetone (dimethyl ketone). I will experiment this weekend

My wife worked at Buttonville.
What made you try the ABS adhesive on your visor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: How to remove Canadian Airbag Warning Labels from the Sunvisors (F1_Fan)

Buttonville is about 2 km from my house. I did my ab initio training there a long time ago, back when the FSS was up in the cab with the tower, and the KZ beacon was considered new technology.
It's not adhesive, its cleaner. For goodness' sake don't get any of that gooey yellow ABS adhesive near the car.
I have found that this particular chemical is just perfect for cleaning up all sorts of problems - bumper and paint scuffs from other people who hit the car in parking lots, removing road tar, degreasing parts, etc. Just remember it is a very, very aggressive chemical, you always need to test it on a small out of the way area first. If you ever spill the stuff it will eat a hole all the way down to China.
Plus, MEK makes dioxin look like health food by comparison. You don't want to get any of this stuff on your skin, especially if you have not finished adding kids to your family yet. You also want to totally avoid breathing the fumes. The fumes will give you a powerful headache, and make you sick for several hours.
Michael


[Modified by PanEuropean, 7:55 AM 12-6-2001]
 

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Re: How to remove Canadian Airbag Warning Labels from the Sunvisors (PanEuropean)

Anyone know if this will work on the US version of the warning labels? They bug me too!
On an '02 Golf GLS TDI...
Kevin
 

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Re: How to remove Canadian Airbag Warning Labels from the Sunvisors (PanEuropean)

Hey guys. This looks like a nice way to remove that damn sticker. I was just wondering a few things. First: How did you think to try this? This would have scared the crap out of me to try this on a brand new car. I would love it if my car came without those stickers, but man I don't think that I have the guts to do this. I would be afraid that I would hurt my visor. Second: did either you or F1 Fan find anything else out about the dbl din radio? Thanks guys! Good work PanEuropean!
 

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Re: How to remove Canadian Airbag Warning Labels from the Sunvisors (DGMVW)

I'm really stretching my memory, but I seem to remember a few years ago (before I got my dub) reading something here about dealerships putting the sticker BACK ON your visor when you went in for service if it was removed. I want to say there is some law (in the US at least) that says they have to put it back on.
Not sure if that's correct or not, but something to possibly be aware of...it would be a pain to have to do it again!!
 

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Re: How to remove Canadian Airbag Warning Labels from the Sunvisors (Justin1.8T)

Yea that works, I took mine off..bout 3 months ago.
No the dealer cannot replace them..#1..its not really a sticker...so they can't just stick it on. #2 why would u want a dumb sticker there anyways?
I mean if your gonna sell your car..maybe not remove them but still, it makes the interior nicer. I do not know about canadian laws..but its not mandatory in america..how are they gonna even pull you over for it? Thats why in the US we can disable our DRLS but in CAN they are required. :p
Happy Modding
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: How to remove Canadian Airbag Warning Labels from the Sunvisors (DGMVW)

quote:[HR][/HR]. First: How did you think to try this? This would have scared the crap out of me to try this on a brand new car. [HR][/HR]​
Well, it sort of goes like this: 1) I work in the aviation industry, where strong solvents are often used, under carefully controlled conditions. So I am kind of familiar with the stuff. 2) I traded a '99 Jetta in on my '02 Golf, so, natch, I tested the process out on the car I was trading in, the week before I took it back.
If you're a little uncertain, I suggest you start by removing the sticker on the normally hidden side of the passenger visor first. If anything goes wrong, you'll not often be looking at the results.
Again, I emphasize, you gotta get all the materials in place (towel underneath the visor, a few clean dry facecloths for wiping, wet soapy facecloth and sink for rinsing) ahead of time, before you start. The solvent works fast, and you don't want it on the visor any longer than is needed to soften the sticker. Just ask the person who got my trade-in if you don't believe me...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: How to remove Canadian Airbag Warning Labels from the Sunvisors (Justin1.8T)

quote:[HR][/HR]I seem to remember a few years ago (before I got my dub) reading something here about dealerships putting the sticker BACK ON your visor when you went in for service if it was removed. [HR][/HR]​
Justin:
Your memory is very good. When the federal requirement for these stickers was first published in Canada and the USA, the regulations did not specify the type of adhesive that was to be used. The manufacturers used a sticker that could easily be removed. Everyone took the stickers off. The dealers then reapplied the stickers as a 'courtesy' when the car was in for service, just in case the sticker had fallen off. If you didn't like it, you could peel it off in 2 seconds, no fuss, no residue.
The governments (USA and CAN) changed the technical specifications a few years later to insist that the stickers be permanent markings, because some citizens had the nerve to remove the peel and stick labels. Government as 'mummy', if you know what I mean.
Michael
 

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Re: How to remove Canadian Airbag Warning Labels from the Sunvisors (W0lfsburg4)

Just because they can't pull you over for it, doesn't mean that it couldn't be law that you are required to have the sticker. Indeed I remember hearing something about the sticker being mandatory as well.
I would liken it to the rule that dealers or mechanics cannot disable your airbags? (correct me if I'm wrong). They can't pull you over for that either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: How to remove Canadian Airbag Warning Labels from the Sunvisors (Jason_R)

Jason, as I interpret the Canadian regulations, the law states that the manufacturer must equip the vehicle with the stickers. It does not say anywhere that it is obligatory to leave the sticker on the car once it has been sold at retail. Sort of like those tags you find on mattresses, pillows, etc.
There are, of course, some general regulations in both Canada and the USA that mandate that a vehicle must be maintained in conformity with the safety specifications applicable at the time of manufacture. For example, you'll get into trouble pretty quickly if you replace amber coloured turn signals with clear white bulbs. But, I don't think any police officer or any motor vehicle safety standards inspection station would proactively go after anyone for removing the airbag warning labels.
In a worst case scenario, the car might not pass a safety certification test, however, I think the safety certification people tend to look for the more obvious stuff, such as brakes, tires, lights, broken glass, etc. In any case, you could always bring the vehicle back into conformity by just taping a photocopy of someone else's sticker onto your sunvisor.
Michael
 

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Re: How to remove Canadian Airbag Warning Labels from the Sunvisors (PanEuropean)

i have heard stories of people removing these labels and the dealer putting them back on next time the car is in!!!! lots of work for nothin if thats the case.
ry
 

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Re: How to remove Canadian Airbag Warning Labels from the Sunvisors (PanEuropean)

I'm can only speak for U.S. laws. I know nothing about Canadian regulations.
I'm not saying you shouldn't remove it, if I really cared enough, I'd remove mine, but its never really bothered me.
As for police officers seeing it, I'm sure they wouldn't notice it. As for inspections? Well I don't have to worry about that here in Florida.
 

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Re: How to remove Canadian Airbag Warning Labels from the Sunvisors (weissguy)

quote:[HR][/HR]Would Xylene work? I seem to remember someone doing this with Goof-Off.[HR][/HR]​
Avoid xylenes, they can attack the central nervous system.
 

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Re: How to remove Canadian Airbag Warning Labels from the Sunvisors (F1_Fan)

Just to let u know removing these labels is illegal - and u can be fined for it when inspected.
 

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Re: How to remove Canadian Airbag Warning Labels from the Sunvisors (WolfGTI)

Never seen that one in the Act or Regulations for my province... I'm not being confrontational but do you happen to know the approprate Act/Regs that applies here?
I'm meeting with a police traffic officer later this week... I'll ask him if he knows. I doubt it though, I don't remember reading that one.


[Modified by F1_Fan, 9:19 PM 12-6-2001]
 
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