Magnetic Vehicle Signs: Use and Care

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Want your face on the side of your car but don’t want to pay for a wrap? A vehicle magnet may be the best and cheapest option.

10″ x 18″ up to 12″ x 20″ are great for cars and 18″ x 24″ may be a good size for larger trucks and SUV’s.

Tailgates make a great advertising space as well, sizes vary.

Round Corners

First rule of vehicle magnets: round corners. Second rule of vehicle magnets: round corners. If you leave the corners square, it actually helps the wind tear the magnet right off the vehicle. Round off those corners to help keep your magnets flat against the metal surface and stand (or stay) victorious over the mighty winds.

Flat Surfaces

Smooth, flat surfaces. Magnets do not do well over bends and curves of metal. Measure your door area that is flat and without ridges.

Surface Preparation

Prepare the surface of your vehicle and dark magnetic side of the sign by cleaning and drying before application. Little granules of dirt and salt can help the mighty winds get underneath the magnet and rip it off at highway speeds.

Sign Application (rolled, not shaken)

First, place one edge of the sign on the desired area, then gently roll the rest of the sign on to your metal surface. If your alignment is incorrect, remove and reposition. Do not try to “pull” the sign into alignment.

Temperature (does it matter?)

The temperature of your vehicle is not important; however, the sign should be at least 60 degrees F for proper installation.

Cleaning (weekly)

To avoid moisture collecting between the sign and vehicle, the sign should be removed once a week. Use warm water and a mild detergent to clean the front surface of the sign. Wipe the back of the sign and the surface of the vehicle dry.


To store your sign, try to lay it flat on a metal surface. Don’t worry, the magnetic surface won’t demagnetize. If you must roll it, carefully do so with the printed service to the outside. Do not fold it.

Adam Gongwer, freelance authorGraphic Designer and Councilman, has been writing since 2009.
Lifelong Ohio resident, mostly in the village of Lexington. 

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