FAQs – Use and Applications

Common Questions

A vehicle vinyl wrap is a process of applying pressure-sensitive vinyl in numerous colors   and finishes is applied by hand onto a vehicles painted surface.  Wrapping is the newest and          most innovative thing to hit the car customizing world in years. Vinyl wraps can also be installed on cars, trucks, SUV’s, bikes, boats, wave-runners, trailers, walls, floors, furniture, laptops or just about any surface.

A complete vinyl wrap can typically last for 5-7 years depending on the material used and conditions in which the car is driven and stored. The vinyl film can be removed completely without leaving any adhesive residue, returning the car to its original color and condition.

Full wraps cover most or all of the paint on a vehicle while partial wraps cover only part of the vehicle. Even though full wraps are more expensive, they protect all of the original paint underneath instead of just part of the paint. This is critical when the wrap is removed since fading and scratches can result on the unprotected paint of a partial wrap. As a result, full wraps tend to protect or even increase the resale value of vehicles more than partial wraps.

Having your car vinyl wrapped will completely change the appearance & visual styling while protecting your factory paintwork from stone chips and fading. Vinyl is designed and applied to look like paint, so you won’t notice it has been wrapped.

Yes. A vinyl wrap actually temporarily protects your vehicle’s paint.

When a vinyl wrap is applied to a vehicle, the vehicle’s surface is thoroughly cleaned to remove any debris. Then the vinyl wrap is carefully applied to the vehicle, putting a protective vinyl barrier between your vehicle’s paint and the rest of the world.

Wraps won’t protect your vehicle from accidents, dings, or other damage and isn’t meant to be used as vehicle protection.  A wrap also should not be applied to paint that is not the factory original paint because of the chance of the wrap lifting aftermarket paint from the vehicle’s surface.  However, paint damage is possible and excessive adhesive primers use during install should be avoided to help lower the possibility of paint/clear coat lift.


5 feet = 60 inches

Motorcycles, ATV/UTVs, Golf Carts:  10ft.x 5ft. (3m x 1.52m)

  • Examples: EZ Go, Club Car

Very small passenger cars, Small boats: 30ft. x 5ft.  (9m x 1.52m)

  • Examples: Fiat 500, Scion IQ, Mini Cooper, Chevrolet Spark

Small coupes: 40ft.x 5ft. (12m x 1.52m)

  • Examples: Dodge Neon, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Mazda 3, VW Golf TDI, Audi A3, BMW E36, Mercedes C-Class

Coupes, Convertibles, Small passenger cars: 50ft. x 5ft. (15m x1.52m)

  • Examples: Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, Mitsubishi Lancer/EVO, Subaru Impreza/WRX, Ford Mustang, VW Golf/Beetle/Jetta, Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Sentra

Standard Sedans, Large coupes: 50ft – 75ft.x 5ft (15m – 23m x 1.52m)

  • Examples: Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette, Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, VW Passat & CC, Nissan Maxima/Altima, BMW 5-Series, Mercedes E-Class, Mazda 6, Range Rover, Porsche 911, Dodge Viper, Trailblazer SS.

SUV, Large luxury sedans, Vans, Small to Medium Trucks: 75ft. – 100ft. x 5ft. (15m – 30m x 1.52m)

  • Examples: Audi A8, Chevrolet Impala, BMW 7-Series/S-Class, Hummer H3, Mercedes GL, Toyota 4Runner/FJ

Large trucks, Buses, Airplanes, Boats, RVs: 100ft+ x 5ft. (30m – 90m x 1.52m)

  • Examples: Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, Cadillac Escalade, Land Rover, Porsche Cayenne, Hummer H2, Minivans, Ford Super Duty, Dodge Ram, Chevrolet Silverado HD

If the product you like is not available in 60 inches, please make sure to order an equal amount of vinyl to the sq./ft. needed.

Although all Viking products are manufactured to defined specifications there is an allowable +/- tolerance for the final color production.  For this reason, Viking always advise that customers complete any application using material taken from a single batch of material.

The majority of calendared and cast vinyls can be digitally printed however Viking would always recommend that a print test is carried out prior to proceeding.

Yes.  Viking Vinyl Wrap Installation Guides are available under the Technical Section

Rolls of vinyl should be stored on end to avoid pressure marking.

Extremes in temperature and humidity should be avoided.  High temperatures can lead to adhesive bleed, whilst humidity may cause problems with the backing papers such as curl etc.

All self-adhesive vinyl should be allowed 24 hours to acclimate to workshop temperatures and humidity levels, before usage.  The ideal recommended storage condition is 15°C – 25°C (60°F – 77°F) and 50% relative humidity.

Avoid storing in direct sunlight or near heaters.  Keep the rolls off the floor, as dampness from the floor may be absorbed into the backing paper.

  • The information contained and techniques described herein are believed to be reliable, but Viking, makes no warranties, express or implied, including but not limited to any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
  • Except where prohibited by law, Viking or its distributors, under any circumstances be liable to purchaser or user for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages resulting from in anyway related to Viking’s products, services, information bulletins. This limitation of liability applies regardless of legal or equitable theory under such losses or damages are sought.

Please refer to the Viking Vinyl Wrap Installation Guide available under the Technical Section.

  1. Washing by hand with a blend of mild car wash detergent. When washing & drying, only use back and forth motions. Do not use circular movements when washing or drying.
  2. Do not use Automated Carwashes.
  3. Use extreme care when using a pressure washer. – Refer to Vehicle Wrap Installation Guide.
  4. Store the vehicle in a garage or use a car cover to avoid fading to direct sunlight and exposure to containments.
  5. Immediately clean fuel spills, harsh/difficult containments as soon as possible to avoid degrading the vinyl and adhesive. Then wash, rinse and dry the vehicle.
  6. Wash regularly.
  7. Use vinyl specific clean & care products.

The matte finish films may show fingerprints, but they can be cleaned off after the installation is complete by saturating a clean, lint-free towel with a 2:1 mixture of Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) and water, and then drying the film.

Try using a mild cleaner, such as simple green and lint-free cloth, followed up by saturating a clean, lint-free towel with a 2:1 mixture of Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) and water, and then drying the film.

Manu surface scratches will disappear when exposed to sunlight on warm days.  Otherwise, surface scratches may be removed by:

  • Using a 2:1 mixture of Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) and water.
  • By heating the film surface with a heat gun. Typically do not exceed 107°C (225°F).

Note: Deeper scratches will not come out.  Always use care to avoid scratches during installation, maintenance, use and storage of the wrapped vehicle.

Wipe off fuel spills immediately, then hand wash the affected area. Letting the spill stay the wrap too long will degrade the vinyl.  A quick wipe with a wet paper towel at a gas station will clean the fuel affected area decently enough until you can get home to do a more thorough job.

Excessive amounts of time under the sun or other outdoor elements (rain, smog, debris and road pollutants from passing cars) can degrade the wrap on the roof, trunk lid and hood. These horizontal areas are a magnet for pollutants, which are intensified by UV ray exposure. Try your best to park your car in a garage or under a canopy or shelter. If you must park it outside for prolonged periods, look for shady parking areas.

Wrap turns brown due to prolonged exposure to acid from pollutants in the air.  This is typically a result of neglect and failure to follow the above mentioned procedures.  If you notice brown, discolored or rust colored areas on your wrap, it is best to remove the film from your vehicle to prevent damage to the paint beneath it and reapply fresh wrap. Often times it is only necessary to replace the affected panel.

NEVER use any of the following cleaning products on your wrap:

  • Solvents
  • Oil based cleaners
  • Kitchen & Bathroom Cleaners
  • Oven cleaner
  • Orange Oil
  • Engine Degreaser

Please refer to: Vehicle Wrap Installation Guide


Use and Application Questions:

Viking films stick exceptional well on smooth surfaces like metal and glass.  The engineered adhesive for Viking’s vinyl has a high adhesive tolerance with minimal shrinkage. The downside to this chemically engineered adhesive, is that has a difficulty adhering to porous surfaces.

In cold temperature conditions, the resins the chemical make-up of the adhesive will become drier and less “sticky”.  Viking recommends to always apply the vinyl film at the recommend temperatures. Please refer to the Vehicle Wrap and Installation Guide.

The bubbles are formed/trapped as a part of the air during the application.  There are different application techniques depending on the type of film and application surface.  There isn’t one overall technique or procedure that can be used to avoid/remove bubbles. Overall, there are various methods and instruments that can be utilized.

Before application, the surface must be smooth and perfectly clean, free of dust, grease and oily substances that could compromise the adhesion of the film. It is recommended to clean the surface with alcohol and ensure work space temperature is around 15°C – 25°C (60°F – 77°F). It is also recommended that if installation tape method is used, to make sure the tape’s adhesive is not too strong.

Please refer to: Viking’s Vehicle Wrap Installation Guide

The main causes for lift is:

  1. Poor cleaning

The cleaning of a recess isn’t easy and often the internal areas are not well reached by cleaning tools.  In these places the film has an inferior adhesion and have more of a possibility of lifting.

  1. Release of the substances have interacted with the glue.

Before applying the film, it is important to be sure the substrate hasn’t been recently painted.  The solvents contained in the paint finish evaporating around 3-4 weeks and they can react with the vinyl’s adhesion (glue) diminishing its ability to stick. Also, if the incorrect cleaning products are used, the vinyl’s adhesion will be compromised.

  1. Wrong Application

Over stretching and over deforming the film may cause the film adhesion to loose it’s chemical structure and ability to stick to a substrate.

Many wraps have wrinkles, bubbles and seams. It is possible to prevent or repair some if not all wrinkles and bubbles. It is also possible to prevent many seams. Large size, complex curves and even your budget create the possibility of wrinkles, bubbles and seams.  Training and educational videos are recommended on techniques that help mitigate installation defects.

An adhesive primer (Pro-Bond) can help any film adhere to deep channels and complex contours.

No. Viking does not recommend or warrant using a wetting solution on the vehicle surface when applying any film with air release channels.  However, the installer, may use a wetting solution on top of the film layer to provide some slip resistance for the squeegee.

All Viking films should be applied to a “like new” vehicle finish for the best results.  Any rust, bubbling, scratches, dents or other damage will be visible through the film, such as surface imperfections may damage the film or cause the film to prematurely fail.  Areas repaired with body filler must be sanded, epoxy primed and finished with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) paint or clear coat.  Any recently applied paint/finishes must be cured for the full amount of time recommend by the paint manufacturer before applying film.

A heat gun is the only recommend source for heating the film.  A torch is likely to alter the appearance of the finish permanently, which cannot be repaired.