In the dark - Ian Chandler
I have just bought a 1990 Mitsubishi Pajero from Japan - I bought it over the internet for £1100, plus £700 shipping and about £500 duty and Vat.

My problem, though, is that the previous Japanese owner was one of those people who like to personalise their cars with junk aftermarket additions.

I will be able to take out the extra speakers and the bizarre echoing horn easily enough, but I don't know how to get rid of the black film that has been stuck on the (six) rear side windows or the dark pink film that he has stuck on the rear window.

Does anybody know how this stuff can be removed? I have tried easing it off from a corner, but it doesn't pull off easily and I am going to end up spending days clearing little bits off each pane of glass if I attempt that.

Is there any chemical that destroys this stuff without spoiling the window? Will hot air from a hairdryer work without cracking the glass? Any suggestions will be gratefully received, because at the moment the inside of the wagon is dreadfully gloomy ..
Re: In the dark - Simon Whaites
I don't know aboout the film, but a car I had a while back had loads of radio station stickers all over it and the only way that I could get them off was heating them a little, peeling off as much as I can and then it was just lots of windowlene or other glass cleaners and lots of elbow grease.

I think the trick is peeling the film off as carefully as possible.

Heat is the key. - David Woollard
David Lacey is right that heat is the key here. I use a powerful hair dryer to remove tatty dealer stickers with a soft plastic scraper.

Thinking back to 6th form physics I think most plastics have a memory of their raw form that is activated by heat. That is why a complicated plastic moulding can be heated to form a rock hard blob after then cooling.

As the window film is heated it will gradually be less likely to keep to its rigid flat state.

Talking of this film...

Some people in the village have just spent a fair bit on having the vehicle done, very film star it looks too. But the heated window element is causing bubbles already (6 weeks).

Re: In the dark - Gwyn Parry
Acetone - try a little bit first, should do the biz. Nail varnish remover has much the same effect,,,,,,,,not that I have ever owned any ! But apparantly it was/is acetone based.
Re: In the dark - David Lacey
Use a decent output hairdryer or bodyshop curing lamp to soften the film and peel it off.Be prepared for lots of window cleaning etc Good Luck!
Re: In the dark - Andrew Tarr
As an (ex)chemist I can't think of any solvent which will harm glass - you should worry more about the paint. Acetone is pretty strong stuff. If self-adhesive 'goo' is the problem I can recommend Brasso (or I suppose T-cut, pretty similar) for a lot of things, e.g. removing old price stickers from CD cases. I'm sure Autoglym make something special!
Re: In the dark - Bill Doodson
Please, please don't use Brasso, T Cut or any other abrasive to remove the film on your windows. It looks like its done a great job until it gets dark and you get lights shining on it, car, street etc. Then it all goes opaque. The small scratches refract the light horribly, it's just awful!!

I know because I cleaned the visor on my motorcycle helmet many years ago using Brasso at the suggestion of a "friend". It was ok in daylight, but the first time I used it at night I ended up taking it off and throwing it away. These abrasives will have the same effect on glass but less than on my visor.
Re: In the dark - Nicholas Moore
It's well worth getting hold of a copy of the Autoglym VHS video "How to keep your car in showroom condition", about £6.99 form resellers. It is full if helpful tips such as the following:

To remove unwanted GB stickers on paintwork, heat gently with a hairdrier and simply peel off. Use Autoglym Instant Tar Remover to remove adhesive residue, and then repolish uing Super Resin Polish.

To remove dealer stickers from windows, the wisdom is to use a paint remover scraper (a small plastic handle with a Stanley knife blade mounted on it, looking a bit like an oversize razor, used for cleaning paint off windows after decorating, available for a few pounds from any DIY shop). I then use Autoglym Instant Tar Remover to remove residues (not mentioned in the video), and then finish off with Autoglym Car Glass Polish cream which seems to clean everything off glass, no matter how dirty it is.

Just a quick tip about cloths to use for polishing bodywork and windows:

I use Halfords own Polish Applicator Pads (about £1-99 each) to apply Super Resin Polish, Car Glass Polish or Extra Gloss Protection. They hold their shape well and seem to absorb much less product than Autoglym Perfect Polishing Cloths, making them much easier to use. Then use an Autoglym Perfect Polishing Cloth to buff off the said product.
Re: In the dark - David Lacey
Just be careful with those blades around the elements of the heated rear window

Value my car