If you have a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle, and enjoy HOV lane access with your yellow “Clean Air” sticker, we have bad news for you. The yellow Clean Air stickers will no longer allow HOV lane access – effective July 1.

You might as well have fun taking off those newly useless stickers!

From the Mercury News:

The party is open to all — sad hybrid owners, people who just want to stop by and say hello, and gloaters who are gleeful that I and 84,999 others are getting booted out of the carpool lane July 1.

I’ll be the first to have my carpool stickers taken off, with Roadshow reader Dennis Cole donating $50 to my favorite charity, the Second Harvest Food Bank, for the privilege of removing mine, as promised a few years ago. Staffers from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District will help drivers find carpool partners, and Rudy Solorio from B2 Perfection Auto Body shop in Sunnyvale will offer free advice on how best to remove the stickers.

Can’t make it to San Jose? Have your own party at home and send us pictures!

Gary Richards from the Mercury News has these recommendations for how to get those stickers off your alternative fuel ride.

  • Goo Gone: This by far was the most popular among readers. Check it out at www.magicamerican.com.
  • Peanut butter: Many say the oil in the peanut butter will work to remove the adhesive safely and more cheaply than the removers you’ll find in stores, and it won’t damage your paint.
  • A hair dryer with a very thin nylon thread: Start with one corner and roll the decal back over itself until it is all the way to the other end. Put some sealer or car wax over the spot to get a nice shine back and seal the paint that was exposed.
  • A heat gun: With a little patience and expertise, you can use a heat gun with something like Turtlewax Tar Remover and a little Windex to clean it off. Don’t try this if you are uncertain how to work a heat gun, as it could burn or melt the paint.
Avoid solvents that are not part of a car surface cleaning product. Do not use any product that has the words “cleaner, ” “polish” or “glaze” on it, as these will damage the paint.

What’s your favorite sticker remover?

The white clean air stickers are still accepted. To get a white sticker, your car must meet California’s super ultra-low emission vehicle (SULEV) standard for exhaust emissions and the federal inherently low-emission vehicle (ILEV) evaporative emission standard. If your car is from 2004 or older, it only has to meet the California ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) standard for exhaust emissions and the federal ILEV standard.

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