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Old 05-11-2014, 08:25 PM   #1
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Paint protection film

Has anyone got experience with paint protection film?

Does is work to protect the paint from chips?
How long does it last?
How is cleaned? Waxed??
Would you do it again?

Thanks.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:13 AM   #2
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Had this discussion with one of the best and most highly recognized vehicle wraps company.

Things to consider:
1. Protective film should be installed by a certified installer for the product being utilized.
2. There is risk of vehicle damage upon removal. "Although minimal, products can remove paint upon removal of the protective film."
3. Cost. Product and proper installation is not as cheap as you think.

I was most worried about bug damage, but if you keep your car clean/waxed and remove bugs routinely, you will prevent damage. Road debris is an additional concern, but if you drive your car regularly, it may be more cost effective to simply paint the damaged areas when it's time to sell if damage is extensive. I was advised to not invest in the protective film.
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:14 PM   #3
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I had the 3m clear bra on my '06 red GTO. Installed it myself, as I do all my own work...too anal retentive to allow others to do stuff! Install was def a *****. Once installed, it was perfect. By perfect, I mean it was installed how 3m advises, and looked professionally done. Kept it on for about 2 months and ended up pulling it off. Car was red, and I could see the clear line between the material and the car. Very hard to notice, but that is how nuts I am. I liked the idea because I drive about 25k highway miles a year, and always get tons of rock chips...and don't get me started with the Love Bug seasons!!!
Only chip I got in those 2 months were about 2" past the bra on my hood! Came off flawlessly btw. Left a sort of residue, but waxed off.
Wasn't cheap, and install was gonna be crazy expensive also. Keep that in mind. Many places won't install them.
If you can wrap your head around the faint clear line/seam, then they would be perfect. The line gets more visible the dirtier your car gets.
Good luck.
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:48 PM   #4
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I bought a car that had it installed from the factory. It becomes more noticeable after a couple years, or at least on mine. I removed it.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:41 AM   #5
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Does is work to protect the paint from chips? Yes
How long does it last? 5-7 years based on Brands. 3M is very common.
How is cleaned? Waxed?? Normal wash, wax can be used as long as its not abrasive, 3M has recommendation on there product page.
Would you do it again? Yes, looks like new paint when removes, these products self heal, are easy to remove and unnoticeable if installed correctly and maintained properly.
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluefirstgt View Post
Had this discussion with one of the best and most highly recognized vehicle wraps company.

Things to consider:
1. Protective film should be installed by a certified installer for the product being utilized. Yes, but also depends on portfolio of vehicles, ask to see examples. Its a trade, skill and craft not a weekend certifications thing. It also comes down to brand of film used.
2. There is risk of vehicle damage upon removal. "Although minimal, products can remove paint upon removal of the protective film." Clear Bra should NOT harm the paint in any way. In vary rare cases where a someone has installed vinyl/clear bra over newly sprayed paint it can cause problems, so paint must be fully cured before installing any type of vinyl. I have seen vehicles that get clear bra removed and installed every year from a fleet leasing company. Also I dont think people with high end exotics would be getting protection films installed if it removed there paint.
3. Cost. Product and proper installation is not as cheap as you think.
Paint protection film can be installed very quickly and it is installed wet. A small hood strip or side mirrors can be very cost effective. Buying the film yourself can cost allot. I recommend finding a good shop or someone who can by it at cost for you and not retail.
I was most worried about bug damage, but if you keep your car clean/waxed and remove bugs routinely, you will prevent damage. Road debris is an additional concern, but if you drive your car regularly, it may be more cost effective to simply paint the damaged areas when it's time to sell if damage is extensive. New paint, really? Unless you have your own paint booth, there is no way new paint is going to be cheaper.
I was advised to not invest in the protective film.
It may seem like an expensive investment but for some its a great option, its excellent for daily drivers. If your worried about the line it creates on the hood, its from people not knowing how to wax around the area of the film. Should not be noticeable till you are very very close to it.
Just my 2 cents.
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:55 AM   #7
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I disagree completely with the statement that it is absolutely invisible. Mine (3M) was installed perfectly, but the clear seam was noticeable. I have seen many installed on many exotics, and I can see them too. Hell, you can see them in just pictures if u look hard enough. I do admit that I am more anal retentive than most.
Yes, check out a few that have been done before u spend the money.
Troy
Btw, I cleaned the seam after waxing too!
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Old 05-28-2014, 02:58 PM   #8
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"Should not be noticeable till you are very very close to it."
Never said it would be "absolutely invisible", but there are people who wrap the whole car or hood in this case and you would never know.
To each his own, but never hurts to have to opinions.

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Old 05-28-2014, 03:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunsetGoldGT View Post
. and unnoticeable if installed correctly and maintained properly. [/COLOR]
Sorry. I took this statement above to mean that it would be "unnoticeable if installed correctly." My bad.
Yes, many opinions is a great tool for the OP to make a sound decision. Also, it really helps if he gets opinions from people that actually have experience with them personally. Yes, I read that you had a conversation with a guy, and it does help the conversation. But, I would be hesitant to argue the looks standpoint if u have not seen one up close.
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:00 PM   #10
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Jusy FYI. I have a factory installed clear bra that came on my used mustang. I have also have professionally installed vehicle graphics for the past 3-4 years including removing and installing clear bra. Sign shop and Vehicle leasing company.
Not looking for an argument here, just clarifying.
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Old 06-02-2014, 02:41 PM   #11
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Personally I think clear bars do a great job for door-sills, and that's about it. They require more maintenance (washing/waxing techniques) then a normal finish and are prohibitively expensive. I was quoted over $1500 for a full frontal bra, hood and bumper and side mirrors. I can all those parts repainted for the same amount of money and not have to put up with visible bra-lines or eventually removing it. Granted its more complicated then that and repaints have their issues, but I just don't see the value unless its a REALLY exotic paint finish or car. On a Lambo or Ferrari that is driven rarely, YES. On a Ford? No. I love my car as much as the next guy but I won't have a heart attack if I get a rock chip.
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I was quoted over $1500 for a full frontal bra, hood and bumper and side mirrors.
That sounds like a 'I don't feel like doing the job so I will give you a rediculous quote" quote... I had basically the full bra, mirrors and partial on the hood done for $700 on my 2011 Saleen. Already saved me a bunch of nicks and chips.
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