Clear Bra Paint Protection FAQ

What is Paint Protection Film ?

Paint Protection film, also known as PPF, is a urethane film that comes with or without a self-healing top coat. Once correctly applied to a painted surface, it will provide protection against debris such as rocks, bugs and other debris that would damage the paint. The film keeps the paint beneath in perfect condition. Additionally, the films are barely visible and will not change the overall appearance of your vehicle such as the older black vinyl bras or the black plastic bug deflectors available today.

Are Paint Protection Films truly invisible ?

These films are over 99% clear and very challenging to see once they are properly applied by a trained professional. Most people, including owners, barely will ever notice the film on their vehicle, so it is virtually invisible. As always, remember that the purpose of this film is “Paint Protection” and not “Paint Perfection.” Due to both the properties, as well as the difficulty of installing this film, there may be very tiny flaws that may find their way into the film, or even flaws in the paint that may seem magnified under the film. Such flaws may include a speck of dust, a grain of sand, a hair or fiber, or even just a nub in the clear coat itself. Although we take every precaution to ensure a near perfect install, the fact of the matter is small flaws may occur. We will on sight during install remove all visible flaws, but some flaws may go unnoticed until the moisture fully dries underneath. What are some of the precautions we take you may ask? We wear lint free clothing, lint roll the clothes we do have on just in case prior to install, tack cloth all panels prior to install, use filtered products, wash and maintain shop cleanliness, and as always, scan the film in sections as we install to clear any imperfection we spot before it dries. Most imperfections will go unnoticed except by us (we’re picky to say the least) and other installers, we do hope you appreciate our persistence to give a truly flawless install, however like paint, window tint and nearly any other profession, these tiny flaws will exist.

In case of an accident, will my auto insurance cover re-installation of Paint Protection Films ?

More often than not, yes they will. We work directly with body shops that have covered such incidents, and directly refer the work back to us, the original installer for the same quality work using the same quality film. As always, check with your insurance provider to see what is covered. If an accident does occur, definitely let your insurance and body shop know who you’d prefer to give an estimate and to ultimately reinstall your product, again insuring the same quality install with a matching original material. Again, let them know who you would prefer to install to make sure everything matches!

Why would I choose Paint Protection Film over a vinyl black bra, special sealants, or nothing at all ?

Simply put, stones, bugs and debris can considerably wear down your painted surfaces in a relatively short time. Old school vinyl bras work very well for collecting and storing dirt, sand and other debris between the bra and the paint. Effectively, it acts as sandpaper and ultimately scratches your vehicle as the vinyl bra moves with the wind. Also because it is opaque, the paint around the bra will discolor and fade with the sun much faster than the paint underneath. A professionally installed film bra will not act as sandpaper since it is effectively stuck on with no room for debris build up, and because it is clear will let the paint fade at the same rate as uncovered paint which leads to not resulting in discoloration. As for special sealants, although they will make your car look great, and make it even easier to clean, it will not protect against scrapes and stone chips. When it comes time to trade your car in, the value of your vehicle will be higher knowing the paint was kept in excellent condition due to your clear bra.

Your prices seem quite high, why ?

We are firm believers of the phrase “you get what you pay for.” Our prices are a direct reflection of the business we have built throughout the years. The following can be attributed to that. 1. Our dedication of our dedicated installers who have spent their own money to be professionally trained at locations all over the country to install these premium products to keep your car up to your standards. 2. We invest in high end machinery and software to make sure that all of these films are precisely cut to fit each and every vehicle individually, which ultimately lessens the risk of using an open blade on your vehicle’s paint. 3. Every vehicle is different, so each job has its own complexities of which we must learn thoroughly. If it is a new vehicle, we may throw plenty of material away getting your vehicle up to standard. In short, experience, which usually comes at the expense of time or material. We also like to wrap our edges, which often times leads to some degree of hardware removal, which ultimately adds a great amount to our install time. 4. Computer, design and installation time. As mentioned, each car comes with its own complexities which most of the time must be ironed out at the computer and taken to the install location to ensure a great install. 5. Our professional location. We have wanted to make our shop world class, not only for us, but for our customers to be proud of. From our front door, to our waiting room, and to where all the work is done, we have not shied away from any expense to impress you the customer, and most of all to feel welcomed here.

Will you price match ?

We know in today’s competitive world the word price-match comes up. Admittedly, we do not do it. Why? Many “installers” are in fact only part time installers with no certification, and not much experience other than watching a few YouTube videos. They may use low pricing tactics to attract their clients, and often times rely on inferior materials, such as cheaper films, or the bargain DIY (do-it-your-self) patterns found online, and flat out may take short cuts to get your vehicle done, such as using a heat gun or steamer to distort the patterns and weaken the adhesives. This leads generally to poor installs, plenty of film lifting, and directly cutting on your vehicle, which generally with poor installer experience leads to cut paint and rust. Our pricing configuration reflects our experience in installing and our dedication to each and every install, and therefore will not price-match in order to match that inferior install.

Why are prices different amongst installers ?

Generally speaking, there are five influences in price for paint protection installs. 1. Experience. 2. Film choice. 3. Software and pattern designs. 4. Total film coverage. 5. Shop location and shop condition. Factor all these when choosing an installer. More information is below.

1. Experience: No matter what, money cannot buy experience. Installing is a skill that can only be gained through repetition. Through this repetition, you learn how to properly install these films, and learn where they may possibly fail, and ultimately where the film is needed most. A Certified Installer is not just a title such as Assistant Manager at a parts store, it is a living in which these installers have based their livelihoods on. A Certified Installer has spent their own money to study and train directly by film suppliers in the direction of how to install their film correctly. They must have a complete understanding of pattern designs and how they must be molded to fit each and every individual vehicle. These film companies directly stamp their name to these installers knowing they will faithfully represent their company as a whole world wide. When considering experience, do you want a part time installer who just does this for extra money? Would you rather they are professionally trained and certified? Do you want a knife touching your car at all times? In short, you want experience, you want that skill, and you want that dedication and knowledge of that Certified Installer touching your vehicle. Most film companies will actually not warranty their products unless installed by a professional installer. We are certified by Xpel, and can warranty SunTek films. For this reason we offer them fully. In the future, we will receive certification for 3M films also.

When you ultimately get your clear bra installed, you want to shoot for a near perfect fit. The difference between a near perfect to poor fitment is fractions of an inch and the turning of that invisible bra to very visible to the naked eye. In this regard, experience is very key when it comes to the fraction of an inch. You as a customer should not settle for that okay install. Choose a Certified Installer the first time!

2. Film Choice: Like clothes, there are many choices for paint protection film. Your driving habits, the location you drive, your color paint, the texture of the paint, and your budget will ultimately affect your choice of film. Some films react differently in one climate to the next, such as in Florida, we recommend Xpel Ultimate due to the fact Love Bugs are known to etch painted surfaces; of all films tested, we know the durability of Xpel Ultimate would need the least amount of maintenance. The texture of the paint may also lead to a different film choice. We will always work the best we can to choose the film that works best for you. As always, our top choice for any darker vehicle would be one of our premium “self-healing” top coated films. So what films are there?

Non-Coated Paint Protection films are made with a max of 2 layers of urethane. The film will not last nearly as long as a top coated film, and may discolor, stain and dull over time. Due to the absence of self-healing, they require more maintenance. Also, removal is more time consuming due to the difficulty. Such films include SunTek Non Coated or Durashield.
Standard Coated Paint Protection films are made with a coated layer over the urethane. This level of film brings a balance in regards of visual appeal, lesser maintenance, ultimate cost, and increased warranty. Such films include 3M Ventureshield, Xpel Xtreme and Premiumshield.

Clear Coated Paint Protection films are made with a layer of clear coat over the urethane. This results in higher durability, remains glossier longer, and is resistant to bug stains. This film has an orange peel feel to the film which mimics some paints. Such films are 3M Scotchgard Gen 3 and Clearshield Pro.
Standard “Self-Healing” Paint Protection films are known mainly for self-healing. There is less of a need for maintenance, and have a high gloss finish to increase the whole invisibility factor. Their warranties are also longer. Such films are SunTek Coated PPFC, 3M Scotchgard Pro2, Llumar and Premiumshield V2.

Premium “Self-Healing Paint Protection films are top of the line films. Not only will they self-heal, they are manufacturing leading in regards to non-yellowing, and self-healing. This film is offered to clients who demand the best of the film. Relatively, there is little to no maintenance, extremely glossy, stain-resistant, and nearly invisible. The only film to offer this is Xpel Ultimate, which also offers a 10 Year Warranty that is transferable from certified installer to certified installer.

3. Pattern Design: There are several companies out there which market film patterns. Many of these companies offer a flat fee for access to all their patterns, and some are even free. These patterns tend to have fitment issues, and usually offer many (poor fitted) pieces to look as if they “protect” more. While they may “protect” more, fact is some surfaces do not need paint protection film and this is overkill. On certain surfaces, it may even distort that surfaces finish. These poor designs also lead to the need of using an open blade to trim on the vehicle to get these patterns to fit correctly. Ultimately, this leads to poor coverage, and greatens the risk of cutting paint. A lot of these bargain patterns are great for the DIYers, and the rookie installer looking to turn a quick buck by using the cheapest option possible. These patterns often sacrifice overall coverage, have many pieces and seams, and lead to your invisible bra becoming visible again. For these installers, using the smallest amount of paint protection films leads into smaller and more numerous pieces to be cut into a more condensed space. This is to turn a bigger profit which usually leads to cutting corners by cutting the coverage a premium kit would offer. The more pieces present turns into less coverage, more edges that can fail, and just more areas where dirt and wax can build up over time. Don’t settle for these inferior options! Premium software will also allow for pattern customization, such as giving the ability to wrap edges, or to delete emblems in order to place the emblem on top of the film to offer that invisible install.

4. Coverage: When it comes to your kit, understand the amount of protection that is being offered to install. Is the bumper only the front section, or does it reach from fender well to fender well? Is the grill included? Is the hood only protected 6”, 12” or 20”? Are there optional patterns available to choose to protect more of your vehicle such as full hood, full fenders, rocker panels, partial roof, headlights, etc.? Are the edges wrapped on the film or do they end at the edge of the panel? Are emblems, washer nozzles, lights, tow hook covers, or other body pieces removed to wrap further around the available edge? Look deeply into what you want covered, and tell your installer exactly what you are looking for!

5. Shop location and shop condition: Location, location, location; a phrase you hear a lot. A consistent day-in and day-out location tends to mean more consistent installs. Is the shop maintained and cleaned, or is it a dirty location with dust everywhere? Is it an open bay or a sealed location? Is there enough lighting to spot mistakes, or is the lighting very dim? The more you know of the shop, the greater you can recognize where there is a risk for a quality install versus a poor install. The cleaner the better! We clean our shop nightly, from sweeping to mopping, we want our installs the next day as great as the day we just finished. We use a climate controlled location to maintain a constant temperature for great installs. We also use a quality air filter system to keep our air clean. Our shop is extremely well lit to spot imperfections. To keep dirt from entering on the lower areas of the vehicle, we use a quality lift to keep those panels away from any dust that may be on the floor, and use wheel coverings to keep the film from grabbing any sand from the tires. This level of preparedness allows us to install our films in an ultra-clean environment, which ultimately leads to great installs! Furthermore, we’ve invested into making our location a customer friendly environment with a great waiting room for our smaller jobs. We have also invested in security, so while you may be away from your vehicle for a bit of time, you know that it is in secure hands!

Why does my white car look a bit different under my paint protection film ?

White vehicles covered in film effectively undergo a “prism effect” This can be best shown by taking a piece of acrylic glass, which is close to the clarity of paint protection film, and laying it on a white panel. As you stare at this section, you will notice a different hue of white through the acrylic. Although it may be hard to figure why, it is due to both the 3 primary colors, yellow mainly, passing through the film, and the reflection of light off the painted surface reacting and appearing to tint the film. Also with time, on a lighter vehicle the film may seem to discolor over time. On these cars you should seal the pores in the film with paint protection sealants often. This will disallow from contaminants sitting in the pores and lengthen the lift of the film. We recommend Xpel Paint Protection Film Cleaner, followed up by Xpel Paint Protection Film Sealant to keep your films looking great, especially on these lighter vehicles.

With paint protection film, will my paint fade differently underneath ?

With the films we offer, no. The films contain UV inhibitors to disallow the film from reacting to the sunlight and to allow light to filter through the film to allow the paint to fade at the same rate as the rest of your vehicle.

What patterns can you protect my car with ?

Partial Hood & Fenders: Rock chips are more prominent on the front of the hood and front of the fenders.

Full Hood: Protect your full hood from chips, and with the benefit of no noticeable film edge on the hood.

Full Fenders: Protect your full fenders from chips, and the urban environment, such as handbags, shopping carriages, door chips, etc.

Front Bumper: Rock chips are more prominent on the front facing portions of your vehicle.

Grille: Rock chips are more prominent on the front facing portions of your vehicle.

Side Mirrors: Mirrors seem to be magnets for stones and insects.

Headlights: Headlights have gotten more and more expensive to replace. Protect them from yellowing and getting sand blasted as your vehicle ages. Most of all, your vision is not cut by the deteriorating lenses.

Roof Edge: Like the front of your hood, the leading edge of the roof is a magnet for high-flying rocks and bugs. Also protect from scratching your car in the winter when cleaning snow.

A-Pillars: As much as your windshield gets hit with stones on the highway, your a-pillars face the same amount of abuse. Also protect from scratching your car in the winter when cleaning snow.

Luggage Area: Mostly overlooked, the most abused section of a car is the top of the rear bumper when loading items in and out of the car.

Door Sill Plates: Protect the sills from dragging your muddy and sandy shoes in and out of the vehicle.

Full Rear Bumper: Protects from the urban environment in regards to parking lot rubbing and shopping carts.

Full Doors: Protects from the urban environment, such as handbags, shopping carts, and possibly door dings. Although it may get dinged, the paint will not chip and can usually be removed with paintless dent removal.

Door Handle Inserts: Usually one of the most abused sections of a car, this section is protected from fingernails, rings, keys, etc.

Door Edge Guards: Like the chrome or black edgings available, you can protect your doors from chipping when opening into an object. Unlike those edgings, they are clear and barely visible!

Rocker Panels: Often abused and an overlooked area for film, rockers face quite the amount of abuse from kicked up stones and tar. No more will they face this abuse and look new.

Full Quarter Panels: Protects from the urban environment in regards to parking lot rubs, shopping carts, handbags, and generally a-pillar protection also.

Full Roof: Protect your full roof from chips and scratching from overhead debris, and no hard edge from the film. Also protect from scratching your car in the winter when cleaning snow.

Full Trunk/Full Hatch: Protects your trunk/hatch from urban environment, as well as from scratching it yourself as you balance either items or keys in your hand as you try to open the lid. Also protect from scratching your car in the winter when cleaning snow.

Tail Gate: More often than not, you have loaded material into your bed without opening the tailgate.How many times have you bumped the paint in doing so No more!

How long can I expect our silver package (partial hood, partial fenders, mirrors and bumper) install to take ?

We typically advise that you schedule your car to be with us for 1 full business day. On certain occasions, sometimes for 2 days depending the vehicle, and type of work involved. We advise to drop off the car the afternoon before the install for a full cleaning and prep, which includes a wash, clay bar, and other tasks that involve your specific vehicle, such as emblem and hardware removal. This will also allow the cars surface to come to the correct temperature to allow the film to bond in time for install. Dependent on kit selection, and custom requests, the install may take a bit longer. Due to our decision to wrap all our edges, we do like to see the vehicle sit and cure. This additional time after install will let us monitor these edges and make sure they are sealed to prevent lifting as it dries. Upon completion, we reinstall any removed emblems and hardware. In the summer months, it is highly advised to keep the vehicle out of the direct sunlight for the first 24 hours, so we will store your vehicle inside to insure no blistering occurs. Giving us at least 1 full business day allows us to give your vehicle the proper care and attention to detail to make sure your clear bra is installed correctly!

How long can I expect our gold package (full hood, partial fenders, mirrors, and bumper and) install to take ?

We typically advise that you schedule your car to be with us for 1 full business day. On certain occasions, sometimes for 2 days depending the vehicle, and type of work involved. We advise to drop off the car the afternoon before the install for a full cleaning and prep, which includes a wash, clay bar, and other tasks that involve your specific vehicle, such as emblem and hardware removal. This will also allow the cars surface to come to the correct temperature to allow the film to bond in time for install. Dependent on kit selection, and custom requests, the install may take a bit longer. Due to our decision to wrap all our edges, we do like to see the vehicle sit and cure. This additional time after install will let us monitor these edges and make sure they are sealed to prevent lifting as it dries. Upon completion, we reinstall any removed emblems and hardware. In the summer months, it is highly advised to keep the vehicle out of the direct sunlight for the first 24 hours, so we will store your vehicle inside to insure no blistering occurs. Giving us at least 1 full business day allows us to give your vehicle the proper care and attention to detail to make sure your clear bra is installed correctly!

How long can I expect our platinum package (full hood, full fenders, mirrors, bumper and roof and a-pillars) install to take ?

We typically advise that you schedule your car to be with us for 2 full business days. Due to the amount of film being installed, we advise a longer expected install to give us ample time to install this greater amount of film. We advise to drop off the car the afternoon before the install for a full cleaning and prep, which includes a wash, clay bar, and other tasks that involve your specific vehicle, such as emblem and hardware removal. This will also allow the cars surface to come to the correct temperature to allow the film to bond in time for install. Dependent on kit selection, and custom requests, the install may take a bit longer. Due to our decision to wrap all our edges, we do like to see the vehicle sit and cure. This additional time after install will let us monitor these edges and make sure they are sealed to prevent lifting as it dries. Upon completion, we reinstall any removed emblems and hardware. In the summer months, it is highly advised to keep the vehicle out of the direct sunlight for the first 24 hours, so we will store your vehicle inside to insure no blistering occurs. Giving us at least 2 full business days allows us to give your vehicle the proper care and attention to detail to make sure your clear bra is installed correctly!

What do I need to prep on my vehicle before drop off ?

The only thing we ask is to thoroughly wash your vehicle to remove dirt build up and insects stuck on the bumper. Although we strive to clean as much as we can, the dirtier the vehicle, the greater the chance of dirt or dust specs that may appear as the film dries. If you personally choose to get your car fully detailed beforehand, let your detailer know to not leave residue in the cracks of the body panels, such as between the fender and bumper, and underneath the lights, this will also increase the risk of dust contamination. We will give your vehicle a very quick and brief wash to rinse off dust and loose dirt, but if we need to spend an extended amount of time to wash it, a small fee may apply.

Does my vehicle need to be polished or have the paint corrected before install ?

Usually most vehicles will not need this, however upon inspection, we may recommend that you do. We may be able to offer polishing, or correction in-house to remedy imperfections in the paint such as fine scratches. These imperfections are usually due to improper washing, such as automatic washes, from the use of dirty towels and sponges, from the dealership’s detailer using dirty polishing pads, or even just the wrong type of polish or wax for your vehicle. These markings for the most part can be removed, and using proper washing methods can be kept to a minimum. Paint protection film has the added benefit where they will cover these light imperfections and more than likely will not be seen. For those who demand their car is perfect no matter what, our chosen professional detailer can take care of these small imperfections before install for an added fee.

What products do you recommend to take care of my paint protection film ?

Upon install completion, we include a sample of Xpel’s paint protection acrylic sealant, which is a purpose made product that attaches at the molecular level and cures to form a barrier when exposed to UV light. By sealing the film’s pores, it drastically reduces the film’s absorption of pollutants, pollen, tar, and reduces staining from acid rain, insects and hard water. Each paint protection install leaves with the film sealed. Often times other installers will skip this step to save time and cost, we do not skip this crucial step to make sure your vehicle leaves ready to face the open road!

After I leave, how should I care for my paint protection film ?

As it is with all products, proper maintenance and care will drastically prolong the life of your paint protection film, and keep it looking great for a very long time. Higher end films are top coated with a gloss layer to protect against the elements. The more often you wash, and wax/seal the film, the longer you can expect the film to last and maintain its glossy appearance. When it comes to caring for your vehicle, please take the following directions into account.

Post Install: Like window tint, after install you may notice moisture bubbles underneath the film. Although this will appear as installer error at first, this is very normal, and they will disappear as the film cures. Some films may take a few weeks to fully dry out depending the weather conditions. During the full cure time, it is very important to not press down or touch the film. This may cause the film to cure improperly, so please do not touch! We do like to advise to leave your vehicle for at least 1 business day, 2 business days if you can, to allow the vehicle to properly cure inside our shop, and outside once it has cured enough inside. We typically recommend this to both spot any small fixable imperfections, and to allow the film to dry out for our clients so they avoid the whole “window tint effect” as it dries the first 24 hours. Once installed, we keep the vehicle in a cool shaded area, typically our shop, for 12 hours to allow the film to dry. It is highly recommended to keep the film out of direct sunlight and direct heat for this amount of time to prevent the moisture from creating blisters under the film. If blistering does occur, once the film and moisture cools, it will disappear as it cures. If you allow us to keep it cool during the drying process, we can avoid blistering altogether.

Always remember, the goal of paint protection film is “Paint Protection, not Paint Perfection!” Cosmetic imperfections, although very small, do exist. As like a glimmering diamond, although beautiful, upon closer inspection there are imperfections, such is the same with film installation. We do take the greatest precautions (lint free clothes, air filtered environment, thorough cleaning, covering of wheels, lifts, and tack cloths) to reduce all contamination, but due to the nature of the film and the degree of difficulty of installation, small defects can occur. When under a microscope, you will find at least a speck of dust, a speck of sand, a fiber, or other extremely small forms of contamination that may find their way underneath the film. We constantly scan our installs as we go to clear out these imperfections, but due to the nature of the install and the moisture involved, sometimes these imperfections appear only after curing. Often times there are imperfections in the paint that will be magnified with film applied over it. These imperfections can include paint chips, deep scratches, or small dents in the panels that you may have not noticed beforehand. If an air bubble appears after drying, let us know so we can address it as soon as possible. With any sort of film, adhesive lines may occur and sometimes are unavoidable in the application of films. We use our training to minimize these lines as much as possible, but due to possible stretching of the film, these very tiny lines may occur. More often than not, these lines will disappear upon drying. We appreciate your understanding as we are sure you appreciate our dedication to get you the best install possible!

Upon receiving your vehicle, please wait 48 hours to wash and wax your vehicle. Applying any sort of pressure to the surface and to the edges may disrupt curing, and my cause lifting. Curing time should allow the film to cure fully to protect your vehicle long term. We know for our customers it may be hard to go 48 hours without washing your vehicle, but trust us, this is a must!

What are the dos and don’ts of paint protection film ?

What you CAN do: Clean your film often to prevent buildup of dust and dirt around the edges to maintain the high end finish. Use high quality car wash soaps (not dish soap, this hurts your vehicles paint due to the added abrasives to clean dishes) and a clean and high quality wash mitt. When waxing, apply it running the wax away from the edges to reduce build up. If using a pressure washer, keep the nozzle at least 4’ away from the edges and surfaces, this will prevent lifting and puncturing the film. At least every three months, apply the Xpel acrylic sealant to maximize protection and durability. If you are not comfortable in doing so, we can apply for a small fee every three months. Use a high quality microfiber to remove wax buildup that may occur near your edges. Upon spotting insects, sap and other stains, remove as soon as possible as you would normally to an unprotected painted panel.

What you CAN’T do: Do not use any cleaners that may be abrasive, such as paper towels, sponges and other scrubbers. Do not use degreasers or powder-based detergents to clean the paint protection film. Do not clay bar your film. Do not use any products that are dyed, such as colored compounds, polishes and waxes, this may lead to discoloration. Also do not use products which are chemically based off of petroleum, as these products are not good for films. Do not use cleaners or solvents that are chemically made up of kerosene, naphtha, xylene or toluene, as these will lead to failure and discoloration of film! A popular cleaner is Plexus, which is made mostly of naphtha, avoid this! If you are unsure if your chosen product is made of any of these, check the MSDS sheet available from the manufacturer. Do not use extreme force, or scrub excessively when the film is warm or in direct sunlight. Do not use buffers or other polishing machines on the film as this may burn some films. Keep pressure washer nozzles at least 4’ away from all edges. Do not try to lift the edges, once it is lifted, it more than likely will not stick again. Do not use your nails, or smaller tools such as plastic razor blades to clean buildup amongst the edges, again when lifted, the film may not lie down. When cleaning, sealing or waxing, run the product away from the edges to avoid buildup. If you choose to use a wash facility, check to make sure what chemicals they use to prevent damage to your film. Often times these facilities use harsh chemicals purposely meant to stay on the vehicle longer to release debris from paint before being washed off. These facilities do not substitute hand washes and sealant application!

What products can I use on my film ?

We’ve found the following safe for our films: XPEL Flawless Finish Film Sealant, 3M Performance Finish, Wolfgang Sealant 3.0, Meguiars NXT Tech Wax 2.0, Zymol Field Glaze, Zymol Cleaner Wax, Opticoat, other glass/quartz coatings, Meguiars Ultimate Quik Wax and Quik Detailer

How long can I expect my paint protection film to last ?

Often times we get asked how long the warranty is and what it will look like as it gets older. We usually ask how your vehicle will look after the same amount of time. It all depends on how you care for the film, similar to how you care for your car. If you care for the film and your car properly, it will last an incredibly long time. The factors that tend to affect the film directly is the amount of wear-n-tear your vehicle goes through, how often your vehicle is washed, how often the film is cleaned in regards to bugs and sap, how often the film is waxed or sealed, the actual climate, and most of all, the brand of film. Film when properly cared for can last 3-10 years dependent on type of film.

Will paint protection film yellow ?

The film we choose to install is warrantied from yellowing. Older cheaper films which we will not touch are not warrantied from such yellowing. Due to newer technology, the films and top coats are resistant to yellowing from the sun, whereas the older technology failed. Ultimately, your film will stay clear depending on how the film is maintained, the environment, and most of all, how the film is cleaned.

What causes paint protection film to yellow ?

Unsealed film allows for the pores to collect tiny particles. Such particles that can be collected come from diesel smoke, various air pollution, grime from the roads, pollen buildup, and other microscopic molecules that may build up. Due to these particles, it will cause the film to appear to change color, when in fact what has changed color is the presence of the particles trapped in the film.

Certain types of cleaners, polishes and sealants contain petroleum, xylene, toluene or naphtha which will cause the film to discolor. One of the most popular cleaners to be sold on the market for film is Plexus, however it is made of naphtha and will yellow the film over time! To be sure your choice cleaner will work, check the manufacturers MSDS sheet to see what it is made of.

In addition to chemical composition, certain dyes in cleaners, polishes and sealants will discolor the film. The use of yellows, blues, blacks, reds, and other dyes will discolor the film over time. For our lighter colored cars, we tend to tell customers to avoid touchless car washes due to the amount of chemicals that are used to clean these cars. Ultimately the best way to maintain your film is to use approved products, and of course seal the film every three months, which we do for a small added fee if you don’t feel comfortable in doing so.

Is there a warranty for paint protection film ?

The films we choose to carry (Xpel Ultimate, SunTek PPFC) come with a manufacturer’s warranty, as well as our own warranty in which we fully stand behind. In addition to the film’s which we are not Certified in, if you decide you need this film over one of the ones we are certified in, we will warranty the film for 1 year.

What is a “Wear-n-tear” package ?

These packages are for the parts of your vehicle that WILL scratch over time no matter what. These sections include when your door edges WILL bump into something and chip paint; when loading your trunk when WILL that item scratch the top of your bumper; when your shoes WILL scratch the door sills stepping in or out of your vehicle; when your fingernails or ring WILL scratch your paint behind the door handles; or when loading your truck bed when WILL you bump the bed rails? These sections WILL scratch, it is not a matter of IF they will.

Are door edges and behind door handles an option for coverage ?

As part of our “Wear-n-tear” package, this and other options are available for protection. Film edges looks much more visually appealing over the bulky plastic door edge guards. The film is ultimately invisible, and looks natural at the edge of your door. Each door edge is cut to your need and is a custom fit. The door handle, also known as door cups, section is one of the most overlooked sections to protect. It will protect against your fingernails, rings and even keys from scratching this area. We recommend this package for every vehicle to protect against these every day scratches and chips.

What can we do for my door sills to protect from our shoes ?

Also part of our “Wear-n-tear” package, we highly recommend getting your sills protected to keep your shoes from dragging dirt and sand against your paint and inevitably scratching the sill areas.

Do you have an option to protect the luggage area on top of the rear bumper ?

Yes, not only do we have an option, but we highly recommend it. Whether it is every day groceries, baggage or even your sports bags, protecting this section is a crucial section to keep protected. More often than not, you will find this area damaged on most vehicles.

Do you have film to protect my truck bed rails ?

For those customers who load items into their truck bed over the rails and do not have a bed liner, this is crucial in keeping that paint from chipping and scratching.

Are there patterns to cover my headlights and fog lights ?

Yes, not only are there patterns, but we highly recommend protecting your lights. Not only will they not diminish light output, but as they preserve your lights for years to come; you can expect that same light output from day one. It will prevent your headlights from weathering, and sandblasting that occurs during highway commutes. Headlights these days are very expensive to replace, preserve your lights immediately by choosing this protection as soon as you can! Please note, we will not warranty headlight films that are not being used with stock light assemblies, which includes not using OEM bulbs!

Can paint protection film be uninstalled ?

The films we install are designed to be semi-permanent and can be removed if needed. We recommend removal by a trained professional.

Will my factory paint be damaged by paint protection film ?

Our films are made to protect your paint, not to damage it. Manufacturers actually approve these products to protect these vehicles straight from the factory.

I have seen the phrase “urban protection” mentioned; what is it ?

As technology of the film improves, there have been new uses for the film. In addition to protecting from chips, the film can actually wrap most of your vehicle. Whether it is doors, rear bumper, full quarter panels and full fenders, this protection protects your vehicle from every day parking lot occurrences, from hand bags dragging against paint, parking lot rubs, and most of all, rogue shopping carts.

Can I cover my rear bumper ?

On vehicles where a pattern exists, we do offer protection for full rear bumpers in the urban environment. Since our focus is to keep a blade away from your vehicles as much as we can, we do not offer bulk film installs at this time and cannot guarantee each rear bumper can be protected.

Will I be able to see where the film edges are ?

We focus on wrapping edges to minimize where the film is visible; however certain patterns you will see a film edge due to the thickness of the film, and where the coverage ends. This typically occurs on partial hoods and partial fenders; for these patterns we typically recommend “bikini cut” patterns which contour with the front of the vehicle which make the edges harder to see from certain angles. For those who cannot live with edge on their panels, we offer full hood and full fender protection, and as always we will wrap all our edges where possible.

Are there other options for the paint protection film edges that end in the middle of the hood or fenders ?

We offer full hood and full fender coverage for those customers who cannot live with that edge exposed. We also offer full hood with bikini cut fenders which are a bit more cost effective. We have invested in machinery to cut full hoods so a blade does not touch your paint. You can see our price options in our Gold and Platinum Packages.

What patterns do you use for my vehicle ?

Before install, review the patterns with the installer to make sure the coverage you are expecting is present in the patterns to be installed. We typically use Xpel’s or SunTek’s film software for our patterns, we typically match film to software since that is what they were designed for. More often than not, Xpel is our first choice since it is one of the best pattern softwares on the market. We choose these softwares over others due to customer service, quality of patterns in regards to fitment, coverage and patterns offered, and the ability to modify the patterns to fit the need of the customer. They may be a tad bit more, but in the end they are top quality and offer the most coverage. All patterns are laser cut on site.

I have aftermarket panels on my vehicle, do you have a pattern ?

We do not have a pattern, however dependent on the panel, we may opt for a bulk install. We would need to see the panel to see what we can do for you.

When removed, will the paint underneath the film be a different color ?

No, the paint will remain the same color due to modern technology in both paint protection films and vehicle paint that allow UV light to react to it. Although the paint underneath will be newer (or less worn), it will remain the same color. To ensure the paint stays in top condition, we recommend regular washes, waxes and sealants to keep the unprotected paint in top condition. Once removed if the unprotected finish is worn compared to the rest of the film, generally the panels can be fixed with paint correction methods by one of our professional detailers.

I just had my panel repainted, can I install paint protection film ?

You can install paint protection film once the curing time has passed. We typically recommend you contact your professional body shop and ask when you are allowed to install the film since different paints and methods result in different cure times. All repainted panels should be removed from the vehicle to allow the body shop to clean, key, and prime to OEM standards. Factory paints are baked onto the panel at over 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When the panel is attached to the vehicle, the panel can only be baked to 150 degrees to prevent damage to other automotive components.

We typically recommend to have the paint protection film installed a month after install to allow for the paints to outgas correctly, which ultimately will lead for less of a risk for bubbling to occur underneath the films. Please follow your body shop guidelines as they deal with this process day in and day out. Some curing times can be extended due to temperature, adding film before curing occurs will lead to bubbling, film lifting and failure. As always, we are not responsible for damage to panels which are not painted to OEM standards.

I have existing paint chips, can these be fixed ?

Yes, they can be fixed; we suggest they are done 24 hours before install to allow the areas to cure in time. Factory OEM paint includes primer, whereas these touch ups do not, so they may not adhere quite as well and stand the chance that the fixed area may flake away as the film is being installed. We have learned special methods to prevent this from happening for the most part, but we cannot guarantee it will not flake off or become dislodged in the future. We will touch up certain sections, but keep in mind they are touch ups and are not factory paint. We request you provide an OEM paint pen, as well as a diagram of exactly where these chips are. Typically we recommend taking a picture and drawing the locations on the picture of the chips you would like touched up. Upon film removal, more likely than not, these plugged chips will lift off the panel.

Can I provide my own paint protection kit ?

No, we will not install a pre-cut kit that we have not cut ourselves. Often times there will be sellers of these kits cheap out on material, and pattern choice, which ultimately leads to a far more difficult install, and the chance of film failure. Coverage tends to be sacrificed, leading to possible damage in areas that would otherwise be protected. Also, depending on film selection, the film may either fade the paint, or the film will fade itself. There is no warranty on any precut films furthermore, and when the film fails, there may be a chance it can pull paint due to using an inferior product. In the long term a pre-cut kit can cost far more than our trusted products that we stand behind fully. One of the most famous phrases tends to follow this penny saving model; “You get what you pay for.”

I see DIY paint protection film kits readily available online, can I install this myself ?

In short, yes and no. We do not know your skillset, but we do know ours. Smaller flatter pieces can be installed easily, the larger sections however are extremely difficult for the first timer. Once the film is ruined, you have lost several hundred dollars in the process. Many film manufacturers will not warranty film installations unless installed by a Certified Installer. We suggest letting us professionally install your kit, after all we have the experience and are Certified Installers that can warranty the work.

If you do choose to go this route, just realize there is more to installation than slapping the kit on. You must fully prep the car’s painted surfaces, you will need a thoroughly cleaned working environment, as well as have proper temperature and lighting. You need to have a feel for precise placement, understand fitment, and how to stretch the film correctly. As Factory Trained Certified Installers, we have the correct tools, and the experience to install this film; as a beginner, you will need to acquire all these tools, and well to be honest you will have to mess up to learn what you did wrong and what to do next time. It will cost you more money than you would expect to spend to get your kit on correctly.

Why should I have a Certified Installer install my film ?

Factory Trained Certified Installers have the tools and the knowledge to get your film installed correctly. Correct installs maximize invisibility of the film, ensure proper fitment, and can offer several options for coverage. Most important, a Certified Installer can and will offer a Manufacturer’s Warranty and Installation Warranty to make sure your car is protected for the long term.

Why should I avoid precut paint protection film kits I find online ?

Many companies offer a manufacturer’s warranty, but the fact is only a Certified Installer who installs the film can warranty this product. These installers have received certifications for specific brands to be able to have their warrantied work validated. Since these companies are not installers, they cannot warranty the film!

Furthermore, these kits you purchase online may help you find an installer after the purchase, however many installers, us included, will not touch a precut kit. There is no telling what product was actually used (more on this below), and what software they chose to use to cut the film. Often times they will save the most film saving pattern to make them more money. During install if an issue does occur, you will have to order a new piece (that is if they do not make you purchase the whole kit again), whereas if purchased in house, the installer can go right to their machine and print a new section right away without having to wait for shipping. Installers who install these kits usually will not offer a warranty, so it truly is a roll of the dice. Always check with your installer to see if they will install the kit you are trying to save a few dollars on.

For those unfamiliar with paint protection brands, a lot of films come with no sort of brand stamped on the liner. Unless you have a trusted seller, you may lose out and be sold an inferior brand, which may lead to failure, paint damage or adhesive issues. Also when purchasing online, you may not know how old the film actually is, or how it was stored. Older film results in lifting and loss of adhesion, which is generally not covered under warranty. Improper storage also can affect adhesion properties.

When purchasing these kits online, one can never be sure what machines the kits were cut with, or whether they were cut with the correct settings. Not having a sharp blade, having the wrong depth of blade, and whether or not the film is weeded all lead to issues with the adhesive properties along the edges. Also, as we have mentioned, sellers tend to opt for cheaper patterns, since well it will make them more money. Will these kits fit properly without heavy modification due to using a cheaper pattern? And will coverage be sacrificed? Will they be installed in more pieces that become more visible, which leads to a greater possibility of edge failure and dirt build up? Will you be happy with the end result? These are all questions you need to ask yourself when purchasing these kits.

In conclusion, as Certified Installers, we highly recommend you avoid these kits altogether. They may sound like a bargain, but ultimately you are “cutting corners” which may just lead up to a huge (and costly!) headache later on. If you choose to go for a precut kit, locate an installer beforehand if you are looking for a professional installation. When you let your installer control the install, you can be sure you are receiving the product you asked for, the coverage you expected, a correct fitment, patterns on-demand in case of failure, a Manufacturer’s and Installation warranty (super important!), and most of all, the reputation of your installer in your hands. Often times the installer does not want to be linked to horrible kits that may damage their name!

Are there any options to cover plastic with paint protection film ?

This is a case-by-case basis. Due to the lower surface energy of plastics, adhesion is different from plastic to plastic. We would need to test a sample piece to make sure if it would or would not work.

Are there any options to cover glass with paint protection film ?

For windshields, we recommend ClearPlex which we hope to soon be authorized installers for soon. For cell phones, tablets, and commercial glass counter tops or glass cases, we can use regular paint protection film to protect these surfaces.

Are there any options to protect my chrome with paint protection film ?

A : Yes and no. We would need to test the surfaces. Like plastics, it is a case-by-case basis.
Are there any options to protect stainless steel? A : Yes, we are able to protect these surfaces. In fact they look great!

For matte finished vehicles, is there a matte paint protection film to protect the surfaces ?

Yes, we offer matte (sometimes referred to as Stealth) films. This film selection is perfect for matte finishes, and even matte vinyl wraps and racing stripes.

My vehicle is vinyl wrapped, can we protect that finish ?

Yes, we even encourage protecting your wrap with paint protection films to ensure a long lasting finish!

How can I avoid wax build up on the seams of the film ?

There are many professional cleaners and coatings which will not leave any residue. If you have questions on what to use, feel free to ask us! On all sealants and waxes we recommend wiping lightly on the film towards the edge, and for the paint away from the edge to reduce build up. Try not to focus rubbing near the seam edges, as this may alter the finish near the edges and will only be noticed upon the removal of the film. Upon all completions, we provide directions for care and maintenance of the films! We also try to reduce as many visible seams as possibly by wrapping our edges, which reduces the risk for buildup on the seams.

When buying a new car, should I just purchase the paint protection film services from the dealership ?

While there are some benefits from purchasing from the dealerships, aftermarket installations (by us!) offer greater benefits. By letting us install your paint protection film, you are receiving an install from a Certified Installer who can warranty the work backed by a Manufacturer’s Warranty, whereas a dealership may just pawn off the work to a part-time installer who cannot warranty anything. Often times, dealership installs do not meet our strict criteria for a good install, and honestly, our customers do point it out with how unhappy they are. When the issues are brought up to the dealer, most times they are left being either strung along, or waiting forever for the subcontractor to come in and redo his mistakes. We have been known to fix these issues as soon as possible; we know time is of the essence on fixing small issues with films, and we know customer satisfaction is our #1 priority. Dealerships are in the business to make money, so often times they will sacrifice film quality and film coverage; although we are also in the business of making money, we are also in the business of using top quality products to protect your vehicle with great patterns and coverage that you select. As buyers, we have seen price gouging in some film options, such as $1000 for partial hood and fenders on a friend’s Silverado. The same price would be similar to a sedan where it would need a full front bumper kit also. We price accordingly per job, not a one-price fits all mentality. These dealerships are also a quantity over quality mentality; we’ve built our business on quality, if it does not fit our standards, we will work tirelessly until it does at no added cost. Lastly, in our shop, you know where your film is being installed, and the quality of cleanliness you can expect. Dealerships can outsource work to an outside dealer, so do you really know where your car goes? Also, from personal experience, if they allow an installer to install onsite, they tend to give some of the dirtiest and most traffic ridden area of the building to do so, which leads to huge amounts of film contamination. It’s easy to see why going to a shop that is dedicated to installs is the clear cut decision over a dealership install.

I feel as if the price for paint protection is too expensive, what other options do I have ?

Keep in mind what it costs to get these same panels repainted from damage. This is a small investment in comparison to the amount of money to get the front of your vehicle fully repainted, or at worst purchasing a new vehicle because you’re current one is showing plenty of wear-n-tear. Over time, the protection will pay for itself, both financially, and with the quality of peace of mind. For years your protected paint will look new due to the absence of scratches, chips and stains. For long commutes, there will be no issues of the font of your car being sandblasted. When it does come time to sell your vehicle, the resale value will be much higher than those vehicles with no protection. Since we cut all our kits onsite, a full kit does not have to be installed all at once, and therefore not paid for all at once. Although it will be cheaper (due to combining patterns to save material, and cleaning only once) you can break up the install as much as you would like. We also offer PayPal credit to pay your purchases over time.

Wouldn’t it just be cheaper to repaint my vehicle ?

Yes and no. I am sure there are painters out there who can do a cheaper job, but would it be right? Would it maintain OEM standards in regards to workmanship and quality of paint? Anyone will tell you, factory OEM paint increases resale value, whereas aftermarket paint lowers value. When considering this as an option, take these situations into account.

A. Professionally repainting panels to OEM standard will not be cheap. It will include removal of panels, preparation, spraying, and reinstall. As it was with the original paint, you will still face having chips, scratches, etc. that will still harm the new paint. Back to square 1 again aren’t we? Not only are you without your vehicle for days, but damage to other panels may occur in process of removal and reinstall. Such damage could be overspray, rubbing, denting, scratches, swirls, and poor fitment from either incorrect install or non-OEM replacement parts. Most aftermarket paint jobs you can easily spot, mainly due to paint lines, different thicknesses, swirls, defects in the paint, and a different hue to the paint. Nearly no aftermarket job will match without blending additional panels which will raise the cost. Is this still cheaper than a paint protection film install?

B. Although you may save some money by painting the parts of the vehicle without removal, it is not the correct method to paint. Due to baking temperatures needing to be lowered to prevent damage to other components, many shops will not warranty this work. Since the prep and respray does not in fact refinish the whole panel (think edges, wrap around, etc.), the paint may not hold up as well and may lift or bubble later on. This will hurt resale value, and may diminish the overall look of the vehicle. Some potential buyers will think the vehicle was in an accident, rather than just sprayed which may make the vehicle harder to sell. It may save money at first, but what will it cost to do it again with no warranty, or how much will you lose in resale?

In conclusion of the A. and B. situations above, paint protection film from the beginning is the best, and frankly the only choice. It will protect the original paint from defects. You will not need to worry about the color on panels not matching with others. It will not hurt your resale value. When it comes to your next vehicle, do you want peace of mind knowing it has not been repainted beforehand? Our paint protection films will preserve your original paint, and ultimately keep you from spending on repainting or costing you money on resale value later on.

What is orange peel? The phrase orange peel refers to the finish of the painted surface. The texture mimics the surface of an orange. Most surfaces have some grade of orange peel, so we typically recommend one film or another based on your application.

Can you apply paint protection films over existing graphics ?

Films are made today to not interfere with graphics. Upon removal however, there is a chance the graphics may lift. As the customer you have a choice if you’d like your graphics (let’s say factory installed stripes) cover or not. For glossy graphics, most film should match the gloss factor. For matte graphics, we typically recommend one of our matte films to match the matte finish of your graphics.

Why shouldn’t I just use an old-school black vinyl bra ?

Vinyl bras are great for protecting your vehicle for only SHORT TERM applications. What most people do not realize is that leaving these bras on will force the paint not covered to fade at a different rate, making the paint not match when removed. Also, these bras are not sealed, leading to dust, dirt and sand to fall between the painted surface and the bra itself, which ultimately leads to scratches on the surface. When adding the weather into the equation, this will lead to oxidation, mold and mildew, rust, and other paint issues. When it comes to a bra for your vehicle, opt for the semi-permanent sealed clear bra! It will not rub against your vehicle causing scratches; it will not allow your paint to fade at different rates; since it is sealed it will not allow moisture buildup; it is removable if you decide; it is invisible so it looks great; it will improve fuel economy over the bulk black bras; and most importantly, it will protect from stones, bugs, and other debris to keep your paint looking new!

What are “Appearance Paint Protection Coatings ?

“Appearance Paint Protection Coatings” are just what they sound like, they are coatings. The makers of these coatings claim the paint will not fade, will not oxidize, will not discolor, and will not stain in regards to sap, acid rain, water spots, insect damage, industrial fallout or bird droppings during their stated warranty period. These of course will not protect against rock chips, scratches and other damage that would be prevented with the presence of a clear bra. When it comes to choosing a package such as this, we recommend reading the full warranty, disclaimers, needed maintenance, and other requirements needed for your warranty period. We do not view these products as a threat to the paint protection film industry, but rather a great add on to protect the paint which is not protected by paint protection film that can be installed. These coatings can have paint protection film installed over the products, which will insure a perfect finish to your vehicle underneath.

What is Optimum Opti-Coat Pro ?

Opti-Coat Pro is a hard wearing, ceramic clear coat for superior resistance to scratching (9H) and protection from chemical etching due to environmental impacts. The Opti-Coat Pro pre-polymer cross links, and forms a continuous protective film on the painted surface it is applied to, similar to a single component isocyanate that forms a clear coat finish. Opti-Coat Pro has better chemical resistance, scratch & mar resistance, and release properties than any automotive paint coating in use. It provides permanent protection for all modern factory paints and can also be used to protect metal and hard plastic surfaces. Since it is a permanent coating, a full paint correction is highly recommended. Xpel recommends Opti-Coat Pro to be installed over their films to increase longevity, and therefore it can be said that Opti-Coat Pro is a great companion for film installs. Although it won’t fully protect from rock chips or direct scratching, it will make every panel not protected with film easier to clean, and protect a little more than what the stock paint has to offer. Check our FAQ on Opti-Coat Pro for more information!