The concept of paint protection film (abbreviated PPF) is quite interesting. Except under certain situations, we’ve come to the opinion that it isn’t a wise decision. It’s a great product, yet it has certain issues based on our experience. We’ll talk about what we’ve learned through first-hand experience and the findings of our investigation into the disadvantages of paint protection film.
It was first created by 3M to protect the helicopter blade’s leading edge from debris and shrapnel, which caused the blades to wear out fast. Later, 3M developed modifications to commercialize it for a variety of other industries as well, including automotive.
The front bumper cover, the front area of the hood, the headlights, and the mirror housings are the most common places where it is used. Because they are the most vulnerable to being destroyed by flying rocks and debris, this is a considerably most cost-effective solution.
Unlike vinyl bumper sticker material, the film is significantly thicker and can sustain a lot more wear and tear while remaining almost undetectable and basically invisible. It is a thermoplastic urethane, not vinyl. It’s even self-healing in certain instances. It’s a great product.
It has been a popular choice for preserving automobile and truck paint because of its effectiveness. To the point where they cover the whole car, some folks even go that far ensuring that the painted surface is completely covered.
When Paint Protection Film is Ideal?
Clear brass, in our opinion, isn’t bad. It’s a better choice for those who often travel on the highway or in other situations when they are exposed to an extremely large quantity of rock chips.
In this circumstance, even light-colored automobiles would be an advantage. Whole panels may be wrapped rather than just a section of a panel, reducing the amount of yellowing you’ll see. As a bonus, dirt and filth won’t be able to accumulate on any visible seams, either.
It’s important to remember, however, that most paint protection film manufacturers recommend replacing it after 5 years.
Cost of Paint Protection Film
If you want your whole car wrapped, be prepared to shell out at least $3,000. You should anticipate spending substantially more if you drive a huge SUV or vehicle.
Having only the front end wrapped is a lot easier to handle. However, it will still cost a lot of money. The price of a partial front-end application will start around $1,000+ in most cases.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Paint Protection Film
Before you go on to get a PPF for your car, go through the advantages and disadvantages of paint protection film listed below for your guidance.
- It’s Invisible: Even though you’re covering up the paint, a thin, translucent layer of PPF is almost undetectable to the naked eye. Modern films are capable of providing long-term protection without adding bulk. Less than 0.1 percent of light reaches the paint since most are 8 mils thick.
- Customizable: Die-cut anti-chipping films may be used to target certain portions of a vehicle, or they can be used to cover the whole vehicle.
- Hydrophobic Properties: Hydrophobicity is a property of automotive paint protective film. Running water and other pollutants will bead up and flow away (like a waxed hood). When your paint repels dirt, oils, mud, streaks, and smudges, it’s simpler to maintain the dazzling sheen of your paintwork.
- Extends Service Life of Vehicle: The mechanical and aesthetic qualities of a car’s finish and look deteriorate with time, decreasing its resale value. Paint protection films keep your car looking new for longer by shielding the paint from damage caused by pebbles, sand, and other foreign objects.
- Easier to Apply than Alternatives: Another popular option for paint protection is ceramic coatings. Sadly, these coatings make your painting procedure more difficult, demand more costly equipment, and increase the already lengthy drying period. These kinds of inefficiencies reduce your profit margins. Installation of PPF is simple and fast, allowing you to save more.
- Upfront Costs: One of the major disadvantages of paint protection film is that it costs more to apply a PPF than it does to leave the paint as is. Protective films should only be used in regions that are often subjected to impacts and pollutants in order to keep costs down (i.e., side mirrors, front fascia, lower body panels, and fenders).
- The Film Could Be Applied Incorrectly: To be effective, paint protection film must be placed evenly and without bubbles, ripples, or wrinkles over the whole surface. Using a reputable vendor and offering your staff with an easy-to-apply solution that requires minimum training may help you avoid the hazards of an incorrect application.
- Some Films Yellow Over Time: With prolonged exposure to UV light, this is a frequent defect of older film types. This flaw is no longer present in newer materials. Even after many years of use, urethane films of today maintain their crystal-clear translucency.
- Needs to be Replaced: Typical warranties for paint protection films range from five to 12 years. The film’s durability cannot be guaranteed beyond this point. As a result, it would be very costly to replace the paintwork while it is still within its ideal service life span (due to inadequate protection).
- The Vehicle Still Requires Paint: PPF won’t save you from the tedious and pricey process of paint. Paint replacement films may be an option if line times are an issue for you. These films come in a wide range of vibrant hues that simulate the look and feel of automobile paint without the effort of applying it.
This depends on your budget, the scope of the project, and what circumstances your product is anticipated to operate in before you decide whether or not to use paint protection film. Regardless, they’re sure to raise the bar for your products and services no matter where or how you put them to use.
Tips on Getting a Paint Protection Film For Your Vehicle
Make sure your installer applies the film to all of the edges of the panels. To suit a certain automobile, pre-cut items don’t always wrap around the borders of a panel. A little gap is left at the edge of the film, which is clipped to fit. Dirt and road sludge may quickly accumulate in this location. Look for an installer that cuts the PPF by hand.
Reuse of film to cover panel edges by certain installers, stating that the film won’t attach correctly, should be noted. This is especially true if the panel edge’s backside has been improperly prepared and is hence somewhat filthy. The rear edge of the panel on certain cars may not be appropriate for film adhesion. There are certain high-end car wraps we’ve seen that don’t even allow the corners of the film to show.
Make sure to inquire if there are any automobiles that have had film placed for a long length of time that you can inspect. On the edges, look for peeling. Good installers and exceptional installers will be distinguished by their proficiency in this area.
The seams will be masked if the edges have been wrapped around. In this circumstance, a skilled installer will be able to make the film adhere nicely.
Caring For Paint Protection Film
The majority of automobile bra films do not need any extra maintenance. Some, but not all, manufacturers provide film maintenance items for sale. When we bought our car’s clear bra, the salesperson advised us to wax it as we would the paint.
In our opinion, some manufacturers’ treatments for maintaining paint protection film are little more than a wax or sealer that you would typically apply to your automobile. Because we are unable to verify this, you should take precautions and follow the instructions provided by the product’s maker.
PPF is Usually Installed On New Factory Vehicles
Some automobile manufacturers include paint protection film in key sections of their vehicles as they send them out of the factory. For the 911, it’s often found in front of the flared-out rear tire wells, where it’s more prone to be chipped.
The paint protection film isn’t only used by Porsche; many other automakers do the same. In most cases, it is included in the design of the product. Fingernail scratches are prevented by installing it behind a door handle, as is the case with many other automakers.
We are certain that PPF will hold up well for individuals throughout the five-year guarantee period of the manufacturer. If left on for an extended period of time, it will most likely yellow and potentially harm the clear coat. It has a five-year lifetime for a vehicle that spends a lot of time in the sun and rain.
It is also necessary to replace the whole film if it is torn by an object such as a rock. If that shard of plastic is on your hood, you’ll have to pay to have it removed and rewrapped, and it won’t be cheap.
The Bottom Line
To summarize, the paint protection film is a fantastic product that does its job well, but it also has some drawbacks. The cost of installation and the fact that it will need to be updated after around five years are the two greatest drawbacks for us.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does a PPF last?
Any high-end vehicle owner knows the importance of protecting their prized possession with an automotive paint coating. This automobile component is presently being manufactured using cutting-edge technologies.
The film is durable enough that it would last 5 – 10 years without yellowing.
Is it worth getting your car a paint protection film?
Even if you buy a pre-owned automobile, you still want it to look its best. PPF does it right! It protects against weather and scrapes, saves money by not needing to bring the vehicle back to the salon, and it’s simple to remove.
Why is it so expensive?
Protective film (PPF) does not alter the color of a vehicle since it has three distinct layers. The car’s paintwork is spared as a result of the protective screen it creates between the vehicle and outside collisions.
In addition, it has a number of notable qualities:
- Super durability
- Resistance to UV rays
- High strength
- High flexibility
- High elasticity
- Good resistance to water and dirt
- Environmental friendliness
- Excellent transparency
Because the film coating is not excessively thick, it does not interfere with the overall design of the vehicle.
Which is better – ceramic coating or paint protection film?
Even though they have a lot in common, paint protection film and ceramic coatings serve quite different purposes.
When it comes to film thickness, the PPF usually beats out the ceramic coating. A self-healing paint protection film absorbs rock chips, small scratches, and swirls as well as abrasive water stains, but it cannot be permanently distorted.
However, ceramic coatings lack the ability to remove swirls, scratches, dirt, and water stains off the surface of a vehicle. However, ceramic coatings have a significant edge in the battle against hydrophobicity.
We’ve got some good news for you. The two layers may be added to the same vehicle. Do not feel compelled to make a choice between the two. You can’t beat the combination of PPF and ceramic coating for your car’s invisible protection.
They will compensate for additional benefits, such as preventing corrosion, staining, or further damage.
How to maintain a paint protection film?
The polyurethane substance in this film needs regular cleaning and maintenance in order to maintain its sleek appearance and high performance.
- A soft sponge, liquid car soap, and water are all that is needed to clean the coating.
- When utilizing a high-pressure water hose for washing, keep it at least thirty-six inches away from the film.
- Wipe the surface with a dry microfiber cloth and a dust-free cloth.
- Use only non-abrasive waxes and polishes to wax and shine.
- Use degreasers, powder cleansers, and clay products.
- Rub it too hard when drying or washing.
- Use corrosive wax or polishes containing hard chemicals.
Use buffering equipment or a high-speed electric buffing.
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