Don't Buy Paint Protection Film until you Read This!

Don't Buy Paint Protection Film until you Read This!

Can You Wax Over Ceramic Coatings? Reading Don't Buy Paint Protection Film until you Read This! 18 minutes

When it comes to protecting a car’s paint, there are a plethora of directions you can take. While the clear coat that rests atop a vehicle’s paintwork is engineered to serve as a frontline defense against the elements, this transparent coating has its own inherent weaknesses and drawbacks.

Faded, peeled, cracked, scratched, oxidized, and discolored clear coats can be seen on cars everywhere, rolling reminders of what happens when you neglect to clean and protect your automobile. While the paint underneath may be completely fine, due to the clear coat taking the brunt of the abuse, it’s going to look like complete crap due to the damage resting atop it.

On the upside, an increased demand for automotive paint protection film (PPF) in recent years has eliminated many of these clear coat conundrums. Not familiar with PPF? Here’s a quick rundown on what it’s made from, and how it works.

PPF consists of an ultra-thin polyurethane, or polymer, which when properly applied by a professional (typically an auto detailing or vinyl installation expert), forms a transparent protective surface layer. This disposable “skin” protects a car’s clear coat, as well as the paint beneath it from things like surface scratches, UV exposure, hard water deposits, acid rain, oxidation, and various other unpleasantries.

That said, there’s still a lot of confusion out there over what PPF can and cannot do, especially when exposed to extreme situations. The pendulum swings both ways too, with the pros and cons of PPF either being overly exaggerated, or completely understated.

So let’s shovel through the bullshit, and get down to the facts, because there’s much to be gained by having a paint protection film installed on your automobile, and a lot that can go wrong as well…

 

What is Paint Protection Film?

Photo Credit: 3M

A Little PPF History Lesson

Much like America’s favorite lubricant, (we’re talking about WD-40 here… pervert), paint protection film was not originally intended for automobiles or civilian use, but was developed as a tool for military operations.

It was the height of the Vietnam War, and the U.S. Department of Defense (D.O.D.) was receiving one report after another of helicopters being significantly damaged by shrapnel and debris. This was especially apparent on areas like rotor blades, and across surfaces carrying sensitive military equipment.

According to automotive experts, the D.O.D. set out to find a solution, which is precisely when good old 3M comes into the picture. The textile and chemical giant was gung-ho about finding a solution to this problem, and tasked some of its greatest minds with developing a protective layer that could be just as resilient as it was transparent and lightweight.

Before long, the U.S. military was presented with what appeared to be a solid solution to its chopper problem. By modifying the chemical structure of a super strong urethane film, 3M’s engineers had developed a product that could withstand both significant amounts of elemental abuse, and moderate surface damage from things like artillery shrapnel. Inexpensive, relatively easy to apply and replace, and resistant to UV degradation and common aviation fluids, this film was an instant success.

Due to its ability to conform to almost any surface, and then form a tight bond with whatever it was allowed to cure atop, this film became commonly referred to as helicopter tape, or “heli tape” for short. Today, this product is still marketed as heli tape in certain global markets, even though it is rarely used for its intended original purpose.

“Polyurethane Protective Tapes provide a cost-effective way to help prevent structural damage to helicopter rotor blades with minimal effect on blade track and balance. These tapes can significantly reduce rain and sand erosion damage … Foreign Object Damage (FOD) … life cycle costs and helicopter downtime.”

-3M Aerospace and Aircraft
Maintenance Division

Quick Nerd Note: Since PPF started life as a military application, there was no need for it to create a glossy, or completely clear appearance, therefore early versions were either completely opaque, or a dull, hazy-looking sheen.

PPF’s Transition to Automobiles

what is paint protection film?

Over time, 3M began to refine and re-engineer this revolutionary military protective film for use in the civilian sector. However, it literally took decades for PPF to evolve into the high-quality thermoplastic urethane film of today, and almost as long to catch on in regard to popularity.

While selling the military on a tape-like protective film that would keep helicopter parts from being damaged was fairly easy, getting car owners to agree to having their vehicles cloaked in super strong “plastic wrap” was a huge challenge. Offered as a “protective topcoat for painted surfaces,” and sold in a kaleidoscope of colors and thickness levels, car paint protection film slowly but surely grew in popularity.

Eventually, high-end car owners and detailing shops began to buy more of these pricey film coatings, as their protective benefits and projected longevity indeed lived up to the hype. Everything from bug splatter and bird droppings, to surface scratches, rock chips, and all manner of oxidization and UV damage were rejected by PPF, and it looked like the product was set to become one of the biggest game changers in the history of car care.

Paint Protection Films of Today

PPF_3 Photo Credit: 3M Canada/YouTube

Nowadays, 3M’s line of automotive paint protection films come in two offerings: A Pro Series (also known as clear bra), and a colored Matte version. Both are backed by a 10-year warranty, and when properly installed by a professional, offer what 3M refers to as “unrivaled scratch and stain resistance.”

With their ability to be custom designed to fit a specific vehicle, unique “self-healing characteristics,” and ability to match most factory matte paints, 3M’s PPF offerings have seen a significant growth in popularity in recent years.

Quick Nerd Note: The top layer of the PPF is comprised of an elastomeric polymer substance that helps the material maintain a natural shape once it’s been stretched or applied to something like a painted or clear coated surface. This allows the PPF to “self-heal” when light scratches occur, and pretty much eliminates any risk of swirl marks.

Types of Paint Protection Film

types of paint protection film

While 3M may have created PPF, and fine-tuned it for automotive applications, there are a handful of other manufacturers out there offering paint protection films. Some of these companies include Suntek and Llumar, both of which are offshoots of the Eastman Chemical Company, and XPEL, which is the official protective film partner of Team Penske.

A few nicknames for these protective products include:

  • Clear Bra
  • Clear Mask
  • Invisible Shield
  • Clear Wrap
  • Car Protection Film

PPF vs Vinyl

There’s a lot of confusion about the differences between PPF and vinyl, or if there is any difference whatsoever. So here’s a breakdown of the nuts and bolts that make each of these clingy products unique.

Vinyl Wrap

Vinyl wrap is a relatively thick substance, which makes it much easier to install and provides additional coverage, but it is not transparent. The PPF, on the other hand, is not a tint. It’s usually crystal clear, is much lighter, and self-heals when scratches occur.

Paint Protection Film

When placed next to a run-of-the-mill roll of vinyl wrap, it becomes apparent that PPF is a far thinner, and far more lightweight alternative. The perks of procuring it in either a clear or tinted shade are also unique unto PPF, as are its ability to offer superior surface protection and “self healing properties,” both of which vinyl has in limited supply.

So while a vinyl wrap may offer some level of paint protection, it is typically installed for aesthetic or marketing purposes, because shipping trucks are basically rolling billboards, right? In contrast, a PPF is going to either be a matte-like armor, or if transparent, a see-thru shield that allows glossy painted surfaces to safely shine underneath.

How to Install Paint Protection Film

If you’re going to have your vehicle covered in PPF, or are daring enough to try the install on your own, there are a few steps that must be considered. Again, this is something we strongly suggest leaving to the pros, especially since PPF can be a bit tricky to work with when compared to vinyl wrap.

Spend the Big Bucks and Plot Your Own Path

Most professional PPF installers are also vinyl wrap specialists, window tint professionals, or some other form of custom automotive service. Of these shops, those with enough capital typically forego guess work, and opt for a machine called a “plotter” instead. This computer-controlled contraption reads what dimensions are required, and then painstakingly cuts the PPF into sections, all tailormade to fit a particular body panel. This pricey piece of equipment is particularly useful when working with intricate areas, making the installation of things like headlight protection film an absolute breeze.

Or Buy a Few Bulk Rolls, and Grab Some Sharp Tools

For all of the shops out there who don’t have oodles of dollars to drop on a plotter, the cutting and installation of PPF revolves around purchasing a bulk roll of film, and shaving any unneeded overhangs. This process results in a shit ton of measuring and test-fitting, and material waste is exponentially higher due to the width of the roll being used.

Quick Tip: 3M has a lot to say about PPF install environments and surfaces, so we gleaned a few top tips to save you some time.

  • Vehicle surface temperatures and ambient air temperature should be between 55°F and 90°F (13°C – 32°C)
  • The vehicle should be removed from direct sunlight and winds above 5 mph
  • On repainted vehicles, paint must be thoroughly dry and completely cured before any attempt to apply film to the vehicle is made, in order to avoid film bubbling due to paint out gassing.
  • Be sue to overlap squeegee strokes in order to ensure no solution is left between the film adhesive and the painted surface.

Install Time!

For optimum results, pros either wear gloves, or wash their hands thoroughly prior to PPF application to avoid film contaminants like fingerprints, from fucking-up their hard work. While the PPF installation process may vary based upon the vehicle in question, or the brand of paint protection film selected, the following procedures remain the most widely utilized…

1. Scrub a Dub-Dub

Removing debris is not only crucial to the appearance of a paint protection film, but its performance capabilities as well. A good rule of wrench here is to think of a PPF like it were a ceramic coating, because the clear stuff is only going to emphasize and then lock-in whatever rests underneath it.

So if your ride is riddled with scratch marks and rust, that clear bra is only going to make them all the more notable, and pretty damn difficult to repair. Spend the money and get all necessary paint correction and body work steps knocked-out before proceeding.

Paint and clear coat in pristine condition, it is now time for a washing with some clean microfiber cloths and the old two-bucket car wash approach. Opting to clean surfaces with something like 3M’s General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner, which contains specially blended solvents for removing adhesive residue, wax, grease, tree sap, road tar, oil, and bugs is also a good idea when applicable.

Surfaces sprayed and scrubbed, follow the adhesive cleaner with an ammonia-fee, automotive-safe glass cleaner, which will remove any adhesive cleaner residual solvents lingering on the surface. Skipping this window cleaning stage could be catastrophic to your success, for failing to do so will likely result in shitty PPF adhesion and unsightly bubbles.

2. Cut Your PPF to Fit That Shit Homeskillet!

Photo Credit: 3M

Once all of the surfaces have been prepped, the installer will cut the PPF sheet down to size in preparation for installation, much like window tint. This is typically done in sections, with areas like the hood, rocker panels, quarter panels, side mirrors, door, and various other portions being measured and mocked-up for installation.

3. Spray and Pray

Photo Credit: 3M

Installing PPF requires an activator, or a fitting solution. 3M recommends using a two-solution application method here for optimal results. For a soap solution, just fill a 16 oz. spray bottle with water and add .6ml (4 drops) of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo or Aveeno Baby Wash /Shampoo.

An alternative option, is the full isopropyl alcohol blend wipe-down approach. Simply fill a 16 oz. spray bottle 75% full of water and then top it off with 25% isopropyl alcohol with a 70% rubbing alcohol rating. Remember to wash your hands before starting this stage of the application, as it helps avoid the imprinting of oily fingerprints on the adhesive.

4. All Lubed-Up and Ready for Action

cut paint protection film to fit your car size

Once the top surface of the film is wet with the solution of your choosing it’s time for the squeegee lovefest to begin. But while your squeegee may slide effortlessly across the filmy surface, it’s worth noting this is when it pays to be a pro.

Paint protection films don’t always like to fit perfectly when applied, and as we previously mentioned, is typically far more finicky than vinyl. This stage in the PPF install process involves a series of spraying, moving, squeegeeing, repositioning, and re-squeegeeing to remove any bubbles or creases in the film.

5. Fire in the Hole!

drying and heating the paint protection film

Once the PPF has been properly applied, and any lingering bubbles and/or creases have been removed, it’s time to bring the heat. Here, the use of an industrial heat gun and a touchless instant temp reader are used to activate the adhesive, and thus cause the PPF to stick to the surface. This stage also causes the material to shrink, creating a clean, tight fit on whatever it is protecting.

How Long Does Paint Protection Film Last?

Arguably the best attribute of a paint protection film is its longevity. According to 3M, a professionally installed paint protection film should last anywhere from 5 to 10 years. This explains why many of these products are covered by a warranty when the installation is conducted by a certified company specializing in PPF installations.

That said, much like car wax, ceramic coatings, or any other form of paint protection for that matter, there are a few variables that may impact product longevity. Some of the more common factors that impact a PPF’s longevity are:

  • Shitty Surface Prep
  • Piss-Poor Application Etiquette
  • Environmental Ass-Kickings

Pros and Cons of Paint Protection Film

Photo Credit: SunTekFilms/YouTube

PPF Pros

  • Superior protection against rock chips and scratches
  • Prevents the formation of paint swirls
  • Near Deadpool-like self-healing properties
  • Can last up to 10 years when properly maintained

PPF Cons

  • Can reduce the shine of a vehicle’s paint if not pampered
  • Not always very hydrophobic. (Many professional PPF installers suggest a ceramic coating application services on top of a fresh layer of PPF for unrivaled paint protection.)
  • Inferior PPF products and knock-offs will often discolor and develop a yellowish tinge
  • Once damaged, it will need to be completely removed and replaced
  • Not a very good DIY solution
  • Has been known to damage paint if left for too long and not properly maintained
  • Most expensive modern paint protection product

How to Get the Most Out of a Paint Protection Film

Photo Credit: 3M

Almost all of the cons listed above can be negated by combining a high grade PPF with a quality ceramic coating. This is why a lot of performance car owners will only install a PPF on the front portions of a vehicle (where rock chips and acidic bug guts are most prone to fucking shit up), and then apply a 9H-rated ceramic coating on top of this PPF, as well as other areas of the vehicle.

This helps to improve shine (PPF is notorious for becoming dull over time) and improve the surface’s water and debris-repelling hydrophobic properties. This will also cut down on the need for frequent car washes and wax installs, thus saving the vehicle owner significant amounts of time and labor.

A Few More Paint Protection Film FAQ’s

Photo Credit: SunTekFilms/YouTube

As you have surely been able to gather, paint protection films are a brilliant product, especially when it comes to protecting the exterior of a vehicle from things like airborne debris damage. That said, we still get a lot of questions from car owners about the PPF installation process, with the following being the most commonplace.

What is the most important factor in choosing a PPF installer?

-Experience matters, especially when it comes to installing PPF. Unlike a vinyl wrap, this product can be tricky to install correctly, which is why it’s always best to work with a certified PPF installer with solid reviews.

What type of warranties are available with PPF products?

-That depends upon the product you use, and who installs it. We’ve seen various PPF products being offered with a slew of different warranties. The most common warranties range from 5 to 10 years, but that only covers manufacturer defects, so you’ll be shit out of luck if there is an issue with the prep chemicals used, or the shop doing the install.

Are certain PPF products better than others?

-Reviews of PPF products vary depending upon quality, longevity, price, and ease of install. That said, as the originator, 3M still seems to hold the crown for highest PPF reviews, despite being the most expensive.

Are there any alternatives to using PPF?

-There’s a lot that can be said for a vehicle’s intended purpose. If you’re looking to protect your vehicle’s clear coat and paint from things like rock chips and scratches and it outlast anything else on the market, then PPF is the clear winner.

However, pairing a high-end, 9H-rated ceramic coating with a flawlessly installed PPF will create a shield that offers the best of both worlds, and should always be opted for by those looking for unrivaled protection.

Parting Shots, and a Verdict on Paint Protection Film

paint protection film vs ceramic coating

Paint protection films, or PPF, are an outstanding way to shield a vehicle’s surfaces from damage caused by the worlds most abrasive debris. However, it isn’t really intended to enhance the luster of a paint job either, nor is it very good at keeping vehicle surfaces clean.

So is a high-end PPF worth the up-front cost and the steep fees associated with utilizing a pro installer? That’s for you to decide. Living in a harsh environment and beating the ever-loving shit out of your beloved daily beater every day? Then it’s probably time to upgrade to a PPF, and then coat it with a slathering of Armor Shield IX ceramic coating.

85 comments

PPF Guy

PPF Guy

So nice article Dale Pearl but a few things would need to be corrected.

1st, a ceramic coating will not prevent chemicals etch marks. It’s a clear liquid that is installs manually on a vehicle’s paint but unfortunately is very sensitive to acid rain and city water hence why you must rinse the vehicle with RO water to prevent water spots and not only that to dry the vehicle right away otherwise the chemical etching will occur.

2nd, to people that are looking to DIY a PPF Eloy Martinez, I have to say this, everyone has an opinion and opinions are like assoles, everybody has one.

3rd, PPF like ceramic coatings are not bullet proof, both products have pros and cons.

4th, if a PPF gets damaged, it can be removed and replaced. Also, why would a PPF make a paint less glossy? As you must know, if you prep the vehicle properly and polish the panels you are going to install the PPF to, I can guarantee you, you won’t see the difference between the PPF gloss and the ceramic coating as they will be both the same or very close to being the same.

5th, I have been in this game for 32 years, so I think I know what I’m talking about. But all positive vibes to you Dale Pearl to have written a nice article on PPF.

So nice article Dale Pearl but a few things would need to be corrected.

1st, a ceramic coating will not prevent chemicals etch marks. It’s a clear liquid that is installs manually on a vehicle’s paint but unfortunately is very sensitive to acid rain and city water hence why you must rinse the vehicle with RO water to prevent water spots and not only that to dry the vehicle right away otherwise the chemical etching will occur.

2nd, to people that are looking to DIY a PPF Eloy Martinez, I have to say this, everyone has an opinion and opinions are like assoles, everybody has one.

3rd, PPF like ceramic coatings are not bullet proof, both products have pros and cons.

4th, if a PPF gets damaged, it can be removed and replaced. Also, why would a PPF make a paint less glossy? As you must know, if you prep the vehicle properly and polish the panels you are going to install the PPF to, I can guarantee you, you won’t see the difference between the PPF gloss and the ceramic coating as they will be both the same or very close to being the same.

5th, I have been in this game for 32 years, so I think I know what I’m talking about. But all positive vibes to you Dale Pearl to have written a nice article on PPF.

Dale Pearl

Dale Pearl

Hi Ferry!
That shouldn’t be an issue just be sure to reference back to the website!

Hi Ferry!
That shouldn’t be an issue just be sure to reference back to the website!

Ferry Christian

Ferry Christian

Hi Dale.
I found this article is very helpful.
If it’s alright, can I put some of this information on my Instagram?
I will put the original link to this address and also credit to test3.unicorns.rocks too.
Have a great day !

Hi Dale.
I found this article is very helpful.
If it’s alright, can I put some of this information on my Instagram?
I will put the original link to this address and also credit to test3.unicorns.rocks too.
Have a great day !

Ulvi Onurlu

Ulvi Onurlu

Hi,
Thank you for this informative article above. Making ppf coating on a vehicle that was previously ceramic coated reduces the life of the ppf coating, right? You actually touched on this issue above but I wanted to confirm it anyway; please excuse me. Greetings from Turkey.

Hi,
Thank you for this informative article above. Making ppf coating on a vehicle that was previously ceramic coated reduces the life of the ppf coating, right? You actually touched on this issue above but I wanted to confirm it anyway; please excuse me. Greetings from Turkey.

Dale Pearl

Dale Pearl

Hi Paul!
In most cases, just a good wash without a wax, sealant, and polymer-free type of shampoo such as our maintenance shampoo should suffice. I would suggest to do diluted IPA wipedown 30 minutes or so prior to applying the coating.

Hi Paul!
In most cases, just a good wash without a wax, sealant, and polymer-free type of shampoo such as our maintenance shampoo should suffice. I would suggest to do diluted IPA wipedown 30 minutes or so prior to applying the coating.

Paul

Paul

Question about the application of ceramic coating over new vinyl wrap. How much preparation is really needed besides a good wipe down from the vinyl installer? I can understand the premium charge doing paint prep on a vehicle but not for vinyl prep when the vinyl is brand new.

Can you expand on the process for application to vinyl wraps?

Thanks, Paul

Question about the application of ceramic coating over new vinyl wrap. How much preparation is really needed besides a good wipe down from the vinyl installer? I can understand the premium charge doing paint prep on a vehicle but not for vinyl prep when the vinyl is brand new.

Can you expand on the process for application to vinyl wraps?

Thanks, Paul

Cheda

Cheda

Can you explain how can PPF damage the clear coat and paint, as you briefly mentioned it in the article ?

Can you explain how can PPF damage the clear coat and paint, as you briefly mentioned it in the article ?

Dale Pearl

Dale Pearl

Hi Charles!

Certainly not what we expect and not something that comes up with Armor Shield. PPF surfaces, in general, can’t handle excess coating but what typically happens is that the coating won’t cure and you wind up with oily spots. So with your particular situation, this can be resolved! Start by moistening a microfiber towel and buffing the “blotches” or “high spots”. If that doesn’t get you to where you want to go you would need to go with a very fine polish and gently rub the surface area. Since this is a PPF I definitely recommend doing this by hand as you do not want to tear into the PPF film. The coating is only a few microns thick so again I would advise by hand and with a microfiber towel.

Hi Charles!

Certainly not what we expect and not something that comes up with Armor Shield. PPF surfaces, in general, can’t handle excess coating but what typically happens is that the coating won’t cure and you wind up with oily spots. So with your particular situation, this can be resolved! Start by moistening a microfiber towel and buffing the “blotches” or “high spots”. If that doesn’t get you to where you want to go you would need to go with a very fine polish and gently rub the surface area. Since this is a PPF I definitely recommend doing this by hand as you do not want to tear into the PPF film. The coating is only a few microns thick so again I would advise by hand and with a microfiber towel.

Charles Albury

Charles Albury

I have ppf on the front of my 10yr old motorhome. It has turned all blotchy and mottled. Problem is finding someone to remove it. Nobody will touch it. I would never get it again.

I have ppf on the front of my 10yr old motorhome. It has turned all blotchy and mottled. Problem is finding someone to remove it. Nobody will touch it. I would never get it again.

Sam

Sam

Is it normal that after the installation off a ppf that there are bubels on the corners and lines ?

Is it normal that after the installation off a ppf that there are bubels on the corners and lines ?

Dale Pearl

Dale Pearl

Hi Al! I wouldn’t suggest wax on anything except maybe a surfboard. Ceramic coat that PPF with Armor Shield.

Hi Al! I wouldn’t suggest wax on anything except maybe a surfboard. Ceramic coat that PPF with Armor Shield.

Al

Al

Is it good to apply high quality wax over PPF.

Is it good to apply high quality wax over PPF.

ViperGuy

ViperGuy

I think the writer got the thicknesses confused. Vinyl wrap is much thinner than PPF. PPF is definitely thicker than vinyl, it’s not the other way around like this article alludes. That is why vinyl is easier to install because you can heat it up and stretch it around tight corners, something you cannot easily do with ppf.

I think the writer got the thicknesses confused. Vinyl wrap is much thinner than PPF. PPF is definitely thicker than vinyl, it’s not the other way around like this article alludes. That is why vinyl is easier to install because you can heat it up and stretch it around tight corners, something you cannot easily do with ppf.

Dale Pearl

Dale Pearl

Hi Shari!

All comes down to the type of automated car wash, to be honest but as a general practice that is not recommend for either PPF or ceramic coats!

Hi Shari!

All comes down to the type of automated car wash, to be honest but as a general practice that is not recommend for either PPF or ceramic coats!

Shari

Shari

Great article! Can you take your car thru the car wash with PPF?

Great article! Can you take your car thru the car wash with PPF?

TT

TT

Hi Raymond,
There is no downside to PPF’ing your whole car. Most of the damage happens on the front. Given that there is a high cost to doing a PPF and Ceramic coating, the front area becomes the focus.

I see a lot of people with a front PPF and ceramic coat the whole vehicle.

Hi Raymond,
There is no downside to PPF’ing your whole car. Most of the damage happens on the front. Given that there is a high cost to doing a PPF and Ceramic coating, the front area becomes the focus.

I see a lot of people with a front PPF and ceramic coat the whole vehicle.

Dale Pearl

Dale Pearl

Hi Scott!
PPF definitely works on chrome! Chrome is a bit more durable than clear coats and paints so yeah that’s a good observation on your part. The PPF should help a bit with staining, dents, and dulling with chrome plating.

Hi Scott!
PPF definitely works on chrome! Chrome is a bit more durable than clear coats and paints so yeah that’s a good observation on your part. The PPF should help a bit with staining, dents, and dulling with chrome plating.

Dale Pearl

Dale Pearl

Hi Raymond!
It is really depending on what you are going for. Those that just ppf the front are typically going for a matte or color contrast. I see quite a few cars out there that PPF the entire vehicle and they are certainly covered by the same warranty and guarantee as it would be for just a hood.

Hi Raymond!
It is really depending on what you are going for. Those that just ppf the front are typically going for a matte or color contrast. I see quite a few cars out there that PPF the entire vehicle and they are certainly covered by the same warranty and guarantee as it would be for just a hood.

Eloy MARTINEZ

Eloy MARTINEZ

Ceramic coating… And PPF … Its a battle like AC versus DC electricity… They both want your money. I’m a DIY guy and dont really believe a “PRO installer is What You Have to Have” for PPF. So I chose that. If you can’ DIY then, please don’t get married, because you will be worthless to you wife, when it comes to so much as changing a light bulb.

Ceramic coating… And PPF … Its a battle like AC versus DC electricity… They both want your money. I’m a DIY guy and dont really believe a “PRO installer is What You Have to Have” for PPF. So I chose that. If you can’ DIY then, please don’t get married, because you will be worthless to you wife, when it comes to so much as changing a light bulb.

Raymond Ong

Raymond Ong

Hi is it better to ppf the whole car,or just the front hood? Because in ur article it state that most fast and luxury car only ppf the front car rather than the whole car instead. Is there downside if ppf the whole car? Kindly advise tq

Hi is it better to ppf the whole car,or just the front hood? Because in ur article it state that most fast and luxury car only ppf the front car rather than the whole car instead. Is there downside if ppf the whole car? Kindly advise tq

Scott

Scott

On my 2020 Ram 1500 Limited the front bumper, around the grill and mirrors are chrome.
Can PPF be applied to chrome, and is there any advantage. I noticed on my older vehicles with chrome bumpers they never had any problems with rock chips like painted bumpers did.

Thanks

On my 2020 Ram 1500 Limited the front bumper, around the grill and mirrors are chrome.
Can PPF be applied to chrome, and is there any advantage. I noticed on my older vehicles with chrome bumpers they never had any problems with rock chips like painted bumpers did.

Thanks

Eric Williams

Eric Williams

Hi Christopher. Does the PPF provide UV protection to the paint underneath, well most certainly. Now, how well does it withstand UV radiation itself, that might be the real question there. There are PPFs with great surface protection but if you want to be 100% certain PPF itself doesn’t fade, I have to recommend ceramic coating over the PPF.

Hi Christopher. Does the PPF provide UV protection to the paint underneath, well most certainly. Now, how well does it withstand UV radiation itself, that might be the real question there. There are PPFs with great surface protection but if you want to be 100% certain PPF itself doesn’t fade, I have to recommend ceramic coating over the PPF.

Christopher

Christopher

Excellent article! Quick question though:. Does PPF offer any level of UV protection? My retired parents are looking to have some PPF put on the rear of their RV to prevent the sun from fading the paint, but the local installers in their area say no PPF film offers UV protection….. I find that hard to believe. It seemed to me that most shops simply didn’t want to tackle such a large job. Your thoughts?
Thank you!

Excellent article! Quick question though:. Does PPF offer any level of UV protection? My retired parents are looking to have some PPF put on the rear of their RV to prevent the sun from fading the paint, but the local installers in their area say no PPF film offers UV protection….. I find that hard to believe. It seemed to me that most shops simply didn’t want to tackle such a large job. Your thoughts?
Thank you!

Dale Pearl

Dale Pearl

I"m not certain why a ceramic coating would void a warranty on PPF to be honest. Ceramic coatings are more surface friendly than waxes. I can’t speak for other companies and on their warranty procedures but this is the first time I’ve heard of any company stating that a ceramic coating will void the warranty.

I"m not certain why a ceramic coating would void a warranty on PPF to be honest. Ceramic coatings are more surface friendly than waxes. I can’t speak for other companies and on their warranty procedures but this is the first time I’ve heard of any company stating that a ceramic coating will void the warranty.

Ashley

Ashley

Hello,

I contacted 3M to see how they recommended prepping the PPF they said they don’t recommend ceramic coatings on their film it can damage it and will void the warranty. Is their any films on the market your product won’t void the warranty of?

Hello,

I contacted 3M to see how they recommended prepping the PPF they said they don’t recommend ceramic coatings on their film it can damage it and will void the warranty. Is their any films on the market your product won’t void the warranty of?

Seymour Butts

Seymour Butts

You’ll be fine. Just sand it off if you don’t like it.

You’ll be fine. Just sand it off if you don’t like it.

Madonna

Madonna

You’re making me hesitant to have PPF installed tomorrow on our 2020 whiteTesla. Maintenance, length of longevity…

You’re making me hesitant to have PPF installed tomorrow on our 2020 whiteTesla. Maintenance, length of longevity…

Dale Pearl

Dale Pearl

Hi Mouath!

The technology has developed significantly over the years and PPF is more durable than ever before, with that said, when it comes time to remove the risk of removing the paint is there. This makes coating your car with Armor Shield a greater advantage. There is nothing in Armor Shield that can damage your paint!

Hi Mouath!

The technology has developed significantly over the years and PPF is more durable than ever before, with that said, when it comes time to remove the risk of removing the paint is there. This makes coating your car with Armor Shield a greater advantage. There is nothing in Armor Shield that can damage your paint!

Mouath Khashoggi

Mouath Khashoggi

I painted my front bumper and wanted to install a protective film but the dealer told me that when removed, it could cause paint to be removed with the film and he won’t guarantee the film. Is this true? Should I avoid PPF if my car is painted?

I painted my front bumper and wanted to install a protective film but the dealer told me that when removed, it could cause paint to be removed with the film and he won’t guarantee the film. Is this true? Should I avoid PPF if my car is painted?

Caryn

Caryn

Is there a way to test or prove that llumar was actually applied into my car?

Is there a way to test or prove that llumar was actually applied into my car?

Steve Frazier

Steve Frazier

Who is the best installer in the San Jose California area for this product

Who is the best installer in the San Jose California area for this product

Dale Pearl, AvalonKing support

Dale Pearl, AvalonKing support

Hi Eric!

Yeah, many do that, just make certain not to obstruct your view and to observe and local laws that may apply to windshields.

Hi Eric!

Yeah, many do that, just make certain not to obstruct your view and to observe and local laws that may apply to windshields.

Eric

Eric

Is tinted PPF or vinyl ever used as a shade band at the top of a windshield?

Is tinted PPF or vinyl ever used as a shade band at the top of a windshield?

Dale Pearl

Dale Pearl

Hi Eddie!

Not at all! Armor Shield is safe to use on all paint types, wraps, and Paint Protection Films!

Hi Eddie!

Not at all! Armor Shield is safe to use on all paint types, wraps, and Paint Protection Films!

Eddie

Eddie

Will it damage if put on top of satin, Which my 2020 dodge challenger has on the hood,

Will it damage if put on top of satin, Which my 2020 dodge challenger has on the hood,

Tee

Tee

Really helpful article —thanks! I have a 10-year old Audi with 30k miles only and very well maintained. But I now have to drive and park it under the sun everyday in Santa Monica, CA and found out about how PPF can help. Any place you can recommend around here that does a good job but also not expensive? Thanks again!

Really helpful article —thanks! I have a 10-year old Audi with 30k miles only and very well maintained. But I now have to drive and park it under the sun everyday in Santa Monica, CA and found out about how PPF can help. Any place you can recommend around here that does a good job but also not expensive? Thanks again!

Kathy

Kathy

We looked at a new car (2019 G80 Genesis Loaner) that appeared to have a deep scratch across the middle of the hood and down the sides. When touching it it felt like a deep scratch. And on the side of it was a crooked line. We were told it was a protective coating but it was so obvious it looked flawed. What’s your take on their explanation.

We looked at a new car (2019 G80 Genesis Loaner) that appeared to have a deep scratch across the middle of the hood and down the sides. When touching it it felt like a deep scratch. And on the side of it was a crooked line. We were told it was a protective coating but it was so obvious it looked flawed. What’s your take on their explanation.

Roland De Los Santos

Roland De Los Santos

I have a 2019 Shelby GT350 and had PPF applied to the front half of the car and sideview mirrors, ceramic coating over the entire car and wheels, and chemical glass treatment to help with cracks and chips. The car looks amazing and I have piece of mind the exterior is protected. My installer is very experienced and is very reputable. I have 5 year warranties for film and coat, 3 year for glass treatment. As far as protecting your vehicle, I can’t recommend enough.

I have a 2019 Shelby GT350 and had PPF applied to the front half of the car and sideview mirrors, ceramic coating over the entire car and wheels, and chemical glass treatment to help with cracks and chips. The car looks amazing and I have piece of mind the exterior is protected. My installer is very experienced and is very reputable. I have 5 year warranties for film and coat, 3 year for glass treatment. As far as protecting your vehicle, I can’t recommend enough.

Dale Pearl

Dale Pearl

Hi Patrick!

Armor Shield works great on top of PPF!

Hi Patrick!

Armor Shield works great on top of PPF!

Patrick

Patrick

I have PPF on the my full hood, front bumper and front fenders, and the rocker panel of my new Porsche 718 GTs. Can I use your product on the PPF? I plan on using it for the areas not covered by PPF, but was curious if I can use it on the PPF or not.

I have PPF on the my full hood, front bumper and front fenders, and the rocker panel of my new Porsche 718 GTs. Can I use your product on the PPF? I plan on using it for the areas not covered by PPF, but was curious if I can use it on the PPF or not.

Dale Pearl

Dale Pearl

Hi Tim!

There are many types of tree sap and how long you allow them to stay on the car along with sun exposure will determine how effective the prevention is. You simply cannot allow tree sap to bake onto the car. It needs to be removed.. Check out this great article from our own Tim on the very subject:
https://avalonking.com/blog/a-guide-for-cleaning-tree-sap-off-your-ride/

Hi Tim!

There are many types of tree sap and how long you allow them to stay on the car along with sun exposure will determine how effective the prevention is. You simply cannot allow tree sap to bake onto the car. It needs to be removed.. Check out this great article from our own Tim on the very subject:
https://avalonking.com/blog/a-guide-for-cleaning-tree-sap-off-your-ride/

tim

tim

hi i have a 2019 mustang and have marks, ie tree sap in the paint that is hard to get off will this product prevent things like this happening?

tim

hi i have a 2019 mustang and have marks, ie tree sap in the paint that is hard to get off will this product prevent things like this happening?

tim

Dale Pearl

Dale Pearl

Hi Sage!

It sure can! Armor Shield on top of a wrap works great!

Hi Sage!

It sure can! Armor Shield on top of a wrap works great!

Dale Pearl

Dale Pearl

You are very welcome Kostas!

You are very welcome Kostas!

Dale Pearl

Dale Pearl

Hi Ehab!

PPF isn’t our specialty at the moment and we don’t have any references for PPF installers in your region. If you’d like to drop us an email at hello@avalonking we can discuss is greater detail.

Hi Ehab!

PPF isn’t our specialty at the moment and we don’t have any references for PPF installers in your region. If you’d like to drop us an email at hello@avalonking we can discuss is greater detail.

Ehab ElSaadany

Ehab ElSaadany

I just bought a new car in Abu Dhabi UAE and looking for a complete paint protection. I found a company called bodyfence applying a PPF product named HEXIS. The guy told me that this is a French product. Any ideas or suggestions? Anyone know about a trusted shop in Abu Dhabi for this job?

I just bought a new car in Abu Dhabi UAE and looking for a complete paint protection. I found a company called bodyfence applying a PPF product named HEXIS. The guy told me that this is a French product. Any ideas or suggestions? Anyone know about a trusted shop in Abu Dhabi for this job?

Kostas katrinakis

Kostas katrinakis

Very detailed article thank you

Very detailed article thank you

Sage

Sage

Can this be applied over a car that has a wrap on it ? I’m new to this whole car wrapping thing and I don’t have a garage to store my car while I’m at college so I want to make sure that the wrap does not get messed up while I am away.

Can this be applied over a car that has a wrap on it ? I’m new to this whole car wrapping thing and I don’t have a garage to store my car while I’m at college so I want to make sure that the wrap does not get messed up while I am away.

Tim Charlet

Tim Charlet

Hi Josh. Thanks for the question. A PPF has an edging to it – so at either the front or the rear of the applied area will have a noticeable “lip” – that you can feel with your hand.

Hi Josh. Thanks for the question. A PPF has an edging to it – so at either the front or the rear of the applied area will have a noticeable “lip” – that you can feel with your hand.

Josh G

Josh G

Hi Tim,

I recently purchased a new vehicle from a Toyota dealership. The experience was awful. The salesman was dishonest and tried to not honor our agreement. I raised a big stink over it and eventually had everything we agreed on done. One of those things was the application of a ppf for the hood, bumper and fenders. I have it in writing that they completed the job but how can I really be sure they did? Thanks.

Hi Tim,

I recently purchased a new vehicle from a Toyota dealership. The experience was awful. The salesman was dishonest and tried to not honor our agreement. I raised a big stink over it and eventually had everything we agreed on done. One of those things was the application of a ppf for the hood, bumper and fenders. I have it in writing that they completed the job but how can I really be sure they did? Thanks.

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