Things to know before having Paint Protection Film Installed

Dec 8, 2021 | Ceramic Coatings, Customer Vehicles, Educational Information, Paint Protection Film

So you just picked up a new vehicle and now you want to do everything that you can to protect it. First, let’s explore the ways that you may want to protect your vehicle. There are 5 different ways you can protect your vehicle. 

You want to protect your vehicle from are things that are going to damage, oxidize, chip and other was diminish the value of your vehicle.

The team @ Ceramic Pro Pottstown is ready to protect your new Tesla!

Ways To Protect Your New Vehicle

Wax: The old tradition of using wax on your vehicle’s painted surfaces is a staple for many. Waxing your vehicle dates all the way back to 1910, when George Simons developed the first carnauba-based wax for vehicle finishes. You can wax your vehicle by hand with a microfiber towel, an applicator pad or with a non-abrasive pad and machine polisher. Some wax manufacturers will claim that their waxes will last a year, the truth is that most wax is gone after about 2 washes. 

Polymer-based paint sealants: Several companies such as Menzerna, Meguiars, and Turtle Wax all manufacture various liquid polymer waxes. They are typically thick in consistency and are fairly viscous. They are comprised of synthetic components and polymers that will outlast most carnauba-based waxes. You can apply them to your vehicle in various ways, similar to that of waxes.

Spray Waxes: Spray Waxes are made by everyone under the sun. These are the lowest quality of protection to choose for your vehicle. Detail sprays are mostly gloss enhancing products and offer very little in the way of protecting your vehicle

Ceramic Coatings: Ceramic Coatings are what should be considered the golden standard of vehicle protection. They do a ton of really great things and are developed using real science. Ceramic Pro Ceramic Coatings such as Ceramic Pro 9H and Ceramic Pro TopCoat is currently the best in the industry. Ceramic Coatings can last 2, 5, 10 and even a lifetime depending on the amount of ceramic coating applied (with proper maintenance) 

Ceramic Coatings are a nano-glass coating that is applied to your vehicle by a trained professional. Professional-grade ceramic coatings should be installed by a professional shop only. Ceramic Coatings should be applied only after meticulous paint correction (compounding and polishing) is performed on the vehicle to ensure that scratches, swirls, and oxidization isn’t sealed in.

Ceramic Coatings will offer hydrophobic properties, making your vehicle easier to clean, cutting the time you spend washing typically in half. Ceramic Coatings will give your vehicle top-tier chemical resistance from things like Tree Sap, Road Tar, Bird Droppings, Road Grime, Oil, Grease. Arguably the best part about having your vehicle Ceramic Coated is that your vehicle appears to be dripping wet and glossy every single time you wash the vehicle. 

You must be careful and avoid any ceramic coatings offered to you by low-quality shops and car dealerships. They are typically very low quality and will often be installed incorrectly, without paint correction, and fail early.

Paint Protection Film: Paint protection film is a multi-layered clear, 8mil thick urethane film that is applied on top of your vehicle’s painted surfaces. 

The first layer is the “cap sheet” – The cap sheet is a clear plastic film, that is laid on top of the film prior to shipping. This is to help protect the film from “burnishing” during shipping. Burnishing is when the film, when rolled, shifts side to side and under its own weight, abraids the film causing distortion.

The next layer is the actual outer impact-resistant layer of film. This is the layer that appears to be glossy and shiny on the vehicle that will provide resistance to damage from things like shopping cart scrapes, paint transfer scrapes, rock chips, road debris, staining & more. 

Under that is the adhesive layer. The adhesive layer is what makes contact with your vehicle’s paint. The adhesive is activated after all of the liquid under the film is squeegeed away. The adhesive layer is what will ensure the paint protection film stays intact and “sticks” to the vehicle. It is arguably the most important component of the entire film. 

The final layer is the “backer” or plastic layer that seals in the adhesive layer. This keeps debris out of the adhesive.

The paint protection film is installed on a vehicle in 2 manners – with a custom computer cut kit and by “bulking” – which is the art of laying film on the film and stretching it and pulling it to fit properly. Ceramic Pro Pottstown specializes in both methods.

Below you will find a chart that displays the highlights and capabilities of each protection type and if they are compatible with another protection method.

 

Things you need to consider before choosing paint protection film for your vehicle. 

The current condition of your vehicle – paint protection film will only protect what is under the film in its current condition. Paint protection film does have the ability to hide minor swirls and defects but if your vehicle has deep gouges, missing paint, chips, heavy oxidization – paint protection film does not restore or fix them. It can only protect and lock in the look of a vehicle if the vehicle is indeed new. 

Paint protection film prevents additional damage to your vehicle after installation. It is always best to apply paint protection film to your vehicle when it is new – applying it after it has been driven every day for 3 or 4 months, will be too late to preserve the “brand new” look. REMEMBER – A vehicle is only new one time.

What you should expect from a professional paint protection film installation shop

We always strive for perfection but installing paint protection film is extremely labor-intensive and can often be very tiring and mentally consuming, even for veteran installers.

If your vehicle has existing damage such as rock chips and scrapes, paint protection film will absolutely magnify imperfections. You may end up with air bubbles surrounding deep imperfections. 

If you’re thinking about paint protection film, you’re already looking ahead down the road at protecting your asset but the most important thing to remember is that this is about PAINT PROTECTION, NOT PAINT PERFECTION.

Paint Protection Film is not vinyl wrap. You will absolutely be making some minor visual perfection exchange in protecting your vehicle. 

Inexperienced and ego-driven paint protection film shops will boast about hiding and tucking every single edge and seam when the truth is that in doing so will likely significantly increase the chances of the adhesive failing and peeling. Paint protection film has optical clarity components in it which can only be stretched so far. If the film is stretched too far, it will begin to distort and crack. In addition, if there is too much tension, film will lift up and peel and become contaminated.

NO INSTALLATION WILL EVER BE PERFECT!

We are talking about a person, who is taking a piece of film, moving it through the air, onto a very large area. We always strive to make sure every install is perfect BUT things you can absolutely expect are minor bits of dust and dirt (which we always attempt to remove prior to job completion), seams and even minor air bubbles. Our trained installation technicians always try and remove any imperfection that we find but there may be times where the risk of additional contamination in an attempt to remove a defect is extremely high.

Paint protection film should be installed in an environment that is clean and temperature controlled.

The floors should be sealed and air filtration in some capacity should be in use. We use industrial air scrubbers that clean particulate from the air in our facility down to .005 microns. Our facility is temperature controlled with 10 tons of AC cooling and 150,000+ BTUs of heating power.

Paint Protection Film Installer Ego

Anyone who tells you an installation should be perfect or that all edges should be hidden or that they hide every edge – is flat-out driven by ego and isn’t looking out for your best interest at heart. Our goal is to provide you with a job that strikes a balance between a long-lasting and high-quality, visually appealing install. Disassembling a brand new, 6 figure cost vehicle is something that you should really try and avoid – as some edges and seams can only be hidden if that happens. We absolutely can accommodate any client that wants it.

Paint protection film should be handled in a VERY specific manner.

The adhesive side of the paint protection film is extremely tacky. You should NEVER, if possible, allow paint protection film to fold over and touch its self during the installation process as you will create adhesive disturbances and permanent imperfections. You also need to ensure that there is enough lubrication present on the vehicle and film before locking it down on the vehicle. You should ask a shop how they maneuver film onto the vehicle to insure that they are going to use proper film handling techniques

DO NOT SHOP FOR PAINT PROTECTION FILM BASED ON PRICE!

We use this saying in our industry that “If you shop on price, you will pay for it twice.” Shops who are quoting you ridiculously low numbers for paint protection film will absolutely be cutting corners and not taking their time on a film installation. Ceramic Pro Pottstown prices our paint protection film installs to take our time and not have to rush. 

We consistently repair PPF installed by other shops who have sold someone a film installation at a much cheaper price. You will end up paying us to remove it and then reinstall the new film and it will cost you triple at that point. 

I hope that this blog has served as a base to help you in your journey to select a paint protection film specialist for your vehicle. Ceramic Pro Pottstown and its team stand behind our work and our reputation by delivering you quality, expectational set installation of paint protection film.

-Gabe Fletcher
Owner Operator @ Total Detailing / Ceramic Pro Pottstown

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Why Ceramic Pro Pottstown?

When you work with Ceramic Pro Pottstown, you are dealing with the shop that is going to be doing the work. That means that you don’t need to worry about the work being outsourced to a low-quality vendor. That means we are going to be installing exactly what you need to protect your Tesla and keep it looking new using our cutting machine and custom paint protection film patterns.

Your new Tesla deserves the best protection and we know that Paint Protection Film is not something you want to take lightly. It’s important for us too! That’s why our team will do everything in their power to make sure this job is done correctly. You should choose a shop that chooses high quality over speed when applying Paint Protection Film on your Tesla.

Ceramic Pro Pottstown will be happy to meet you at the Tesla Dealer in Devon, PA, Lancaster, PA or even in Cherry Hill, NJ to ensure that your Tesla is properly transported to our secure facility. 

If you drive your Tesla to our facility, we are more than happy to provide you with transportation to get home or to work. We can even arranged flatbed or covered transport for your vehicle.