Know the Pros and Cons of Edge Wrapping Before You Get PPF

Some paint protection film installation pros like to wrap edges, and some don’t. Some recommend wrapping most edges but not all. And some even say you don’t need to wrap any. So what’s right? We’re here to break it down for you, so you can make a confident choice when you’re ready to invest in long-lasting finish protection for your Tesla. (We recommend getting PPF soon, before the world has a chance to attack your glossy, factory-fresh finish.) 

PPF Edge Wrapping Basics 

First off, it helps to know exactly what it means to edge-wrap PPF. It’s an installation technique where the film is cut larger than the part it’s meant to cover, so there’s enough of an overhang to pull over and around the outside edge. The alternative is to cut the film as close as possible to the end of a part, stopping right at the edge. 

The Pros of Edge Wrapping

It’s true that seamless, edge-wrapped PPF coverage is the ideal scenario – but often, it’s an unrealistic one. Still, the reasons for edge-wrapping are solid. It’s more protective because edges are covered instead of being vulnerable to damage. It also looks cleaner – if you get up close to a car with PPF and look hard, you can usually identify cut lines. (We see you, perfectionists.) And with fewer seams and cut lines, there are fewer places for pollen, dirt and wax to build up and make PPF edges visible over time. This means easier and less cleaning, and is especially true with lighter paint colors. SunTek PPF is solvent-resistant to make cleaning both PPF edges and surfaces stress-free. 

The Cons of Edge Wrapping 

There are three main reasons to decide against wrapping PPF: 1) some car parts must be removed from your Tesla for wrapping, 2) there are a few areas that can’t be wrapped reliably, and 3) it can be more expensive to wrap than not. This is why a mix of wrapped and unwrapped edges is typical for most PPF installations. As a Tesla owner, you need to balance your desired coverage level with your tolerance for risk. Which brings us back to the much-discussed topic of parts removal.

The Low-Down on Removing Parts

If you want full PPF coverage for your Tesla with as few cut lines as possible, your installer will have to remove parts, apply edge wrapped PPF, then put them back. Understandably, this makes some people nervous enough to opt out of parts removal altogether, without hearing another word about it – especially those who have never had PPF before. Others are fine with the idea of removing some parts and will talk through disassembly details with their chosen shop to determine their own personal comfort level. 

Which Parts are Sometimes Removed?

Removal isn’t a consideration with car parts that open, like your Tesla’s doors, hood or trunk. Fender edges parallel to the hood and fender wells are also commonly wrapped. But body panels are different – there are gaps where the panel stops and starts, and so there will be cut lines unless the panel is removed so the installer can get at the edges to wrap them. The same is true of headlights and taillights, which require disassembly to get inside for wrapping. As a Tesla owner, it’s your prerogative to pick and choose what you’re OK with – it’s your car.

Deciding What to Do

You can trust an installer with parts removal if they have a lot of Tesla experience and take great pride in their work. Ask what they like to do and why, and listen closely. Then be sure you’re comfortable with what you hear before you give the go-ahead for parts removal– and ask what the policy is if damage occurs during installation. You might want to find out if your installer has Tesla mounting clips on hand too, in case one breaks.

Making Peace with Cut Lines

Even if you’re OK with removing all parts, some cut lines are practically unavoidable. Tesla side mirrors and the Model 3 bumper are known to have cut lines that bother some owners, but most say it’s subtle. A trustworthy pro will choose the best placement to minimize how much these lines will be noticed. One caution here: for a cut line-free look, an installer may suggest tucking a few millimeters of the film’s edge under trim. Avoid this; it doesn’t give PPF adhesive enough to hold onto, and properly aligned cut lines are difficult to see anyway.

Now that you’re informed about PPF edge wrapping and parts removal, you can discuss them with any installer and decide on an installation plan. A professional with lots of practice at installation is key no matter what, but it’s still completely reasonable to decide not to wrap some edges over others. Choose what’s right for you, so you can leave your Tesla overnight at the shop without worry and sleep soundly knowing your vehicle will look awesome – and stay that way a long time – when you go in to pick it up.

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