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Vendor Ask a professional car detailer, clear bra and coatings installation expert

Jean-Claude

Local Vendor - Southeast
Feb 3, 2015
274
75
Atlanta, GA.
TMC, I feel terrible that we've been too busy to post up fun articles for some time. So I wanted to create a place that members could post up questions that I field.

With that said, if you have any questions in terms of detailing, clear bra / paint protection film, coatings and their application or any other cosmetic questions about your Tesla, here is your opportunity to have them answered. No need to feel like you can't or shouldn't ask me a question if you're not a Georgia local. This thread is here to help the whole TMC community. :wink:
 
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taurusking

Member
Jul 12, 2014
885
48
East Texas
Hi Detailed Designs

Thanks for taking these questions:

What protects the car best....wrap or clear bra in terms of rock chips and swirls created during car washes?

Many of the Model S owners do know how much clear bra costs...what are the advantages of getting clear bra vs painting it later..?

Thanks for your time
 

Jean-Claude

Local Vendor - Southeast
Feb 3, 2015
274
75
Atlanta, GA.
Hi Detailed Designs

Thanks for taking these questions:

What protects the car best....wrap or clear bra in terms of rock chips and swirls created during car washes?

Many of the Model S owners do know how much clear bra costs...what are the advantages of getting clear bra vs painting it later..?

Thanks for your time

Fantastic questions taurusking.

In terms of protection, there is nothing that surpasses clear bra right now. It is the thickest protection membane, can be replaced when damaged and has self-healing properties that keeps it looking excellent for a long time. What some may not completely understand is what self-healing means though. Clear bra that has self-healing abilities indicates that it can, more or less, repair what would otherwise be seen as swirl marks or scratches in paint. Self-healing clear bra has a topcoat that has memory. When damaged, but not penetrated, with marring/swirls/scratches, the top coat recalls back to its original shape(flat and optically defect-free). Self-healing does not mean a defect in the film from a rock impact that causes physical deformation will correct itself. There is a limitation to how much recalling the top coat can do.

Clear bra will cost more up front than not having it, but definitely has benefits:
One of the most comforting benefits is peace of mind knowing you're as well protected as is possible. Folks tell me regularly that having the protection allows them to relax more while enjoying their Tesla.

The self-healing attributes allows folks to not sweat swirl marks like one would without the film installed.

With a quality installation by an expert, it should be practically invisible.

For folks who wrap a whole car, they have the option of not performing paint correction and still having perfect, or, near perfect paint. This is the defect masking ability of clear bra. Defect masking does not work when scratches are of a different color than the paint(black paint with white scratch(primer/metal showing).

Keeping the original paint of a fine, and expensive, car like a Tesla is a big selling point to someone shopping. If you're wanting top dollar and have a respray it may limit you on how much you can recover. Certainly, there are exceptions to this rule. But resprays tend to have negative side effects that impact a sale price.

You can replace individual pieces if you feel something merits being addressed. I have replaced a number of pieces through the years for folks who can't stand the idea of any defects even in the film(you can only imagine how it would affect someone like this if the paint was damaged). Right we have an RS5 in the shop that got some kind of funky damage on the rear fender clear bra. He was scared it penetrated the film because of how it looked. We pulled the film back so he could inspect it before he left and the paint was *perfect*. This is not something you get with any other technology. The film will be replaced, recoated and then he can go about enjoying his brand new(enjoyed) car for many more years knowing it is still perfect.

With all of that said, clear bra is not for everyone. It has its advantages but it is still a premium priced service if you're using someone who really knows their stuff and can offer a beautiful install. If the idea of spending money on clear bra to be installed eats you up because you see cars as wear and tear or rock chips don't bother you....pass on it. It's a solution for many people's concerns, not a solution for 100% of car owners.

I am not a fan of repaints. Not because of clear bra being a means to pay bills. But because there tends to be cut corners that ends with a car that looks worse than one that had some minor wear and tear. And it's not that it's impossible to get a great paint job. That's available for an absolute premium as well. But when you get to that level, the price of a full body clear bra wrap looks minor.

For more about clear bra and some of the nuances, feel free to check out an article I wrote here: Is Clear Bra A Good Fit For You?

I hope this helps answer your questions. If you have anymore, please feel free to ask.
 

Jean-Claude

Local Vendor - Southeast
Feb 3, 2015
274
75
Atlanta, GA.
What wax or polish over suntek?? If any. Why?

Polishing Suntek PPFC film has no real benefits. The topcoat will self-heal any defects that can be addressed unless you're talking about a scuff mark where there was color transfer onto the film that you're attempting to remove.

If you use a carnauba wax, use one dye-free. Keep the wax off the edges of the film by using painter's tape. Remove fresh wax build up on the edges you may get with alcohol on a q-tip very gently.

Paint coatings like Modesta and Cquartz Finest solve the issues of having to wax and deal with wax on edges of film. If a coating is not for you, I would advise you use a polymer sealant as they will last longer than a carnauba wax and protect better as well.
 

CSFTN

Member
Aug 24, 2014
947
541
Memphis, TN
This is a "can this be fixed by a detailer" kind of question I know there's lots of variations, but generally ...
The story starts this past Thursday afternoon. Came home from work early, played with the summon feature, admired how beautiful my P85D MC red car is.
Next morning, wake up drive to an office right around the corner, park in a covered garage. 3 hours later, leave, drive local roads slow speeds about 8 miles. Get out of car, circle it admiring its beauty when I notice:
IMG_2602.JPG


The two lines perpendicular with my fingernail are gouges thru the paint into the aluminum hood. Were not there 12 hours before. I have some touch-up paint from Tesla; can a guy like you do a reasonable job on something like this or need I go to a body shop?
 
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Jean-Claude

Local Vendor - Southeast
Feb 3, 2015
274
75
Atlanta, GA.
This is a "can this be fixed by a detailer" kind of question I know there's lots of variations, but generally ...
The story starts this past Thursday afternoon. Came home from work early, played with the summon feature, admired how beautiful my P85D MC red car is.
Next morning, wake up drive to an office right around the corner, park in a covered garage. 3 hours later, leave, drive local roads slow speeds about 8 miles. Get out of car, circle it admiring its beauty when I notice:
View attachment 108173

The two lines perpendicular with my fingernail are gouges thru the paint into the aluminum hood. Were not there 12 hours before. I have some touch-up paint from Tesla; can a guy like you do a reasonable job on something like this or need I go to a body shop?


Some detailers could fix it and some can't. I would advise doing whatever it takes without respraying the panel though.

Sorry for the delayed response. It has been a long time since someone posted a question I forgot to come here and check!
 

jerjozwik

Active Member
May 12, 2014
1,177
672
san gabriel valley
whats the difference between xpel, opticoat or and competitive products? is clear bra an all encompassing word, or an actual product?

how much of the car would you suggest covering. I have a p90d coming and want to protect it the day of delivery! hahah
 

tomas

Out of warranty...
Supporting Member
Oct 22, 2012
4,307
4,198
Santa Barbara/New York
xpel and opticoat are two completely different things. xpel (and suntek and others) are paint protection film. They are a multi layer film that is applied over the car's finish. Opticoat is a sophisticated chemical treatment - think next generation wax that lasts for years. Paint protection film provides protection against door dings, shopping carts, small scrapes, pebbles, etc. Opticoat and similar treatments protect against staining and watermarks, and keep car shiny... but do little to protect from impact.

For me, I got suntek on whole car, and then opticoat over that. Unfortunately, I did it after 2 years. Wish I had done right away as you are planning. However, don't expect "day of delivery". It will take probably 3 days if you want both paint protection film and opticoat...1 day to do paint correction, 1 day to apply film, and 1 day to do opticoat treatment. Maybe could be done in 2. Worth the extra wait IMO
 
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Jean-Claude

Local Vendor - Southeast
Feb 3, 2015
274
75
Atlanta, GA.
whats the difference between xpel, opticoat or and competitive products? is clear bra an all encompassing word, or an actual product?

how much of the car would you suggest covering. I have a p90d coming and want to protect it the day of delivery! hahah


Xpel is a brand of paint protection film, known as "clear bra". There are many manufacturers of paint protection film/clear bra.

To learn more about clear bra, you can check out this article I put together just for questions like yours: Clear Bra: Is It a Good Fit For You? | Ask a Pro Blog

Opticoat, is a type of coating. There are many makers and distributors of coatings as well. Coatings are more or less replacements for waxes. Their main function is protection from natural elements. They are wear and tear membranes that can be reapplied countless times. When they become damaged, the concept is that the defects are hopefully in the membrane and not in your finite clear coat. Coatings do not protect paint from rock chips or other forms of impacts to any notable degree. Some coatings enhance how the paint looks as well.

My advice is to get as much clear bra protection installed as you feel comfortable spending money on. It is the best protection for paint, period.

In the case of clear bra as well as coatings, the number one factor in your satisfaction is not the brand you go with, but the quality of the installer and their willingness to stand behind their work.

I hope this helps you.
 
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Hojo

Member
Mar 17, 2016
78
79
New Orleans
Xpel is a brand of paint protection film, known as "clear bra". There are many manufacturers of paint protection film/clear bra.

To learn more about clear bra, you can check out this article I put together just for questions like yours: Clear Bra: Is It a Good Fit For You? | Ask a Pro Blog

Opticoat, is a type of coating. There are many makers and distributors of coatings as well. Coatings are more or less replacements for waxes. Their main function is protection from natural elements. They are wear and tear membranes that can be reapplied countless times. When they become damaged, the concept is that the defects are hopefully in the membrane and not in your finite clear coat. Coatings do not protect paint from rock chips or other forms of impacts to any notable degree. Some coatings enhance how the paint looks as well.

My advice is to get as much clear bra protection installed as you feel comfortable spending money on. It is the best protection for paint, period.

In the case of clear bra as well as coatings, the number one factor in your satisfaction is not the brand you go with, but the quality of the installer and their willingness to stand behind their work.

I hope this helps you.
First, let me say thanks for sharing your experience with the group.
I know product designers are always looking to improve their competitive edge. So today what is the best coating for the Tesla Model S?
I so agree with your advise about the installer. I wish I was in Atlanta so I could entrust my Tesla to your care. Per chance, have you met a colleague in the New Orleans area you might recommend?
Cheers...
 

Jean-Claude

Local Vendor - Southeast
Feb 3, 2015
274
75
Atlanta, GA.
First, let me say thanks for sharing your experience with the group.
I know product designers are always looking to improve their competitive edge. So today what is the best coating for the Tesla Model S?
I so agree with your advise about the installer. I wish I was in Atlanta so I could entrust my Tesla to your care. Per chance, have you met a colleague in the New Orleans area you might recommend?
Cheers...

Wow, thank you for the kind thought Hojo!

I am a bit biased, but I believe Modesta offers the best range of, and, high end coating solutions.
 

DuplexDianne

Member
Apr 18, 2016
260
104
Austin, TX
I have a full Suntek wrap on my X. Haven't gotten a coating. Have been using Optimum Wash and Rinse in a spray bottle with microfiber towels...about to purchase Optimum Wash and Wax, and Instant Detailer and Gloss Enhancer. Are these products recommended or are they unnecessary?
 

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