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Confused. Xpel vs 3M vs other?

Jack Tripper

Member
Mar 15, 2015
130
162
USA
I’m a new S owner and confused as to the various products. What do clear bras and paint protection films actually do? Do they prevent rock chips and door dings? Do you only do the front bumper or the entire car?

Why would you choose Xpel over 3M or another product?
 

kev1n

Active Member
Nov 17, 2016
1,308
917
SF Bay Area
i will try to explain in an easy way,

clear bra is basically a clear film(think of it as a clear rubber film) you can apply it on any painted panel. the standard is full front bumper and half fender/hood. most tesla owners like to do a full front end(so full front bumper/full hood/full fenders) to protect the whole front from rock chips, etc. brands like XPEL and 3M have a healing agent in the clear film where it can heal itself over time(this will not heal obviously if its something serious like scraping the bumper on a wall or something)

there are people that go to the extend of doing the whole car(i guess it can help with minor door dings/minor bumper taps)

the stuff is pretty solid and will protect against most minor things but obviously if a sharp rock or object hits it, it will still ripe/tear

brand is just brand, XPEL and 3M are 2 of the more well known brands in clear bra technology, like mention above, theirs have healing agents. some other cheaper ones wont and may yellow over time
 
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Tech_Guy

ALWAYS IN LUDICROUS MODE! P90D>P100D Upgrade
May 6, 2016
1,170
2,009
Los Angeles
I went with 3M Scotchguard Pro, and did the full car wrap to keep it looking perfect without swirl marks and so that I can easily wipe down my car at any time with microfiber cloth and a spray wax detailer...

The major reasons I went 3M vs Xpel is that Xpel recommends a sealant chemical sealant be applied regularly to there product where 3m only suggest a regular wax product. I am very sensitive to chemicals so I chose 3M.
 
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XPEL

Vendor
Mar 13, 2013
277
260
San Antonio, Texas
I went with 3M Scotchguard Pro, and did the full car wrap to keep it looking perfect without swirl marks and so that I can easily wipe down my car at any time with microfiber cloth and a spray wax detailer...

The major reasons I went 3M vs Xpel is that Xpel recommends a sealant chemical sealant be applied regularly to there product where 3m only suggest a regular wax product. I am very sensitive to chemicals so I chose 3M.

Hello all,

Just want to clarify something. With the XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection Film, you can use ANY wax/sealant/coating you want on the film as long as it does NOT contain petroleum distillates such as naphtha or kerosene. So you can keep using the same wax you've always used as long as it doesn't contain one of those ingredients. As far as IF you should wax or seal the film at all, well that all depends on your driving habits, where the car is stored, and climate. If it's garage kept, cleaned often, and well taken care of then you shouldn't ever need to wax or seal it. If it's parked in the sun a lot and not cleaned very often then you may want to apply a wax, sealant, or even a ceramic coating to the film. But the same is true for bare paint.

Hope this info helps. Let us know if we can answer any other questions.
 

kev1n

Active Member
Nov 17, 2016
1,308
917
SF Bay Area
Hello all,

Just want to clarify something. With the XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection Film, you can use ANY wax/sealant/coating you want on the film as long as it does NOT contain petroleum distillates such as naphtha or kerosene. So you can keep using the same wax you've always used as long as it doesn't contain one of those ingredients. As far as IF you should wax or seal the film at all, well that all depends on your driving habits, where the car is stored, and climate. If it's garage kept, cleaned often, and well taken care of then you shouldn't ever need to wax or seal it. If it's parked in the sun a lot and not cleaned very often then you may want to apply a wax, sealant, or even a ceramic coating to the film. But the same is true for bare paint.

Hope this info helps. Let us know if we can answer any other questions.

+1 on this, clear bra shouldn't be an excuse not to take care of your paint. it should be treated the same way as you would with your paint.
 

msvoyager

Member
Aug 29, 2016
142
144
Chicago
I had Xpel applied on the hood, front and front-side panels, and then Opti-coat Pro applied to the full car, rims, glass. I got my Tesla S Sept 2016, and it is like new. Better actually ;) After a standard hand wash it looks like it came straight from a car show :cool:
 
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msvoyager

Member
Aug 29, 2016
142
144
Chicago
And to answer your first question about the difference:
Xpel is great to protect against chips/dings, hence it is common to protect the areas that are sensitive for that (front / hood).
Opti-coat will protect Xpel layer and the original paint with a super hard ceramic layer.
Combined it is expensive but worth it. Make sure to select a reputable and experienced vendor, it's really important otherwise the results may not what you'd want...
 
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XPEL

Vendor
Mar 13, 2013
277
260
San Antonio, Texas
There is probalbley a difference between XPEL and 3M film. But the real difference is in having a good shop install it. The skill, fit and finish, will dominate any minor differences in the brand of the film.

Agreed. Whatever film you end up choosing, be sure you pick an installer you trust and are confident in. Go to their shop and ask to see examples of their work first hand. This will let you check for pre-cut kit alignment, quality of the edges, and get a gauge on their customer service.
 

CharlieLab

Member
Dec 12, 2016
120
117
Boston, MA
For what it’s worth, I had XPEL applied to full front, front and rear falcon wing doors on my X. They did an incredible job on installing and you literally can not see the film. So far no discoloration. Very pleased.
 
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XPEL

Vendor
Mar 13, 2013
277
260
San Antonio, Texas
How much does it cost for either the 3M or XPEL product, partial front coverage or full front coverage?

I'll start this reply by saying that pricing can vary based on labor rates, installer experience, and location. But typically you can expect to pay the following.

Partial Front End: 18" - 24" up the hood and matching fender line, front bumper, mirrors, and sometimes headlights. $895 - $1,195.

Full Front End: Full hood, full front fenders, front bumper, mirrors, and sometimes headlights. $1,895 - $2,195.

Other common Tesla coverages areas are Luggage Area, Door Edges, Seat Backs (Model X), and Rocker Panels (including behind rear wheels) on sporty models.
 
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