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Deciding on Touch Up or PPF

I like many others am trying to decide on PPF if it is worth the investment (not just in a monetary sense). I have a couple of questions for the community on this.

1) For those that decided on no PPF how do you approach touchups (e.g DIY, detailer, body shop)?

2) for those that chose PPF what level of PPF did you decide on (e.g front bumper, full frontal, or full)?

I am thinking i will do either bumper or full frontal and then use a professional for any other touch ups that are needed. I will also do the area on the rear doors as well. I have tried DIY touch ups myself a few times over the years but the results always seemed to look worse than before so I will not attempt DIY touch ups in the future.

FYI i plan to go with the white exterior on the new one. I am also pretty OCD with regards to keeping my vehicle looking clean inside and out.

Prices i was quoted for 3M PPF were $1200 for front bumper and lower hood, $2500 for full frontal to include mirrors, pillars, and fenders, $5000 for full frontal + all doors, and $7500 for full PPF. Im in Maryland.

Thanks in advance.
 
From a monetary perspective, which is the only kind of investment I care about, it's a waste of money. ;) You'll never get even a fraction of that expenditure back in resale. Most dealers will spend a few bucks to touch up any rock chips and put it up for sale. Which is what I'd recommend doing. In the past, I have gotten PPF, but only for something like a limited or special edition vehicle that would directly benefit from being in excellent condition. Therefore making the PPF cost somewhat worth it. The Tesla Model Y is a daily driver for us, for which millions will be made each year. And once the auto market corrects, will return to being a depreciating asset. We still wash it and keep it looking clean, DIY touch-up paint as needed, but that's about it.

Beyond that, opting to get PPF is entirely a personal decision. If spending the $$$ will help you sleep at night or not stress as much over road debris, then go for it. From there, figure out how much $$$ it will take for said peace of mind. Although generally speaking, regarding how much PPF to get, most would recommend the high-contact areas, such as the $2,500 option you listed.
 
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An automobile body protects the mechanical parts and provides style and aerodynamic functions.
A immersion tank treatment protects the body and structure.
A primer preps the body for paint.
The base coat of paint protects the primer coat.
The color coat protects the base coat and provides the emotion of color.
The clear coat protects the base coat. Makes for a shiny surface that is easy to wash and UV protection.
The manufacturer will then polish that clear coat to provide a showroom shine.

While most buyers call it a day at this point, and commence driving their cars with only occasional washings, however others can choose to go even further as his desire, enthusiasm and pocket book allows.

After a short period of letting the factory finish "cure" they can decontaminate the finish from "rail dust" to prevent little rust spots by using a smelly rust remover or rubbing it with wetted clay.
Then the fresh finish can be mechanically polished to a higher luster, while removing swirils etc.
Then the fresh finish can be covered with a protective plastic wrap, wax, chemical polish, nano coatings or a myriad of commercial car finishes. This gives some additional protection and makes the finish "pop".

After this, maintenance begins and owners begin to notice ease of cleaning or water beading to initiate additional coatings.

Every owner has their own Pain Vs. Perfection points that will guide how they continue to address finish degradation due to age and exposure.

No doube that many experience a feeling of joy when their vehicles are at their best, but for others they consider that goal a low priority.

Some choose the color to please their eye, others to please their pocketbook, and others to provide the lowest cleaning requirements.
 
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From a monetary perspective, which is the only kind of investment I care about, it's a waste of money. ;) You'll never get even a fraction of that expenditure back in resale. Most dealers will spend a few bucks to touch up any rock chips and put it up for sale. Which is what I'd recommend doing.
Everyone has a different opinion, so I'm not discounting yours at all, but...

I invest in real estate, and stocks. I purchase cars for transportation, but honestly, more for enjoyment. I could certainly have purchased a less expensive car, just for transportation. Most cars (like most stock purchases) ... I lose money. Fortunately for me, I do alright with R.E.

When my cars get a chip in the hood, or a dinge on the door... it drives me NUTS. Yeah.. I know, it's mental, and shouldn't bother me that much, it's just a car... but it does.

I wrapped my 2018 BMW M2 within a week of getting it. Last week, my wife informed me that, while driving, a rock came out of nowhere, hit the hood, then hit the windshield There is a noticeable but small gash in the clear bra on the hood, and there may or may not be a scratch on the hood, kind of hard to know for sure, without removing the clear bra on the entire hood, which I'm not going to do.

My M2, prior to this, looks like brand new, no scratches, dings or paint blemishes on the entire car. I only drive it about 5,000 miles a year, but that's still over 20,000 miles, and after it's washed, it looks like it just came off the showroom floor!

If I hadn't had clear bra on my M2, the damage, if it is damaged, would certainly have been much worse... not life changing, but it would have really annoyed me.

I spent $2,000 on my Model Y, about the same as I spent on my M2, for clear bra. My installer has a special package for Tesla owners, which covers the most exposed, at risk areas, Entire front hood and bumper, headlights, mirrors, top of the rear bumper where luggage may be set, in front of rear wheels where debris is kicked up, etc. I wasn't about to spend $5,000 to cover the entire car... the going price here in Los Angeles.

To each his/her own... there really isn't a right answer. Whatever makes you happy!
 
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samori01

MYLR5 | Blk/Blk | 20 | TOW/No FSD | XPEL Stealth
Supporting Member
Jul 8, 2015
978
1,653
Nashville, TN
......

To each his/her own... there really isn't a right answer. Whatever makes you happy!
I think this is the main thing....I have full PPF. I got XPEL Stealth, the full coverage and the way it looks make me happy. I do some type of cleaning of my car weekly (either full wash, waterless, or interior clean, depending on what I think is needed) so for me, how it looks is important. My wife, could not care less (although I wash her car at least monthly). If I got a scratch/ding/chip, it would drive me insane, she wouldn't notice. It would be a waste of money to get PPF on her car (my installer tried), and it would be foolish for me not to get it. It is exactly what @ShelJW said...whatever makes you happy.
 
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Think the answer depends on your commitment to effort. PPF is an invisible layer of skin not a Picasso painting. I installed the premium 3M PPF full front in just a few hours with my daughters help for around 125$. Works great and not as hard as one would think to do.
Did you get that from northeast tints? It looks like two online sources sell DIY kits. One is 3M and the other is XPEL. I hear the bumper is the most difficult?

I toyed with the idea of just getting the bumper professionally done and. Then trying the DIY route with the other panels.

Yes, it would bother me if i got chips. I have a few now on my current model Y. I do a lot of 70 MPH highway driving.

I am leaning more towards PPF but was wondering if anyone just went the route of getting a pro to touch up when they get chips? Aside from the bumper i would think chips less noticeable on white vs the darker colors?
 
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Bought online as a kit just searched Tesla PPF kit. Again, not really that hard if you follow their instructions and take your time. Tesla cars tend to chip a lot as the paint is fairly thin And it shows in Any color. Bumper does help to have a helper to hold the film but fenders, hood, etc took only a few minutes and could be done with one hand. Use plenty of soapy spray water and go slow. Not worth the install fee unless this is going in a museum.
 
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what great questions
Honestly, like everyone above me you'll see either sides. It's about what you can live with. If you're like myself where you frequently wash your car and care about how your car looks, getting PPF is a no brainer. However, if you're like person x where you like your car, but don't care too much about the details, don't get a PPF.

My first car was white. Drove it like crazy. Touching that bumper while washing my car hurt me deep with tons of rock chips.
I then told myself whichever car I get next I'll do some sort of protection. Got it on my RX full front, a pillars, first part of the moon roof, lights, door cups, door edges with zero regrets. Not as expensive as a full body PPF but protects the majority of the car. However, a rock hit the side of my car unprotected now it's bare metal there.

For the tesla I told myself this would be a car I'd be driving for as long as I can and we'll be taking it on all our road trips so I wanted the best protection. I opted for XPEL stealth which is a matte finish and a touch thicker than the xpel ultimate

Car washes are easy. Someone slammed their door into my car and it left no mark. Rocks hit the front bumper and fender and it still looks new. But, remember, it's not perfect! Depending on how sharp the rock is, I know recently just got 2 small tears in the ppf. Not a big deal and you can't tell but when you rub your hand over it you can see and feel a small little mark.

I have zero regrets and I'm glad I did the whole car. Lots of tesla haters out there who love to key the car for some weird reason. The ppf would protect that. But also your car insurance will help too haha
 
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I like many others am trying to decide on PPF if it is worth the investment (not just in a monetary sense). I have a couple of questions for the community on this.

1) For those that decided on no PPF how do you approach touchups (e.g DIY, detailer, body shop)?

2) for those that chose PPF what level of PPF did you decide on (e.g front bumper, full frontal, or full)?

I am thinking i will do either bumper or full frontal and then use a professional for any other touch ups that are needed. I will also do the area on the rear doors as well. I have tried DIY touch ups myself a few times over the years but the results always seemed to look worse than before so I will not attempt DIY touch ups in the future.

FYI i plan to go with the white exterior on the new one. I am also pretty OCD with regards to keeping my vehicle looking clean inside and out.

Prices i was quoted for 3M PPF were $1200 for front bumper and lower hood, $2500 for full frontal to include mirrors, pillars, and fenders, $5000 for full frontal + all doors, and $7500 for full PPF. Im in Maryland.

Thanks in advance.
If you're willing to make a roadtrip to Harrisonburg, VA, there is a fantastic shop I can point you to get xpel full PPF with ceramic coat for way less than your $7500 3M PPF only!
 
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If you're willing to make a roadtrip to Harrisonburg, VA, there is a fantastic shop I can point you to get xpel full PPF with ceramic coat for way less than your $7500 3M PPF only!
Would love to have their info. I thought the quote i got was pretty high. It looks like i can do it myself for about 2500 with insurance on the install should I make a mistake.
 
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Would love to have their info. I thought the quote i got was pretty high. It looks like i can do it myself for about 2500 with insurance on the install should I make a mistake.

Fantastic work by them! Small, local business; no frills or anything fancy! Max is the owner

When I picked up my car from the Rockville service center, there were ads inside the car for PPF from a local shop. The emailed quote I received for whole car PPF with ceramic coat was $12,292.82!!!! For perspective, that's TWENTY FIVE percent of the car's value for a "screen protector" on a car. I initially thought they accidentally quoted me for TWO cars so I replied back and basically said "haha, very funny -- I just wanted a quote for 1 car, not 2"...

I was looking for PPF with ceramic just to keep it clean and look sharp with minimal effort/easy maintenance and I am very impressed with the work, products, and professionalism by detail-driven! I dropped my car off on a Saturday and received a call that it was ready by Friday. I also had my white seats coated for stain protection and so far, it seems to look brand new since the day I picked up my car (I have yet to wipe my seats)

Fun adventure fact: there are NO ubers/lyft around so call a local cab to get around.
Second adventure fact: The car rental companies in the airport (SDH) closes at 5pm sharp.

Tip: I opened a new credit card with a large sign-up bonus (well worth the 20% ROI that's tax free). As expected, a small % fee applied to credit card transactions but if you're paying with cash/check, you're all good to go. (if you want amex plat or amex bonvoy bonus referral - let me know!)
 
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RyMY

Member
Apr 26, 2021
269
583
NY
I finally ordered a full front precut ppf. I’m planning to install myself. I also ordered touch up paint. Got some chips on the bumper already. I wasn’t planning to install ppf. The only ppf I have now are the ones I installed myself in the rocker panels. What made me reconsider was getting a paint chip on my driver door. Almost right in the middle of the door. I’m most likely going to install ppf on the whole car.

The prices quoted around me are more than what I wanted to pay. $6k to $10k for full wrap. $2k to $3k for full front. I’m glad for precut options that are priced appropriately.
 
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From a monetary perspective, which is the only kind of investment I care about, it's a waste of money. ;) You'll never get even a fraction of that expenditure back in resale. Most dealers will spend a few bucks to touch up any rock chips and put it up for sale. Which is what I'd recommend doing. In the past, I have gotten PPF, but only for something like a limited or special edition vehicle that would directly benefit from being in excellent condition. Therefore making the PPF cost somewhat worth it. The Tesla Model Y is a daily driver for us, for which millions will be made each year. And once the auto market corrects, will return to being a depreciating asset. We still wash it and keep it looking clean, DIY touch-up paint as needed, but that's about it.

Beyond that, opting to get PPF is entirely a personal decision. If spending the $$$ will help you sleep at night or not stress as much over road debris, then go for it. From there, figure out how much $$$ it will take for said peace of mind. Although generally speaking, regarding how much PPF to get, most would recommend the high-contact areas, such as the $2,500 option you listed.

I think you are spot on. I've been 50/50 on PPF for a while.

Since I am getting my new Model X this week, I got quotes for PPF and it was $9K for the full car and $3.5k for the front!! If it were cheaper, I might do it, but at $9k I really just can't justify it for me. I've had my Porsche Macan for ~8 years with no PPF and I have a few chips, dents, etc., here and there, but it doesn't really bother me or my wife that much - I think we prefer to have $9k in cash + a few chips 😅
 
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samori01

MYLR5 | Blk/Blk | 20 | TOW/No FSD | XPEL Stealth
Supporting Member
Jul 8, 2015
978
1,653
Nashville, TN
you'll never get your moneys worth with PPF. Its 100% asthetics and personal preference. Can you live with scratches (invisible or visible) on your car? minor dings from road debris? If the answer is yes, then save ur money. Are you going to sell the car in 3 years? Then save ur money.
You can't say you'll never get your money's worth and then say it's 100% aesthetics and personal preference. That is like saying everyone should get whatever color is free, because if you pay for a color you won't get your money's worth. If you cannot live with scratches on your car, if you can't live with minor dings then it is WELL worth the money, and not getting dings, or scratches makes it worth your money. I have PPF and I am ecstatic about it, well worth the money, to me. For you, it wouldn't be worth it....you can't put your feelings on to anyone else.
 
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Full PPF is a total waste of money as many have stated. Even partial is questionable. You could take the car to a body shop and get the chips fixed for less than the PPF cost. PPF is good for the first 1- 2 years of ownership. You will feel safe and protected from rock chips. But after a few years later... don't care anymore.... because it's time to trade in for a new car.

Most of my cars have partial PPF because I was able to DIYed with precuts. Usually for less than $300. My 3-4 years old Tesla M3 and MS now have several cuts and damages to PPF. Not to mention several door dings and scratches. They don't bother me anymore.

I will be getting a brand new MY this year. I probably won't install PPF. Unless I have a ton of time to waste. Definitely not spending $3K for professional PPF. Instead, I would buy shares of Tesla stock.
 
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samori01

MYLR5 | Blk/Blk | 20 | TOW/No FSD | XPEL Stealth
Supporting Member
Jul 8, 2015
978
1,653
Nashville, TN
Full PPF is a total waste of money as many have stated. Even partial is questionable. You could take the car to a body shop and get the chips fixed for less than the PPF cost. PPF is good for the first 1- 2 years of ownership. You will feel safe and protected from rock chips. But after a few years later... don't care anymore.... because it's time to trade in for a new car.

Most of my cars have partial PPF because I was able to DIYed with precuts. Usually for less than $300. My 3-4 years old Tesla M3 and MS now have several cuts and damages to PPF. Not to mention several door dings and scratches. They don't bother me anymore.

I will be getting a brand new MY this year. I probably won't install PPF. Unless I have a ton of time to waste. Definitely not spending $3K for professional PPF. Instead, I would buy shares of Tesla stock.
:rolleyes: It's a total waste of money for you...you mean.
 
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Im interested in hearing what people are doing that subscribe to the paint chip option. I bought both the Tesla touch up kit and a kit from dr color chip (turns out that they are the same) and they both are next to useless. At this point and thanks to the poor design choice of letting rocks get propelled into the rear doors by the front wheels, im ready to invest in a paint gun and learn to blend paint... Not something i ever thought I needed on a car with under 4k miles.
 
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