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Paint Protection Film & Tint

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by ribsandbbqbeef, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. ribsandbbqbeef

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    Posted this on TM forums, but figured I'd post here as well to get more feedback. Thanks.

    Just placed my order yesterday for a metallic blue MS. Looking to take car straight to detailer after delivery for wash, claybar, & very light polish, then immediate OptiCoat. After that, will apply paint protection film. Finally, will apply tint on windows.

    1. Any recommendations / criticisms for or against & alternatives not listed below:

    -Opticoat: basically another layer of liquid clear coat with great sun protection

    -3M: thickest 8mm coat on market but slight orange peel after application & harder to install

    -VenturShield: glossier, easier install, less stretch marks over time, more easily stained (eg bird poop)

    -Xpel: new film that's self healing, less swirls

    -3M Crystalline for tint


    2. Opinions on Opticoat first or paint protection film first? Current plan is OptiCoat first then fim to protect OptiCoat as well.


    3. I live in North Orange County, California. Any recommendations from personal experience for specific shops that apply the above? Looking for installer who wraps the edges & not just use precuts that may leave raw edges. Better yet, prefer detailer who will take the time to remove the plastic trims / badges / rubber parts to do meticulous edge wrapping. Anyone do hybrid install: 3m for bumper / fenders, but Xpel rest of car?


    -Show Car Detailing in Anaheim Hills was recommended for OptiCoat. Anyone use them?

    -Ultimate Shield in city of Orange was recommended for Xpel. Anyone use them?

    -Recommendations for a place to apply the 3M Crystalline?

    -Which one of the above products would be best for a metallic blue Tesla? (ie dark color)
     
  2. AMPd

    AMPd Active Member

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    For the tint I'd go with photosync
    ive heard applying protective film on top of opticoat will not work very well, as opticoat is designed to reject stuff sticking to it
     
  3. capt601

    capt601 Vin02324

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    For all I would highly recommend Moe at Glistening Perfection in Aliso Viejo. His normal procedure is the level of detail you want. He did our blue S and it turned out beautiful. He is a true detailer dedicated to doing A great job for the customer. He normally only works on higher end cars, so the S fits right in to his business.
    He posts on here sometimes, but if not get on his website and email him.
    Tell him I sent you. Mine was the first S he worked on, and he has been working on many other ones since.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I posted a write up about the job moe did on my car. Unfortunately I couldn't post all of the photos as there were so many. But the car turned out beautiful. We did xpel, on front end , and huper optik ceramic tint on all windows. This was after a phase 3 detail over the entire car. Let me know if you want to see any more photos.
     
  4. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    theres a big thread on here regarding proper steps. you definitely want to apply the opticoat AFTER ppf, not before. the ppf wont stick to opticoat or really any other polish. you want the ppf on the bare clear coat.
     
  5. MoeMistry

    MoeMistry Local Vendor - SoCal

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    Congrats on the MS. You're going to love it. Getting it started on the right foot is probably just as important as the options you chose ;)

    1. We actually use a different technology than opti-coat, it's nano. Nano is becoming the newest cutting-edge technology in our industry. In short, the particles are so minute, they densely pack themselves on whatever porous surface they're applied to. In turn, greater dirt repellence, surface looks cleaner, longer, and amazing level of protection. The cars we clay after six months, that have nano, barely have any contamination on them.

    Nano Paint Sealant

    2. PPF - we've installed all the ones you've mentioned, and now only offer XPEL Ultimate.

    3M - Great top coat, lots of orange peel. I can fix most imperfections to 85-90%. ie. bird droppings, water spots, etc.
    VentureShield - Great clarity, very poor durability. I can fix imperfections 50-70%

    XPEL Ultimate - Little orange peel and great clarity. It's like having the durability of 3M, but look of venture. Self-healing feature and warranty was the deal maker for me. I can get imperfections 95-100% out

    3. Have your paint professionally polished first, apply PPF, then apply whatever coating you want to use. Anything in between the paint and film is a no no for me as it could potentially effect the adhesive of the film. Think about. If these coatings are so great at repelling stuff, aren't they going to repel the adhesive of film over time causing lifting of film? Also, if your surface is properly prepped, that paint is in pristine shape, and the PPF will be protecting it. It will not see the elements.

    4. Tint - We only carry huper optik nanoceramic film from Germany. I've chosen this film for its clarity and performance. It's for those that don't like the "look" of tint, but want extreme heat rejection. With your metallic blue, I'd opt for our Ceramic 60...lightest shade. I assume the interior is dark. If so, whatever film you put on, will look a shade darker.

    4. We do the work you've mentioned and have done several models s. Just curious, why a hybrid install of 3m and xpel when xpel is the best-performing film on the market?

    GP Automotive Renewal Service: Clear Film/Phase2/HuperOptik Tint - Tesla Model S P85+

    - - - Updated - - -

    +1...GREAT ADVICE
     
  6. birdsaresmarter

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    #6 birdsaresmarter, Oct 13, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
    Of course it depends on what is most important to you but I'll share my own exp. with Opti-Guard. I think for UV protection and long term preservation of underlying surface it is fine but to maintain a certain "look" to your finish, not necessarily.

    IMO I'd put it UNDER PPF to be a sacrificial barrier against the inevitable film removal process, but I would not put it on top (see #4 below).

    Just remember, there is a cure period for Opti-Guard so you cannot immediately put PPF on it. That was one big challenge I faced.

    However, for on TOP of the PPF, I'd probably try one of the products with silica + nano Carnauba for a combination of repelling different types of contaminants and water. I researched coatings and sealants exhaustively for more than a year before most people even knew what Opti-Guard was and decided it was probably the coating for me. I considered Gtechniq EXO which I think was just being introduced at the time, and CQuartz looked really good (Of course, since then there have been many new hybrid coatings and as I type, probably new products are being introduced as this is a big business.) However, I settled on Opti-guard due to purported to be "more permanent". However, had the little voice of "doubt" about Opti-Guard claims so I tested on other car first (dark blue/grey Pruis) and found it was not something I'd put on any other dark colored car. Perhaps white or silver okay, but nothing darker. Not disparaging Optimum products as I think they have some awesome things especially maintenance products like ONR. However, my opinion re: where it did not meet expectations. (I'd love to know where others have had better real life experience with other coatings because the biggest problem for me is up until recently, few people have been talking about these coatings other than the people who are making money applying them.)

    1) Big water spotting problem - even after the cure period had passed. I think you will be doing the vinegar bath thing regularly even with this coating if you don't like seeing spots all over the car. Since "nothing sticks" to OG, finding something to put "on top of the coating" to combat water spotting has traditionally been a problem. More recently some of the installers are using Sonax Polymer Net Shield but I don't know how that is working out.

    2) Although "nothing sticks to it" meaning bird dropping and such are relatively easy to remove, staining is there, creating the dull spots of "injury" to the coating. Granted, this is ostensibly "in the coating" vs. in your clear coat and can be polished out, your finish will not be looking that great in a hurry.

    3) Spider-webbing and swirling no matter how careful you are in washing. Trust me, it takes me HOURS to wash a car because I am so afraid to drag a towel across paint, I am a "gentle dabber" when I wash and dry it, using only the softest microfiber chenille wash media and high quality towels. By contrast, I have managed to avoid this for the most part on my Tesla for 7 months washing it myself without Opti-guard on it, as I managed to avoid on the Prius for the first year before I put Opti-Guard on it.

    If you are the type of person who takes the car to a pro detailer to "buff it out" every month or so, then Opti-Guard is probably okay for you. However, there are some other coatings that look more interesting to me now. One that comes to mind is "Polish Angel Cosmic 9h". They have some other well reviewed Carnauba products. Dream Detail in VA is the recently established U.S. distributor for Polish Angel. I am trying to find somebody locally who I trust to do the paint correction and apply this coating. I may just have the Opti-Guard polished off the Prius and test it there again first.

    4) Chips from road debris happen "easier" and smaller ones on front of bumper are more noticeable. I am not kidding. I know some people will not and do not believe it but I can tell you that I drove the Prius for a year on the freeway before having the coating applied. I had only small and relatively unnoticeable marks. Within a month of putting OG on it, drove it first time on freeway and got a nice chip out of the hood on first strike. Coincidence? I don't think so because all the little hits on the lower edges of the bumper are even more noticeable. I think because it is not super slick, the debris gets a better hold on the surface when it hits. I had the car for a mere 3 months and got slammed with a shower of concrete debris kicked up from a bus running over it and had no time to maneuver out of the way. Even with that, the few little chips I got on the car were amazingly not too bad. Nothing like the big old chunk that came out once Opti-Guard was put on it. That's my personal experience = others may vary. The people who install this will tell you it is not true. Putting on top of PPF is of course not so much an issue.

    I think Moe Misty uses a product that may be somewhat similar to Polish Angel formulation. There are so many things out there that are similar, but not so many like this yet that I have found.

    It is too bad that, as rumor has it, the industry has engineered most of the products to bead water vs. sheet water because consumers traditionally think that beading water shows protection. Having the little water beads sitting on your paint to dry out is not the best scenario. Better to sheet the water off but since people just want to buy things that bead, there we are. As I also understand it, the Polish Angel product is good at sheeting as well as beading.

    As far as PPF installers, based on my conversations with several, I think Protective Film Solutions is one of the real deals but I believe Moe Mistry, although he probably is more boutique, smaller operation, will also do a similarly thorough job.

    Hope you find some of this helpful. I started researching paint protection technologies a year before I got my car and I still haven't found the magic bullet that will live up to my expectations. As far as PPF, XPEL ultimate seems to be the current winner. Suntek gets some good rep but is not used as much. Just like coatings, PPF market is constantly changing too.

    My problem is nobody in L.A. is full service to coordinate full package of protection. You are lucky you are in O.C. because most of the pros are there. You have named some and I have name some, but not all.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Actually PPF will stick to Opti-Guard. It will not stick to a lot of coatings but OG is more "grabby" and not super slick so it is one of the few where it will work. My problem is that I cannot find a coating with a shorter cure period to put under PPF and I am afraid of adhesive issues putting PPF on bare paint that has every molecule of wax stripped off the entire surface.
     
  7. dt-td

    dt-td Member

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    why a coat and a ppf
     
  8. birdsaresmarter

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    PPF needs care & protection just like paint. It's a never ending cycle. PPF will protect from heavier debris/chips where coatings will not but it needs to be cleaned, protected and cared for just like paint.

    Why put coating under PPF? If you plan to keep car for 3-5 yrs you will not care. If you plan to keep car longer, your PPF will eventually start to look crummy from debris damage because it is the "sacrificial barrier" to take the hits vs your paint. You will need to pull off PPF after probably max 5 yrs on car. Depending upon how it was cared for, and how much heat it was exposed to over the duration, and which PPF you used, you MAY have problems with removal and adhesive. There are some real nightmare stories of detailers trying to get that stuff off the paint when it was left on too long. Most of the opinions are that the old 3M adhesive had too strong of a bond to the paint and a weaker bond to the film itself, creating the removal problems. Yet, remember, the products are always changing and a lot of the current ones have yet to face this test.

    That's my dilemma. Few coatings will permit the adhesion of the PPF and most of them have either fairly long cure periods or may require really, really aggressive methods (sand paper) to remove them later (one of the Max Protect products comes to mind). That's maybe no so bad for under PPF though. However, picking the right long-term coating for your needs is obviously crucial.
     
  9. ribsandbbqbeef

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    Wow, thanks so much for the awesome & very informative replies. I learn so much on this forum. Thank-you everyone.

    So, I've been doing some reading and a detailer over at the teslamotors forum is suggesting 3 layers. Opticoat first, Xpel, then Opticoat again for different reasons. Here's the link

    http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/detailing-confusion

    What do y'all think?



     
  10. MoeMistry

    MoeMistry Local Vendor - SoCal

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    Great insight and in-depth feedback birdsaresmarter. As you have eluded, unfortunately, there is no MAGIC BULLET of a product on the market. Using common sense and old-fashioned methods can be the ounce of prevention. You gotta use quality wash mitts and microfiber towels. You gotta WASH the car routinely and perhaps apply a spray wax. That's just the prudent thing to do. All these new coatings and sealants are there to enhance appearance and provide protection. But they're not your answer to no swirls and scratches and no waxing for XX years. I personally don't tell that to my clients and obviously don't buy into it. If I told you there was as shampoo and soap that you used once and you wouldn't have to bathe or shower for XX years, what would you say?

    As for our PPF work, I'm not currently aware of anyone else in OC that is taking vehicles apart, and performing the pre- and post level of work we're performing. Truth is, you want skilled technicians that are not only detailers/installers, but somewhat troubleshooters and mechanics to take these cars apart. Those are far and few in between. Reason being, cost. Most companies out there are bidding and outbidding each other because the consumer is saying "I can get xpel ultimate for $XXX cheaper than you". When we're approached with that comment, we simply advise potential client to go with the other company. We feel our expertise, attention to detail, and the value proposition is far more appealing/important than the sticker price. We're a low volume, advanced workmanship shop. Our clients are those searching for and demanding the absolute attention to detail. Hope that makes sense.
     
  11. ribsandbbqbeef

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    First off, thanks so much for the awesome advice & information this forum has provided. I apologize for the belated reply, been crazy busy at work trying to make more $$$ to pay for the car =)

    Been doing some reading & one detailer (screen name Reflectionsdetailing) recommending OptiCoat, then PPF, then OptiCoat again. From my understanding of the thread's conversation (little bit of reading in between the lines), the bottom layer of OptiCoat protects the paint & maintaines its integrity. The top layer of OptiCoat improves the performance of the PPF (how?) & makes cleaning off dead bugs, prevent yellowing, & staining from bird droppings. What do y'all think? Sounds like overkill to me. But the questions remains, Opticoat on top or below the PPF? Putting it under the film sounds logical since I will replace the piece of film (eg bumper) once it gets scarred up & still have the OptiCoat under. However, the logic of the OptiCoat preventing the PPF from sticking also makes sense. Which is right?

    from teslamotors.com forums

    "Here is my opinion of how to best set up a new car. 1. Get the car properly detailed
    2. Get it coated
    3. Add a clear bra in the areas you desire
    4. Get the clear bra coated in Opti Coat Pro
    5. Enjoy the well protected car for 3-5 years before you really need to do anything"



    - - - Updated - - -

    Would you kindly upload some pics of your beautiful MS after being wrapped by Moe? I'd love to see some examples of his work from real MS customers.

    - - - Updated - - -

    How does photosync compare to 3M Crystalline or other tints? Any suggestions for good shops that apply it?

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'm looking for maximum heat rejection. I'm planning to have my windshielded tinted with something that is as transparent as possible but with the most heat rejection. Would the Ceramic 60 be suitable, or would it be too dark for the windshield?

    I was doing some reading and a couple sites said 3M is the thickest material on the market. I figured I would put that on the bumper & the places that have the highest liklihood of impact, then use Xpel for the rest of the car because it looks better than the 3M. Unless someone stoops down 12 inches away from the bumper of my dark colored car & touched it, I doubt they would be able to tell that hybrid materials were used. What do you think? Or should I just do the entire car in either 3M or Xpel?

     
  12. birdsaresmarter

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    #12 birdsaresmarter, Oct 13, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
    Not all coatings are created equal. Depends on the formulation as to what it repels well or doesn't. Some are similar, some are not. Optimum says flat out you can put Opti-Guard under and/or over the PPF and I have seen numerous discussions where people have done both (remember not just Tesla owners apply these coatings). Installers have said you can do both. This product has been on market for a while, not as new as some of the others. Most of the newer "silica" (glass) based coatings (and generally any that are super slick) will definitely not permit PPF to adhere properly. Some have had PPF just slide right off a week or so later, as told by some of the PPF installers. Again, Opti-Guard is not as slick on surface as some of them. Doesn't mean it can't protect from contaminants at the same time.

    Sorry, I just have done SO much research on this subject I feel compelled to share information I've gathered in the process of doing reading and speaking with both professional detailers and installers. I'm just not personally aware of anybody who has had PPF installation fail after first installing Opti-Guard (pro version) or Opti-Coat (consumer version). If anybody else is aware of failure with those products, please feel free to chime in.

    One last observation. You will most likely find a lot of inconsistency in opinions. Ask 10 people - get 10 different opinions about coatings and PPF. Each installer has their favorites (and own techniques and experiences). I also would have preferred to see performance of the products in person for some period of time before I judged but since the products change so often, and I don't know too many people who care that much about their car's appearance to use them, wasn't much opportunity for me. Best thing I could do was test one on another car and judge for myself if it met my own expectations, which unfortunately it did not in my situation. Doesn't mean it wouldn't meet others' expectations though.
     
  13. ribsandbbqbeef

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    Thanks for the additional point. I hadn't thought about the removal of the PPF. So if PPF's like Xpel does not adhere to OptiCoat, which coating did you end up using for your car to prevent the PPF from sticking "too much" to the paint?

     
  14. birdsaresmarter

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    Based on what Optimum says and a lot of others have said, there "shouldn't" be a problem with PPF adhering to OG or OC. There could be some PPF with less aggressive adhesives where it may have a problem (I'm thinking of Suntek for example).

    Some of the installers may say it will not but I would ask them if they have personally had the installations fail with the film THEY use. Reason I suggest it is that they naturally just want the PPF to stick so they will not want to suggest that it is okay to have any coating under it. On the other hand, I have seen a discussion by at least one very experienced PPF installer where he says he purposely leaves some wax on the flatter horizontal surfaces to alleviate potential problem with adhesives later. I recall seeing some post where the individual said they give attention to preparing the tricky corners, edges, curves and vertical surfaces more. That just made sense to me intuitively but THAT may also depend on how aggressive of adhesive the particular PPF uses. Those all vary too!

    Sadly I still haven't done either because of these challenges:

    1) First of all, can't find anybody in L.A. who seems to really coordinate doing both these things efficiently, let alone trust them with right paint correction skills to prep the car. If they are here, they are good at keeping it a secret. Again, seems they are all in O.C. which is the good news for you. Coordination for me has been an obstacle. Unfortunately for me, TM wasn't so great about communicating delivery date in advance when I got my car back at the beginning of March. It was like...your car is here, do you want to pick it up in LA or Valley? Uh oh. Once the car was delivered and I started driving it, whole different ballgame as compared to getting it delivered right to the detailer/installer. You will be at a definite advantage to do that, no matter which products you choose.

    2) Couldn't quickly identify coating that BOTH cures fast enough so that it is not a major coordination issue due to #1 (not driving the car) AND lets the PPF stick to it. Plus, I don't have a garage, just a carport. So I cannot even bring in a pro to my house to do it, I must go to them.

    3) Me not being satisfied with OptiGuard performance test with water spotting and marring issues on my other car. I just personally don't want to spend the $ to put something on that will not look good TO ME. I may as well just let the car look bad on it's own. That's just my opinion but that's why I've been on a continual search for a newer coating that may better meet my expectations. That's why I suggested I can envision myself perhaps putting OG under PPF and then a different coating on top of the film.

    I've really been spending a ton of time off and on over the course of months watching product trends and hoping I can figure it out soon. This is why I'm relatively familiar with the current products and have read a lot about other people's experiences. It's also why I've been monitoring for posts about PPF and coatings hoping I can also learn and benefit from experiences of others.

    But again...the challenges for me may not be the same thing for you or others. It just depends on how OCD you are over your car's appearance and probably how long you want to try to hang on to the car. If you have an opportunity to see somebody else's Model S with the products applied, that would be a bonus I think to know that it's what you want. Everything looks great when the car is first coated. The question is, how will it look in 3 to 6 months or a year and how easy are the products to maintain. I wish people would post pics or vids of cars long after installation as opposed to just on installation.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Here's another way I would look at it. I would talk to a couple of the PPF installers in your area and ask them specifically what real life experience they have had with OG or OC under PPF. Based on what I've been told in the past, and read elsewhere, I'd be surprised if they insist that it will not work and they will not warranty their installation. However, that will most likely dictate what you can do about coating under the PPF or not. Unfortunately, I have had a pro detailer tell me about a nightmare where he had to scrape old PPF off a car and then turn around and tell me that adhesive will not hurt the paint and I don't need to put a coating under it. Go figure.
     

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