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Paint protection - so many questions!

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by cybrown, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. cybrown

    cybrown Member

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    Location:
    Maryland
    I have never owned an expensive car before and I'm learning a lot here about all the things I might want to do to take care of it. I didn't even know that products like paint protection film existed until a couple months ago. I'm about to take delivery on my Model S next week (!) and I'm still debating what to do about paint protection. From what I have heard, if I use any product, it will be XPEL Ultimate. I got some quotes from installers in my area (Rockville MD if anyone has any more recommendations), and it all seems a bit confusing still. I'd appreciate any advice on the following matters:

    1) What are the cons of XPEL Ultimate? It's obviously expensive, but what else?
    2) What are your thoughts on applying XPEL vs just washing the car frequently and getting occasional deep details?
    3) WHERE should I apply this film? The installers have all kinds of packages - hood, partial hood, fenders, rocker panel, A pillar, etc. I'm not a car enthusiast - I'm embarrassed to say I had to look up what a rocker panel even was. I'm worried about what the car will look like with some areas covered and some not. Is there a big difference in visual appearance? XPEL claims the paint will fade at the same rate - is that actually true?
    4) What happens if you need to remove the film? Does it damage the paint when you remove it?
    5) Honestly, I'd never heard of "stone chips" until I started reading about all this stuff a couple months ago. It wasn't a big concern for me on my previous cars. Is that what paint protection is normally for? I'd have assumed it was for door dings and scratches resulting from people rubbing the vehicle as they walk past - most of the scratches on my cars are on the bumpers, fenders, and doors.
    6) One of the highly recommended installers says he'll do the install in my driveway or at a local dealership. Don't they need to detail the car first? It seems to me that the paint needs to be immaculate before they apply the film.

    This is all very confusing, and I'm leaning towards just doing nothing for a year, then re-considering when I get the car detailed in a year or so. Any advice is appreciated!!
     
  2. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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  3. First Impression

    First Impression Local Vendor - Florida

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    Serving Tampa, Sarasota & Southwest Florida
    #3 First Impression, Jul 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
    First and foremost congratulations on your new Tesla Model S. I'm sure you'll love it. Now, to try to help you understand everything that has to do with protecting your new car and answer your questions based on my personal and professional experience.

    1- The only cons that I get from my clients about XPEL Ultimate is cost..why? because is a great product, is a self healing film that comes with a 10yrs warranty against yellowing, cracking, peeling, staining, etc. You can not go wrong with this product. That means if your film suffer any of those described, they will replace it at no cost to you. MAKE SURE YOU HIRE A TRUE PROFESSIONAL THAT SPECIALIZES ON THIS FILMS AND IS AN AUTHORIZED INSTALLER FOR XPEL.(I would like to make it clear that I am not a retailer or installer for this protective films, I've been working on many cars with this films for many years and advise my clients to get this film)

    2- Washing your car won't protect you against road hazards such as rocks, bugs, etc. Xpel will also protect you against the introduction of scratches and swirls to the paint.

    3- Covering the entire front end is the best choice (entire hood, fenders, bumper, headlights and mirrors), consider having the top portion of the rear bumper also covered (to protect against scuff marks from putting in and taking things out of the trunk). MAKE SURE THEY WRAP THE FILM AROUND THE EDGES so that it will look like there is no film on the car. The rocker panel and A pillars are more of a luxury (if you have extra cash)

    4- No damage to the finish of the car will take place when removing this films. I've done a few removals myself.

    5- THIS FILM WILL NOT PROTECT YOU AGAINST MAJOR DENTS. It will protect your car against the normal rock chip.

    6- Most film installers care about installing the film, not about the condition of the paint, UNLESS the installer happens to be a detailer as well. All surface imperfections should be removed before having this film installed. Also, real professional installers won't do this at someone's driveway because they need A CONTROL ENVIRONMENT where dirt particles won't end up between the film and your car. RUN FROM THOSE GUYS (many times those are the cheapest guys)

    I know it looks expensive but this is an INVESTMENT towards your car. Yes, you can wait until next year, but what if in between this period of time you get stone chips or bug damage? These things will take away from the value of your car. Go with something that will protect that value. (I should become a salesman for this stuff..lol)

    You will hear negative comments about any and every product from those who had a bad experience due to (many times) bad judgement. Some will tell you that it will be visible (that is because 1-they only got half of the front end done or 2-because the installer didn't wrap the film around the edges allowing dirt and wax to accumulate on the edge of the film).
    Others will tell you that clear films will get dull or yellow or crack. Films have come a long way and are nowadays better than ever plus, it all comes down to the care you give to the film. Use what the installer recommends you to use.

    Hope this helps..Feel free to ask any more questions. I'm here to help.

    Sincerely,
    Pete Borras
    Master Detailer
     
  4. Liz G

    Liz G P03056

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    I had my entire car wrapped and am glad I did.

    So far Xpel has saved me and my car from
    * a flying object striking the hood. Hit hard enough to dent the hood but no damage to paint. Just dentless paint removal.
    * a 7 yr old kicking the rear bumper, to kill a bug, no scratch
    * a lug nut flying off a camper at high way speed and hitting the driver's side door. Hit hard enough to gauge the paint armor but didn't touch the paint. Yes I had replace the paint armor but it was cheaper than painting it would have been and I didn't have to worry about paint match.
    * numerous other stuff coming off the road and hitting the front of my car.
    * less worrying about door dings.
    * no worries about scratching the paint when I wash her. Even if I scrub a little to get the bugs off.

    So my advice cover as much as you can. But as others have said front end, hood and behind the wheels at a minimum.
     
  5. First Impression

    First Impression Local Vendor - Florida

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    Looks like an armored car is needed where you drive Liz :biggrin:
     
  6. Apoclyps

    Apoclyps Member

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    I was looking at getting the car covered with XPEL. The installer I spoke to uses the XPEL "kits" (computerized templates that can be cut for the Model S). However, there are no kits to cover the trunk or the A-pillars to the trunk. I would like to get the entire car covered, but he said the trunk is difficult to cover because of the odd edges and angles. There would be "fingering" (odd stretch marks and bunching) due to the differing angles (imagine trying to wrap a ball with xmas wrap). Has anyone used XPEL on their trunk?
     
  7. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    My installer used SunTek rather than Xpel, but he was able to do the trunk in one piece with no stretch marks or bunching.
     
  8. Liz G

    Liz G P03056

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    I'm beginning to feel like they're out to get Lithie.

    Or I could just be becoming paranoid. :scared:

    - - - Updated - - -

    I call BS on the installer. My guy was able to do it. They did have to cover the trunk in two pieces and there is a small line where the join is but is runs right with where the trunk angles down, so not very noticeable.
     
  9. First Impression

    First Impression Local Vendor - Florida

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    I'm with you. Move on to the next installer. When the machine doesn't make the template, experienced installers cut it by hand...new installers depend on machines nowadays..get yourself an EXPERIENCED guy
     
  10. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    +1 According to the experienced installers I've talked to the precut pieces are never correct. They are usually too short and leave ugly lines.
     

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