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PPF Advice Needed

clerks

Member
Jan 18, 2021
279
76
Pittsburgh
My M3P is about 6 weeks old. It was a demo with 38 miles that I found on the lot in early January. Within a couple of weeks of delivery, the car had a series of rock chips on the lower passenger side rocker panel (closer to the front wheel and not on the rear area). The chips were in the lower part of the rocker where that extra clear coat is. I have touched up those chips (doesn't look great but I'm over it) I have also since added TSoloutions MudFlaps and the Tesla All Weather film to the rear area.

I have never put PPF on a car so this is the first time I am seriously considering it. I live in Pittsburgh. I do not drive on the highway frequently. A full PPF is not on the table. I am considering, however, putting some money into PPF to get me some peace of mind. I usually lease cars but I bought this one so I find myself more protective of it than usual. I will keep the car 3 years.

I am considering a either a half hood ($795), a front bumper ($595) and/or rockers ($450). I am really trying to do the bare minimum and protect the worst spots from damage. I realize there will be exposed areas and I'm willing to accept some of it and paying 2K for a more complete PPF just isn't in the cards.

Looking for opinions on (1) half hood versus bumper and (2) whether I need the rockers done or will the flaps plus the partial film be good enough. My car is MSM and the shop is saying the line on a half hood won't be too noticeable. I do not know if the chips in the rockers were there before I took delivery or after. I drove on the highway once in some snow/sleet so it could have happened then.

Money is relevant. I am trying to spend the least I can. I am currently debating half hood versus bumper plus rockers. If I got comfortable that the rockers are good for now, I would probably go for the half hood. If the rockers need PPF, I am leaning toward going bumper only. I can literally hear all the stones and rocks being thrown under the car every time I drive it. Makes me crazy.

Advice from owners as to the problem areas would be appreciated as well as the best way to deploy approximately $1000 on PPF. Thanks.
 

GreenHokie

Member
Sep 26, 2019
297
362
central Virginia
I have full PPF on my entire vehicle, but given your circumstance (you said you would be keeping the car for only 3 years), I would strongly suggest that you save your money and not spend/put any PPF, even a partial. If you plan on selling the vehicle in 3 years, I think it is generally accepted that having PPF will not increase the value of the vehicle one penny... at least that is what appraisers always tell me. In a private sale, the potential buyer may feel differently and place some value on the vehicle having some PPF, but certainly not any where close to what you paid for the PPF.

Of course, if you want to put some PPF on the vehicle just for your own peace of mind, then I would suggest doing only the front bumper. Even though the M3 sits relatively low to the ground, it is the bumper that will get most of the impact from road debris. Yes, debris can still hit the hood, but less likely (and hopefully low enough of a risk that it is acceptable to you). Put in your situation, I would not spend the money on the hood, even a half hood. As for the rockers, definitely don’t do those. Cheap (but very effective) mud flaps will essentially give you all the protection you need for the rockers.

Good luck!!
 
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clerks

Member
Jan 18, 2021
279
76
Pittsburgh
As for the rockers, definitely don’t do those. Cheap (but very effective) mud flaps will essentially give you all the protection you need for the rockers.

Good luck!!

Thanks. This is why I am struggling so much. But those early chips on the rockers are concerning me but it was before I had mudflaps installed. I am still getting a lot of dirt on the area behind the front wheel and behind the front wheel well. But I am hopeful the flaps and partial Tesla film will address that area. Also thinking I could probably buy a precut xpel and do it my self before next winter. It’s not purely for resale as even a couple of visits to the body shop will end up costing more. Maybe I’ll just do the front bumper...
 

GreenHokie

Member
Sep 26, 2019
297
362
central Virginia
You’re welcome. If you really want to do something more for the rockers than just mud flaps, then I would suggest buying a small precut section of PPF for the areas behind the wheel wells (from Tesla or other retailers) and installing those yourself. Small pieces like these are extremely easy to do yourself. So, the added cost to address/protect this area should be minimal. If you have never worked with film, there are plenty of YouTube videos with decent instructions/tips on how to install PPF.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,631
3,301
Maine
My M3P is about 6 weeks old. It was a demo with 38 miles that I found on the lot in early January. Within a couple of weeks of delivery, the car had a series of rock chips on the lower passenger side rocker panel (closer to the front wheel and not on the rear area). The chips were in the lower part of the rocker where that extra clear coat is. I have touched up those chips (doesn't look great but I'm over it) I have also since added TSoloutions MudFlaps and the Tesla All Weather film to the rear area.

I have never put PPF on a car so this is the first time I am seriously considering it. I live in Pittsburgh. I do not drive on the highway frequently. A full PPF is not on the table. I am considering, however, putting some money into PPF to get me some peace of mind. I usually lease cars but I bought this one so I find myself more protective of it than usual. I will keep the car 3 years.

I am considering a either a half hood ($795), a front bumper ($595) and/or rockers ($450). I am really trying to do the bare minimum and protect the worst spots from damage. I realize there will be exposed areas and I'm willing to accept some of it and paying 2K for a more complete PPF just isn't in the cards.

Looking for opinions on (1) half hood versus bumper and (2) whether I need the rockers done or will the flaps plus the partial film be good enough. My car is MSM and the shop is saying the line on a half hood won't be too noticeable. I do not know if the chips in the rockers were there before I took delivery or after. I drove on the highway once in some snow/sleet so it could have happened then.

Money is relevant. I am trying to spend the least I can. I am currently debating half hood versus bumper plus rockers. If I got comfortable that the rockers are good for now, I would probably go for the half hood. If the rockers need PPF, I am leaning toward going bumper only. I can literally hear all the stones and rocks being thrown under the car every time I drive it. Makes me crazy.

Advice from owners as to the problem areas would be appreciated as well as the best way to deploy approximately $1000 on PPF. Thanks.
Front bumper is the most important. The rockers get the 2nd most debris damage, but you have a harder time noticing, especially if you have MudFlaps installed. The hood gets less damage than the rockers, in my opinion, but obviously the most noticeable.

I DIY'd my PPF, and a person could easily do the hood and rockers. The bumper is only for masochists.

If your goal is to spend as little as possible while maximizing protection, I would get the pros to do the bumper. You can do the hood and rockers, because those parts are relatively flat. If you do a partial hood, I don't know if half a hood would work. I did 30", which seems like 2/3rd to me. I know invisiblemask.com sells a 18", 24" and a 30" in addition to a full hood. In my opinion, anything less than 30" is too little.

Even though you have mudflaps, I would still consider a rocker PPF kit, because you'll see when you drive thru rain that the car's rockers and lower doors will still be coated in road debris. It's relatively cheap, if you DIY. Carprotectionpros.com has a nice rocker kit that also includes the lower part of the doors.
That's my 30" partial, bikini cut, wrapped edges that I got from invisiblemask.com
IMG_1862.jpg

And my rockers:
IMG_2089.jpg
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
10,530
5,472
Thanks. This is why I am struggling so much. But those early chips on the rockers are concerning me but it was before I had mudflaps installed. I am still getting a lot of dirt on the area behind the front wheel and behind the front wheel well. But I am hopeful the flaps and partial Tesla film will address that area. Also thinking I could probably buy a precut xpel and do it my self before next winter. It’s not purely for resale as even a couple of visits to the body shop will end up costing more. Maybe I’ll just do the front bumper...
I haven't started on my DIY PPF project yet, but I bought a roll of 3M PPF film already. If you buy a roll of bulk film it shouldn't be too hard to do the relatively flat surfaces like the rockers. Or if you don't feel comfortable having to cut the film yourself, you can buy precuts. As others mentioned, the bumpers are going to be the toughest to do, due to all the curves, so that may be a job that's better for professionals.

I agree that the rocker is one of the areas the most impacted, just from a short trip shortly after I got my car, it was already splashed with grime. The mud flaps probably help, but it's better to have some film for peace of mind.
 

clerks

Member
Jan 18, 2021
279
76
Pittsburgh
Thanks everyone. Perhaps I’ll start with the front bumper which definitely looks like a disaster area and try my hand at the rockers as a diy.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,631
3,301
Maine
Thanks everyone. Perhaps I’ll start with the front bumper which definitely looks like a disaster area and try my hand at the rockers as a diy.
If you do the rockers DIY, I raised the side up by driving up on some rhino ramps on one side. You still have to lay on your back though. And, because the piece is so long, it's best to have someone hold up one end, while you're working on the other end. The lower part of the rockers with the thicker prime coat is a little harder to stick, because it has a slightly bumpy surface. Just take your time.
 
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zm8162

Member
Mar 11, 2021
13
3
Walsall
Just after some advice really.

I'm getting my car on a PCH (so no buying option at end, and giving it back at 4 years) and am undecided about PPF (wouldn't get full anyway, it'd be partial).

I'm erring on the side of not getting it done - my thought process is that I have no vested interest as such in the protection of the paint, and my plan would be at the end of four years to get the chips/scratches basically touched up /recoat/buffed. And that would cost me less than the cost of PPF +/- if I still have to get touch up on different areas of the car.

I would also probably have to remove the PPF (in theory) at the end before giving it back as it count as 'modification' - I don't know what other people's experiences have been.

Any thoughts?
 

clerks

Member
Jan 18, 2021
279
76
Pittsburgh
Just after some advice really.

I'm getting my car on a PCH (so no buying option at end, and giving it back at 4 years) and am undecided about PPF (wouldn't get full anyway, it'd be partial).

I'm erring on the side of not getting it done - my thought process is that I have no vested interest as such in the protection of the paint, and my plan would be at the end of four years to get the chips/scratches basically touched up /recoat/buffed. And that would cost me less than the cost of PPF +/- if I still have to get touch up on different areas of the car.

I would also probably have to remove the PPF (in theory) at the end before giving it back as it count as 'modification' - I don't know what other people's experiences have been.

Any thoughts?
Not sure about removing it at the end. Someone else may have to chime in on that. I ended up getting the front bumper, headlights and rockers done for about 1100. I’m considering going back for a partial hood as well.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
9,654
10,899
Riverside Co. CA
Just after some advice really.

I'm getting my car on a PCH (so no buying option at end, and giving it back at 4 years) and am undecided about PPF (wouldn't get full anyway, it'd be partial).

I'm erring on the side of not getting it done - my thought process is that I have no vested interest as such in the protection of the paint, and my plan would be at the end of four years to get the chips/scratches basically touched up /recoat/buffed. And that would cost me less than the cost of PPF +/- if I still have to get touch up on different areas of the car.

I would also probably have to remove the PPF (in theory) at the end before giving it back as it count as 'modification' - I don't know what other people's experiences have been.

Any thoughts?

I cant imagine why anyone would ever consider something like PPF on a leased vehicle that they CANNOT currently buy at lease end. Why would you be worried about protecting the paint on tesla's car, other than taking normal precautions like washing the car, etc?

I am not someone who "beats up" on leased cars, and I have leased cars for the past 15 years or so (BMWs) which I take care of, but I would never, ever, ever (ever) consider spending a bunch of money on film designed to "keep the car from picking up normal wear and tear" when I HAVE to give the car back.
 

zm8162

Member
Mar 11, 2021
13
3
Walsall
I cant imagine why anyone would ever consider something like PPF on a leased vehicle that they CANNOT currently buy at lease end. Why would you be worried about protecting the paint on tesla's car, other than taking normal precautions like washing the car, etc?

I am not someone who "beats up" on leased cars, and I have leased cars for the past 15 years or so (BMWs) which I take care of, but I would never, ever, ever (ever) consider spending a bunch of money on film designed to "keep the car from picking up normal wear and tear" when I HAVE to give the car back.
Thanks for that.

It was just that under BVRLA chips of a certain size don't really count as wear and tear and there's a limit on the number. And given teslas current paint work quality and the number of people who have lots of chips - I'm just concerned that I'll have to pay to have it fixed before returning.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
9,654
10,899
Riverside Co. CA
Thanks for that.

It was just that under BVRLA chips of a certain size don't really count as wear and tear and there's a limit on the number. And given teslas current paint work quality and the number of people who have lots of chips - I'm just concerned that I'll have to pay to have it fixed before returning.

Ok, but you would be spending money now (for sure) to possibly not spend money on lease turn in. If it really concerns you, put the money you would be spending now on PPF into a savings account (or certificate of deposit) that you cant touch for the entirety of the lease term, if you dont trust yourself not to spend it. Then, at lease turn in, if you have some costs, pay them out of that (after earning basic interest on it for the lease term). If you dont have any lease charges, pocket the money.

Basically self insure yourself for the possible lease end charges with the money you would be spending now on PPF. There is no circumstance that I can see of, that makes any sense for someone leasing a vehicle they cant buy at lease end, to pay for such a thing as PPF. If you could buy it at lease end, you could at least tell yourself that you are going to buy the car at lease end (but if thats the case, its better to buy it up front).

In the case of a vehicle in which you cannot buy it at lease end, there isnt any reason to spend money on PPF. Just set the money aside as I mentioned, either in a regular savings account if you can trust yourself not to touch it, or in some form of account you can not touch for an extended period of time.

NOTE: this isnt me condemning PPF, just the idea of doing it on an vehicle you cant buy at the end. its like building an addition onto a home you are renting, who you know the owner will never sell. Etiquette dicates you take decent care of it, but not that you spend money building an addition onto the property at your expense.
 

zm8162

Member
Mar 11, 2021
13
3
Walsall
Ok, but you would be spending money now (for sure) to possibly not spend money on lease turn in. If it really concerns you, put the money you would be spending now on PPF into a savings account (or certificate of deposit) that you cant touch for the entirety of the lease term, if you dont trust yourself not to spend it. Then, at lease turn in, if you have some costs, pay them out of that (after earning basic interest on it for the lease term). If you dont have any lease charges, pocket the money.

Basically self insure yourself for the possible lease end charges with the money you would be spending now on PPF. There is no circumstance that I can see of, that makes any sense for someone leasing a vehicle they cant buy at lease end, to pay for such a thing as PPF. If you could buy it at lease end, you could at least tell yourself that you are going to buy the car at lease end (but if thats the case, its better to buy it up front).

In the case of a vehicle in which you cannot buy it at lease end, there isnt any reason to spend money on PPF. Just set the money aside as I mentioned, either in a regular savings account if you can trust yourself not to touch it, or in some form of account you can not touch for an extended period of time.

NOTE: this isnt me condemning PPF, just the idea of doing it on an vehicle you cant buy at the end. its like building an addition onto a home you are renting, who you know the owner will never sell. Etiquette dicates you take decent care of it, but not that you spend money building an addition onto the property at your expense.
Thanks for that. I agree with pretty much all what you've said - and this was my thinking too.

The potential cost of repair at end is unlikely to be more than the ppf - and that's a possibility. Whereas the ppf is a sure expense.

I anticipate sort of £500-1000 worth of charges at the end anyway so hopefully that will be sufficient!
 

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