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PPF, Ceramic Coating, Tinting

Hi all,

I've been reading on the forums for a few days now trying to get more information on things before asking. I have my Tesla M3 SR+ Midnight Silver ordered and I want to set up my car to get a clear bra, ceramic coating, and tinted before I take it out too much. I currently have a quote for around $7500 for XPEL on the entire Vehicle, Ceramic Pro PPF+, XPEL Prime XR Plus for all around, 1 piece rear glass and sunroof. I want to know if it is worth it to get it fully wrapped or if I should just spend 3500 for XPEL on full front, Ceramic Pro PPF+ on the film, and the same tinting as the other one. I saw a lot of people comment that getting the entire Vehicle wrapped is not that important but I also want to keep my car scratch free for as long as possible. Any help/tips would be greatly appreciated!
 

joebruin77

Active Member
Dec 23, 2018
1,241
1,158
Encino, CA
Hi all,

I've been reading on the forums for a few days now trying to get more information on things before asking. I have my Tesla M3 SR+ Midnight Silver ordered and I want to set up my car to get a clear bra, ceramic coating, and tinted before I take it out too much. I currently have a quote for around $7500 for XPEL on the entire Vehicle, Ceramic Pro PPF+, XPEL Prime XR Plus for all around, 1 piece rear glass and sunroof. I want to know if it is worth it to get it fully wrapped or if I should just spend 3500 for XPEL on full front, Ceramic Pro PPF+ on the film, and the same tinting as the other one. I saw a lot of people comment that getting the entire Vehicle wrapped is not that important but I also want to keep my car scratch free for as long as possible. Any help/tips would be greatly appreciated!

It's totally a personal preference. Some people feel like it is just a car - just wash it every week or two, put some spray sealant or wax on it, and that's it. Others want more protection so they go for a whole or partial PPF and/or a ceramic coating.

Factors I would consider:
1) How long are you planning on keeping the car?
2) How important is keeping your paint free of swirls, scratches, and rock chips?
3) Do you like washing and detailing your car, or do you prefer to not deal with anything like that?

If you plan on keeping the car for 7+ years, I would consider at least a partial PPF. If you don't really care if you get some scratches, swirls, or rock chips, then don't go for PPF or ceramic coating. If you like washing and detailing your car, then you may not need a ceramic coating as you can frequently reapply a spray sealant rather easily instead.

Personally, I am planning on keeping my P3D for 8-10 years, so I did get the whole-car Xpel PPF. I also park my car outside 24-7 so that is another reason I wanted more protection. Yes, this cost me $5K, but PPF is the only product that has self-healing properties. I skipped the ceramic coating all together because I enjoy washing my car. I use a spray sealant as a drying aid every wash so a ceramic coating is not really necessary for me.

One last point - because of the design of the Model 3 and because of the tremendous torque, you are more likely to get rock chips in the rocker panels and in the front bumper. Again, if this does not concern you that much, then don't worry about it. But if does concern you, I would at least get a partial PPF to cover the most vulnerable areas.
 
1) How long are you planning on keeping the car?
2) How important is keeping your paint free of swirls, scratches, and rock chips?
3) Do you like washing and detailing your car, or do you prefer to not deal with anything like that?
1) I plan on keeping it for atleast 7-8 years if not longer.
2) It isn't that important to me but i would prefer to keep it at it's best condition if possible.
3) I don't mind it but I don't know if i would wax the car after every wash.
 
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joebruin77

Active Member
Dec 23, 2018
1,241
1,158
Encino, CA
As I shared above, there is no one correct answer. It is entirely a personal preference.

Given that you are keeping the car a long time, I personally would recommend that you get at least a partial PPF. I personally would invest in as much PPF as you can afford. You can then decide if, on top of the PPF, you want to pay for a professional ceramic coating, skip the coating and rely on a spray-on ceramic sealant, or apply a DIY consumer-level ceramic coating (a medium option between the two).
 
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How does a repaint cost?
in the USA apparently to paint an entire Model S in a colour of your choice to better than factory quality is apparently 5-7k usd. (this was discussed a few times here before)

However, in my experience (i get a lot of road rash due to the nature of my rural driving) the bits which are really suffering of the car are only the hood and front bumper of the car as well as the sideskirts. So to just respray that in the same colour with paintmatching would be significantly cheaper.

Something else to consider is that professional multicoat ceramic coating does protect the clearcoat. However, given that it essentially functions as a second clearcoat you will get scratches into these ceramic coatings. To get rid of those you have to polish the ceramic coating. However you could also just polish the clearcoat if you wouldnt have ceramic coating. The key here is that most people dont polish their car often enough and hard enough to burn down to bare paint anyway. And if you do you still save the money from the paint correction+professional multilayer ceramic coating that you could just respray the car.

There is a few videos on youtube showing that it takes around 50-60 compounding sessions to burn through to clear coat. This is significant, because compounding is usually not really required to get rid of most scratches anyway. In fact, if you just do a light polish to remove waterspots and superficial scratches you can probably do that 500-1000x. Well above the lifespan of the clearcoat (which is only 25-50 years anyway in warmer climates)
 
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If you get partial ppf you might as well get the hood and front bumpers resprayed.

Umm...not sure I track. Partial PPF (front bumper, hood, front quarter panels, mirrors) is <$1500 with high-quality PPF. A repaint on those panels, if necessary, will be more costly than $1500 and can lead to other problems (like overspray or overall de-valuation). I think the real question is whether or not folks can live with some chips and scratches on the front clip. Of course the answer is yes for most. In that case, put some protectant on the paint (sealant, CC, etc.) and go drive.

In my case, my car gets a lot of highway miles and I have some OCD around chips, etc. I opted for partial PPF and also coated the car myself with Optigloss coat. I am now wondering if I should also apply PPF to the lower rockers as they are taking some hits for sure.
 
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My concern with spraying would be whether the paint actually matches since paint does fade over time and getting a proper match might be difficult. I'm still waiting for my M3LR to come in (end of June likely) but my plan is to do partial PPF (front bumper, hood, rocker panels) and ceramic coat the entire car. All in all, it would come out to $3,500 Canadian. In order to keep the ceramic coating warranty of 10 years, they're saying I need to come in annually for a "touch up" which costs $200/year.

I plan on keeping the car 5+ years as well and prefer to wash my own car but want that easy car wash experience so doing both PPF and ceramic is what I felt gave me the best outcome.
 
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joebruin77

Active Member
Dec 23, 2018
1,241
1,158
Encino, CA
While it is true that instead of buying PPF, you could pay to have an effected area repainted by a body shop. But there are some disadvantages to this option:

1) A really good repainting by a reputable Tesla approved body shop will still cost quite a bit. And in order for the job to look good, they usually have to paint the areas around the effected area to blend the paint. So you have to not only respray the fender for example, but one or two of the adjoining areas as well.

2) Yes, you can repaint an area. But once the area is repainted, the exact same type of damage can happen again and again. I doubt you would want to repaint your car more than once. PPF, on the other hand, will still continue to protect an area over and over again.

3) Because PPF absorbs so much damage, the paint underneath is often not damaged at all. And even if the PPF gets torn, you can quickly and easily replace a piece of PPF. I had to replace some PPF on my fender after someone hit my car in the parking lot. It cost a total of $125 and took 1-2 hours. If I had the fender repainted, it would have cost much more and I would have been without the car for several days instead of just an hour or two.
 
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