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PPF/Paint Protection Advice. Partial or Full?

CCC17

Member
Dec 28, 2020
10
1
Vancouver BC
Hi guys,

Completely new to this, I’m purchasing a new red 2021 Model SR+ and picking it up this week. This will be my first new car and first EV! Very excited.

I’ve been doing lots of research on how to car for the Tesla and common problems. Paint being one of them I’m wondering what peoples advice is in terms of paint protection. I live in Vancouver, BC so winter roads are salty and not always forgiving. I will be doing mainly highway kms in excess of 150 a day.

Lastly would partial be all I need or is it worth it to dish out for a full PPF on the car.
Thanks in advance!
 

MarsOrBust

Member
Sep 25, 2020
458
286
Kepler-22b
Depend how much $$$ you want to throw at it.
I did the clear on everything forward of the front doors. This includes the headlights and side mirrors.
I also did the rocker panels and the same spots where one would add mud flaps. The top of the rear bumper was also done.
Specifically the area that could get scratch while you load the trunk.

So basically just did the critical areas and I also used the 10MIL instead of the 8MIL.
 
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CCC17

Member
Dec 28, 2020
10
1
Vancouver BC
thanks for the info! Honestly I’d like to avoid putting to much money into it but I also know with all the highway kilometres rock chips will more than likely be an issue. As my first new car id like to keep it as glossy and protected for as long as I can.




Depend how much $$$ you want to throw at it.
I did the clear on everything forward of the front doors. This includes the headlights and side mirrors.
I also did the rocker panels and the same spots where one would add mud flaps. The top of the rear bumper was also done.
Specifically the area that could get scratch while you load the trunk.

So basically just did the critical areas and I also used the 10MIL instead of the 8MIL.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,631
3,301
Maine
I second @MarsOrBust 's comment. I would PPF any forward-facing painted areas, like hood, front fender and front bumper, and, rockers and dogleg, to prevent sandblasting. The rear bumper sill can be done yourself for $10.
 

Peteski

Active Member
Oct 2, 2017
3,539
2,297
UK, Milton Keynes
All depends on how long you are going to keep the car. It makes sense to get the full monty PPF if this is going to be a 10 year plus keeper, but a total waste of money if you plan to sell it in 2 or 3 years time. It's easy to get carried away with new cars, so you have to think twice. Even if you do keep it long term, you might not be so bothered about stone chips when it's done 200k+ kms, which it soon will at that rate!
 

joebruin77

Active Member
Dec 23, 2018
1,102
963
Encino, CA
Congrats on your new Tesla.

In deciding between partial or whole-car PPF, there is no right or wrong answer. It really depends on your own personal preference, how important keeping the paint protected is to you, and what you can afford. Many people do a partial PPF on the most critical, lower forward-facing areas and are quite happy with it. I personally decided to do a whole-car PPF. I plan on keeping it for 8-10 years and love the idea of having the self-healing protection of PPF over the entire car. I also love washing the car and not having to worry about inducing swirls or scratches on any of the paint.

Since you are driving a lot of miles in harsh winter conditions, if you go for a partial, I would recommend you get a ceramic coating over the entire car (applied to both the PPF and non-PPF areas). Also, if you go for a partial, make sure to get the entire hood covered in PPF. Getting half the hood covered is cheaper, but you will eventually see the line separating the PPF and non-PPF covered areas.
 

EmOne

Member
Mar 28, 2020
214
158
Chicago
Based on the damage I see at 6000 miles in Chicago, I would get mudflaps that don't rub away paint on the rear and don't worry about the rest. I have yet to see ANY damage except on the rear bumper where the stones gave me a case of worsening acne (aggravated no doubt by sticky performance tires) just behind the wheel arch. The paint there is apparently cheesy and subject to many hits. I did a PPE on the front facing areas of my BMW 2011 1M and, in the end, think Dr. Colorchip would have answered better. Waxing 4 times a year looks a LOT better than the plastic IMHO.
 

Biscuitman

Member
Oct 22, 2019
300
135
Ottawa
Hi guys,

Completely new to this, I’m purchasing a new red 2021 Model SR+ and picking it up this week. This will be my first new car and first EV! Very excited.

I’ve been doing lots of research on how to car for the Tesla and common problems. Paint being one of them I’m wondering what peoples advice is in terms of paint protection. I live in Vancouver, BC so winter roads are salty and not always forgiving. I will be doing mainly highway kms in excess of 150 a day.

Lastly would partial be all I need or is it worth it to dish out for a full PPF on the car.
Thanks in advance!
I think partial is fine.Easy to go crazy on the cost of full and you will never recoup it.
 

TMThree

Active Member
Mar 28, 2019
1,118
1,615
USA
All depends on how long you are going to keep the car. It makes sense to get the full monty PPF if this is going to be a 10 year plus keeper, but a total waste of money if you plan to sell it in 2 or 3 years time. It's easy to get carried away with new cars, so you have to think twice. Even if you do keep it long term, you might not be so bothered about stone chips when it's done 200k+ kms, which it soon will at that rate!

no, its always useless to do a full ppf install. You don't get crap tossed at your car from the sides since you travel forward, not sideways.

And if you're keeping it 10 years, keep in mind ppf isn't lifetime, you have to replace it every 8-10 years. Warranty period on most of the higher end films ends at 10 years. If you keep film on your car too long, it will be difficult to remove, and can damage paint:

Clear Film Removal | Ask a Pro Blog

You can usually visit your ppf installer at 5,8,9,10 years and ask for their opinion on the film lifespan. If you get it replaced under warranty they just charge for labor to remove the film. This isn't always insignificant. My ppf installer charges more for removal of some types of ppf than others due to the amount of adhesive and stickiness.

if you had a classic ferrari or something, then maybe a full wrap might be good. And you can also afford to toss on new film as needed, since its a fraction of the vehicle cost.

Your mass produced Tesla is not a classic, and this would be silly.
 

ehacke

Member
Sep 29, 2020
149
105
Toronto, Ontario
I covered the whole front with PPF, and then ceramic over everything.

I went with that, not to save money on PPF (although it is pretty pricey for full-car PPF), but because feel like I want heavy protection for the front, but would rather not wrap the rest in plastic if I can avoid it.
 

Mutant

Member
Oct 20, 2020
48
54
Waterloo, ON
Hi guys,

Completely new to this, I’m purchasing a new red 2021 Model SR+ and picking it up this week. This will be my first new car and first EV! Very excited.

I’ve been doing lots of research on how to car for the Tesla and common problems. Paint being one of them I’m wondering what peoples advice is in terms of paint protection. I live in Vancouver, BC so winter roads are salty and not always forgiving. I will be doing mainly highway kms in excess of 150 a day.

Lastly would partial be all I need or is it worth it to dish out for a full PPF on the car.
Thanks in advance!
Congrats on your new purchase. I just received my 2021 Model 3 SR+ in blue last week (just before Christmas) and it is currently at the detailing shop having PPF applied over the next two days. Tesla paint is notorious for being very soft and subject to easily getting rock chips. I am getting the entire front end covered (full hood, full front bumper, headlights and both full front fenders) as well as side rocker panels, side view mirrors and full A pillar (all the way back to trunk).

I would highly recommend getting rocker panels done as several owners experience corrosion issues in this area due to paint being stripped away. When selecting a shop for PPF, I would recommend going with a detailing shop that typically provide single stage paint correction to the areas where PPF is applied (unless you do it yourself like I did). The paint condition from the factory is not very good. Lots of small scratches and swirl marks.

It is also important to note that PPF will never looks as good as well maintained and polished paint. PPF typically has a slight orange peel texture (some brands are worse than others) so that the clarity (reflection) will be somewhat distorted. For me it is an acceptable trade off because I hate rock chips even more and ensures that those covered areas maintain their appearance for up to 10 years.
 

Cybr.Myk

Member
Aug 30, 2020
129
237
Saskatoon
I picked up a red one in Calgary and drove it 800 kms home to Saskatoon...has rock chips already and I was super careful to stay far back from semi trucks. First place I took it was to get ppf wrap and ceramic coat...wish now that I would have had that done in Calgary instead of waiting to get it home to Saskatoon.
 
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The_Observer

Member
Feb 14, 2020
722
446
Los Angeles
My vote goes to partial as well, cover main areas such as hood, front bumper, and fenders. Other areas such as rocker panels, mirrors, and A pillars would also be a good idea if you are willing to spend the money. Any other panels, that's up to you.
 

kurtatx

Member
Apr 19, 2015
130
98
Austin, TX
For the 3 I did full front. Real talk: if you don't do the hood, btw, you will regret it.

For the Y, I actually did total car. Reason being we have dogs who will be moving around in it and are more likely to scratch other panels.
 

TMThree

Active Member
Mar 28, 2019
1,118
1,615
USA
The paint condition from the factory is not very good. Lots of small scratches and swirl marks.

Not true. My 3 was ordered, and delivered to the local service center in about a week from build date (across country by truck). You can ask them not to wash the car or detail it in any way, that's what I did.

I got to remove the stickers from the vehicle, and vacuum all the weird bits of lint off the interior. No scratches or anything. But there was a few minor paint defects from the factory.

If there's swirl marks, its because the local service center messed it up. They don't take the greatest care and at my local SC, they were using dirty rags to wipe down cars. ugh.. you can't spray a car with water, wipe it down, and repeat on each vehicle. The rag gets contaminates and will start to scratch everything.
 

CCC17

Member
Dec 28, 2020
10
1
Vancouver BC
Thank you to everyone on their experiences! I’m getting the consensus that at the very least a full front PPF is a good idea.

is ceramic coating a good idea also or not really necessary?
 

Rottenapplr

Active Member
Apr 6, 2019
1,013
483
LOS ANGELES
Depend how much $$$ you want to throw at it.
I did the clear on everything forward of the front doors. This includes the headlights and side mirrors.
I also did the rocker panels and the same spots where one would add mud flaps. The top of the rear bumper was also done.
Specifically the area that could get scratch while you load the trunk.

So basically just did the critical areas and I also used the 10MIL instead of the 8MIL.


Me too. I did partial end I’m happy with it. 40k miles in 1.5 years.

Mine goes half to the top of the hood and full bumper and mirrors. I did a diy on the side lower door sills (did a half way decent job at that). Most damage is at the front bumper anyway and I took a direct hit on the front bumper that created a small tear but the paint is still in tack. Very much worth it.
 

Ilikestuff

Member
Feb 7, 2019
52
28
Hobe Sound, FL, USA
Sorry in advance for the long post, I don't have time to make it shorter :)

Important tip that I don't see mentioned yet: If you get PPF installed, make sure the installer does thorough "paint correction" before installing the PPF. In fact, if the installer pushes back on this or calls it optional, run away from that installer. If you really wanting it to look good, which you obviously do if you are going to get ppf, then paint correction is a must.

Ok, back to the decision about full versus partial PPF: I had to make the same decision, and I decided to do the whole car, with ceramic on top.

And boy am I glad that I did!

Since getting ppf installed, I have had (at least) three incidents where the plastic saved my bacon. One was when I was in a hurry backing out I hit this rock. But thankfully the ppf prevented it from scratching the paint. The ppf was destroyed and I had to have that piece put back on but the paint was fine. The second one was I was stopped behind this road work and there was a construction sign that got blown over onto my rear quarter panel. I freaked out of course and come jumped up and looked at it and it looked like there was a little paint chip or something where it hit. when I took it to my PPF guy he just kind of buffed it out with a cloth and the thing vanished. It was all in the ppf. The third time was when my daughter was putting a propane gas tank in the trunk and didn't get it quite high enough, and hit the bottom lip of the trunk. That one I was sure was going to have an ugly scratch but believe it or not the ppf took the blow.

Going back in time, I first came across ppf when I had the option of doing ppf when it was brand new when I bought my Prius back in 2005. I didn't do it and I greatly regretted it because there are so many nicks and whatnot that ppf would have prevented or at least greatly mitigated. I generally own my cars for a long time, including that Prius, so I would get more benefit out of PPF over time.
 

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