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PPF/Paint Protection Advice. Partial or Full?

Marius A

Member
Apr 2, 2019
610
475
NORWAY
I have a red/white 2021 tm3p, if I find any swirl marks or defects I'll do paint correction.
After that it's ceramic to make it easy to clean, especially in the winter months.
Based on numbers I've seen posted on this forum, partial PPF costs around $1500, while paint correction and ceramic is around $400-500.
I've read on a number of sites that a PPF film will last from 5-10 years, so I'm going to assume that's correct.
If the PPF lasts for 6 years then you could have paint correction and ceramic coating every 2 years for the same amount. Every 3 if the PPF lasts for 9, but as far as I can tell it usually doesn't last that long, maybe somewhere in between?

Partial PPF does not keep your car pristine, so if that's something you want then it's a much bigger number.
How you want to spend your money and time is your business, just wanted to give my 2 cents.

Sidenote: and yes, PPF might save you from some unfortunate circumstances, but for other unfortunate circumstances you might have to fix the paint AND re-wrap with PPF. Unless somebody has good statistics relevant to your situation I think it's hard to quantify these variables.
 

ehacke

Member
Sep 29, 2020
148
104
Toronto, Ontario
From what I've heard, the issue with frequent paint correction on these cars is that the paint is extremely thin. There was a guy on the detailing subreddit saying he refused to even polish a brand new Tesla after seeing how thin the paint was.

On top of that, you aren't going to easily "paint correct" 40 rock chips out of the front of an unprotected white car with thin paint.

That said it is a bit of a hit to buy a new car and then immediately pay $1500 for PPF + $600 for ceramic + $300 for tinit. So I can see why some people would skip it.

I owned a white Mazdaspeed 3 for 4 years (no PPF, ceramic or anything) and the front had plenty of visible rock chips by end. Still made no difference to any prospective buyers and was not noticable to people who weren't me.
 
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TMThree

Active Member
Mar 28, 2019
1,116
1,608
USA
Based on numbers I've seen posted on this forum, partial PPF costs around $1500, while paint correction and ceramic is around $400-500.
I've read on a number of sites that a PPF film will last from 5-10 years, so I'm going to assume that's correct.
If the PPF lasts for 6 years then you could have paint correction and ceramic coating every 2 years for the same amount. Every 3 if the PPF lasts for 9, but as far as I can tell it usually doesn't last that long, maybe somewhere in between?

Partial PPF does not keep your car pristine, so if that's something you want then it's a much bigger number.
How you want to spend your money and time is your business, just wanted to give my 2 cents.

Why are you comparing ppf and ceramic? they don't have the same purpose.

One is physical impacts, the other is chemical resistance. You'll still want to ceramic coat your ppf because otherwise its like washing a non-coated car, pain in the ass. Easier to clean when barely anything adheres and it acts like its just waxed.

Also you can ceramic coat your own car. Cquartz costs around $65 and will last you 3-4+ years. It's no more difficult than waxing your car. But you will want to keep it out of the rain for a few days after.

I have full front ppf (hood, fenders, side view mirrors, headlights, bumper, a pillers), also rocker panel and mud guard areas. Cquartz 2.0 I got off amazon. Applied it myself. No paint polishing done. 2 years later, it still beads water like it was freshly waxed.

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Marius A

Member
Apr 2, 2019
610
475
NORWAY
Why are you comparing ppf and ceramic? they don't have the same purpose.

One is physical impacts, the other is chemical resistance. You'll still want to ceramic coat your ppf because otherwise its like washing a non-coated car, pain in the ass. Easier to clean when barely anything adheres and it acts like its just waxed.

Also you can ceramic coat your own car. Cquartz costs around $65 and will last you 3-4+ years. It's no more difficult than waxing your car. But you will want to keep it out of the rain for a few days after.
I'm comparing ppf to paint correction + ceramic (because it would be unfair to not add the cost of ceramic after paint correction)
And yes,many ways to make it cheaper by doing it yourself, but (for me) the point of ppf is no-hassle
 

TMThree

Active Member
Mar 28, 2019
1,116
1,608
USA
I'm comparing ppf to paint correction + ceramic (because it would be unfair to not add the cost of ceramic after paint correction)
And yes,many ways to make it cheaper by doing it yourself, but (for me) the point of ppf is no-hassle

If you wash your own car, you can apply ceramic coat yourself. If you find it too much of a hassle to wash your car, then you're going to a drive in car wash, and you may as well not bother with the rest since you hate your car.

This is the application process of cquartz (skip to 4:00):


ps: ppf needs to be treated like paint. That includes washing, waxing, etc. Not sure how you think ppf is no hassle. Ceramic coating is what gives you no hassle (car washes).
 
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CCC17

Member
Dec 28, 2020
10
1
Vancouver BC
All great points, and I agree it’s obviously tough to spend a larger sum right after picking up a new vehicle. I was quoted 2100 for a ppf wrap full front and rockers. A full PPF at 4700 and then a 5900 quote for a combo of full PPF and ceramic. This is with two stage paint correction included. This is all in Canadian dollars.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,547
3,211
Maine
All great points, and I agree it’s obviously tough to spend a larger sum right after picking up a new vehicle. I was quoted 2100 for a ppf wrap full front and rockers. A full PPF at 4700 and then a 5900 quote for a combo of full PPF and ceramic. This is with two stage paint correction included. This is all in Canadian dollars.
In CAD, those seem like very good prices. What kind of PPF?
 

Peteski

Active Member
Oct 2, 2017
3,539
2,290
UK, Milton Keynes
I’ve come to the conclusion none of this protection stuff is really worth bothering with. After 40k miles my MX has literally one significant stone chip on the bonnet and a couple more on the plastic bumper. I did however get it ceramic coated from new just to save the hassle of waxing. Not going to bother with our new 3. I’ll just wax it and call it a day.
 

freeAgent

Member
Oct 29, 2020
131
105
SoCal
I’ve come to the conclusion none of this protection stuff is really worth bothering with. After 40k miles my MX has literally one significant stone chip on the bonnet and a couple more on the plastic bumper. I did however get it ceramic coated from new just to save the hassle of waxing. Not going to bother with our new 3. I’ll just wax it and call it a day.

You can do a lot better than traditional waxes without going the full ceramic coating route. Lots of people swear by Turtle Wax's ICE Seal N Shine. There are also new "graphene" spray sealants that promise up to a year of protection.
 

Wennfred

Supporting Member
Apr 4, 2019
2,953
1,888
San Diego
I went with the full front Xpel PFF on the model 3, then a year later I got Ceramic coating on the whole car, saved lots of money by going with just the full front with the PPF, the blunt of the damage comes from the front. Went the same route with the Model Y as well.

Best part about Ceramic coating, rinse, wipe and you’re done.


Fred
 

alexgr

Member
Aug 13, 2019
650
531
Tulsa
I did full front PPF 16 months ago, and I see absolutely no any damage anywhere. Sides and back are not typical areas of road damage. IMHO, there is no real need to wrap the entire car in PPF, but I now know that the front PPF is a good idea for ANY car.
 

alexgr

Member
Aug 13, 2019
650
531
Tulsa
If you wash your own car, you can apply ceramic coat yourself. If you find it too much of a hassle to wash your car, then you're going to a drive in car wash, and you may as well not bother with the rest since you hate your car.

This sounds a bit too radical. I'm sure most people don't wash their cars not because they hate their cars.
 
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SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,049
9,777
SF Bay Area
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....

Lol. You must not be familiar with people who park next to you and throw open their car doors or let their shopping cart or purses for example scratch the side of your car. My husband has been parked twice now, and sitting in his car no less, and had a car door opened up into his side door. First time the young daughter of the father driver watched in horror as she flung the car door into our car. He got out apologizing profusely and both he and my husband were surprised it did no damage. He asked my husband about PPF, he too had been sure her actions had done damage. Now the second time while sitting in his car, a woman walked up to her car and pulled her passenger car door open into his side door. She went around to her side without even saying anything to him. When he rolled down his window and said hey you opened your door into my car she gave him a dirty look and said he parked too close and proceeded to pull away. After checking his car he didn’t see any damage from her door hit otherwise was going to call the police as he had dashcam footage of her and leaving. Who knows about all the other times he wasn’t around. Anyway we’re glad we have a full PPF on ours but it is an expense you have to feel worth it in your case.

OP, you should also check out the winter kit with wheel well mud flaps. Would help prevent a lot winter road snow etc from getting tossed back up onto your rocker panels and sandblasting the area. Model 3 All Weather Protection Kits
 
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SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,049
9,777
SF Bay Area
We did ceramic on top of PPF on my car new. My husband had only gone with PPF on his but after seeing how easy stuff came off of mine (bird poop, bee pollen, general dirt in air and road crap), he took his car in after having his car for a year and had it cleaned and ceramic applied too. The cars always look great and super shiny after a wash or even after it rains. Again it depends on how you feel about your car and of course funds needed to do.
 

Ofarlig

Member
Mar 4, 2018
294
253
Sweden
After having a S with just a ceramic coating and a yearly look through by the detailer and a 3 with full PPF I'll go for only ceramic in the future. The cost isn't worth it even for just a front one imo and having the detailer polish defects up every year makes it look better and ends up cheaper.

Cleaning is also easier when you don't have to worry about the pressure washer lifting the PPF edges.
 
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Peteski

Active Member
Oct 2, 2017
3,539
2,290
UK, Milton Keynes
You can do a lot better than traditional waxes without going the full ceramic coating route. Lots of people swear by Turtle Wax's ICE Seal N Shine. There are also new "graphene" spray sealants that promise up to a year of protection.

Thanks, I’ll look into the latest DIY alternatives. The ceramic coating I had done previously was okay, but not so much better than a quality wax that I would pay for it again.
 

TMThree

Active Member
Mar 28, 2019
1,116
1,608
USA
You must not be familiar with people who park next to you and throw open their car doors or let their shopping cart or purses for example scratch the side of your car.

I don't shop at walmart. I also don't have unreasonable expectations about ppf. It's not a force field.

edit: less snarky response is that ppf won't stop blunt damage from a large edge of a car door if someone smashes your car with it. The odds of being hit by a car door is significantly less than rock chips from driving around thousands of miles behind other vehicles. My last 5 cars have had front ppf, and I never had damage on the sides of my vehicles. But I also don't park up front or shop that often.
 
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joebruin77

Active Member
Dec 23, 2018
1,063
916
Encino, CA
is ceramic coating a good idea also or not really necessary?

The many different responses to your original post speak to my earlier point, that there is no one right answer. Some people don't want any PPF, some want partial PPF, and some, like me, decided to PPF the entire car. The point is to make the decision that is right for you and not right for someone else.

One of the things that sold me is the self-healing properties of PPF. They are truly amazing and unlike any other product on the market. Check out the video below. You can skip to time mark 1:20 when he purposely scratches his clearcoat with a wire brush and then, through the magic of PPF, all the scratches disappear. No wax, sealant, or ceramic coating will do that.

To answer your question about ceramic coating on top of PPF, a ceramic coating is like a semi-permanent wax that protects the paint and PPF from contaminants and makes it really easy to wash your car. That said, it is not the only option. If you enjoy washing your car and you enjoy applying a spray sealant every 2-3 months, you can definitely make do without a ceramic coating. I personally chose to skip the ceramic coating and put all of my $$ into PPF. If you use a spray sealant, just make sure it is safe for PPF and does not contain high concentrations of naptha, kerosene, or other petroleum distillates (those can damage the PPF). Turtle Wax Seal and Shine is just one of many such spray sealants on the market. And at $10 a bottle, it sure is a lot cheaper than a ceramic coating.

 
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