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PPF vs Ceramic Pro vs Nothing

What level of PPF protection would you undertake?

  • Front Xpel clear PPF + Full Ceramic Pro => $3,500

  • Full Xpel clear PPF + Full Ceramic Pro => $6,500

  • Dorp Ceramic Pro => -$1,500

  • Nothing

  • Something else


Results are only viewable after voting.
My blue MY is 3 months old with 13K miles. No treatments yet.

I’m amazed how “soft & thin” the paint job is. Much more fragile than my Honda. Every time I wash the MY (2 bucket method with No Rinse) I find new marks in the top coat and a dozen or so pinprick-sized white holes in the hood and fenders. Plus bug streaks embedded in the top coat from driving 90mph through Kansas!

Detailer is offering to do paint correction (clay bar & polish) for $300 plus Silver package of 1 layer 9H for $800 (body, wheels, glass). They said if I provided touch-up paint they’d fix the white holes.

Is this worth it? My main goal is erase the damage that has occurred, and have a more streak/scratch resistant surface than I have now. I totally don’t mind doing my own bar & spray on a quarterly basis instead, but I don’t want to get into the business of polishing.
I wouldn't recommend fixing a bunch of paint chips with touch up paint. If you have a high attention to detail I promise you will not love the result. It will look even worse if you apply ppf over a panel with several touch ups. If the panel is bad enough I suggest getting it resprayed and then putting ppf on after.
 

talhas3

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Rochester NY, NJ
Jul 2, 2014
190
39
Rochester NY
Something else. Place film on the high impact areas and skip the ceramic coating. It's overrated and a waste of money. I've had two vehicles ceramic coated in the past and I'll never do it again. I've posted about this on a couple of occasions with detailed reasoning.

Don't fall into the hype generated by the forums and these detailers re ppf and ceramic coating. These items are not must haves.

Signed,
A guy who's not trying to sell you something.
What do you mean by put film on high impact areas? You mean PPF?
 

talhas3

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Rochester NY, NJ
Jul 2, 2014
190
39
Rochester NY
It takes less than an hour to apply consumer grade ceramic or graphene. Twice a year. I don't mind doing this every 6 months.

It's definitely noticeable when cleaning off bugs, bird poop, etc. That stuff comes off easily (I'm using Turtle Wax hybrid solutions graphene spray wax)
So you applied that yourself right?
 
I got my MY red white/black interior 1 1/2 weeks ago and had it full wrapped PPF and ceramic coating 5 days after taking ownership. I plan to keep this little red lady for quite a while so want it to stay looking young. It isn't inexpensive but the results are stunning. The shine and depth of the paint is amazing. However I feel it is an individual choice. I tend to keep my cars for a long time. My last Explorer was in my garage for 18 years.
 
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pt19713

Active Member
Feb 5, 2020
1,041
1,365
Delaware
That’s my reasoning as well right now.. I can just get a new paint color later on if I want
Realistically, the people that say they're going to repaint won't. Those of us with ppf, the paint will look just as good day 1 vs day 1500. That's why we invest in the product. I'm not doing it so the car looks good for the next owner, I do it for myself.
 

wynnek

Member
Feb 15, 2021
78
48
33190
Where did you take in South Florida and how did the PPF come out and do you know the brand of PPF?
I took it to Konig Detailing. Miami Auto, Marine and Aviation Detailing Service | Konig Detailing The PPF came out great. They use Xpel film. The mirrors had to be redone a few times because the template didn't fit right so they had to do them manually. I recently scraped my bumper which will require the PPF to be reapplied. The body shop that will be doing the repair was going to charge an hour labor ($75) to remove the PPF. Konig offered to remove it for free.
 

tomas

Out of warranty...
Supporting Member
Oct 22, 2012
4,326
4,247
Santa Barbara/New York
I waited 5 months to do my M S and had to pay for the paint correction too. I got the M Y done immediately the following week after delivery and didn't need that expense.

I would recommend getting the paint correction done and ordering a paint kit from Tesla to do it right. But be advised the ceramic will not satisfy you, especially in the front, unless you have Xpel film applied. I only did the front half on both cars and then they added 4 layers of Ceramic on the whole car. It took 5 days and total cost was approx.$4000 for each car.

The problem with Tesla paint is that it is softer than other cars and easily scratched. The reason why Tesla paint is like that is because Tesla bows to the angry environmentalists who would slam Tesla for not using environmentally friendly paint. Consequently, if you want your Tesla to look good in 3 years, protect the Paint with PPF film and Ceramic. Both are required. Aside from protecting the paint, washing the car is faster and easier. It's the price we pay to please the environmentalists. ( Same for the fake leather seats. )

Personally, if I were only planning to keep the cars for 3-4 years I probably wouldn't have done this, but I want them staying nice for a good 10 years.
Tesla didn’t bow to the angry anything. They complied with the law in the state where they produced the cars. You want them to violate the law?
 
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What do you mean by put film on high impact areas? You mean PPF?
Place ppf on areas that will take the most impact from road debris. In other words, put ppf on the following areas: entire front clip (frunk, front bumper, front fenders, a-pillars) and large shark fin shaped pieces on the rear doors closest to the rear of the car. That's it.
 
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TravelFree

Active Member
Mar 23, 2020
1,030
1,009
Jacksonville, Florida
large shark fin shaped pieces on the rear doors closest to the rear of the car.
I've seen that partial rear door PPF and it looks bad where the edge shows. I would recommend if you feel you need the rear door protection pay to have the entire door done so there is no visible edge. Don't know what that would cost for Xpel. I added 3D mud splash guards and so far after several thousand miles, we haven't had any damage to the rear door area on the M Y. The car also has the lifetime warrantee Ceramic 4 coats and the road dirt just washes away with a good rain. Even the mosquitoes on the front just rinse off with the rain. Only bucket washed the M Y twice since having the full treatment done.
 
I've seen that partial rear door PPF and it looks bad where the edge shows. I would recommend if you feel you need the rear door protection pay to have the entire door done so there is no visible edge. Don't know what that would cost for Xpel. I added 3D mud splash guards and so far after several thousand miles, we haven't had any damage to the rear door area on the M Y. The car also has the lifetime warrantee Ceramic 4 coats and the road dirt just washes away with a good rain. Even the mosquitoes on the front just rinse off with the rain. Only bucket washed the M Y twice since having the full treatment done.
I have partial film on my rear door and it doesn't look bad at all. You can barely tell it's there unless you examine it closely or know what you were looking for. Just took these photos in my garage.
 

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I have never had PPF or any coating in any of our last 4 cars which were purchased new. The sales guys did tell him how important it is to protect my investment. When I dispose of the cars, I get it detailed in and out. And it is as good as new. No doubt none of our cars was a Tesla. What is the experience of the 40% who voted no to PPF and have already had their cars for some time. Do you regret not getting PPF put on?
 

TravelFree

Active Member
Mar 23, 2020
1,030
1,009
Jacksonville, Florida
I wonder how many of those who don't protect their cars plan on keeping them beyond the loan, beyond 3 years, are leased cars, or just don't care about such things as bad looking finish. I see quite a few cars, especially SUV's that have really awful looking paint, or appear like they were never washed. I realize some cars aren't designed to last more than 2-3 years so it is justified. But spending $90,000 for a Tesla Model S, even my attitude has changed on keeping it as nice in year 8 as in year 1. It's not just the cost, but the fact that Tesla keeps getting better with software updates too so I have no incentive to consider replacing it with the latest Model S. The jury is still out on my Model Y but I did a similar PPF + Ceramic. There may be some benefit to having better features such as a driver's instrument display like in the S in the future. I've never been a big fan of just the center display as some are. I probably won't keep the Y as long as the S but time will tell.
 
I wonder how many of those who don't protect their cars plan on keeping them beyond the loan, beyond 3 years, are leased cars, or just don't care about such things as bad looking finish. I see quite a few cars, especially SUV's that have really awful looking paint, or appear like they were never washed. I realize some cars aren't designed to last more than 2-3 years so it is justified. But spending $90,000 for a Tesla Model S, even my attitude has changed on keeping it as nice in year 8 as in year 1. It's not just the cost, but the fact that Tesla keeps getting better with software updates too so I have no incentive to consider replacing it with the latest Model S. The jury is still out on my Model Y but I did a similar PPF + Ceramic. There may be some benefit to having better features such as a driver's instrument display like in the S in the future. I've never been a big fan of just the center display as some are. I probably won't keep the Y as long as the S but time will tell.
I have not kept last 5 cars beyond 5 years. I never put PPF on any of them. A good detailing before disposing the cars and makes it look like new. I live in the suburbs, car is garaged at home and safe parking at work. When I go shopping, I prefer to park a distance away from the entrance where other car owners who don't like dings from careless drivers opening their door tend not to park. I have never seen so much craze for PPF in any of the other brands I bought. Unless Tesla's painting is inferior to a Lexus or Acura, I have no plans to put PPF. I always buy new cars on cash no lease or loan. I would probably be more careful if it bought on a lease to avoid payout at end of lease for minor dings etc.
 
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TravelFree

Active Member
Mar 23, 2020
1,030
1,009
Jacksonville, Florida
Unless Tesla's painting is inferior to a Lexus or Acura, I have no plans to put PPF.
I already said it was indeed inferior paint quality because of the use of environmental friendly paint chemistry. That's not my claim, it comes from Tesla although they used the term "softer" as opposed to inferior. Musk even said once in an interview on Model 3 and Y quality concerns that they discovered they were not letting the paint layers cure long enough between coats that was causing hardness issues. He felt allowing the paint to cure and harden longer is resolving that problem. Time will tell.

Tesla is the first car I ever considered PPF either but the investment in a long ownership and the prices I paid made me consider protection. I did look at a number of Model S's that were around 5 years old and no paint protection and they all were rather dull, no shine as if oxidized same as my Dodge Van that was 11 years old when I got rid of it.
I also keep my cars outside as my garage is more of a work shop, so no room. But you might have better experience with garaging your investment.

I'm not so concerned of the condition to sell the Teslas 6-10 years from now as I am with how it shows while I own and drive it.

I guess the other thing is how much you value the money it cost for PPF and Ceramic. Same goes for the FSD option I suppose. I just did some smart stock trading and made the money fast so the cost was like spending money received as a gift or a good night at the casino. When I was younger and having to borrow money to buy a car spending for PPF or FSD would not have been considered as a waste same as one of those extended warranties.
 
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I generally give my car after 5 years of use to our "Kids" who have kids of their own. Our cars are garaged at home. We live in Minneapolis suburbs where the roads are pretty well cleaned. I have not had a windshield replaced in more than 15 years. It is not about the extra money, but is worth my time to send it away for 3-7 days for PPF and the need for it. Our last 2 Lexus SUV's were custom ordered and each time the sales person who did the final invoice and billing would talk about protecting the "Investment" with PPF. I just brushed it aside. I hear you that Tesla's paint might be inferior to Toyota or GM. I will know in a few years.
 
The Tesla paint is inferior (softer & thinner) to any car that I’ve owned (Hondas & Subarus).
That makes sense why more than 50% in the poll on this forum said they would do varying levels of PPF for their Tesla. I think when there is more competition in the market, Tesla will be forced to focus on build quality, not check the battery/charging and tech side of things. Lack of competition is never good for consumers.
 

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