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Protecting paint - XPEL, Opticoat vs repainting

Discussion in 'Model S' started by redox, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. redox

    redox Member

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    Hi,

    I've been perusing this forum in the past few days to get educated on paint protection options. I have a Pearl White P85D coming in "December" (that's what MyTesla says anyways) and would like to figure out my paint protection strategy so I can go and implement it as soon as I take delivery.

    As I understand it there's roughly 2 things that are popular: OptiCoat Pro and some kind of PPF (like XPEL). OptiCoat seems like it's like having a thicker clear coat on top of your paint (but with better protection), and XPEL is more robust against collision issues (rock chips, etc) with its self healing properties.

    I gathered that to do a good protection job, for example full XPEL wrap, one has to shell out a few grands ($6-$7K).

    What I don't quite understand is the economics of it... for that amount of money, can't you simply get whatever blemishes or rock chips fixed, maybe even the whole hood and some panels repainted? Why prepay the "cost to repair", with the risk that you'd still have to get some repaint job going anyway? (rock chips can still damage even XPEL)

    I'm obviously missing something (since many people seem to be very happy with their paint protection strategy and $$$ cost), so will someone please educate me! :confused::biggrin:

    Thank you!

    Cheers,

    -- Greg
     
  2. http.com

    http.com Member

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    In same boat with same question. Thanks in advance for all educated replies on this subject.
     
  3. Hometheatremaven

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  4. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    A good paint job is way more than paint armour, and is never, ever as good as the factory. A factory-like paint job will cost about as much as a new car. (Factory-like means you take everything out of the car and prime and paint the entire monocoque structure, then reassemble and hope you didn't miss anything.)
     
  5. Brightonuk

    Brightonuk Member

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    I have Xpel on my P and I also applied a coat of CQuartz myself (maybe over kill but I enjoy the challenge)

    A wrap (whatever brand you go with) will protect your car better than any other liquid protective coating, the drawback is you lose some the paint depth and shine.

    Using a liquid coating will still protect your paint and you will retain and sometimes enhance the factory look of the paint.(see the ask a pro section on detailed image)

    The guys over at Detailed Image have some excellent articles on both wraps and sealants

    http://www.detailedimage.com/Auto-Detailing-Guide/Sealants/

    http://www.detailedimage.com/Ask-a-Pro/the-case-against-coatings-part-1-of-4/

    http://www.detailedimage.com/Ask-a-Pro/2014-corvette-stingray-complete-detail-with-clear-bra-and-vinyl-wrap-install-part-1-of-2/

    Lots of reading but well worth the effort to educate yourself on how to keep you Tesla looking pristine.
     
  6. redox

    redox Member

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    Are you serious?
    Do you mean that if I take this $125K car, go to a pro paint shop and say "please redo the whole paint everywhere", they will charge me $125K?

    -- Greg
     
  7. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I'm talking about a factory-like paint job. Removing absolutely everything from the body of the car and then dipping the car in solvents to clean it, then painting it, and then putting it all back together so it's like new. $125K wouldn't surprise me at all. You're talking a couple hundred hours minimum plus materials and shop space.

    Of course, if you just mask of the windows and chrome and then spray, it's going to be a lot cheaper--and it will look like it too.
     
  8. EV_Steve

    EV_Steve Member

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    I'm going through he same exercise as I too will be taking delivery on a pearl white P85D the end of next month. The quotes I'm getting on a very thorough Xpel wrap are more in the neighbor hood of $2k though. You might want to check around and get some quotes and references.

    ~Steve
     
  9. LetsGoFast

    LetsGoFast Active Member

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    There are plenty of body shops that specialize in full restorations who remove all the body panels, strip and repaint. Although this process is pretty expensive, it is nowhere near $125k.
     
  10. http.com

    http.com Member

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    lol!
     
  11. redox

    redox Member

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    For that price there better be gold and diamonds in the paint! :biggrin:

    More seriously, I have had a full repaint job done on a Dodge Viper before, which involved taking all panels out, pro-painting (dustless environment), multicoat, etc ("deep sapphire blue" color), and it cost about $2,200 in 2001 dollars. And the Viper has an extremely painful hood to deal with (Generation II).
    It wasn't a perfect job by any means (I did find some accumulation points in "non visible" areas), but it wasn't anywhere near the low end of the spectrum, maybe a 6 or 7 on a scale of 1 to 10.

    -- Greg

    - - - Updated - - -

    Do you mind telling me who and how much? If you don't want to post publicly, I'd appreciate if you could please PM me.

    Cheers,

    -- Greg
     
  12. docrice

    docrice Member

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    I got XPEL Ultimate on the front parts of the car including side mirrors, as well as the lower rear bumper. That hit me at $2k. This is with wrapping around the panel edges. I've since decided to wrap the rest of the car which I've been quoted another $2k by the same installer. He works with the detailer I've used which makes it convenient since I'd need minor correction at the same time. I don't think it's a super-perfect job, but for my needs it's good enough since a wrap to me is an expendable wear part which I'll need to replace some years down the line anyway.

    I've been told it really comes down to the skill of the installer, regardless of the brand technology (although there are slight differences between competing film products). I don't know how to evaluate someone's skill or result though since this is the first car I've ever had wrapped. I'm just happy if my original factory paint is at least protected from minor road debris and inevitable aerial strafing runs.
     
  13. paintpolisher

    paintpolisher Banned

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    Here in Atlanta a very high quality full front PPF install is $1200. Suntek or Xpel w edges wrapped. I also had the full rear bumper done. It was $350 and included full pillars.

    Front bumper, hood, front fenders, full mirrors, area between pano/windshield, area aft of rear door fwd of rear wheel wells and rear bumper cover. $1550 out the door.
     
  14. charperimg

    charperimg Member

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    Keep in mind a full ppf as I have done on my model s will also keep and swirl marks from ever showing up in your paint. My guys did everything but the trunk lid and unfortunately it's the only place on my MS you can see swirl marks.
     
  15. MoeMistry

    MoeMistry Local Vendor - SoCal

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    To clarify OP numbers on a new paint job, to properly repaint a car, $10-15K is adequate but it will never be original again.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Greg, it does simply come down to peace of mind. That shopping cart scratch at Costco could have been prevented if the doors had clear bra like XPEL Ultimate on it. If it gauges the paint, you're looking at possibly thousands of dollars, weeks of repair, and several panels that need to be repaired/blended. The alternative might be a few hours at clear bra shop and a few hundred $$s and original paint.

    We are firm believers of ppf and nano coatings such as CQuartz Finest as this combination provides amazing durability and amazing esthetics to any vehicle. Finest adds an amazing amount of gloss and depth to the clear bra making it closer to the original paint "look".
     
  16. redox

    redox Member

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    Moe, thank you for your input.

    I'm definitely sold on the convenience, but I think the tradeoff is slightly different from the one you describe above. In scenario number 2 when you say "The alternative might be a few hours at clear bra shop and a few hundred $$s and original paint." I assume you mean (given the "costco cart damaged your door" scenario) that you take a car you XPEL'd peel off the damaged door panel, replace the PPF, and done (for a few hundred $$). That makes it sounds like it was just "a few hundred $$", not taking into account the original cost of a few thousand $$ to get the whole car wrapped (because you never know where that costco cart is going to hit - you don't want it to hit a part that's not protected).

    I hope I'm not coming across as too argumentative, because I'm frankly trying to figure out the economics of it, and I want to be respectful of businesses out there that carry this type of protection. From what I gather there are experts/shops that are extremely good at doing this, and there is nothing wrong with paying for quality workmanship.

    To me it feels a bit like buying insurance, and like you said maybe one can think of it as buying "peace of mind" (nothing wrong with that). Then it's all about the cost of the peace of mind, knowing that you are essentially prepaying _and_ it has, like most insurance policies, some unpredictable exclusions: what I mean by that is that there is a non negligible possibility that even with the PPF, whatever hazard hits you ends up damaging the paint anyways, so you are potentially hit by a double whammy.

    This being said, this analogy may be selling it a bit short: I think it's a bit more than just piece of mind. If I understand correctly, it can also give you a deeper "wet look" and make washing tasks easier as well as give you swirl free looks for much "less work" than you'd have to if you were just dealing with paint. In other words, it makes your car look good longer and save you precious time.

    The bottom line, for me (and this is obviously personal), is that if the whole XPEL wrap was around $1K, it would be a no-brainer. At $6-$7K, I hope people will cut me some slack for thinking a little harder on it. It is in no way a bad product or idea, just not an obvious choice IMHO.

    Please feel free to correct me if I missed anything (wouldn't be the first time :wink: )

    Cheers!

    -- Greg
     
  17. redox

    redox Member

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    Thanks for the data point.
    That seems palatable if the quality is good.

    -- Greg
     
  18. MoeMistry

    MoeMistry Local Vendor - SoCal

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    You don't need to wrap the whole car Greg...not all of us need a $10million life insurance policy. But, we all should have some life insurance. So, at a minimum, do a proper detail, nano coating, and wrap the front end. That would most likely be the best VALUE proposition. Great questions and no offense taken whatsoever. You're asking the right things and trying to come up with your own conclusion...I respect you for that :)
     
  19. gpetti

    gpetti Active Member

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    This is a subject where I have some experience and now I have some questions as I'm getting my P85D soon and I'm considering Xpel Ultimate again.
    Here is a run down of some of my experience and my own uncertainties. All in all I will probably wrap my new car but here are some of my thought processes.

    Here in Calgary, a full Xpel ultimate wrap cost me about $4,500 CDN (aprox $4000 US). I don't know why it is so much more expensive in the US. The company I'm using were not the cheapest here and they have much experience doing full wraps on high end cars including Tesla. The job on my car was documented in other threads but they did wrap the edges and it looked great. They didn't remove any parts of the car but I was pleased with that. I use the same company for my detailing and they inspect the wrap periodically.

    I know that a lot of other people say that the car would look better without a wrap but I don't notice any difference. Everyone I've ever told that it is wrapped is amazed and I usually end up opening a door or something to show them the wrap around edges. I have a vague notion that the car may not photograph as well with a wrap on but I have no scientific proof of that and I do have some great pictures. I just came back from a week away and on first sight of my car I was struck by the beautiful finish - essentially for me this is not a con and I also believe that it looks better for longer when there are wet or slushy conditions etc.

    I occasionally suspect that the wrap may attract more dust. Again nothing scientific but it does seem to acquire a layer of dust pretty quickly. I wondered if the product used in detailing might cause this as it seems to become dusty quite quickly after detailing. They use Rejex which is a thin-film polymer coating. Does anyone have any experience of this one way or the other?
    Its also possible that I have never spent as much time worrying about dust on a car before ;-) Either way the wrap makes any kind of dusting, washing etc. much safer and easier and my car never looks dusty for long.

    My impression from trying to sell my P85+ is that no value will normally be given for having the car wrapped so in theory there is no return on investment; however, in my case it allowed me to sell a car that was truly pristine. In point of fact I did have a couple of blemishes (more below) but as Tesla were explicitly not providing any value for the Xpel they could hardly deduct money for the blemishes. Worst case scenario someone can remove the wrap and have a car in its original state.

    One of my main points of indecision is this. My existing car has already protected me against a parking lot door ding and a minor scrape on the right rear wheel well that I caused by pulling in besides a parked pickup truck that had a jutting out bumper. In both cases, the wrap took the brunt which is awesome; however, in both cases, the damage to the wrap is visible. The door ding actually perforated the wrap and pushed it into a small bubble. The bubble showed up as a white spot. Although the paint was fine, I still had a visible blemish on the car. I touched it up with touch-up paint so it became near invisible but of course I could always see it. The end result was the same to me as if I had damaged the paint because I had a visible mark. The question then was how much does it cost me to fix the wrap and do I wait until I have more damage before I bother? My wrap place wanted $500 CDN per quarter panel. I'm guessing that the cost of fixing a single door ding would be less than $500 so the economics don't really work unless I have more than one piece of damage on the wrap when I replace it.

    I understand the concept of wrap seeming like insurance - because to some extent it is; however, this kind of insurance is virtually guaranteed to pay off and it completely changes the way I use my car. I have a $150K vehicle but I will drive it everywhere for everything. I will do my best to take care of it but I don't want to always have to worry about where I park it or the road surface, weather etc. I want to drive it as often as possible with a minimum of worry. The Wrap ultimately gives me that.
     
  20. redox

    redox Member

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    Thank you Moe. I really appreciate the expert advice.

    -- Greg
     

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