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Questions regarding PPF and Tints

spbond0079

Member
Jan 30, 2021
9
2
Arizona, USA
I recently took delivery of white MY. Just like every other tesla owner I decided to look up PPF and Tint options. On my quest for a straightforward solution, to my surprise (may be not), I slid down the rabbit hole and came up with more questions than answers. I hope someone can help me find relatively simple, if not the best, solution.

Just to give you some background as far as use of my car / ? SUV and my budget. Even though being in AZ, it's going to spend most of the time either in a home garage or in a shaded parking area. Only times it won't be shaded is on non-work related runs eg. grocery run, child's swim class, etc. I am not looking to spend a ton of money on this as I don't think spending close to 10% of the car value on protecting the paint/tinting is going to hold its resale value 5-7 years down the road; and I it would break my heart/wallet to replace it down the road.

Questions:
Which PPF brand to choose from? 3M vs. Xpel vs. SunTek. Seems like every brand has its own patent/history on something or the other.

Does Suntek's "Hydrophobic" technology for PPF make a difference or is it one of those marketing gimmick that sounds cool but offers the same tech as other manufactures (Case in point, "Super Retina" technology instead of industry standard OLED technology). If it does work well then wouldn't that be an obvious choice and avoid spending more on ceramic coating?

Is it worth getting full body PPF vs only the front section of the car?

Is 3M superior for window tinting compared to other brands or have I fallen prey to targeted advertising?
 

73Bruin

Member
Nov 7, 2020
180
84
Torrance, CA
I recently took delivery of white MY. Just like every other tesla owner I decided to look up PPF and Tint options. On my quest for a straightforward solution, to my surprise (may be not), I slid down the rabbit hole and came up with more questions than answers. I hope someone can help me find relatively simple, if not the best, solution.

Just to give you some background as far as use of my car / ? SUV and my budget. Even though being in AZ, it's going to spend most of the time either in a home garage or in a shaded parking area. Only times it won't be shaded is on non-work related runs eg. grocery run, child's swim class, etc. I am not looking to spend a ton of money on this as I don't think spending close to 10% of the car value on protecting the paint/tinting is going to hold its resale value 5-7 years down the road; and I it would break my heart/wallet to replace it down the road.

Questions:
Which PPF brand to choose from? 3M vs. Xpel vs. SunTek. Seems like every brand has its own patent/history on something or the other.

Does Suntek's "Hydrophobic" technology for PPF make a difference or is it one of those marketing gimmick that sounds cool but offers the same tech as other manufactures (Case in point, "Super Retina" technology instead of industry standard OLED technology). If it does work well then wouldn't that be an obvious choice and avoid spending more on ceramic coating?

Is it worth getting full body PPF vs only the front section of the car?

Is 3M superior for window tinting compared to other brands or have I fallen prey to targeted advertising?
I can't speak to your question about the differences between brands, but I can tell you what a detailer told me about the full wrap vs a front plus wrap. He said that he didn't recommend doing the doors because they were the part of the car most likely to be damaged in a parking lot situation and that doing a door ding repair typically meant that the PPF would need to be replaced. He also didn't recommend the area Tesla's OEM PPF goes because he said that this boundary line would accumulate dirt and become more and more visible (I live in Southern California and already had the OEM mud flaps). I ended up going with another detailer and had a full front, the package shelf (over the trunk opening and down onto the rear bumper to protect against grocery cart bumps) and the area where the OEM ppf gets installed.
 
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adayley

Member
Jun 4, 2020
105
77
Gilbert, Arizona, USA
In my thinking, the brand of PPF is not worth worrying about, as long as it is one that has a good reputation. I found a shop nearby and, after a visit confirmed that they looked legit, I went with what they sell and recommended. Happens to have been Xpel.

We got PPF on the entire front, that is the hood, front bumper, front fenders and side mirror covers. And we did the lower half of the sides, to protect from the tires tossing up road debris. I’m satisfied that this is enough protection for most impact zones and it was less than 50% the cost of full PPF.

I took the same philosophy with window tinting. I had the place that did the wrap also do tinting on my Model 3. They used 3M tint. My wife didn’t want more tint on her Model Y.

I am also in Arizona. Let me know if you’d like a reference to the shop I used.
 
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Kerry Blue

Member
Dec 2, 2020
29
37
Colorado
12 cars done with Xpel, never had any issues, is genuinely self-healing. I do everything up to the A pillars, rocker panels, mirrors and rear bumper where loading groceries would catch it. My installer did the front bumper with one piece so no joins. 3M ceramic for window, tried others but for me this has been the best by some margin. You can use a hybrid ceramic wax on the film.
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,509
1,560
Richland, WA
So this depends a little on what you want....

Will you be absolutly killed if there is a small scratch on your car? What about small swirl marks that you see under direct bright sunlight or at night when parking under bright lights?

If yes, the more PPF on the car the better. Orginally on my Model 3 SR+ I just got full front and the truck loading area (like a 4 inch strip right under the trunk opening). Within a year I had a six to seven inch scratch on the rear quarter panel, kinda looked like a large peice of luggage was lifted into a car parked near me and maybe the zipper ran along my car. It wasn't deep and probably could largely have been buffed out since you could only see it when light hit it at certain times. However, after spending $3,000 on tint and PPF, I was livid that of course one of the spots that DIDN'T have PPF got a mark.

If you're insane like me, pony up the cost for the whole car. Don't look at it as "resale value" but look at it as "it'll stay perfect every day when I look at it."

If you don't care about that as much as I do, or some others here, then just focus on rock chip protection on the front.

Front bumper, hood, mirrors, A-piller, front quarters. By doing those you cover almost all the leading edges that would likely get rock chips and everything should be able to be hidden inbetween panels so you don't see any lines; basically an invisible install. I prefer Xpel but honestly there probably isn't a huge difference in brands.

The thing I would focus on the most for you is window tint. Personally I've had Xpel and now have SunTek. To me the Xpel seem a little more crystal clear... the SunTek is fine, but has a very slight haze to it in direct bright light. I would get a 70% on the windsheild (even if it's not legal there). 70% is basically clear and you won't notice a tint, but it will be a HUGE heat reduction. Then get whatever darkness on the front side windows and 70% on the back side windows. The back side windows look tinted, but it's just privacy glass, they don't block the heat at all. I wouldn't worry about the roof/trunk window because that does come with a factory UV tint on them and will block a large amount of heat. Whatever you do, get the top end ceramic tint. You want it to be crystal clear and block as much heat as possible, don't go for the cheapest tint you can find. 3M/Xpel are probably very close to the same, just make sure you pick the flagship tint product with whatever brand you pick.


Edit: I wanted to add in that if you don't care much about physical issues (scratches and rock chips) then a ceramic coating is probably cheaper and would keep you happy. They won't protect against a rock hitting the paint, but they will make washing easier and add some gloss to the car. If you're just looking for a hydrophobic coating, the ceramic is what you'll want. Probably $799 to $1499 depending on the shop and should last 3-10 years. Be warned, it "lasts" that long if you make a yearly visit and have them "inspect" and touch up the coating, usually at a cost of $50 to $100/visit which should also include a good wash. That's a pretty good yearly price for a nice proper wash and a quick touch up of the coating. Otherwise you'll probably get a few years out of it but it'll start to degrade after six months to a year where it's less hydrophobic; still more so than without it, but not that crazy waterbeading/sheeting glass surface that it'll have those first couple weeks.
 
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TMYB-C1

Supporting Member
Feb 15, 2021
84
11
USA
I recently took delivery of white MY. Just like every other tesla owner I decided to look up PPF and Tint options. On my quest for a straightforward solution, to my surprise (may be not), I slid down the rabbit hole and came up with more questions than answers. I hope someone can help me find relatively simple, if not the best, solution.

Just to give you some background as far as use of my car / ? SUV and my budget. Even though being in AZ, it's going to spend most of the time either in a home garage or in a shaded parking area. Only times it won't be shaded is on non-work related runs eg. grocery run, child's swim class, etc. I am not looking to spend a ton of money on this as I don't think spending close to 10% of the car value on protecting the paint/tinting is going to hold its resale value 5-7 years down the road; and I it would break my heart/wallet to replace it down the road.

Questions:
Which PPF brand to choose from? 3M vs. Xpel vs. SunTek. Seems like every brand has its own patent/history on something or the other.

Does Suntek's "Hydrophobic" technology for PPF make a difference or is it one of those marketing gimmick that sounds cool but offers the same tech as other manufactures (Case in point, "Super Retina" technology instead of industry standard OLED technology). If it does work well then wouldn't that be an obvious choice and avoid spending more on ceramic coating?

Is it worth getting full body PPF vs only the front section of the car?

Is 3M superior for window tinting compared to other brands or have I fallen prey to targeted advertising?

Do full body, the design of the Teslas seem to lead to more road dust drifting over the body of the car and a full body wrap is much easier to clean.

Id go with a trusted installer experienced working on Teslas with any of the brands, mines Xpel.
 

ashahmn

New Member
May 11, 2021
2
1
Chandler, AZ
In my thinking, the brand of PPF is not worth worrying about, as long as it is one that has a good reputation. I found a shop nearby and, after a visit confirmed that they looked legit, I went with what they sell and recommended. Happens to have been Xpel.

We got PPF on the entire front, that is the hood, front bumper, front fenders and side mirror covers. And we did the lower half of the sides, to protect from the tires tossing up road debris. I’m satisfied that this is enough protection for most impact zones and it was less than 50% the cost of full PPF.

I took the same philosophy with window tinting. I had the place that did the wrap also do tinting on my Model 3. They used 3M tint. My wife didn’t want more tint on her Model Y.

I am also in Arizona. Let me know if you’d like a reference to the shop I used.
Hello. Can i please have the reference to that shop you had PPF done for your model 3? Thank you so much in advance.
 
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ashahmn

New Member
May 11, 2021
2
1
Chandler, AZ
In my thinking, the brand of PPF is not worth worrying about, as long as it is one that has a good reputation. I found a shop nearby and, after a visit confirmed that they looked legit, I went with what they sell and recommended. Happens to have been Xpel.

We got PPF on the entire front, that is the hood, front bumper, front fenders and side mirror covers. And we did the lower half of the sides, to protect from the tires tossing up road debris. I’m satisfied that this is enough protection for most impact zones and it was less than 50% the cost of full PPF.

I took the same philosophy with window tinting. I had the place that did the wrap also do tinting on my Model 3. They used 3M tint. My wife didn’t want more tint on her Model Y.

I am also in Arizona. Let me know if you’d like a reference to the shop I used.
Hello.

Thanks for your review. Could you please give me that reference to that shop where you got PPF done. I am in chandler, AZ. Thank you in advance.
 

SDM44

Member
Aug 9, 2019
343
263
Los Angeles
Which PPF brand to choose from? 3M vs. Xpel vs. SunTek. Seems like every brand has its own patent/history on something or the other.

I've had Xpel Ultimate Plus and SunTek Ultra on my cars, and IMO the Xpel is much thicker and a better PPF for the car. I never really had any dings from the road on either PPF where one made a better difference, but as for the material itself the Xpel just felt like it would protect the car much better.

I've also had 3M, Xpel Prime+, and SunTek CIR ceramic window tints on my cars. I had 3M Crystalline on my previous 530e (all windows, including windshield & sunroof), I had SunTek CIR on my Model 3 (all windows, sunroof, windshield, one-piece back window), and have Xpel Prime+ on my wifes Cayenne (all windows, including windshield & sunroof). The Xpel Prime+ feels like it has the most heat rejection, where I can drive in the middle of summer under the direct sunlight and the sun beating through the glass didn't feel that bad on me. The 3M Crystalline also did a good job, but I could see a slightly blue hue tint from it, especially on the windshield. It wasn't annoying, but just something I noticed. The SunTek CIR had good protection but I could feel the sun a bit more on my skin compared to the other brands. That said, all of them are way better than any cheapo non-ceramic window tint, or not having any tint at all.

I'm not a Xpel fanboy, but just from my personal experience the Xpel products just seemed to be more superior IMO. Otherwise, you're fine with anything as they're still better than nothing.


Is it worth getting full body PPF vs only the front section of the car?

If you have the money to spend, then I sure why not get a full body PPF, especially if you drive the car all the time. But most people can't justify the cost of a full body coverage PPF, and spending 1/3 the amount on just the "full front" coverage is better than nothing as it'll protect the most vital areas when driving on the road.

Like window tint, it's a matter of personal preference with what you want, and how much you're willing to spend on your car.
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,509
1,560
Richland, WA
I've had Xpel Ultimate Plus and SunTek Ultra on my cars, and IMO the Xpel is much thicker and a better PPF for the car. I never really had any dings from the road on either PPF where one made a better difference, but as for the material itself the Xpel just felt like it would protect the car much better.

I've also had 3M, Xpel Prime+, and SunTek CIR ceramic window tints on my cars. I had 3M Crystalline on my previous 530e (all windows, including windshield & sunroof), I had SunTek CIR on my Model 3 (all windows, sunroof, windshield, one-piece back window), and have Xpel Prime+ on my wifes Cayenne (all windows, including windshield & sunroof). The Xpel Prime+ feels like it has the most heat rejection, where I can drive in the middle of summer under the direct sunlight and the sun beating through the glass didn't feel that bad on me. The 3M Crystalline also did a good job, but I could see a slightly blue hue tint from it, especially on the windshield. It wasn't annoying, but just something I noticed. The SunTek CIR had good protection but I could feel the sun a bit more on my skin compared to the other brands. That said, all of them are way better than any cheapo non-ceramic window tint, or not having any tint at all.

I'm not a Xpel fanboy, but just from my personal experience the Xpel products just seemed to be more superior IMO. Otherwise, you're fine with anything as they're still better than nothing.




If you have the money to spend, then I sure why not get a full body PPF, especially if you drive the car all the time. But most people can't justify the cost of a full body coverage PPF, and spending 1/3 the amount on just the "full front" coverage is better than nothing as it'll protect the most vital areas when driving on the road.

Like window tint, it's a matter of personal preference with what you want, and how much you're willing to spend on your car.
I'm not certain you would actually be able to tell the heat difference between the films...

For TSER (Total Solar Energy Rejection) for SunTek CIR, Xpel Prime+, and 3M Crystalline the difference isn't much...

SunTek CIR - 58% (around the 20% tint)
Xpel Prime+ - 66% (20% tint)
Crystalline - 64% (20% tint)

So yes Xpel is the max, but with 8% difference between the best and "worst", I'm not sure you would really feel the difference unless side by side on the same panel of glass...




Edit: Also for windshields it's even closer of a tie... 3M's film "lies" a bit because their 70 grade film actually only lets 58% of visible light through, so it's a much darker film compared to SunTek and Xpel. SunTek lets 71% of visible light through and Xpel lets 67%. To compare more fair it would be the 90 grade from 3M. So 70 grade from SunTek and Xpel and 90 grade from 3M are within 6% of each other, Xpel is at 52% TSER and the other two are at 46%.
 
Last edited:

Emmadiane

Member
Apr 25, 2021
243
335
Orange County, CA
I can't speak to your question about the differences between brands, but I can tell you what a detailer told me about the full wrap vs a front plus wrap. He said that he didn't recommend doing the doors because they were the part of the car most likely to be damaged in a parking lot situation and that doing a door ding repair typically meant that the PPF would need to be replaced. He also didn't recommend the area Tesla's OEM PPF goes because he said that this boundary line would accumulate dirt and become more and more visible (I live in Southern California and already had the OEM mud flaps). I ended up going with another detailer and had a full front, the package shelf (over the trunk opening and down onto the rear bumper to protect against grocery cart bumps) and the area where the OEM ppf gets installed.
Curious about your mud flaps. I live in Orange County and have watched so many You Tube videos recommending mud flaps, but mostly they live in areas with snow. Did you find that you need them down here? (still waiting on mine to be delivered)
 

Cp1484

Member
Jan 30, 2021
17
15
Phoenix
I’d like to give a shout out to Magic Bus in Tempe. They did my work, and I’ve been really happy. They did PFF, and cermanic. Very knowledgeable, and we’re willing to answer every single question I had. They did an amazing job, I can send pics and videos if anyone is interested.
 
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73Bruin

Member
Nov 7, 2020
180
84
Torrance, CA
Curious about your mud flaps. I live in Orange County and have watched so many You Tube videos recommending mud flaps, but mostly they live in areas with snow. Did you find that you need them down here? (still waiting on mine to be delivered)
I got the MY on 12/10 and by early March was still under 1,000 miles. To that point, I had only driven paved surface streets and some freeway trips. I was debating on PPF and had started looking at detailers. The first one I visited, pointed out several small chips in the plastic and paint behind the front wheels. TBH. I hadn't noticed them; they were that small. I figured $40 was cheap insurance to avoid more of this minor damage,

On a separate note, I had Extreme Edge in Garden Grove do a full front wrap (using the group deal offered on this site) and then extended this to have them ceramic coat it as well.
 

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