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Sensor interactions with wraps such as Xpel?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Pollux, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. Pollux

    Pollux Active Member

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    A birdie hinted that wrapping my upcoming S in Xpel is NOT recommended because it would somehow interfere with the sensor suite. And here I am planning to do a full body wrap on my new S in December, plus tinting on all glass -- sunroof, rear window, side windows and, if Maryland will allow it, some on the windshield as well.

    I'd've thought that:
    + cameras aren't wrapped
    + holes in wrap allow parking sensors unfettered sensing
    + and besides which, why would the ultrasound parking sensors care about plastic wrap?
    + if there are fancier ultrasound sensors with greater range than the parking sensors, again: why would they care?
    + the radars shouldn't even notice a layer of plastic wrap

    Does anyone have any data confirming or refuting this contention?

    Thanks,
    Alan
     
  2. XPEL

    XPEL Vendor

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    We've wrapped multiple Tesla's without any reported issues with the sensors on the vehicle. The parking sensors are cut out with our pre-cut kits. When the installer plots the film, it cuts a perfect circle out of the film to go around the parking sensors. The other sensor's, to our knowledge from our customers, haven't had issues reported
     
  3. azdryheat

    azdryheat Member

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    I have front in Xpel. No sensor issues, but I have had issues with the film lifting. Have one more spot to be fixed next week and hopefully the last one. Went to a very experienced installer and he has had more issues with my car than any others.
     
  4. LVGhost

    LVGhost Member

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    I have xpel stealth over the entire car including over the parking sensors. I haven't had any problems that I have noticed at all.
     
  5. Pollux

    Pollux Active Member

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    @XPEL, @azdryheat, @LVGhost -- thanks, all of you, for the feedback.

    I'm going ahead with the wrap.

    Thanks,
    Alan
     
  6. NewJerseyMS

    NewJerseyMS Member

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    I have full wrap in xpel and no issues. It does have the precut holes as mentioned.
     
  7. Dstrohl

    Dstrohl Member

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    Thoughts (unproven):
    • Dont cover the cameras, this is probably not a problem as you would not be tinting under the windshield camera housing anyway, the side-back cameras push out, so you probably would not want to wrap them anyway (unless you are doing a chrome delete or something), The only thing I can think of as a potential problem would be if your wrap included the "B" pillars and covered the new cameras there. even there its *probably* OK (as long as it is clear), but I would suggest cutting it out or not wrapping the "B" pillars at all.
    • Dont cover the ultrasonic sensors, I dont know if it would cause a problem, but to be fair, I dont know, and I could see it changing the characteristic of the returned sound, therefore messing with them.
    • I cant see any problem with covering the radar, it's been covered by many a wrap on other cars and I have not heard anyone complaining about it.
    Just curious, who "hinted" at this? (not necessarily a name, but was it a Tesla SC person? or someone else?
     
  8. b00st3d

    b00st3d Member

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    I have a full xpel stealth wrap covering up the sensors, and distances parked in my garage seem the same...
     
  9. f-stop

    f-stop Member

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    Disclaimer - my Model S is not wrapped, and I don't know if wraps can affect the ultrasonic sensors.

    but I offer the following data for reference:

    After I took delivery of my 70D I noticed left front sensors were frequently giving false proximity alarms when there was absolutely nothing near the car. Brought the car in for service and they said there were some cars coming out of production with too much paint on some of the sensors, causing this problem. They tested all my car's sensors and measured the paint thickness. Their findings as indicated on the service invoice:

    "LF outer sensor = 155um, LF inner = 160um
    all other sensors approx 135-140um

    LF inner and LF outer exceeded specifications and were replaced"

    So... it seems proper operation of the ultrasonic sensors can be affected by a variation in paint thickness of perhaps >10~15%. Just a guess, but perhaps *if* there's any variation in wrap thickness covering the ultrasonic sensors, that could cause similar issues? (i.e. variation in thickness more important than whether covered by wrap or not)
     
    • Informative x 1
  10. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    wow! testing thickness of paint

    didn't know SC had the kit for that
     
  11. Pollux

    Pollux Active Member

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    @Dstrohl - thanks for the suggestions. Sorry, will not share further birdie info. :)

    @NewJerseyMS, @b00st3d - thanks for the data points!

    @f-stop - wow! first solid indication of a potential issue. I would wonder also about differences between plastic wrap and paint for proper ultrasound transmission and operation. But I'm thinking the holes cut in the wrap should eliminate any issue. Paint too thick! Good story.

    Thanks all,
    Alan
     
    • Like x 1
  12. Pollux

    Pollux Active Member

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    Dear friends,

    My S is in the middle of being wrapped by Brett Miller of All American Paint Protection, located near the Rockville SC. Brett is very careful about all the details. My conversation with him over the phone and again in person convinced me that he cares about and thinks about every possible aspect of his work.

    Wednesday night, my co-pilot and I drove our new S over to AAPP immediately after taking delivery. The car was exposed to the world for five minutes or less. :) Brett and I did a thorough walk around the car and discussed every aspect. Brett immediately realized that he was looking at AP2.0 cameras that were new to him.

    If I have them down correctly, I believe the cameras are these:
    + 3 forward-looking, mounted on rear-view mirror
    + 1 backward-looking, mounted on rear bumper
    + 2 side/backward-looking, mounted on little flanges on the side of the car
    + 2 side-looking, mounted on the B pillars roughly at head height behind driver's head

    Wrapping is a non-issue for the cameras mounted on the rear-view mirror (although windshield tinting might be an interesting issue) and the rear-bumper mounted one. None of these get wrapped anyway.

    The ones mounted on the side flanges are located in such a way that a body wrap will go around the flanges and never involve the cameras. So hopefully no issue there.

    Finally, there are the two mounted on the B pillars. It's tempting to wrap them as there will be a single piece of plastic protecting that pillar. Cutting holes in that plastic means that there will be edges around the cameras... and stuff could accumulate at those edges, fingers could snag on them, etc. So it'd be nice to just do a single piece of plastic.

    Out of an abundance of caution, Brett researched the issue. Here's what a birdie told him (in Brett's words):

    I believe the translation of this report is: (1) a layer of plastic over the camera may well result in distortion and (2) even so, no warranty will be voided.

    In any case, the upshot is that Brett is recommending that we NOT wrap the B pillars at all, to avoid the problem of cutting holes in it. Instead, he's going to apply a bunch of extra layers of Ceramic Pro. As the B pillar is rarely if ever involved in the kinds of incidents for which one purchases Xpel, I think it's a reasonable compromise. So I guess I'm getting a 95% body wrap. :)

    Thanks,

    Alan

    P.S. From yesterday: front has been undergone paint correction, whatever other prep needed; wrapped in Xpel. I think this photo looks like something you'd see in an advertisement in an automobile magazine.

    IMG_0162.JPG.jpg
     
    • Like x 3
  13. zzzzdoc

    zzzzdoc Member

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    Mine is fully wrapped with Xpel Ultimate. No issues whatsoever.
     
  14. Fonz100D

    Fonz100D New Member

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    I had the same question, I just took Delivery of my 2017 100D , took straight to shop to get xpel clear wrapped and chrome delete (also bought from Brett miller) but wrapped it locally we also clear wrapped over the bumper sensors ( not any cameras) and i was a little concerned about that But these are only parking sensors right? I only have 49 miles on it but was worried because my auto pilot wasnt working right im thinking cameras and sensors need to calibrated IDK .
    New to auto pilot my other Tesla is 2014
     
  15. SMAlset

    SMAlset Active Member

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    We had a custom full Xpel Ultimate wrap on ours and they didn't cover the sensors.
     
  16. Drone Flyer

    Drone Flyer Member

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    Not advisable to tint the front windshield.
    If there's an oil slick on the road, you won't see it.
     
  17. Fonz100D

    Fonz100D New Member

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    We had our installer cover the whole bumper with xpel clear wrap so theres no break in the wrap to avoid any dirt or future peeling . So checked the sensors and they seem to be working fine.
    Anyone else clear wrap over the parking sensors?
     
  18. Fonz100D

    Fonz100D New Member

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    Is this still true so far? any problems since then? I wrapped over mine too, but i havent drove my car much lol I only got 49 miles on it.
     
  19. LVGhost

    LVGhost Member

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    Fonz100D, yup still haven't had any problems whatsoever after 11k miles.
     
  20. azdryheat

    azdryheat Member

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    Not sure where you got that information but I can tell you that in a glare I see much more with tint. In low light it is not much less, since the tint is so light.
     

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