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SunTek/Ultra Defense Paint Protection Film (PPF) Group Buy in NOVA/DC - TLC Auto Detail

PhilDavid

Active Member
May 22, 2018
2,552
2,342
Philadelphia
Got my car back on Monday but I'm holding off on giving a more detailed review. Obviously circumstances are tough right now so I don't think I got the ideal service (understaffed because he takes care of his people which I highly approve of) and it looks like some things were rushed or not done by the regular person. Also, I'm not sure if they've done dechroming before because it was pretty rough.
They've been really friendly though and promised a lifetime warranty on their work so I'm sure I can get it sorted when things have settled down.

Thanks for the update! Could you please post photos?
 
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picklem

Member
Jan 7, 2020
58
29
Reston
I'll hold off on any close-ups until Dave's had a chance to sort them out. He said that they often have a problem with edges because Tesla doesn't clear coat all the way around and as for the vinyl de-chroming, mirrors are simply tricky beasts so they'll try to fix that.
Sorry for the close crops, don't want to include neighbor's vehicles too much.
Car1.JPG Car2.JPG Car3.JPG Car4.JPG Car5.JPG

Not sure why some of the thumbnails didn't load but the pics should open properly.
 
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picklem

Member
Jan 7, 2020
58
29
Reston
@DCEV, did you find the edges lifting soon after getting it?
Dave said it's normal and he's going to have to trim it and it's because Tesla don't do the clear coat all the way around the edges.
I was wondering if you had a similar experience at the beginning (because there are a lot of lifted edges and it's worrying me...)
 

PhilDavid

Active Member
May 22, 2018
2,552
2,342
Philadelphia
@DCEV, did you find the edges lifting soon after getting it?
Dave said it's normal and he's going to have to trim it and it's because Tesla don't do the clear coat all the way around the edges.
I was wondering if you had a similar experience at the beginning (because there are a lot of lifted edges and it's worrying me...)

Just about all the PPF shops I've inquired about ask you to bring your car back in after a short time for adjustments and a complimentary wash. Have you done this yet?
 
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picklem

Member
Jan 7, 2020
58
29
Reston
Just about all the PPF shops I've inquired about ask you to bring your car back in after a short time for adjustments and a complimentary wash. Have you done this yet?
Yup, they told me to bring it in after a couple of weeks or so. I emailed them this week to book it in but no response yet. I assume they're still busy/understaffed.
 

picklem

Member
Jan 7, 2020
58
29
Reston
Keep us posted and thanks for the update!

I'm planning to have my car wrapped by TLC in a couple of months.

Nice! Better start talking to them now, they're pretty busy and working shorter days so you'll want to get booked in.
I got an email back today saying they're full up this week so I'll take it in next week.
 
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picklem

Member
Jan 7, 2020
58
29
Reston
Were you able to take your car in for a follow up visit?
Not quite yet, might be next week.
The film installer is out this week and possibly longer.
They did offer to let me bring it in for a wash though but I figure I'll wait to do it all at once.
It's getting a regular wash in the storms anyway (and then getting gunked up with pollen and tree debris...)
 

PhilDavid

Active Member
May 22, 2018
2,552
2,342
Philadelphia
Not quite yet, might be next week.
The film installer is out this week and possibly longer.
They did offer to let me bring it in for a wash though but I figure I'll wait to do it all at once.
It's getting a regular wash in the storms anyway (and then getting gunked up with pollen and tree debris...)

Any news on if you were able to take your car in to have the film adjusted after the initial installation?
 
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picklem

Member
Jan 7, 2020
58
29
Reston
Any news on if you were able to take your car in to have the film adjusted after the initial installation?
They should be able to see it this week. I'll be taking it in Wed or Thu morning.
I'm still wondering if they'll be able to trim it or will have to re-do it. Some of the edges have peeled off all the way around the edge so if they trimmed it, the edge of the film would be on the top of the panel.
 
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PhilDavid

Active Member
May 22, 2018
2,552
2,342
Philadelphia
They should be able to see it this week. I'll be taking it in Wed or Thu morning.
I'm still wondering if they'll be able to trim it or will have to re-do it. Some of the edges have peeled off all the way around the edge so if they trimmed it, the edge of the film would be on the top of the panel.

Please keep us posted! I'm sure others considering using them would also love to know.

Can you also post details photos of the edges so we can see how it all turned out?
 
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picklem

Member
Jan 7, 2020
58
29
Reston
Please keep us posted! I'm sure others considering using them would also love to know.

Can you also post details photos of the edges so we can see how it all turned out?
I'll give them a chance to fix it first and then post the results. I'm taking it in tomorrow morning and I'm still kind of hoping they'll just take the time to redo it entirely. I suspect I had a new guy do my wrap rather than the guy DCEV had (John Perdue) and hopefully when Dave sees how it's looking, he'll make it right.
I really have mixed feelings about not getting the same results as DCEV. I know that everything is chaotic at the moment so I want to give them plenty of time to get things right.
 
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picklem

Member
Jan 7, 2020
58
29
Reston
Dropped it off, they're pretty busy so it might be ready for pickup early next week.
Dave was confident they could sort out the lifting without re-applying so we'll see.
The de-chroming around the mirror will also be looked at, I pointed out that when the mirrors fold back, you can see some stretched 3m vinyl and some chrome still exposed. His advice was to turn off mirror folding which will keep that hidden but also because he finds the turning joint rubs against the vinyl. I'll see, I prefer keeping my mirrors in since I'm paranoid about people knocking them.
 

picklem

Member
Jan 7, 2020
58
29
Reston
Well, I got my car back (after a week longer than they said) and I'm not terribly impressed. I'm torn between just giving up and being happy with the way it is or pushing for a full re-wrap. It looks good unless you look at it closely and I'm tempted to accept "good enough" but it pains me to see how good @DCEV's turned out in comparison and especially considering how much it all cost.
To fix the loose edges that had lifted (quite a lot of the edges around the doors, bonnet, etc), they trimmed back the film quite a bit. So much for not cutting the film while it's on the vehicle. Most of the edges now don't have film wrapped all the way around them, just halfway. I'm left wondering if it's going to start peeling again. Not to mention a couple of lifts they missed, one little pea-sized pocket on the door that it particularly visible because pollen got in it.
They improved the black wrap on the mirror chrome so it's a little better but it definitely doesn't look stock. At least it isn't peeling but not what I'd call professional.

I know the pandemic messed thing up for everyone but I had my car booked in months ahead and dropped it off weeks before quarantine started. I could see from the app that my car was left outside for most of the 3 weeks (aside from a short time inside when I'm guessing they did the tint, which is great btw) so for whatever reason they didn't wrap it until I really nagged them. This was all before the shutdown.
It was particularly frustrating because I'd recommended them to another member on here who took his car in after I dropped mine off and got it back in a matter of days! He didn't get the full wrap so I guess it was an easier job to do but that's not really an excuse to have left mine so long. At the very least, if there were reasons for the delay I would have liked more communication rather that just being told that it should just take a week and maybe it'll be ready early next week, etc.

Overall, my experience was nothing like @DCEV 's, when I first picked the car up, after the initial wrap, I noticed some loose edges so I don't think it was properly applied in the first place, makes me wonder if John Perdue, mentioned by @DCEV, was actually the one who did it. My results definitely didn't look like those photos. I really think they should have redone it rather than cutting it back, I'm just not sure if it'll hold on for the next few years (though it's guaranteed for 10).
Although Dave and the others at TLC seem like nice people, I can't really recommend them (maybe for tinting only). Perhaps it's because I didn't come in with clear expectations and a forceful attitude but I'm the kind of guy that expects people to do what they're paid for without a list of demands and constant micromanaging. If you think you can do that, maybe you'll end up with better results though you might want to wait until they aren't as busy.
I will credit them with being flexible with payments so kudos to them for that.
Sorry for the long rant, I hate to be negative but I really feel like I gave them the benefit of the doubt and was as patient with them as possible and gave them every chance to make it right but I'm just done with pushing and want to enjoy the car.
 
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PhilDavid

Active Member
May 22, 2018
2,552
2,342
Philadelphia
Well, I got my car back (after a week longer than they said) and I'm not terribly impressed. I'm torn between just giving up and being happy with the way it is or pushing for a full re-wrap. It looks good unless you look at it closely and I'm tempted to accept "good enough" but it pains me to see how good @DCEV's turned out in comparison and especially considering how much it all cost.
To fix the loose edges that had lifted (quite a lot of the edges around the doors, bonnet, etc), they trimmed back the film quite a bit. So much for not cutting the film while it's on the vehicle. Most of the edges now don't have film wrapped all the way around them, just halfway. I'm left wondering if it's going to start peeling again. Not to mention a couple of lifts they missed, one little pea-sized pocket on the door that it particularly visible because pollen got in it.
They improved the black wrap on the mirror chrome so it's a little better but it definitely doesn't look stock. At least it isn't peeling but not what I'd call professional.

I know the pandemic messed thing up for everyone but I had my car booked in months ahead and dropped it off weeks before quarantine started. I could see from the app that my car was left outside for most of the 3 weeks (aside from a short time inside when I'm guessing they did the tint, which is great btw) so for whatever reason they didn't wrap it until I really nagged them. This was all before the shutdown.
It was particularly frustrating because I'd recommended them to another member on here who took his car in after I dropped mine off and got it back in a matter of days! He didn't get the full wrap so I guess it was an easier job to do but that's not really an excuse to have left mine so long. At the very least, if there were reasons for the delay I would have liked more communication rather that just being told that it should just take a week and maybe it'll be ready early next week, etc.

Overall, my experience was nothing like @DCEV 's, when I first picked the car up, after the initial wrap, I noticed some loose edges so I don't think it was properly applied in the first place, makes me wonder if John Perdue, mentioned by @DCEV, was actually the one who did it. My results definitely didn't look like those photos. I really think they should have redone it rather than cutting it back, I'm just not sure if it'll hold on for the next few years (though it's guaranteed for 10).
Although Dave and the others at TLC seem like nice people, I can't really recommend them (maybe for tinting only). Perhaps it's because I didn't come in with clear expectations and a forceful attitude but I'm the kind of guy that expects people to do what they're paid for without a list of demands and constant micromanaging. If you think you can do that, maybe you'll end up with better results though you might want to wait until they aren't as busy.
I will credit them with being flexible with payments so kudos to them for that.
Sorry for the long rant, I hate to be negative but I really feel like I gave them the benefit of the doubt and was as patient with them as possible and gave them every chance to make it right but I'm just done with pushing and want to enjoy the car.

Thanks for sharing your experience. Can you please post photos?

Did you ask them to keep the car inside? I remember reading that that's something @DCEV explicitly wanted and they promised him the car would be inside. I think he also made them promise that all the edges will be wrapped and they will not "cut on paint." It seems he made a point of telling them exactly what he wanted and they delivered. I'm like you in general but for something like a wrap, I'm going to do what @DCEV did and have them agree to all the points that are important (keep car inside, everything wrapped, no cutting on paint, etc.,) to me in an email.

The whole reason I want to take my car there is after I saw the photos @DCEV posted where you can't even tell the car is wrapped as all the edges are completely wrapped and tucked away. IMHO this is what differentiates a good job from a mediocre one. Also like that he was able to get them to agree to ceramic coat the glass and wheels at no extra cost.

IMHO I think you should push them to redo any panels you are unhappy with and ask them to wrap them and properly tuck them in. When panels are wrapped not only can you not tell it is wrapped, it makes it hard for debris to get in and start peeling the film as well.

Also it seems the issues you had with edges coming off would not have happened if they did their post-job inspection properly. When the film is freshly installed, they can get the film to stick properly before pollen and other stuff get there. If they miss that time window and something does not stick, they'd need to cut the film on paint (!!!) or redo the panel.

How many days after delivery did you schedule your follow up visit for them to tuck and stick any film that might not have adhered properly? I'm thinking if the follow up appointment happened within a week they could have tucked everything back in.

I won't take my car in until you are happy so please let me know what happens. Tell them there are other customers waiting to see how they make sure you are happy with the work performed.
 
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picklem

Member
Jan 7, 2020
58
29
Reston
Thanks for sharing your experience. Can you please post photos?

Did you ask them to keep the car inside? I remember reading that that's something @DCEV explicitly wanted and they promised him the car would be inside. I think he also made them promise that all the edges will be wrapped and they will not "cut on paint." It seems he made a point of telling them exactly what he wanted and they delivered. I'm like you in general but for something like a wrap, I'm going to do what @DCEV did and have them agree to all the points that are important (keep car inside, everything wrapped, no cutting on paint, etc.,) to me in an email.

The whole reason I want to take my car there is after I saw the photos @DCEV posted where you can't even tell the car is wrapped as all the edges are completely wrapped and tucked away. IMHO this is what differentiates a good job from a mediocre one. Also like that he was able to get them to agree to ceramic coat the glass and wheels at no extra cost.

IMHO I think you should push them to redo any panels you are unhappy with and ask them to wrap them and properly tuck them in. When panels are wrapped not only can you not tell it is wrapped, it makes it hard for debris to get in and start peeling the film as well.

Also it seems the issues you had with edges coming off would not have happened if they did their post-job inspection properly. When the film is freshly installed, they can get the film to stick properly before pollen and other stuff get there. If they miss that time window and something does not stick, they'd need to cut the film on paint (!!!) or redo the panel.

How many days after delivery did you schedule your follow up visit for them to tuck and stick any film that might not have adhered properly? I'm thinking if the follow up appointment happened within a week they could have tucked everything back in.

I won't take my car in until you are happy so please let me know what happens. Tell them there are other customers waiting to see how they make sure you are happy with the work performed.

I agree that most of the results that @DCEV got were thanks to him being very clear with his expectations, you'd most likely get similar results if you made him sign an agreement. I'm kicking myself for just trusting what he said without pushing harder. Thinking about it though, it annoys me that I would have to make those demands in the first place. I did at least get the ceramic coating on the wheels and glass but I didn't insist on keeping it inside and no cutting. I did ask for edge wrapping though, which they did at first, it just came off.

I tried to schedule my follow up just over two weeks after the pickup but they were so busy it took a couple of weeks more before they could look at it. When I showed up, they actually forgot I was coming despite emailing to confirm it a couple of times! The lifting probably wasn't helped by the fact that I don't have a garage and there have been a lot of storms and strong sunshine and pollen, etc. But that's precisely why I'm after the paint protection and they told me that when I picked it up, everything should have set so it shouldn't be a problem. If I'd known it would lift so bad, I might have asked them to keep it inside for another week just to make sure it was okay. I think they needed the garage space though anyway.

When I first picked it up, I was so eager to get it back that I didn't go over it thoroughly until I got home so that's on me, but they should have caught those loose edges before even handing it to me. The fact that it took so long to get it done makes me think it was kind of a rush job. They also mentioned training a new guy so I also wonder if I didn't get the same wrap guy as @DCEV.

Honestly, it looks fine from a distance it just bothers me seeing it up close and knowing I paid a lot for an average job. That, and worrying that it might continue to lift. I'd be more likely to go back if I thought it would actually get fixed and in a decent time frame, but they're so busy and it's not easy for me to get out there and have my wife pick me up. I think I'm just going to take a wait-and-see approach to see if it keeps peeling. They've given me a lifetime warranty on their application so if it gets worse I can take it back.
Here are some examples of little edges still lifting and the pocket highlighted by pollen:
20200608_181704.jpg 20200608_181712.jpg 20200608_184114.jpg
 

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PhilDavid

Active Member
May 22, 2018
2,552
2,342
Philadelphia
I agree that most of the results that @DCEV got were thanks to him being very clear with his expectations, you'd most likely get similar results if you made him sign an agreement. I'm kicking myself for just trusting what he said without pushing harder. Thinking about it though, it annoys me that I would have to make those demands in the first place. I did at least get the ceramic coating on the wheels and glass but I didn't insist on keeping it inside and no cutting. I did ask for edge wrapping though, which they did at first, it just came off.

I tried to schedule my follow up just over two weeks after the pickup but they were so busy it took a couple of weeks more before they could look at it. When I showed up, they actually forgot I was coming despite emailing to confirm it a couple of times! The lifting probably wasn't helped by the fact that I don't have a garage and there have been a lot of storms and strong sunshine and pollen, etc. But that's precisely why I'm after the paint protection and they told me that when I picked it up, everything should have set so it shouldn't be a problem. If I'd known it would lift so bad, I might have asked them to keep it inside for another week just to make sure it was okay. I think they needed the garage space though anyway.

When I first picked it up, I was so eager to get it back that I didn't go over it thoroughly until I got home so that's on me, but they should have caught those loose edges before even handing it to me. The fact that it took so long to get it done makes me think it was kind of a rush job. They also mentioned training a new guy so I also wonder if I didn't get the same wrap guy as @DCEV.

Honestly, it looks fine from a distance it just bothers me seeing it up close and knowing I paid a lot for an average job. That, and worrying that it might continue to lift. I'd be more likely to go back if I thought it would actually get fixed and in a decent time frame, but they're so busy and it's not easy for me to get out there and have my wife pick me up. I think I'm just going to take a wait-and-see approach to see if it keeps peeling. They've given me a lifetime warranty on their application so if it gets worse I can take it back.
Here are some examples of little edges still lifting and the pocket highlighted by pollen:
View attachment 550457 View attachment 550458 View attachment 550459

I honestly think your car is fine! If the rest of the car is wrapped properly and these are the only areas you have an issue with, if I were you, I'd just live with it. Only YOU will know of the few areas where the film is lifting but and I'd ask them to:

1) Trim just a bit where it is lifting and secure the film properly so it is not "lifting"
2) Ask them to guarantee they will replace the film if it starts coming off or lifting any further.

You probably could have avoided these two areas if they made the adjustments a week later and the car was parked inside during that time. Some settling or lifting is normal and this is why the follow up appointment a week later is so important.

I bet even from 3 feet away you can hardly see these areas. At the end of the day the purpose of the PPF is to protect your paint and you have that protection. Did you go with SunTek Ultra or Ultra Defense?
 
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picklem

Member
Jan 7, 2020
58
29
Reston
I honestly think your car is fine! If the rest of the car is wrapped properly and these are the only areas you have an issue with, if I were you, I'd just live with it. Only YOU will know of the few areas where the film is lifting but and I'd ask them to:

1) Trim just a bit where it is lifting and secure the film properly so it is not "lifting"
2) Ask them to guarantee they will replace the film if it starts coming off or lifting any further.

You probably could have avoided these two areas if they made the adjustments a week later and the car was parked inside during that time. Some settling or lifting is normal and this is why the follow up appointment a week later is so important.

I bet even from 3 feet away you can hardly see these areas. At the end of the day the purpose of the PPF is to protect your paint and you have that protection. Did you go with SunTek Ultra or Ultra Defense?

Yeah, I'm learning to accept it. I'm just a perfectionist and given I paid $9k all up (tinting, wrap, etc.) I was expecting a flawless finish.
I'm just going to wait and see if it lifts.
I do think it would have held better if it had remained garaged (I don't have access to one) though it was already lifting a fair bit the same day I got it home. I feel like that doesn't match up with @DCEV's experience which is why I thought it might have been a rush job.
Like you said, protection is what I'm after and it's doing that (as long as it's covering the bottom edges of the door still). I was expecting a little more of an hydrophobic effect on the surfaces with the ceramic coating though.
 
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PhilDavid

Active Member
May 22, 2018
2,552
2,342
Philadelphia
Yeah, I'm learning to accept it. I'm just a perfectionist and given I paid $9k all up (tinting, wrap, etc.) I was expecting a flawless finish.
I'm just going to wait and see if it lifts.
I do think it would have held better if it had remained garaged (I don't have access to one) though it was already lifting a fair bit the same day I got it home. I feel like that doesn't match up with @DCEV's experience which is why I thought it might have been a rush job.
Like you said, protection is what I'm after and it's doing that (as long as it's covering the bottom edges of the door still). I was expecting a little more of an hydrophobic effect on the surfaces with the ceramic coating though.

You certainly paid enough money to expect perfection. I think as long as they agree to resolve this to your satisfaction and replace the panel wrap if needed I think you are fine.

The biggest thing I learned from your experience is 1) Document and confirm everything important to me via email reply including promise to keep car indoors 2) During the initial week, keep the car indoors and make sure any film "settling" is addressed immediately before the film adhesive gets contaminated.

Did you go with the thicker Ultra Defense or "standard" Ultra? Did you also have the whole car ceramic coated?

Congrats on getting your car wrapped! Do you plan to wash the car at home? After I get mine wrapped, that's what I plan to do, especially for the protection of the ceramic Coat.
 
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