TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

To paint armor, or not to...

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by Rodolfo Paiz, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. Rodolfo Paiz

    Rodolfo Paiz P85 "Plug and Play"

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Messages:
    681
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Why do you really put paint armor on your cars? Dings from rocks, bird crap, and actual damage to the paint that you want to prevent? Or general protection to the paint for resale purposes? Or what?

    I don't mind spending money when I understand the value of what I'm receiving, but in this case I'm honestly not sure of what the value proposition is...
     
  2. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Messages:
    1,674
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I didn't get it. I don't have a bumper on my iPhone or keep the plastic on a new couch or mattress either. To me, if the car can't handle normal usage without protection it's not worth its salt IMHO.

    Plus it looks blah and a TM employee talked me out of it. Spent the money on the sound package instead. Cars will get used. And dinged. It's part of life, and I haven't heard that it is that much more expensive to touch up paint job than replacing dinged paint armor, but I could be wrong about that.
     
  3. montgom626

    montgom626 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    Messages:
    1,339
    Location:
    USA
    Dings.
     
  4. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Messages:
    4,279
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Pretty much what Trnsl8r said:

    I don't have a screen protector on my phone, or a case. I am careful with it, but would rather have a small scratch than have to deal with the much worse feel of a plastic screen protector than the glass everyday. I see the armor on cars fairly easily, and dislike the look. And wouldn't replace it if it got scratched anyway.

    I think if you are the type of person that wants to resale, will replace armor when it gets damaged, or has a mega-protector on your phone even though you don't drop it or throw it into a purse then get it. Otherwise save the money for some touch up paint or a pano-roof.
     
  5. tdiggity

    tdiggity Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Rock chips on the freeway for me. With air suspension and how it lowers itself at high speed, I think it'll catch more rocks than normal.
     
  6. scriptacus

    scriptacus Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    216
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Rick chips is a big one. This weekend I went driving with my friend up 33 near Ojai (nice windy mountain road). I could hear the rocks getting kicked up on the underside and the rockers while driving.

    Afterwards I could see numerous places where rocks had dinged the ppf, but the paint underneath is fine, and since the armor I got (Suntek) is self healing the scuffs will smooth out as well.

    As for looks... No one has noticed that I have ppf until I tell them and point out the places where the edges can be seen, which are very few because I had it tucked/rolled and because most of the non tucked areas have their edge on a molded body line.

    To me the peace if mind is well worth it, and it doesn't detract from the look of the car at all.
     
  7. GasDoc

    GasDoc Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    Messages:
    774
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    I was on the fence for a while and I'm having armor put on tomorrow. Full hood, bumper and front fenders.

    I already have a tiny ding and I don't want any more.
     
  8. Tommy

    Tommy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Messages:
    880
    Location:
    The great OC
    If rocks came in the color of your car than a ding might not be so bad. But they don't, and after they hit, they leave the tell tale little white pockmark. That's not the look I want and owning a dark colored car, the paint protection was the better aesthetic choice.
     
  9. spatterso911

    spatterso911 MSP#7577 **--** MX#1891

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,213
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    BMW's are known for poor resistive qualities of their paint to stone/rock chips. I got PPF on my 2006 M5 because of my past experiences with paint chips. I had a 2003 M5 without PPF and in 2 years, the paint on the front looked horrible. May not bother some people, but it bothered me. No amount of driving skill or precaution can prevent this, it's purely a function of where you live and your past experiences with chipping paint. If you have never had this problem, don't get PPF. Since I have no idea of how Tesla's paint will perform, getting PPF was an easy decision. If you live in an area where stone/rock chips is a real problem, you have to decide which is worse: the chipped paint look or the PPF look.
     
  10. dsmith2189

    dsmith2189 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2012
    Messages:
    1,303
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    I had to repaint my last car 3 times (in 10 years) due to rock chips on the highway. and talk about bird poop. I park my S in an open parking lot with no trees or wires and I still spend 1/2 hour each day getting all the spots off my car before the acid eats into my paint job. (I gave up on my last car after having it repainted from the rock chips) it cost me about 2K in resale value not to mention the cost to paint. even after a high end detail, you could still see the results of the birds damage. I did not get paint armor from the factory because I didn't want partial coverage on the hood. I am going to do it when I have the $$ available.
     
  11. ZestyChicken

    ZestyChicken Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    256
    Location:
    Dallas TX
    I was going to get my car wrapped with Xpel Ultimate. Don't have much experience with paint armor though.

    From what I've read it's invisible, self-healing and has a great gloss tint. I also found a place in the DFW area that can do it. I'm just curious why the doors on the side aren't typically wrapped. When you park, your doors are really exposed to other cars opening up and smacking your doors. The S doesn't have any side mouldings to protect the doors from dings. Seems like the wrap might help. Obviously not going to stop a dent, but could prevent scratches/chips, no?
     
  12. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    914
    Location:
    Seattle area
    I've had the 3m Clear braw on my cars for the better part of a decade. it's nice, even protects the headlights, which are quite expensive! It's an aesthetic thing for us, we like to protect against rock dings, which for some reason, I have terrible luck with. I decided not to get Tesla's paint armor because I've been dissatisfied with the lines from partial wraps. pollen and grit over time can make these lines quite noticable, that and wherever I haven't had it is where the rocks and dings seem to go. I opted to go with a full body XPEL wrap. XPEL is "self healing", meaning it's an advanced resin that can permanently hide scratches once it sits in the sun and warms up, if they are not too severe. I'm told it also holds a really nice finish over time if waxed, keeping a nice shine. I started with the XPEL web site and shopped around locally through their list of factory certified installers. I found someone about 40 minutes away who does custom jobs who showed me an example of his work and gave me a great price. the cost around here is typically 7+8K, he is doing it for 5,200. based on the examples, his work is excellent, virtually every edge line is tucked under the panel seams, hiding the lines, rather than the typical border edge line showing. If tesla offered it from the factory we would have done the full wrap through them. Even though the protectant film doesn't protect from all dings, it significantly reduces the likelihood that the car will have to be repainted. when there is no paint damage, ding repairs can be as simple as having them massaged out from underneath. BTW, my car has already had a door ding, thankfully it did not damage the paint!
     
  13. jed-99aggie

    jed-99aggie Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Messages:
    63
    For me it is a function of protecting the front fascia.

    My prior car (acquired preowned) had some irritating fine rock chips on the front. After spending 1 too many Saturday's washing the car and reflecting on the paint, I was resolved to get a protection film on my next new car. I did not get the Tesla option, but like 100thMonkey found a local shop to do a full hood and other surfaces (bumper, fenders, mirrors, headlights, foglights, "a" pillars and rear bumper-trunk entry area). I too ended up with XPEL. I have had it for 3+ months and no regrets.

    Two other considerations:
    1 - when comparing Xpel to the Tesla sourced product, Xpel is noticeably clearer (if done well/wrapped edges I would argue indiscernible to sight). The Tesla product does result in a "distorted" finish.
    2 - IF YOU HAVE BLUE, find something to protect the finish as this is the softest paint I have ever owned. Hopefully this is an isolated event, but I recall others mentioning it late last year.
     
  14. miamimd

    miamimd Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Miami
    Question: I got an estimate of almost full car( except roof and rear bumper) Suntek paint protection film and 3M Crystalline Tint of approx. $4K. is this a fair price? Thanks!!
     
  15. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    6,097
    Location:
    Redwood Shores, CA
    Kind of an orthogonal question: for those who got PPF (I didn't), is your car as much of a dust magnet as my regular metallic job seems to be?!

    I may just be noticing this much more on a dark color but, I could swear that my wife's dark-brown-colored car doesn't attract half as much dust. It's almost as if dust clings to the painted aluminum body so much more easily than I have ever seen before with cars.

    Is PPF helping in this regard in any way?
     
  16. gsxrex

    gsxrex Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    NorCal
    Even the dust loves awesomeness. :biggrin:

    But it's also springtime, and there is lots of pollen in the air. My bright blue Subaru gets a coating of pollen every day just sitting at my office, not parked next to any trees.
     
  17. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    914
    Location:
    Seattle area
    I got a full XPEL wrap for $5,200. XPEL is much nicer than 3M, IMHO, supposed to be "self healing" (scratches get reabsorbed when it heats up in the sun), it is also marketed as able to keep a nice gloss over time. a well done full wrap should hide virtually all edges so it's indistinguishable from paint. if this interests you check out XPEL's web site and search for factory certified installers in your area. the private shops can swing deals. it takes about 5 days, it's a lot of work, that's why it's expensive! best to shop around, I received quotes all the way up to $8+K.

     
  18. GasDoc

    GasDoc Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    Messages:
    774
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #18 GasDoc, Mar 26, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
    I've never had paint armor before so I listened to some very experienced and very trusted sources.

    They led me to Premiere Motorcars in Fremont. They use only ClearGuardX by Prestige Film Technologies. Their website has some scary videos about botched film jobs done at other places.

    The shop was like an auto porn set. My Model S was sharing the room with a McLaren and a Lamborghini.

    I'm going to write up a review later but my suggestion is to not go by price alone. I can tell that quality work was done on my car. I can't see any seams anywhere and there was no doubt in my mind that there would be no razor cuts in my paint.

    They told me the "self healing" aspect is true of all the films but maybe some vendors play up this feature more than others. I had my entire hood, front bumper, fenders and mirrors done. The job was pricey but I have no regrets whatsoever about the work.
     
  19. gsxrex

    gsxrex Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    NorCal
    My car is currently at Premier. I'm the first black Model S they've gotten to work on.

    Agree on the auto porn. There was a McLaren, Lamborghini, 911 Turbo, and a green Model S in the shop when I dropped off a week and a half ago. Can't wait till I get the car back tomorrow!
     
  20. ZestyChicken

    ZestyChicken Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    256
    Location:
    Dallas TX
    I got a quote in Dallas of $3,000 for full wrap c XPEL + tinting c llumar window films. Does that sound reasonable? Seems about right to me considering what a pain in the ass this kind of work is, but maybe I'm crazy...
     

Share This Page