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What's better long term SunTek or Xpel?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by GasKilla, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. GasKilla

    GasKilla No Gas Know Peace

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    I saw a white S85 this morning in a parking lot and their "clear bra" was turning yellow. I ordered a black MS, called a couple of installers yesterday asked one guy what he thought was better and he said he would NOT put Xpel on the super high end cars he does (Bugatti etc).

    So I'd like to know what your experience is regarding these products. I'd like to apply some protection but certainly don't want it to yellow after a year or so and/or need replacing (even under warranty) after a couple of years. I plan to keep my car for the long haul (last car I purchased new I kept for 15 years).
     
  2. jerry33

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

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    No yellowing at close to three years in Texas on Suntek--parked outside. However, my understanding is that yellowing is mostly caused by using products with petroleum in them, so be sure to use only compatible products.
     
  3. GasKilla

    GasKilla No Gas Know Peace

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    Are you referring to cleaning products or installation products?
     
  4. Vigile

    Vigile Member

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    As someone who can only find XPEL dealers near me I am very interested in what users say in this thread. Subscribed!
     
  5. jerry33

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

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    Cleaning and protection products.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The Xpel dealer near me wasn't an Xpel dealer when I purchased my car, and he had all kinds of reasons why not to use Xpel. Now that he's a dealer he loves it. Because he came across like a used car salesperson I want elsewhere.

    My thought is that how the film is applied is more important than whether it's Xpel or Suntek.
     
  6. BertL

    BertL Active Member

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    #6 BertL, Nov 18, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
    My personal previous experience with XPEL (not the present "ultimate" product they have) did develop IMHO a different color cast to it that I didn't like on my pearl white Lexus back in the day. I had it removed for that reason IIRC within 2 years of installation. (FWIW, I used only Zymol carnauba back in those days, but can't remember the QD I was using if it was something other than in the Zymol line.)

    I also put XPEL on my former (rock magnet) 335i which was a dark metallic blue. The paint finish was inferior to my present MS, in that the BMW had extraordinary orange peel from the factory. That may have contributed to what I'm going to say, but the reflectivity of the surfaces with and without the film were quite noticeable in some lighting conditions. I did not do a full wrap of the vehicle, so if you did, this likely would not have been as great of a concern.

    ...so my net is I didn't put a film on my new Pearl white MC MS ...but I have limited problems where I live and frequent with rocks for the most part, so have elected to take my chances -- but I also know of many people (and local Tesla owners) that swear about the film and had it applied soon after delivery. I am very picky as to how my ride looks. I do suggest the film installer makes all the difference. Be sure to inspect examples of their work in person -- not just in pictures or on the net, best case on a color like your ride will be and in different lighting situations. Check areas near edges to see how they handle the film -- if it gets close to the edge and how much variability they have along panel lines. Also check where the film could be stretched by an unseasoned installer as its wrapped around corners and across odd surface contours. A good installer won't stretch the film, which produces odd wavy looks in those areas in some light. Check if you are OK with applying the film in only some areas of the car and not others, in terms of the overall look -- IMHO different colors take to the partial application better than others. Lastly, I would never, ever, do a mini (or partial hood) application -- a minimum full nose and hood, or none for me -- otherwise the line where the film ends part way up the hood becomes a trap for excess polish and dirt, so again, different colors will show that line off more than others and it would drive me wild within a few days after I washed it.

    Good luck. Hope that helps with perhaps a different perspective. Many people are happy with film on their rides, including the Tesla. It's not for me now with my pearl white MC (light colors including metallic silver tend not to show off chips as easily as dark do), but I would still consider it again if I lived in an area with lots more sand, gravel, salt, etc that kicks-up, especially if I owned a dark color low riding vehicle again.
     
  7. GasKilla

    GasKilla No Gas Know Peace

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    Thanks for the info. I'm still waiting for my MS to be delivered so I'm trying to decide which way to go. One of my concerns is that I'll have a body colored roof and was wondering if there would be a noticeable difference between a full covered hood and a non-covered roof. Also I ordered black so that is a concern as far as chips showing up more.
     
  8. BertL

    BertL Active Member

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    If I were you, I think I'd do two things:

    1) Find a reputable installer that you would likely use ... Contact them, explain, and ask if you could come in some time when they are installing on a black vehicle so you can see it before and after, or maybe halfway through the process... The film has to dry (well, the adhesive under it), so it's perhaps not quite as clear when its first installed as it will be a few days later, but you'd get some visuals as pieces were applied to a vehicle and how adjoining areas with and without the film look to you.

    2) Find a local car show or Saturday get-together and see if perhaps there are cars there with film applied so you can compare. Other choice would be to perhaps post on one of the local TMC groups near you, and maybe someone has a black Tesla with film applied that would let you have a look...

    For me, film is like tint on Windows... Discussion is great. Pictures and websites are better. ...but nothing is better than letting my own eyes see what it looks like before I make the final decision that I have to live with. Good luck.
     
  9. GasKilla

    GasKilla No Gas Know Peace

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    Great suggestions. I just got off the phone with a local installer and he suggested I drop by the shop and take a look. Didn't really think about asking to see a black car. I'll try and drop by for the up close and personal inspection.
     
  10. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    So...what does he use?
     
  11. GasKilla

    GasKilla No Gas Know Peace

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    That shop said SunTek, called a different shop today and they said they only use Xpel because it's superior and they would never use SunTek. That's why I'm seeking real world information from actual Tesla owners and not a shop trying to sell me what they have or make more money on.
     
  12. jerry33

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

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    From the posts I've read it's about 5-1 Xpel-Suntek. Xpel is reputably thicker and has a ten year warranty. Suntek has five or six years. Suntek is reputedly easier to install around curved surfaces without have to cut or have wrinkles. The only reason I didn't get Xpel was that the installer didn't instill confidence.

    What you need to do is find some cars that an installer in your area has done and then critically examine them. Car shows, car club meetings, Cars and Coffee are all good places to look.
     
  13. XPEL

    XPEL Vendor

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    The film, XPEL ULTIMATE, is warrantied for 10 years against yellowing, cracking, peeling, staining and delaminating...so if any of that happens its covered under warranty to include Film and Labor. We've personally worked on Bugatti's, LaFerrari, etc and it works and looks incredible. If you have any questions, i'd be glad to help...please let us know.

    The petroleum products, which include Naphtha and Kerosine, can harm the film and cause pre-mature yellowing and other problems...best way to make sure your detailing products don't contain this is to look up the MSDS.

    Yes, we always recommend going to check out the shop if you have any doubts. Seeing the car in person with film that has dried/cured (meaning that after an installation there is sometimes moisture trapped which goes away after 24-48 hours typically) is the best option. This happens on most vehicles regardless of the installer.

    Great! If you need any assistance let us know. Even if it's not our product we want to make sure people are informed and protecting their beautiful Tesla's!
     
  14. GasKilla

    GasKilla No Gas Know Peace

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    How long has XPEL ULTIMATE been on the market? How should the film look after 10 years? What percentage of installations have a warranty repair?
     
  15. XPEL

    XPEL Vendor

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    XPEL ULTIMATE has been on the market officially since 2011...

    How the film looks after 10 years depends on how the car is used:


    • If the car is driven daily on icy roads treated with gravel covered roads, then there will certainly be some small nicks in the film as time goes by (but the paint underneath will have been protected).
    • If it's garage kept/stays in the garage, the film will likely look no different than the day it was put on.
    • Being that most of us fall somewhere in between those extremes, the film will too. Their conditions will depend on where it falls within that spectrum.

    The main point is that it won’t be a cracked, bright yellow mess with lifting edges. We test our film in controlled environments (xenon arc and accelerated weather), but also on panels in the Florida sun at a very specific angle (which is generally considered to be an accepted standardized method of testing as far as OEM manufacturers are concerned).

    As far as warranty claims... Less than 1% of the Ultimate film sold has come back for warranty.
     
  16. GasKilla

    GasKilla No Gas Know Peace

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    Thanks for all the information.

    I'm leaning towards your product but I have limited funds and made a very big stretch to purchase a MS even after you factor in my $12k in discounts. Is the material that expensive or are all the installers in the LA area just charging huge fees because well it's Los Angeles?
     
  17. XPEL

    XPEL Vendor

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    Different areas of the country charge different amounts, because the biggest factor is the labor and the quality of the labor. Pricing generally speaking is as follows:


    For a partial front end. This includes 18-24” up the hood and fenders, front bumper, mirrors and sometimes headlights. This ranges from $795 - $1,000.
    Option1_BikinHoodFendersMirrorsBumper.jpg


    For a full front it can range between from $1,795 - $2,100. This includes the entire hood and front fenders, front bumper, mirrors and sometimes headlights.

    Option2_FullHoodFendersMirrorsBumper.jpg

    For the full car it can range between from $5,000 - $8,000. This includes every painted surface on the car possible.

    3Option3_CompleteCar.jpg
     
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