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Where Do Rock Chips Impact the M3 the Most?

Nogusta

New Member
Jul 30, 2021
3
2
Toronto
Hey guys, my M3 got delivered recently and I've been reading all these opinions on PPF ever since.

I have a white M3 and I'm worried about PPF discoloration in the future (~5 years) and the fact that it's supposed to be basically taken off at some point (5-10 years) and reapplied (pain in the ass, needs professional removal). Also there's the idea that even if you apply PPF, if you wait too long to take it off (eg. 10 years), the glue bond gets so strong it'll take paint off with it (requiring re-painting anyways).

That all being said, I'm considering just PPFing what's absolutely important since I've been analyzing stone chip patterns on my friends cars (corollas, accords, daily drivers).
Front Fenders: Basically no chips at all.
Side mirrors: No chips at all
Hood: Some chips
Front Bumper: Numerous chips
Rocker Panels: A few scuffs, nothing major.
Headlights: Seem to be no issues.

I know that detailers have been scouring these forums telling ppl to do full front end no matter what, but what's the real value here? Seems like Bumper, Hood and maybe rocker panels (because I'm in Canada) are the way to go, but the M3's fenders do extend pretty far forward.

PPF is expensive and if I have to pay to remove it later, I really don't want to apply more than I need to. My inner cheapskate is telling me my paint is white, so stone chips won't show anyways and I might as well pay for a respray later on at the same cost.

What's the best path forward here?
 
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joebruin77

Active Member
Dec 23, 2018
1,171
1,069
Encino, CA
If you are not that concerned about rock chips and would rather keep the expense down, there is nothing wrong with skipping PPF all together and using a $9 bottle of Turtle Wax Seal and Shine 3-4 times a year for your paint protection. You can either live with the rock chips, use touch up paint, or have the panel repainted.

But if you are concerned about rock chips, I would have PPF applied to your front bumper, rocker panels, front fenders, and hood. I would not worry about discoloration. That was more of an issue with older PPF. The latest PPF's are less prone to discoloration. Plus if the PPF is installed by a factory authorized installer, it should come with a lengthy warranty. My Xpel PPF came with a 10-year warranty. Discoloration is definitely covered by the warranty. And if I sell the car, the warranty is transferable to the new owner.
 

Nogusta

New Member
Jul 30, 2021
3
2
Toronto
If you are not that concerned about rock chips and would rather keep the expense down, there is nothing wrong with skipping PPF all together and using a $9 bottle of Turtle Wax Seal and Shine 3-4 times a year for your paint protection. You can either live with the rock chips, use touch up paint, or have the panel repainted.

But if you are concerned about rock chips, I would have PPF applied to your front bumper, rocker panels, front fenders, and hood. I would not worry about discoloration. That was more of an issue with older PPF. The latest PPF's are less prone to discoloration. Plus if the PPF is installed by a factory authorized installer, it should come with a lengthy warranty. My Xpel PPF came with a 10-year warranty. Discoloration is definitely covered by the warranty. And if I sell the car, the warranty is transferable to the new owner.
Hmm but xpel might give you the plastic again, but you still have to pay for removal and reinstall, which is like 90% of the cost?
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,846
3,560
Maine
Hey guys, my M3 got delivered recently and I've been reading all these opinions on PPF ever since.

I have a white M3 and I'm worried about PPF discoloration in the future (~5 years) and the fact that it's supposed to be basically taken off at some point (5-10 years) and reapplied (pain in the ass, needs professional removal). Also there's the idea that even if you apply PPF, if you wait too long to take it off (eg. 10 years), the glue bond gets so strong it'll take paint off with it (requiring re-painting anyways).

That all being said, I'm considering just PPFing what's absolutely important since I've been analyzing stone chip patterns on my friends cars (corollas, accords, daily drivers).
Front Fenders: Basically no chips at all.
Side mirrors: No chips at all
Hood: Some chips
Front Bumper: Numerous chips
Rocker Panels: A few scuffs, nothing major.
Headlights: Seem to be no issues.

I know that detailers have been scouring these forums telling ppl to do full front end no matter what, but what's the real value here? Seems like Bumper, Hood and maybe rocker panels (because I'm in Canada) are the way to go, but the M3's fenders do extend pretty far forward.

PPF is expensive and if I have to pay to remove it later, I really don't want to apply more than I need to. My inner cheapskate is telling me my paint is white, so stone chips won't show anyways and I might as well pay for a respray later on at the same cost.

What's the best path forward here?
Definitely got the front bumper done. If you feel frugal, you can do the hood and rockers yourself, since they are quite easy. Often the front fenders are included in DIY hood kits. Can be quite inexpensive to do it yourself.
 

Perscitus

Member
Jan 29, 2019
902
627
New York
Windshield is a prime target - chips, nicks, etc. and headlights can be impacted too - all a question of luck (or lack thereof), geo location, and the typical variables associated with this type of wear and tear damage.
 
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Perscitus

Member
Jan 29, 2019
902
627
New York
PPF, ceramic or not - no getting away from chips, nicks, scrapes, scuffs.
Unless you are either a. super lucky b. vision-impaired c. garage queen focused.

At best, these solutions can only lessen the damage or take the brunt of it, only to be damaged themselves (which can either be easily fixed OR often not easily fixed without a full section replacement).

The other properites of PPF, coatings that are actually fairly important can be pros or cons - depending on who you ask.

At the end of the day, these are just mass produced econobox appliances, most of which will be off the road in 15-20 years time.

For some they must look as good as possible for the first x years or all this time. For others, they are A to B transport liabilities on their balance sheets from the day they roll off at delivery. Both fine approaches.
 

CorneliusRox

Member
Mar 3, 2021
177
186
MN
I live two miles down a dirt road. It's very well maintained and marked at 55mph. I typically drive 45.

2,800 miles into owning my '21 Model 3P, the rockers were down to primer anywhere I didn't have PPF installed. The leading edges on the doors, primer. Any downward facing surface all the way up to about the door handles where the body starts turning upwards more, sand blasted.

It was Hell getting Tesla to warranty it. They did pay for some of the repaint. I paid for the rest. Then I had the entire car wrapped in XPel PPF. It was around $5000 for the PPF.

I love the car other than this, but the Tesla Service Center people are garbage. I just took the car back in because they missed clips and fasteners upon reinstall after my paint was completed. They actually tried blaming me for it. "Are you sure this didn't happen when the PPF guys did the wrap?" The PPF guys did not do anything with the interior panels of my car...

Honestly, I wouldn't recommend the car to friends due to paint and service. Hedge your bets and get full PPF. Mud flaps too.
 
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Nogusta

New Member
Jul 30, 2021
3
2
Toronto
According to my installer, Xpel really stands behind their product. If the PPF needs to be replaced under warranty, Xpel will cover the cost of removal and reinstallation.
That's great to know! I noticed that some people have been saying to make sure I use an authorized XPEL installer to obtain their 10 year warranty.

There are lots of XPEL installers in my area that aren't on the authorized installer list on XPEL's site. Does that mean I get no 10 year warranty with these guys?

It seems like I'm supposed to get an xpel warranty card with every install to get in on the 10 year action... can these be provided by non-authorized installers and still be good?
 
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TesslAshanti

T'Challa the Tesla (M3P)
Jul 28, 2021
37
28
75028
Hey guys, my M3 got delivered recently and I've been reading all these opinions on PPF ever since.

I have a white M3 and I'm worried about PPF discoloration in the future (~5 years) and the fact that it's supposed to be basically taken off at some point (5-10 years) and reapplied (pain in the ass, needs professional removal). Also there's the idea that even if you apply PPF, if you wait too long to take it off (eg. 10 years), the glue bond gets so strong it'll take paint off with it (requiring re-painting anyways).

That all being said, I'm considering just PPFing what's absolutely important since I've been analyzing stone chip patterns on my friends cars (corollas, accords, daily drivers).
Front Fenders: Basically no chips at all.
Side mirrors: No chips at all
Hood: Some chips
Front Bumper: Numerous chips
Rocker Panels: A few scuffs, nothing major.
Headlights: Seem to be no issues.

I know that detailers have been scouring these forums telling ppl to do full front end no matter what, but what's the real value here? Seems like Bumper, Hood and maybe rocker panels (because I'm in Canada) are the way to go, but the M3's fenders do extend pretty far forward.

PPF is expensive and if I have to pay to remove it later, I really don't want to apply more than I need to. My inner cheapskate is telling me my paint is white, so stone chips won't show anyways and I might as well pay for a respray later on at the same cost.

What's the best path forward here?
Best post ever!!!
 
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joebruin77

Active Member
Dec 23, 2018
1,171
1,069
Encino, CA
That's great to know! I noticed that some people have been saying to make sure I use an authorized XPEL installer to obtain their 10 year warranty.

There are lots of XPEL installers in my area that aren't on the authorized installer list on XPEL's site. Does that mean I get no 10 year warranty with these guys?

It seems like I'm supposed to get an xpel warranty card with every install to get in on the 10 year action... can these be provided by non-authorized installers and still be good?

I suggest you go to the Xpel website and contact Xpel customer service directly. I have both Xpel PPF as well as Xpel ceramic tint installed on my 2018 P3D and I have found Xpel customer service to be very responsive. Ask them to provide you with Xpel authorized installers in your area and I am sure they will give you this info. And yes, when I had both products installed, I was provided with an Xpel warranty card.
 

MCIVSTX

Member
Jul 24, 2021
10
4
Austin, Texas
In my case I have a 2018 Model 3 (No PPF) with around 42k Miles driven mostly in Texas (Austin, Dallas, East Texas).

Most Rock Chips

Front Bumper (ALOT everywhere)
Rockers (Chips at the front near the front tires and near the back along the side)
Rear bumper edge facing tires (A cluster near the bottom)
Hood (A few here and there)
Front Edge of Quarter panels (A few)
Headlights (Hard to tell maybe 2)
Leading Edge of Rear Quarter (1 on drivers side)
A Pillar (1 on the passenger side)
Mirror (1 on the driver mirror)

Least Rock Chips

Around 40k miles I ended adding the TSolutions Mudflaps that have reduced further damage. Personally I would just get some mudflaps and maybe a DIY kit for the rockers and bumper. Everywhere else can be hidden with some touch up paint and DA polisher action.
 

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