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xpel wrapping vs. periodic maintenance / detailing

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by gnychis, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. gnychis

    gnychis Member

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    This is my first high end car where I am really trying to keep it in good condition. I'm concerned over all of the typical imperfections that will pop up over time: swirls, scratches, scruffs, etc. Xpel body wrap seems like a good way to keep the paint in very good condition and prevent swirls and a lot of natural surface scratches that happen of time (e.g., from rocks, parking lots). I read this thread by Steve about keeping the Model S clean, and I've seen many others on the forums going for full Xpel wraps on their car:

    Tesla Model S cleaning tips

    While I can understand the many benefits of Xpel at keeping the car in great condition, it seems like Xpel wrapping is quite expensive. For a full wrap, I've seen quotes anywhere from $3k-$6k. I've already pushed my budget quite hard to get this car. I don't quite have the money to throw another few grand at the car easily. I *could* push it and get it... but I'm wondering what is cheaper and/or better long term (over 4-5 years). It seems like every 2 years you could go for a high end detailing job and paint correction. You could get chips taken care of independently, and I suspect that Xpel isn't going to prevent every kind of chip/scratch (e.g., some that penetrate the film). Without Xpel though, you could be putting more time/effort in to washing the car and caring for it.

    Anyone more experienced Xpel vs. detailing have a good pros/cons list of the two? I'd really appreciate it.
     
  2. dratifk

    dratifk Sorry Sold my *****

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    I went with full XPEL total cost was $4200. Now whenever I wash the car it looks perfect and I don't have to worry about paint swirls and such.
     
  3. Hybris

    Hybris Member

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    4200??? I can get the car fully repainted for that!
     
  4. Alysashley79

    Alysashley79 Member

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    In the seattle area to have a good xpel wrap full body is $8k. While some may say that you can get the car repainted etc. for that price. Where. Maaco? When we first started out we just did a full front and full bumper but very quickly within a month realized how soft the tesla paint and we had a good wax opti coat on it etc. still it's really soft. Just got my car back yesterday from getting the rest wrapped. Trust me it's worth it.

    I also want want to say that this car was a stretch for us and that $8k wasn't just lying around. So if you can't do it all at once do at least full front if you have kids that use the jump seats get the full bumper and then just do the rest as you can afford it.
     
  5. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    My .02 worth, not really a wrap person. Did the Opti-Coat Pro and highly recommend it as an alternative to wrapping with a much lower cost. Do not have to wash as much, looks like it has been detailed all the time, everything comes off very easily. Protects the paint from most everything.
     
  6. MoeMistry

    MoeMistry Local Vendor - SoCal

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    We get this question a lot and I can spend hours on this subject.

    To clarify, there is NOTHING out there that is going to do what a wrap does. Coatings and sealants can minimize scratches but they cannot prevent them. Having a clear bra on the car that is 150-200 microns thick, in comparison to the best nano coating that is 5-9 microns thick. Products like Opti-coat, CQuartz, Modesta, etc. are great, but they will not prevent rock chips, scratches, scrapes, etc.

    As for the misconception of only needing a "detail" every two years, to each his own. It's like me saying I'll go to the dentist every two years but I'm still going to eat 3 times a day. Brushing and flossing is great, but seeing your dentist every 3-6 months helps stay on top of any diseases and not to mention you'll have beautiful pearly white teeth to enjoy everyday while you chomp away ;) So, a proper detailing regimen is just as important as a tune up and caring for the mechanics of your car.

    As for complete wraps going for $3000-4000, well...you get what you pay for. The devil is always in the details. Different regions, different installer skill, different business background, all play a role in pricing. Bottom line, best thing to ask an installer:

    1. How much experience do you have installing clear bra?

    2. How much experience do you have installing brand xyz?

    3. Do you pre-cut or hand trim? If hand trim, are you bulk wrapping or computer cutting and trimming by hand? Those installers that simply lay down film and trim everything by hand are pure artists. This requires years to master and the results are near seamless and flawless.

    4. What is manufacturer warranty and YOUR warranty? What if you stop using film xyz, will you still warranty my installation years down the road?

    5. What steps do you take to prep my paint for installation? At a minimum, a proper washing and claying is crucial. Higher end shops will perform a proper paint correction and touch up any paint chips

    6. If you do a FULL coverage, define FULL. How far to the edge of each panel do you come? Do you wrap over edges? Do you remove panels to gain greater access and wrap film around edges? If you do take off panels, how much experience do you have with MY car?

    7. What do you do to the film post installation? Do you apply a coating to protect the film?

    8. What's a good time for me to stop by and see your work?

    9. and the final question once all these questions have been asked HOW MUCH FOR MY BABY (your car, not real baby ;) )?

    A typical new client calls us:

    Client: I've seen your work on the forums, how much for my ....
    Me: It's $XXXX-XX,XXX depending on coverage.... then he's shocked.
    Client: Well that's XX% more than your competitor.
    Me: For the price you were quoted, what coverage is it?
    Client: Full, of course
    Me: What film is it?
    Client: Um, not sure. I didn't ask. (Or sometimes they say XPEL...then I ask is it XPEL Ultimate? Because they make several levels of film. The answer then is also, well, I didn't know they make different ones)
    Me: What's their pre and post prep?
    Client: I'm not sure
    Me: What's the shop's warranty?
    Client: I'm not sure; I didn't ask. The film is X years. (That's great, but what if shop no longer carries that film in a few years. Then what? Our warranty is always with GP. As long as we're in business, you've got us to take ownership of whatever happens to your film...within reason ;)
    Me: What is their definition of FULL and SEAMLESS install?
    Client: Not sure...what's your's :)

    By the end of this educational conversation, I've empowered the client so much that now he/she can make a clear choice as to which service is of VALUE. Being the cheapest doesn't provide the best value. And almost 9/10 times, we end up earning that client's business for so many reason other than just the mere act of installing XPEL Ultimate on their Model S. It's about the relationship and knowing someone is going to treat you right and care for your car like you would.

    I hope this helps.

    Finally, as long as you have a proper coating on the film, simply wash and apply a nano sealant spray and your film is going to look great for years depending on what you chose. Remember, a visit to your detailer every six month also assures you and he are on top of that investment protecting your whole car. Just common sense IMHO.

    Oh, as for repainting a whole car for $4000....I think Ben Franklin said it best "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten". To paint a car properly, as in back to OEM, is around $12-15000. And even that, it'll never be as good as factory.
     
  7. jerry33

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

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    I have a few places in my full-coverage paint armour where it really protected the paint. With the coatings like Opti-Coat I would be looking at several thousand dollars worth of painting. Coatings like Opti-Coat aren't even remotely a substitute for paint armour.

    - - - Updated - - -

    And even more if you actually do it right. (Doing it right means removing everything from the body, treating the metal, and reassembling)
     
  8. Alysashley79

    Alysashley79 Member

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    ".I think Ben Franklin said it best "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

    i really like this quote in fact I originally paid around $4000 for a full wrap because I didn't ask all those questions that moemistry outlined to my first installer. The result was blistering, bubbling, and almost every corner peeling off. The people that just re did it did a wonderful job and this time I did ask all those questions. And I can say after having the xpel on for a month even bubbling etc I could see what a value it is. My husband is still muttering $8600 and all I can say is we just spent $100,000 on our cars shouldn't we want to protect them?
     
  9. SBerg

    SBerg Member

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    MoeMisty was too far from my home so I had my front and other small areas done by Auto Obsessionz in Camarillo, CA. Great guys, great work and the Xpel looks great! Even let me charge the MS while they worked on it!
     
  10. TTT

    TTT Member

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    After getting a full XPEL body wrap, can the be run through an automated Costco car wash?
     
  11. jerry33

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

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    If it's touchless. I wouldn't run mine through a car wash regardless of whether it had paint armour or not.
     
  12. CHGolferJim

    CHGolferJim Member

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  13. First Impression

    First Impression Local Vendor - Florida

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    They are refering to the aftermarket product Jim.

    I advise every Tesla owner who calls my studio not to go with the paint armor from the factory, and if they've done, so to cancel it. Down here in FL We Xpel the full front end for $2K..wrapped around the edges making it practically invisible.
     
  14. CHGolferJim

    CHGolferJim Member

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    Pete, that was my impression, so thanks for confirming that. You may have said before, but do you suggest a front-end XPel and full car CQuartz, or is that duplication?
     
  15. First Impression

    First Impression Local Vendor - Florida

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    To address your concern..Ask yourself this simple questions. Do I need my car fully wrapped? Do I have the budget for a full wrap? does my driving environment (highway driving, construction zones, excessive bugs, etc) requires me to have the car wrapped? This are all valid questions I ask all of my clients before advising them on the best protection for their cars.

    Most of the times all we do is a full front wrap and a coating application on the entire car. Protecting the high impact areas with Xpel and making the car easier to maintain with the coating.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Jim,
    Yes, I recommend a full front wrap and coating, I only recommend C.Quartz finest when the car is a lease because this is a short term coating (2-3yrs). Longer lasting coating such as Opti-Coat Pro, Gtechniq Crystal Serum/EXOv2 and Modesta BC03/BC05 are a better alternative if you're planning to keep your car for a few years
     
  16. jcobb

    jcobb Member

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    I had mine fully wrapped with Xpel Ultimate. Yes it was a stretch and I still get a little twitch thinking about that bill. However there has already been 4 instances in the last 3 months where it protect the car. The scratches healed up and can no longer been seen. Bugs and dirt easily wash off and the install was top notch that it is very difficult to tell it is wrapped. Glad I did it and would do it again.
     
  17. ralsagoff

    ralsagoff Member

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    Moe Mistry may be right about wrapping but not everyone is prepared to spend that kind of money. After wrapping, the car, it looses the slick shine that comes from an Opticoat finish. The wrapped car would need some kind of finishing to regain that slick shiny finish. I have had Opticoat for 9 months and I am very pleased with the results. Washing and keeping the car clean is a breeze.
     
  18. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    You can always put Opticoat or any other sealant or wax of your choice over top the Xpel.
     
  19. MoeMistry

    MoeMistry Local Vendor - SoCal

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    True...nothing compares to the actual paint. However, with films like Suntek Topcoat, the difference is quite minimal. And with coatings like CQuartz Finest, the gloss and clarity is amazing.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Be very careful of the wax or sealant you choose. Not all are correct for clear bra. Safest thing we've found is CQuartz Reload. Easy to use and protects well. Nice shine and feel as well.
     
  20. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    Agreed. I've had my car for 5 months and I applied 22ple VX1 PRO GLASS COATING when I got it, and again recently, and I really like the shine and ease of washing. I was also concerned about how a wrap will look years down the road. By the way, this place has 20% off 22ple and other products until July 25: www.EsotericCarCare.com. Use the coupon code summer20 at checkout. I have nothing to do with this company except that I have ordered from them twice and always got excellent service. I just ordered again and stocked up given this summer sale.
     

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