What is Paint Protection Film?
Whether you have a vintage collector car, a luxury vehicle, or just bought a brand new ride, the last thing you want to deal with is rock chips, minor scratches, or other forms of damage that can affect the resale value of your vehicle.
Paint protection film (PPF) is a transparent film with self healing properties that can go over any painted surface of your car’s exterior. It reduces the risk of damage to your car’s paint job, such as light scratches, rock chips, chemical stains, bug splatter, or hard water spots and swirl marks.
Car owners used to protect the front end of their vehicles with material such as leather—not the best look! Now, technology has advanced enough that a “clear bra” can be applied to the front end of the car, protecting the headlights, front bumper, side mirrors, fenders, and even the grille.
Paint protection film is completely safe to apply to a new car and can be easily removed. It provides long-term, invisible protection and will keep your vehicle looking nice for a long time.
How Long Does Paint Protection Film Last?
In many cases, paint protection film will last five to ten years if installed properly.
There are a variety of factors that determine how long the installation will last. If your car is stored in a garage, away from harmful UV rays, dust, and rain, the paint protection film will last longer than if the car is parked out on the street.
Most importantly, having a professional install PPF will give you the best results. Anything less might result in peeling, yellowing, or air bubbles.
How Much Does Paint Protection Film Cost?
As with anything car-related, the costs can vary quite dramatically. If your car is exposed to the elements instead of tucked away inside a garage, the cost of paint protection film will be worth it if you go to trade in or sell your vehicle. If you’re looking to just get a basic level of protection against paint damage and aren’t worried as much about stain resistance and UV exposure, you can get away with a more cost-effective option.
There are several factors that play into the cost of paint protection films:
- If you decide to wrap the entire car or just apply a clear bra
- The level of experience of the detailer applying paint protection film
- The brand and quality of paint protection film
Whatever you decide, it’s best to get a quote from an experienced, reputable dealer like BEMAC. Keeping new cars looking new isn’t always cheap, and spending more money on a PPF installation is typically a better choice than going for the lowest quote you can find.
Paint Protection Film vs. Ceramic Coating
Paint protection film and ceramic coatings are two of the most popular options for exterior car care. Both will protect the paint, but no option will be a bulletproof way of keeping your car’s finish pristine, so it’s important to choose the right option for you. Learn more about paint protection film and ceramic coating here to help you decide.
Paint Protection Film
Paint protection films offer superior protection against potential hazards to vehicle surfaces, such as scratches, tree sap, or rock chips. It’s thicker than a ceramic coat and isn’t permanent, which means you can easily remove it if you need to.
PPF installations should be done by a professional, even if you see DIY kits out there. While it is removable, you can’t reapply the same film again once it’s been taken off. PPF also isn’t as hydrophobic as a ceramic coat.
Rather than applying a vinyl wrap to the car, this type of clear coat protection bonds with the paint itself. This means there’s no need to reapply like you would with a high quality wax or powder coating. The nano-coating makes your car look amazingly glossy, and it repels water like nothing else on the market. A quick rinse with a hose will give you a spotless, shiny finish.
The downside to this choice is the potential for scratches, flying debris, and other imperfections to damage cars. A ceramic coating is also quite time-consuming and difficult to apply, and it can be more expensive than getting PPF installed.
How to Maintain Paint Protection Film
Once you’ve taken the plunge on applying PPF, it’s important to keep your vehicle in mint condition by properly maintaining the PPF installation.
Don’t wash your car after paint protection film installation
- The film needs to settle and cure, and putting pressure on the coating could affect this.
Don’t touch the film after installing PPF
- It may take several days for the film to settle and cure. If you can avoid driving your car at all during this time, it will help keep any pressure off the PPF application.
Clean your car yourself rather than use a commercial car wash
- Hard as it might be to give up going to your local car wash, you’ll have to if you want to avoid PPF damage. Pressure washers, harsh soaps, and dirty brushes can damage the application or the top layer of the film.
Use high-quality cleaning products
- Low-quality products may contain harsh chemicals that will damage the car paint protection film. Make sure any microfiber cloths or mitts you buy are specifically designed for auto care.
Avoid washing you car in direct sunlight
- Direct sunlight combined with car wash soap might damage the coating. Try to wash in the shade or in a garage if you can.
Keep rags, mitts, and buckets separate for wheels and body
- Any debris that your tires collect should stay far away from the body of your vehicle. Keep the two areas separate when it comes to cleaning products.
What is a Trusted Paint Film Protection Brand?
At BEMAC, we use XPEL Paint Protection Film in glossy ULTIMATE PLUS™ or satin finish STEALTH™ options. One of the most advanced paint protection films on the market, and available in three different thicknesses to suit your needs, it’s a high-performance acrylic adhesive that’s formulated to resist delamination.
Install Paint Protection Film in Ottawa
With 4 locally-owned full-service auto body, collision repair, service facilities and detail shops, BEMAC has over 50 years of experience in keeping your car protected from headlights to tailpipe with the best paint protection film Ottawa has to offer.