08 Mar Paint Protection Film Care and Maintenance Tips
There’s no doubt that it’s true – the clothes make the man. Regardless of what’s going on “under the hood” as it were, whether the man’s a cold stone true gentleman or has a reputation as black as night, if he looks good, he looks good.
The same can be said for cars. A great exterior makes the car. No matter what kind of engine is under the hood, regardless of all the accessories a car might have, if you can see rust or paint scratches it’s all for nothing.
Unfortunately, maintaining that paint job is one of the hardest things ever. It seems like no matter how carefully you drive, in spite of the great pains you take to keep it pristine, the world conspires to tear it up. Rocks bounce up off the road, that dump truck in front of you with a leaky soil load, the doofus in the parking lot who can’t even drive a grocery cart- the whole world is out to ruin your vehicle.
Then there’s sun fade and the corrosive effects of smashed bug guts. But, as Yoda might say, protect it you must. And there’s a way.
Paint Protection Films
Traditional auto bras can help, but they don’t really look all that attractive and can actually damage the paint. Instead, many people these days opt to protect their ride comprehensively with paint protection film.
It can be applied only to the front of the vehicle as a clear car bra and serve the same purpose as an old-fashioned leather car bra. Except, the great thing about modern paint protection films is that they can be used everywhere on the vehicle, providing overall protection. The thermoplastic urethane film used is tough as nails and provides years of protection, keeping paint looking like new even through all kinds of abuse.
The newer products, from familiar companies like 3M, contain chemicals that inhibit fading caused by ultraviolet sun rays. They also do a good job of hiding any existing scratches until they can be smoothed out.
Paint protection film can easily be applied to the hood, bumpers, the backs of mirrors, door handles, the trunk lid and roof – everywhere your car is most vulnerable. You can invest as much as $10,000 for a head-turning paint job so it just makes good sense to invest a little more in a paint protection film to safeguard that look you’ve invested in.
Paint Protection Film Care and Maintenance
Of course, like anything else your new paint protection film needs to be cared for to get the maximum benefit from it. Clear bra cleaning and overall maintenance is quite easy, a lot more so than an unprotected paint job.
Let’s break up maintenance into two parts, what you should do immediately after you’ve had your clear paint protection film installed, and what you need to do to maintain it long term.
It’s this time, right after installation, when you’re most proud and aware of what needs to be done to preserve your car. Now’s the time to act, pay attention and compete the protection of your car’s look.
- Depending on things like humidity and temperature, it can take several days for your film to fully cure. It’s a good idea to avoid touching the film as much as possible during this time. You may notice some bubbling right after installation, but this should go away as the curing process proceeds.
- Don’t wash or wax your ride for the first few days after installation. It’s best not to even drive it, but you might have to. Any unnecessary touching or pressure can mess up the curing process.
- If there are any noticeable flaws after the film has completely cured, take it back to the shop to see what they say and if they can adjust it.
Things To Do
After you’ve successfully made it through the post-installation time, you can learn how to clean a clear bra, and begin a maintenance schedule. Here are the important tips:
- Clean and dust the film on a regular basis, paying special attention to the edges where dirt can build up.
- Use the highest quality bodywork cleaning soaps or shampoos you can find, preferably those with lubrication additives included. And buy a good quality cleaning mitt, too. Don’t skimp on these things, quality in these areas pays off in the long run.
- Use a microfiber cloth made especially for auto detailing on the critical edges of the film.
- Though it’s best to have all-over car paint protection film, it isn’t always possible. So, wax any unprotected areas at least every three months for maximum gloss and protection. Again, only use the best products you can find. When applying wax, spread it at a 90-degree angle across edges to prevent wax buildup.
- Be sure to remove any smashed bugs or tree sap or other materials as soon as possible to prevent corrosive effects.
- A light spray on wax should be applied to the pain protection film at least once a month to keep the film conditioned and make cleaning the film easier.
Things You Shouldn’t Do
Some of these are obvious, but you would be surprised at what we’ve seen. So, here’s how to clean a clear bra:
- Avoid like the plague anything abrasive like powder and clay-type cleaners and degreasers, or rough sponges and paper towels. Clear bra cleaning should be approached just as you would an unprotected paint job.
- Don’t use a power buffer on your film coat, muscle power only.
- Do not use high-pressure water hoses
- Don’t use a lot of pressure on the film when cleaning, just enough to get the job done. You’ll quickly get a feel for it.
- Resist the urge to pick at the edges of the film, or to scratch off dirt from the edges with your fingernail. You’ll just wind up peeling it back.
With a little common sense and a lot of tender loving care, your clear paint protection film will keep your car looking great for many years. Let us know if that helps or if you have other questions.