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Question on PPF vs road rash kit.

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I am debating on whether or not to get a PPF. I am looking at the Suntek PPF-c and the clear guard nano. I have quotes for excellent shops for 1750 for the Suntek and 2600 for the clearguard nano. These prices are for the entire front end, whole hood and mirrors. I have seen on this forum that one should redo the PPF every 5 years or so. If this is correct then the cost per year is roughly 360/520 for the PPF. If I enjoy complete detailing my own car every 6 months and I use the dr color chip or other road rash kits then the material costs are roughly $50 per year plus my time.

My question then is a PPF worth the 10x cost?

I have/will track my car and have found these items as a temporary PPF. Trakk tape and xpel tracwrap.

How does PPF stand up to tracking?

Thanks in advance for the help.



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Hi Chris,


I think the diminished value that would occur when touching up your vehicle is what is missing from your assessment.  Once that is factored in, I think you will find the costs much closer to the same level.  


To answer your questions though, recommended PPF removal/replacement intervals depend on a few things:


- Film used

- Length of warranty

- Driving conditions

- Storage conditions

- Expectations on appearance


I would certainly remove/replace the film at the end of the film manufacturer's warranty.  At a certain point, the polymer chains start to break down and removal becomes a much bigger chore.  Film companies subject their products to testing to determine how long they are comfortable warranting the product for.  You don't want to leave a product on for 15 years and possibly have to deal with a more difficult product removal on a product the manufacturer only felt comfortable covering for 5/7/10 years.


If you live in the desert or somewhere that applies gravel to the roads for icy conditions, and drive the car daily, you will notice nicks in the film over time.  If you park in the garage every night and the parking garage at work, and don't contend with extreme conditions on a regular basis, it may look close to new after years of ownership.  Either way, your paint will be pristine underneath and your resale value will be strengthened. 


I've never seen Dr. Color Chip in person, so I can't comment to the aesthetics, but I can tell you that you will lose resale value using a touchup sytem (or even an actual repaint in the case of relatively new cars).


What I recommend to people that track their car aggressively is to apply PPF, then use a temporary product over the PPF as extra protection in the most impact prone areas when on the track.  As an example, sometimes the rash/transfer left by hitting a cone at high speeds can be difficult to remove from PPF, so it is much easier to spend a few bucks with a layer that was meant to be removed.

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Thanks for the reply!

So even if I get a PPF then I should apply one of the temporary PPFs like xpel tracwrap to help protect the car and the PPF.

I know this might be hard to answer but if a car is left out in the NorCal sun all the time, no garages and it is a DD, how long realistically does a PPF look good enough to keep on the car? Now I keep my car pretty clean by doing a waterless wash once every week and a Rinseless wash once a month.



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I heard from the xpel installer today and their price is 2000. Boy the price difference is significant.


The price difference has a lot more to do with the installers reputation, skillset, and overall demand than anything else.  The difference in material cost to do a full front only varies by a small amount when comparing one brand to another.


NorCal is a pretty mild for the most part, but the answer to your question would really depend on someone's interpretation of "looking good" as well as the film used and the products used to maintain it.  Even the color of your paint will effect this, as it determines how visible some wear is.


If I had to give you a short answer, it'd be that the most durable films on the market would survive those conditions and likely look great for the term of their warranty, while a lesser film would probably start to show issues in a matter of 1-2 years.

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Jeff, I agree with you on the film longevity depends greatly on the exposure to the elements. Greatest being harsh sun. But as far as going off the warranty as a time frame based on manufacture testing I disagree a bit. Example, We all know Premuim Sheild has a Lifetime warranty. It will not last forever. Now I know its for the lifetime of the ownership of the original purchaser. But if that's the case all warrantys should be transferable until the warranty time period is up. I dont know, maybe it's the tinter in me that has made me loose faith in warranty time frames offered by manufactures.

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