READY TO PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT?
Protecting original paint is a top priority for us as detailers. From the most entry-level daily driver, to modern day hyper cars, every vehicle deserves the best paint protection film available. That’s why we install XPEL Ultimate & Stealth PPF! It’s the strongest film in the industry with the best finish quality, utilizing a self-healing top coat that ensures your vehicle’s paint will always look its best. For more info on our XPEL paint protection packages, check out the service listing in the menu above, and be sure to read through our PPF FAQs below!
XPEL PAINT PROTECTION & CLEAR BRA FILM FAQs
In most cases clear bra is a clear, thermoplastic urethane film that is applied to a vehicle to protect it from rocks, bugs, any any other road debris that could damage the paint of your vehicle. Most often this film is applied to the front end of a vehicle but can even cover the entire car for maximum protection. Many auto manufacturers install paint protection film from the factory or as options at the dealership. More often than not unfortunately, these come at a high price and the installation is done quickly rather then carefully.
What are the benefits of having a clear bra on my vehicle?
First and foremost, clear bra is about protecting your vehicle from the elements. While it wont stop a large stone from damaging your vehicle, it will keep it protected from the everyday bits of small debris you encounter. While this is nice for aesthetic reasons, it is also an investment in the value of your vehicle. If the clear bra remains unbreached, the paint beneath will look good as new if you ever decide to remove the film.
What are the down sides to clear bra?
On most standard kit clear bra installations, the film only covers the leading 18 inches of the hood and enough of the fenders (usually four to six inches) to line up with the end of the hood. This will leave a slightly visible line across the hood and fenders. To some this is not an issue, to those that do find this unsightly and want even more protection, we offer the full frontal install. This will cover the entirety of the front end of the vehicle giving the most possible protection as well as being next to invisible. As a side note: Paintwork which has been not applied per industry standards, may complicate film installation as well as removal. Feel free to ask for further clarification. **Its important to note that, consistent maintenance is required to maintain the clarity and appearance of the film, as neglect can lead to dull or discolored film not covered by manufacturers warranty.**
I have heard there are several major companies who offer the clear bra film, which do you use and why?
Here at NorthWest Auto Salon, we take great pride in only using the best products on the market. From our waxes to our clear bra film, we make sure that nothing but the highest quality products are used to protect your car. We select the products to use based on our customers needs and are constantly testing all the films available to find the films which best suit your needs. Currently our choice is XPEL Ultimate for our installs. XPEL Ultimate is a patent pending high performance self adhesive clear-coated aliphatic polyurethane film designed to protect automotive paint, and other surfaces, from harmful effects of stone chips and abrasion. It has exceptional elongation properties for ease of application and this feature allows for single piece installations. XPEL Protection Film – ULTIMATE is a very low surface energy film designed to resist staining and offers superior environmental resistance and gloss retention. The clear coat employs special elastomeric polymers that allow scratches in the surface to “heal” over time, eliminating the need for frequent polishing to maintain a just installed appearance. XPEL Protection Film – ULTIMATE is coated with ultra clear high performance acrylic adhesive which has excellent adhesion on a broad range of surfaces, while resisting disturbances during installation.
What is the XPEL Ultimate film warranty?
XPEL Technologies Corp. warrants XPEL Protection Film – ULTIMATE to be free of any manufacturing or workmanship defects for ten (10) years from the date of purchase. The warranty does not cover damage to XPEL Protection Film – ULTIMATE caused by erroneous application, accidents or collisions, intentional misuse or ordinary wear, nor damage, dents or chips to the protected surface or film caused by impact of rocks or any other debris. XPEL will replace any film that does not meet this warranty. The replacement of damaged film is the exclusive remedy; liability does not extend to any other damages, incidental, consequential or otherwise.
Can Xpel Ultimate Paint Protection Film be installed on a vehicle that has had the paint touched up?
We recommend that any vehicle with repainted surfaces to be professionally painted and fully cured before installing film to the surface. It is often good to ask your body shop about how long they recommend for the paint to fully cure. If you have touched up on chips and scratches then it is recommended to allow the touch up to fully cure a few hours before installation of film otherwise the touch up paint can peel off during the installation. XPEL Protection Film – ULTIMATE is designed to be used on any fully cured OEM paint surface. Surfaces that have been repainted are only suitable for installation of the film if the surface was repainted according to recommendations as set by the OEM.
What if I want to remove Xpel Ultimate film? Should I worry about the paint being damaged?
No. Factory paint jobs are properly cured and prepped in most cases and extremely rare to have any issues with paint damage. This film is gentle enough for paint during the removal process. Rest assured that if you want to have your clear bra taken off, we exercise the same level of care removing XPEL as we do applying it!
Is it possible to cover the whole vehicle with Paint Protection Film?
It is possible to wrap entire vehicles. An application of that scale would be difficult and expensive yet possible on most makes and models. Paint protection film is commonly used for the most vulnerable and exposed portions of the vehicle. Our most popular package is the Full Frontal ClearBra package as many customers prefer to not see a line of a partial hood and partial fenders.
Is it possible to cover vinyl graphics with Paint Protection Film?
In most cases it’s ok to apply paint protection film over vinyl graphics. Some vinyl may have problems with removal of paint protection film if it’s old or has a top laminate. Depending on the thickness of the vinyl, a small air gap may reside at the edge of the covered vinyl of about 1mm or less.
Can Paint Protection Film be used on headlights and fog lights?
In the United States, Most Paint Protection Film does not meet the DOT’s standards for optical clarity and is not approved for use. There are higher optical clarity of films such as Xpel Ultimate. North West Auto Salon uses this film to cover headlights and fog lights. Technically DOT has not approved any film on the market to cover headlights. Although our film choice is undetectable except to the highly trained eye.
Does Xpel Paint Protection Film resist yellowing?
XPEL Ultimate Paint Protection Film will not yellow, crack or peel for 10 years after installation. XPEL Protection Film – ULTIMATE is a very low surface energy film designed to resist staining and offers superior environmental resistance and gloss retention. The clear coat employs special elastomeric polymers that allow scratches in the surface to “heal” over time, eliminating the need for frequent polishing to maintain a just installed appearance. Urethane is naturally porous and will easily yellow or change color due to the pores getting clogged up with contaminants and airborne particles. Xpel Ultimate film has a true top coat self healing clear coat that is extremely smooth and the pores are very tiny and dense. So dense in fact, you can write on it with a permanent sharpie marker and it won’t stain the film! Simply wipe off with isopropyl alcohol and a microfiber with nearly no effort! Other films, such as Ventureshield™, has a hardened top coat of urethane, but this top coat is not a true clear coat. Since it does not have a true clear coat it has larger pores that can encapsulate dirt which results in yellowing and will fail the sharpie test. It is also more likely to get damage from tree sap or bird droppings. Very few films have the long-term (10 year) durability and stain resistance of Xpel Ultimate Paint Protection Film.
How should Xpel Ultimate Film be maintained and cared for?
To keep your film looking great, follow a few simple guidelines:
- Wait 48 hours after installation to wash your car.
- Remove insect or other stains as soon as possible with Isopropyl 70% alcohol.
- Stubborn stains can be removed with 99% isopropyl alcohol or lacquer thinner. Take care to keep these chemicals off the vehicle’s paint.
- Seal with Paint Protection Film Sealant at least once every 3 months to preserve high gloss or choose one of our premium sealants at NWAS for extended protection.
- Light scratches in the film will self-heal in 20-30 minutes at room temperature. In colder conditions, or to accelerate the process, pour warm water (120°F) over the affected area.
Who does the installation, and how accurate are your kits?
Our installers carry multiple film handling certifications and have 22+ years of combined experience in clear bra film handling. We have an in-house design station which consists of a medical grade digitizer to create custom made designs with superior fitment and accuracy. Our designs are exclusive to NWAS and are computer cut to maximize coverage and eliminate risk of damage to the vehicle’s paint from hand cutting. Each vehicle pattern is precisely pre-cut on an industry leading high precision plotter with in-house proprietary design software. Our designer, Tim Connor, has more experience in pattern making than anyone else in the industry!
Can I wax XPEL Paint Protection Film?
Yes. We highly recommend it! When waxing the vehicle, be careful not to build up wax against the edges of the film. If it happens, this can easily be removed (when dry) with a soft cloth, such as a microfiber towel. Tip: We suggest using “1/4 painter’s masking tape” over the leading edge of the film to avoid wax build-up entirely. Remove the painter’s tape when done waxing and buffing and no buildup will occur! Wesco Auto Body carries 1/4 painters masking tape or we can sell it to you on request. We recommend Synthetic waxes designed for urethane films. Do not use any wax containing colored dyes. Abrasive polishes and/or rubbing compounds are not to be used, unless expressly directed by manufacturer.
What sets NWAS paint protection apart from the competitors?
One word sets what we do at NorthWest Auto Salon apart from other installers of clear bra in the area; Quality. Not only do we use the highest quality film on the market today but we make sure you receive the best installation possible. Many companies use pre-cut kits of film made for “your” vehicle. However, nothing will give you as much coverage and protection as a fully custom install tailored exactly to your car. Think of it as you would a fine suit. Do you think one bought off the shelves of a department store will fit you as well as one made for you by a tailor? The installation process is a very delicate one and not to be done by inexperienced hands. Check out the clear bra replacement on an Audi RS4 below.
Notice all the needless and unsightly seams in the clear bra? Not only do they detract from the look of the vehicle but these are on the a place where the vehicle needs protection the most, the front bumper! Having this many seams on a vehicles front end make it susceptible to lifting at the edges and puts your vehicles paint at risk. Like I said before, the installation of a custom clear bra is a delicate process due to the fact that a razor is needed to cut each piece to fit. If done without taking the proper care, it is possible to cut into the paint below. Look at the razor marks left on this same RS4.
All of this could have been avoided if the car had simply been brought to an experienced installer in the first place. Here are some pictures of how those same parts of the car look after we finished installing our clear bra.
Have a hard time telling that it’s even there? That is what sets us apart from other clear bra installers.
Click here to schedule your auto detail & clear bra appointment today!