The vehicle wrap industry is booming & becoming a bigger part of preventative car care and automotive detail than ever before. With some of the most well known manufacturers in the game producing a gamete of protective film products for nearly every type of application imaginable, it can be difficult for any consumer to find the perfect solution for their personal vehicle, let alone narrow the scope. That’s where we come in.
Here at NWAS, we take great care in rigorously vetting every product we plan on offering well before any installation is available to the general public. We’ve experimented with every paint protection film on the market, seen them stressed them beyond ordinary levels of use, and applied them using a variety of techniques on every surface material imaginable just to see how they stand up to the competition. There’s still ground to be covered in crafting the perfect paint protection film, but technology has come a long ways since the earliest days of clear bra manufacturing. With it, our confidence in the clarity, quality, and consistency of XPEL’s Ultimate & Stealth PPF line continues to grow.
THE INS & OUTS OF PAINT PROTECTION
For the better part of the last 10 years or so, XPEL has been at the forefront of the paint protection industry with a leading product offering & design database accessible to installers all over the globe. If you’ve heard words like “Ultimate” or “Stealth” being tossed around when shopping for the right protection package, chances are you’re dealing with an XPEL centric-installer, much like NorthWest Auto Salon. XPEL’s “self healing” paint protection films are specifically designed for automotive application, utilizing a unique, multi-layer construction that’s around 10 mils thick. It’s nearly invisible to the naked eye, incredibly durable, and XPEL’s signature construction means scratches will “cure out” in broad daylight with warm temperatures or even a splash of hot water!
In an ideal world, all new cars would be equipped with quality paint protection from the factory — but sadly, that simply isn’t the case. While it’s good to have some form of PPF installed before you even leave the lot, in some cases it may be best to receive the vehicle uncovered & unscathed by dealership handlers & improper install. Just make sure to get it thoroughly inspected, detailing & conditioned for protection before any heavy traveling! Old cars can still be just as good of candidates for paint protection too, if not more so. Preservation of original paint is a top priority for us as detailers, and when caring for high value classics, sought-after special editions, or rare color options, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
We offer a spectrum of XPEL paint protection options at NWAS, and can tailor most packages to suit your desires as far as coverage & aesthetics go. While we do have access to XPEL’s database of designs to pre-cut kits with, we tend to re-create & craft our own completely from scratch. Utilizing medical grade digitizing & mapping equipment, our resident installer & PPF expert will plot the perfect fit for every panel regardless of vehicle type. The film is applied & stretched to fit using a wet installation process. It’s completely ready for road exposure in just a few hours time with no risk of underlying paint being damaged in any way. So where to start?
ULTIMATE PROTECTION PACKAGE OPTIONS
It’s vital to have even the most minimal paint protection on the front end of any vehicle these days, and when utilizing XPEL Ultimate, a little can go a long way. Our Basic protection package is a clear bra kit designed to offer just that, with no extra frills — the most simplistic PPF package on the market! Coverage includes film over the first 18” of the hood & fenders, as well as on the headlights & mirrors. It’s not the most robust protection offering we have, but it’s a great place to start. Try the slider above to see what’s included!
Step it up a notch, and we arrive at our Premium paint protection package. The Premium kit takes our entry level Basic option and gives it a much needed boost in total surface area protected. While it includes the first 18″ of the hood & fenders as well as mirrors, it also bundles in fog lamp protection & a full front bumper wrap. Covering the front bumper alone can do wonders for preserving original paint, preventing damage from a daily commute, and alleviating the need for excessive paint touch-up on a “peppered” front clip later on down the road. It’s the kit of choice for preferred dealerships like Mercedes Benz of Lynnwood, and one of our most popular options for new & lightly used cars. It’s not Full Frontal, but it gets the job done.
If you’re looking for something even more robust to protect a high-end, luxury, or rare exotic vehicle, look no further than our Full Frontal paint protection package. The Full Frontal kit is just what it sounds like: we take everything that’s great about our Premium kit, and add way more film coverage to compensate for every inch of exposed paintwork on the front of your vehicle. This variety of protection package can be tricky because hood & bumper sizes vary so much, so we break out the big guns and use proprietary technology for crafting all our Full Frontal kits.
If maximum protection is your prerogative, look no further than the Total Coverage package. Sure, there are some places that offer clear bra installations that will spec a “full car kit” from pre-designed, pre-cut templates and patterns, but we’re not one of them. Using medical grade digitizing equipment, precise measurements of your vehicle are captured and rendered into a tailored, custom cut protection package that’s designed for a perfect fit, while maximizing coverage with minimal seams or stretching required. It’s a technique we pioneered in-house, and it’s part of what makes our paint protection packages a notch above the rest.
For anyone who is seeking a bit more of an aesthetic shift in their paint protection package, we always have plenty of XPEL Stealth film stocked & available. Stealth is crafted using the same multi-layer, self-healing construction as Ultimate PPF, but it carries a completely different & more diffused finish quality. Many refer to Stealth as a “matte” product — we like to think it sides closer to satin. Its silky, pearlescent surface is textured & almost appears “frosted” when applied over factory paint work. Not flat like a chalk board, but frozen with just enough transparency to allow the characteristics of the base paint to show through with incredible sheen. In many cases, the end result is staggering!
One of our biggest examples that can be seen around the web was the installation that was completed on Clint Dempsey’s Ford F150 SVT Raptor last year. The truck is completely covered with XPEL Stealth, with all chrome deleted, and Prestige Film Technologies Spectra PhotoSync window tint installed. It was a monster of a job, but the final product was well worth the effort.
In the EV realm, Tesla Motors is king. This Model S recieved the royal treatment in the form of a full XPEL Stealth wrap & chrome delete, taking its sleek attitude to a whole new level. It was the first Model S wrapped in XPEL Stealth at the time, and we even shot a video showcasing the installation!
Another wild example of a massive transformation with XPEL Stealth actually has a pretty loud profile. Far & away, one of the most unique vehicle wraps we’ve completed in awhile was a Total Coverage Stealth wrap with custom blue chrome stripes on a Dodge Viper GTS. Almost like Hot Wheels in real life!
Beyond full car wraps, XPEL Stealth opens up a whole new world of opportunities for utilizing paint protection films in effective & interesting ways, too. We’ve done a number of Stealth stripe installs on vehicles for owners who want the “ghosted” look without expensive air brushing. Stealth is also a great choice for anyone with a flat, limited edition paint color or factory matte finish that needs to be preserved but still displayed without any unwanted gloss. Flat paint jobs run a very high risk of staining, scratching, and discoloration from road contaminants, so proper protection is a must.
PAINT PROTECTION REMOVAL & PROPER MAINTENANCE
For many consumers, the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra is applied to most everything in daily life. In some cases, such a hands off approach tends to do more long-term harm than good, especially when dealing with automotive care. Paint protection film & clear bra kits are no exception; as important as they are to have installed, they are equally susceptible to damage & wear without proper maintenance or under negligent ownership. While XPEL has a significant lifespan and comes backed with a 10 year manufacture’s warranty, many other paint protection films aren’t nearly as durable. General life span for non-XPEL PPF products can be anywhere from 3-10 years or less; most of which will fail in a few years time, and can even “bind” to your paint making them incredibly difficult to remove or replace.
It is important to consider a film’s warranty when weighing the possibilities of any application. It’s equally vital to remember that removal or replacement needs to happen BEFORE the film has surpassed the warranty period & the film has completely failed. If the film appears fogged or scored, chances are it may have been damaged by aggressive chemical cleaners, an automated car wash, or improper maintenance, which typically leads to a more lengthy & costly removal. If the integrity of the film construction has been compromised, most non-XPEL paint protection will flake & fracture into hundreds of smaller pieces that can only be removed by hand.
In some cases, the inner layers of old film have been exposed to the elements for so long that they have begun to fuse to painted surfaces, increasing the chances of stripping the base paint along with the failed film at the time of removal. Paint might also strip if the film was originally installed improperly or with the wrong type of adhesive promoters, so it’s equally vital to seek out a shop that takes great care when it comes to installing paint protection or removing it. Really, the longevity & ease-of-maintenance is where XPEL surpasses the competition for most customers. Their Ultimate & Stealth products last longer, look better, stay cleaner, and are generally safer to remove than any other film on the market — leaving you free to drive spiritedly ’till the wheels fall off.
THE WRAP UP
So, when it comes time to equip the right clear bra kit for your personal vehicle, always consider your options. If the protection package you seek isn’t available, or the coverage we offer isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, contact us about tailoring your paint protection installation to include any high impact zones & areas of concern. If you would like to have a test piece of XPEL Ultimate or Stealth paint protection applied to your vehicle to give you a better visual of the quality & clarity of the product line, feel free to ask at the time of your consultation or when scheduling your next detail service! For more information about paint protection & clear bra removal services, click through to the service listing. Still have questions? Shoot us an e-mail & we’ll do our best to assist with all your paint protection needs.