If you have ever walked into a dealership or a car detailing service, chances are, you’ve at least heard of Paint Protection Films (or PPFs for short). Some car owners swear by the extra protection, while others claim that it’s nothing more than a rip-off. So who should you believe? Worry not, we’re here to answer some of the questions you might have about these products.
Question 1: What exactly is a paint protection film?
Imagine the screen protector on your new smartphone, multiply it by about a thousand times and that’s pretty close to what a car paint protection film is. Made with a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) material that is both pliable and puncture-proof, paint protection films are physical barriers that are used to protect cars, boats, even aircrafts from stone chips, bug splatters, and minor abrasions. They promise to keep your paint job looking flawless even with extensive usage.
Question 2: What’s the different between a wax, a coating, and a paint protection film?
Even though they all offer various degrees of protection to treated vehicles, all 3 products require different levels of upkeep.
Waxing is used to give your car an extra sheen as well as a topmost sacrificial layer that can be washed away with subsequent car washes or even heavy rain. Most experts advice waxing your car 4 times a year, and although the wax will protect your car paint, you will run the risk of abrasion on the paint layer during the application process. Waxing is no doubt the most tradition paint protection solution, but it is not the most durable option on the market.
Coatings on the other hand, last quite a bit longer than natural waxes. Once applied, coatings can usually last around 3-5 years with proper care. It gives your car paint a glossiness that cannot be achieved by waxing, and advertises anti-scratch capabilities. However, coatings do not protect your car paint from door dents or rock chips, and you could still get swirl marks on the paint surface from a bad car wash.
Paint Protection Film
Paint Protection Films are originally developed to protect military vehicles. They promote a self-healing feature that renders light scratches a thing of the past, and will safeguard your original car paint from rock chips and minor collisions. Its nano-coating also make the surface ultra-hydrophobic. Paint Protection Films usually last around 5-7 years, and will make for effortless cleaning.
Question 3: Are paint protection films worth it?
Absolutely. While the installation of paint protection films can be pretty hefty, you are actually getting a pretty good bang out of your buck if you take into consideration the level of protection it provides. With an all-round protection, you won’t have to spend extra money on paint correction or repair for pretty much the whole lifespan of your vehicle.
Question 4: Are all paint protection films created equal?
Like waxes and coatings, each brand ultimately offers different products, and no, they are not all the same. Some brands emphasize on strength, some on stain resistance, so it really comes down to you as a consumer and what you’re looking for in terms of protection. TPU-based paint protection films generally offer similar levels of protection. However, there are some common problems including orange peeling, stretch marks and adhesion difficulties that will differentiate the good from the bad.
Question 5: So which paint protection film should I choose?
Ah, the million-dollar question. We mentioned before that paint protection films can be quite expensive, and that is especially true if you choose the big brand-name products. For something a little more affordable, the OnerPro line might be your best bet. They offer the same variety of products without the scary price tags, not to mention their OnerCut software that generates pre-cut paint protection film. Installation is faster, easier, and you can be sure that no blades or razors will ever come near your car paint.
OnerPro products are already available in most Asian countries, and will soon hit the markets in Europe and America. So for those of you who live a little further out west, you might have to wait a just a little longer until you can treat your car to a OnerPro PPF.