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Where should your paint protection film REALLY go?

If you’re thinking about having paint protection films installed on your car, one of the very first questions you’ll have to ask yourself is where exactly you want to have your film. Ideally, you will be going for a full-vehicle protection; if you're going to invest in extra protection, you might as well go all the way. However, if you're just looking to dip your toes in the world of PPF and try it out before making a big commitment, then you might want to go for a partial installation instead. Depending on your installer, you could be offered packages that cover anything ranging from your 4 door cups to your entire vehicle. Apart from the obvious factor, price, another thing to consider is each component’s exposure to road damages and your specific vehicle usage.

First up, let’s talk essentials. The car parts most susceptible to paint damages have to be the front bumper and headlights. The reason for that is pretty simple; these are the first points of contact for anything coming towards you on the road. If you are just looking for protection on areas with the highest impacts, then you'll get the most bang for your buck with these two areas.

The next panel that you should probably think about protecting is your front hood. Again, the reason for choosing this particular car part is pretty self-explanatory. The thing to keep in mind when it comes to the hood though is that some installers will offer half-hood installations. If that’s something that you are considering, then you have to make sure that you are choosing a non-yellowing film. Since the front hood is one of the largest panels on your vehicle, any discoloration on your half-hood film installation will be immediately noticeable. It’s therefore vital to pick a film that is truly stain-resistant in the long run.

Diagram of half hood installation

The third tier on the impact scale are your front fenders and rear view mirrors. While the fender installation is usually quite straight forward, putting paint protection film on the rear view mirrors is considerably more complicated. Although the area is relatively small, the tricky part comes with the curvature around the mirror. A lot of stretch is generally needed to make sure that the film will stay put in this section, and not every film has the flexibility necessary to facilitate this. More rigid films tend to exhibit problems like stretch marks and lifting, or it might be necessary to made relief cuts on the film to make sure that the film will lie flat.

Not only are these issues unsightly, but this also makes the film prone to collecting dust and contaminants. This obviously causes its own set of challenges in terms of cleaning, because the exposed adhesive cannot be cleaned thoroughly without causing further film lifting. Luckily, this issue can be easily avoided by choosing a film that is easily malleable and fitted with a secure adhesive like OnerPro's Nexus+ and Revolution M+. Not only will this limit the need for relief cuts (visible lines between film pieces), it will also allow the film to stay put without any issues.

For more information on how you can make the most out of your paint protection film installation, check out some of the other articles under the News section of our website!

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