Automotive

Do you believe in PPF for your car?

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Member
Jun 23, 2009
269 posts
408 upvotes
Toronto
Absolutely believe in PPF, it was the best thing I did for my car. I bring up the analogy to your phone. You buy a screen protector to protect the screen and get a case, why are you not doing that with your car?
Since I got it 3 years ago, it still looks like new and has protected my car from any road rash or chips.
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Sep 7, 2004
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Sonduren wrote: Absolutely believe in PPF, it was the best thing I did for my car. I bring up the analogy to your phone. You buy a screen protector to protect the screen and get a case, why are you not doing that with your car?
Since I got it 3 years ago, it still looks like new and has protected my car from any road rash or chips.
Sure, If I had an Audi R8, I'd definitely PPF the whole car.
If you can afford an R8, what's another 5K to PPF the whole car. Smiling Face With Open Mouth
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Jan 17, 2009
3402 posts
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Toronto, Ontario
warpdrive wrote: There used to be a time when PPF wasn't a thing and people just drove their cars and didn't care that the front has stone nicks. Somehow people were able to live with themselves and get on with their lives.

Unless your car is collectable and intend to keep it for a long long time, I'd argue that PPF is poor value. My wife's car doesn't have PPF and I look at the wear and tear on it after 5 years, and it looks pitted and chipped (as a car has actually been used, not a garage queen), and in the end, I will still sleep well at night. The same car will probably be rusted out in another 8 years from just driving in truckloads of salt they dump onto the roads.

If PPF was something you did once, and lasted forever, I'd be more inclined to spend $$$ on a full treatment, but after about 5 or 7 years, if I really cared about my car looking pristine, I wouldn't be happy with the wear and tear on the PPF and I'd have to do it all over again. Am I going to spend another $2K replacing all the front PPF on a 8 year old car? On my last car, large rocks that hit the PPF made visible tears on the PPF, and it looks crappy too. And some still dented the surface. PPF helped but has limits.

I'm not a young guy anymore, well into middle aged......and one thing I regret is wasting too much of my life worrying about my car looking pristine. Too much time waxing, detailing.

My recommendation is: cover the front surfaces in the direct line of fire with stones, and maybe other high wear areas like the spray from the wheels.....if you have a nice car which you intend to keep for a while. And just go ahead and enjoy "driving" it.

edit: forgot to mention that back in the day....car bras were the thing. But they were very different than PPF because they were ugly, and cheap too ($100-200). I used to cringe when people put those things on their car.
I love my car but its daily driven, so in Canada with the salt that means eventually it's going to be rusting apart anyways. So I don't bother with PPF. Plus seems silly to spend 10-15% of my cars value on a plastic wrap that's not going to last the life of the car. I understand if its a collectable, super expensive, or garage queen car.

Honestly I've never regretted the time I spent washing/waxing/detailing my cars. Even when I was driving crappy cars I had pride of ownership in keeping it clean and in good shape.
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Mar 6, 2003
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Ottawa
Ecsta wrote: I love my car but its daily driven, so in Canada with the salt that means eventually it's going to be rusting apart anyways. So I don't bother with PPF. Plus seems silly to spend 10-15% of my cars value on a plastic wrap that's not going to last the life of the car. I understand if its a collectable, super expensive, or garage queen car.

Honestly I've never regretted the time I spent washing/waxing/detailing my cars. Even when I was driving crappy cars I had pride of ownership in keeping it clean and in good shape.
Yeah, that's the thing that kills me too.....the plastic wrap is just that, a few dollars worth of plastic. I mean, it's the same cost as a top of the line laptop or more, or a full set of appliances, or even a nice vacation with the family.

I still like a clean car, but I've simplified my detailing routine to fewer steps and less time. I used to a do a full detailing routine that took a whole day, and now I do fast application polishes and waxes. Achieves the same effect in much less time.
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Sep 7, 2004
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warpdrive wrote: My car got nailed by a rock literally hours after I picked it up, ON THE SIDE DOOR right in the middle. Dented, and chipped. Very bad luck. Was in a bad mood for an hour and then I forgot about it. Later I touched it up when I had the chance.

Ouch. That must've been painful just as you were driving home with your NEW Shiny pristine car.
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warpdrive wrote:

edit: forgot to mention that back in the day....car bras were the thing. But they were very different than PPF because they were ugly, and cheap too ($100-200). I used to cringe when people put those things on their car.
I plan to only use the Hood Mask when I'm driving on the Highway travelling long distance.
For local driving around the City I'll remove it. Takes like 1 minute to put on and take off.

Yes, they're not pretty, but it works at protecting the Front edge of the Hood.
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Mar 6, 2003
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Webhead wrote: I plan to only use the Hood Mask when I'm driving on the Highway travelling long distance.
For local driving around the City I'll remove it. Takes like 1 minute to put on and take off.

Yes, they're not pretty, but it works at protecting the Front edge of the Hood.
I remember when bras were popular, people were often concerned about getting dirt underneath and scratching the car. But if you take it off in city driving, you would be fine
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Jun 12, 2008
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Ancaster
warpdrive wrote: There used to be a time when PPF wasn't a thing and people just drove their cars and didn't care that the front has stone nicks. Somehow people were able to live with themselves and get on with their lives.

Unless your car is collectable and intend to keep it for a long long time, I'd argue that PPF is poor value. My wife's car doesn't have PPF and I look at the wear and tear on it after 5 years, and it looks pitted and chipped (as a car has actually been used, not a garage queen), and in the end, I will still sleep well at night. The same car will probably be rusted out in another 8 years from just driving in truckloads of salt they dump onto the roads.

If PPF was something you did once, and lasted forever, I'd be more inclined to spend $$$ on a full treatment, but after about 5 or 7 years, if I really cared about my car looking pristine, I wouldn't be happy with the wear and tear on the PPF and I'd have to do it all over again. Am I going to spend another $2K replacing all the front PPF on a 8 year old car? On my last car, large rocks that hit the PPF made visible tears on the PPF, and it looks crappy too. And some still dented the surface. PPF helped but has limits.

I'm not a young guy anymore, well into middle aged......and one thing I regret is wasting too much of my life worrying about my car looking pristine. Too much time waxing, detailing.

My recommendation is: cover the front surfaces in the direct line of fire with stones, and maybe other high wear areas like the spray from the wheels.....if you have a nice car which you intend to keep for a while. And just go ahead and enjoy "driving" it.

edit: forgot to mention that back in the day....car bras were the thing. But they were very different than PPF because they were ugly, and cheap too ($100-200). I used to cringe when people put those things on their car.
I think the other thing to remember from "back in the day" was before all of the environmental restrictions paint jobs were a lot hardier than they are nowadays. Paint finishes these days chip if you look at them...it's ridiculous. I know from talking with PPF installers that some paint finishes are worse than others.....ie Tesla is infamous for paint that chips very easily...hence why so many Tesla owners get their cars fully PPF'd right off the hop.
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Mar 6, 2003
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Yeah, for sure. the newer paints seem to flake more easily. There was a definitely change in the early 2000's. Tesla paint is definitely weak. I don't know how other manufacturers are faring but I think every brand has suffered from the newer greener paints in terms of hardiness
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Penalty Box
Mar 23, 2004
29830 posts
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Webhead wrote: I plan to only use the Hood Mask when I'm driving on the Highway travelling long distance.
For local driving around the City I'll remove it. Takes like 1 minute to put on and take off.

Yes, they're not pretty, but it works at protecting the Front edge of the Hood.
Interesting. But where did you find the time machine to get back to the 80s when you could still buy one? LOL j/k :P

Seriously though, they still sell these things? For a lot of cars/applications? Edit: Oh wait you linked to the site, didn't see that, got it now.
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May 22, 2003
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Vancouver
How long is PPF good for until you have to replace it? Can you apply vinyl decals on top of the PPF?
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ES_Revenge wrote: Interesting. But where did you find the time machine to get back to the 80s when you could still buy one? LOL j/k :P

Seriously though, they still sell these things? For a lot of cars/applications? Edit: Oh wait you linked to the site, didn't see that, got it now.
Just in case: https://autofrontmask.com/collections/hood-bras

Yeah, I know I'm a dinosaur about Masks.
However, My 20 YR Old Honda had a mask and the Front end paint is pristine compared to other parts of the car. It wasn't pretty. And my SO hated it. But it did protect the paint.
I'd only get the Mask for the Hood.

PPF is nice, except for the cost.
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Sr. Member
Oct 21, 2006
760 posts
505 upvotes
I had my second hand Lexus RX done, partial hood and headlights. So far it's holding up very well.
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Oct 25, 2020
310 posts
221 upvotes
On low cars PPF can be great. I've got 3 years and 80k on my 86 and the front bump PPF is now toast. Still looks good from 5 feet but if you get close you can see that it's been peppered and has some damage from road debris hitting it at highway speeds.

Being so low every bit of debris ends up on the bumper compared to SUV/trucks where most of that junk goes under the bumper.
The film does make cleaning off Bug guts etc a lot simpler if you care about your paint, and not scratching/marring the clear coat.

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