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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Paint Protection Films for your Car

After working with thousands of customers, we can tell you all you need to know about paint protection films for your car.

When should I get the car filmed?

It’s always best to have your car filmed as soon as you get it from the dealership. If not, you should get the surface where you plan to film fully detailed and polished to remove all imperfections and contaminants before you have the film installed on a car that is 1+ year old.

How is paint protection film installed?

First, the car is cleaned properly. After that, the surface has to undergo decontamination which removes above and below surface dirt, grime or any particles that interfere with film install. Then, the vehicle is filmed one panel at a time.

How much do they cost?

The cost of the install depends on the complexity and coverage of the film. Complex pieces take longer and advanced installation methods. For a general guide, check out the starting prices we have to offer which covers most sedan-sized vehicles.

What kind of film should I get?

There are many different popular brands in the market with each of them competing for which may offer the best aesthetics and protection. This can be anywhere from XPEL to Suntek to 3M to many other brands. At Robust, we continue to evolve our brand relationships and offer the best overall film in the market by researching and improving the film over time. You can always e-mail or call us to find out more about the film we are currently using.

How much car should I cover?

For a daily driver, we recommend looking at your last car you drove for 5+ years. If you see lots of rock chips in specific areas, adding a clear film on those areas would be a smart idea. If you own a limited edition vehicle with a unique paint profile, a full vehicle can be wrapped. Adding film on the hood, front bumper, fenders, headlights and mirrors is generally a good starting point. For sports vehicle that may be tracked from time to time, film install on a rocker panel helps.

What kind of protection does my car get?

Films provide mechanical protection from rock chips and slight abrasions. They can provide self-healing properties against light scratches while the latest versions also have a water-resistant top coat which synergies very well with ceramic coatings.

Do films come with a warranty?

Most films come with a 5, 10, 12 or 15 year warranty. However, with everything else, this protection can fluctuate depending on how and where the car is used. In industrial settings where sand blasting and metal fallout is normal, the film will last less while film in a weekend driver may last forever.

Will my film yellow over time?

Most films, due to sun exposure, will yellow over time. This can be noticeable in some cases but only becomes evident when the film is removed. Many new films are marketed not to yellow but that can be a hit or miss.

What if I get into a car accident?

Some insurance companies cover cost of film and ceramic coating re-installs. You may want to check with your insurance company if that’s something they would cover.

Is it worth getting a film at all?

Films can drastically reduce any mechanical damage your vehicle can take over the course of its lifetime. The film acts like a sacrificial barrier and is very malleable. For most new cars, this can maintain the cost of the vehicle while ensuring that your vehicle looks clean and pristine over the period of its lifetime. It’s very similar to how you always get a case for your smartphone these days!

Do films only come in clear or matte color?

Though most film installs are clear or matte, we do offer cosmetic paint protection films which are an innovative and unique way to completely overhaul the looks of your vehicle. These cosmetic films can cover specific panels or wrap the entire car. Ask us about those by e-mail or phone.

How do I maintain a clear film on my car?

Normal washing should be fine on the car. Here’s a guide that also works with maintaining paint protection films.

Can I put a coating under or above the film?

We’ve installed coatings under and above the film. Above the film, it can add an extra layer of chemical protection that works well with the physical protection on the vehicle.

Can I wax the film?

Yes. You can wax on top of the film using a synthetic sealant or a traditional carnauba wax.

How long does it take to apply a film?

A small partial hood can take an hour or so to install while a complex bumper can take several hours while wrapping a full front can take a couple of days and wrapping the entire car can take several days.

When should I replace the film?

Replacing the film after 7-8 years is usually a good idea. After 10 years, most films become too stuck on the surface and may even end up cracking if the car is regularly parked out in the sun. The latter can add a substantial cost to removing the film.

How long does it take to remove?

If it’s a fresh install, it can take a few minutes. If the install has been on for a few years, it can take a few hours to remove the film. If it’s cracked and bonded to the surface after several years, this can take many hours to days to remove! Hence, it’s best to replace the film sooner if your car is parked outside often.

Please do let us know in the comments if you have any more questions regarding paint protection films. You can always give us a call or e-mail too. If you’re ready, you can book us for installing a film, coating or getting your car detailed.

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