You may have heard of “clear bra” or “auto wrap,” but it is all synonymous with a marvelous product that allows you to protect your car from debris, scratches, small abrasions, or anything else that might keep your beloved ride from looking less than new – paint protection film.
As car lovers, we all understand that there is nothing better than keeping your car looking like new. That new car finish, that gleam from the clear coat paint, is something that you just want to last forever.
Yet, we need to drive, and stuff happens. There’s gravel and rocks on the road, there are people who park next to you at the shopping mall. There are myriad ways in which someone or something might damage the surface of your car. That’s where you need to seriously consider paint protection film. It is the product that gives your car the best chance of looking new, longer.
Does Paint Protection Film Only Go on the Front of Your Car?
The so-called “clear bra” is not only for the front of your car. You can have your whole car protected from road debris and other environmental hazards by having an auto wrap applied to your vehicle.
The wrap is an invisible layer of plastic that is overlaid over your car’s clear coat. It provides an extra barrier of protection between your paint’s finish and rock chips, bug splatter, bird droppings and more.
Every time we take our cars out, there is an opportunity for damage. If scratches are deep enough they can expose the metal underneath the paint, leading to problems with moisture, peeling, and rust.
But paint protection film is it is not a magic shield. There are rocks that can tear through the film, and not all applications are of equal quality.
Composition of Film
One of the biggest advantages to having a paint protection film, or clear bra, applied to your car is that it is self-healing to a certain extent. This is due to the layer of urethane within the film itself.
Most films have multiple layers to them: The top clear coat, a urethane or polyurethane core, and an acrylic adhesive. When road debris impacts the film, if it is small enough it does not create a tear in the film. Instead, it makes an indent in the surface, pushing the clear coat down onto the urethane core.
Because the urethane layer is extremely flexible, it can give way enough that the clear coat layer is not punctured, and as it expands back into place, it eliminates all trace that there was an impact in the first place.
Protection for Your Vehicle
As described earlier, it is not a magical solution and there are some things that it will not be able to protect against or prevent. However, when dealing with small pieces of sand, gravel, rock and other roadway surface material kicked up my other cars, it is likely the film can handle it.
The same debris hitting a car without a clear wrap on it would damage the clear coat. Even if those scratches are not immediately visible to the naked eye, over time they accumulate and the clear coat becomes hazy and dull.
Obviously, the most damage to your car will be on the front end, as you drive through what the cars in front of you kick up, but the rest of your car is vulnerable to other dangers.
As people squeeze past the vehicles in a crowded parking lot, jewelry, watches, keys and other accessories can scratch your car as easily as rock chips on the freeway.
Bird droppings and bug splatter likewise damage your car’s finish. They can damage a clear wrap too, but will do so much more slowly, and the clear film is designed in such a way that the surface does not allow these contaminants to bond and are therefore more easily washed away.
This is not an excuse to not wash your car. Droppings and bug splatter will not be repelled from your car and they will still be unsightly, but the film will keep them from causing damage to your paint.
Does it Still Yellow with Age?
Yellowing used to be a problem with clear film, especially on white cars, but this is no longer the case. When customers began to complain about the yellowing, the manufacturers of the film looked into the cause and found that exposure to UV from the sun was causing the adhesives to degrade over time and therefore cause the color change. All new films are installed with acrylic adhesive that resists this kind of breakdown.
What About Bubbling or Blistering?
This kind of defect is almost always accounted for by the skill and attention to detail in the installation process. Contaminants trapped under the film will prevent it from adhering cleanly to the body of your car and will cause an air bubble, just like a speck of dust caught under the screen protector of a smartphone. The car should be washed, and the paint should be conditioned with a clay bar or other polishing tool to ensure a uniform surface and the best possible substrate for the film to attach to.
In some, much rarer cases, the film can also peel away from the edges of doors, handles, and around badges and decals. Take care when washing your vehicle not to use abrasive cleaners, and never shoot water directly at an area where the edge of a film would be.
Call a Tint Tech Professional for More on Paint Protection Film in Calgary
Tint Tech, Calgary’s most popular auto film specialist, is focused on making sure that you know all the options available so you can make an informed choice. We also provide the best quality installation in the region – such that you will not be able to see any bubbling, cracking, or other imperfections on your paint protection film.
We know how to make sure that you are 100% satisfied with our work so that you get the most out of your paint protection film. We at Tint Tech also provide energy saving, and safety protections for your home and office with a wide selection of state-of-the-art architectural window films in addition to automotive window films.
Every staff member at Tint Tech of Calgary is a professional installer who will see your project through from start to finish. With over 45 years of combined experience among our professionals, Tint Tech guarantees that our work will be of the highest quality, while ensuring your ultimate satisfaction. Call today to learn more at 1-403-968-8468, or be sure to fill out our online contact form.