What is Paint Protection Film (PPF)?
PPF, (aka Clear or “Invisible” Bra), is a virtually invisible, energy absorbent, durable urethane film that is used to protect the paint finish on a vehicle’s impact zones, such as the leading edge of the hood and the bumper. It helps protect a car’s finish from nicks, stone chips, bug damage, abrasions and bumper scuffs.
How does it work?
PPF comes in rolls of varying widths, backed with clear adhesive. Patterns are computer cut into the film on a plotter to fit vehicle panels precisely, and installed on the impact zones of the vehicle.
How much does it cost?
UltraShield Orlando provides exemplary service at competitive pricing. Standard coverage (leading hood & fenders, mirror backs, front bumper) for most vehicles costs $500 – $800, plus sales tax. Full Front coverage (full hood, full fenders, mirror backs, front bumper) runs $1,400 – $2,000, plus sales tax, for most vehicles. Mobile service within Orlando is complimentary. Please call or email for a quote, 407-251-4108.
Is PPF really “invisible”?
The film itself is clear and colorless. What may be visible under some circumstances (i.e. distance from vehicle, darker colored cars, certain lighting) is the trailing edge of the film on the Standard hood/fenders coverage. In certain areas, minor distortion may occur due the manipulation of material that is required to properly install it around compound curves and recesses. Even under these circumstances the film is still virtually imperceptible from more than five feet away.
Will it cause uneven paint fading?
No, the film is UV stabilized, allowing light to penetrate so the paint under the film will not be affected any differently by sunlight than the exposed paint.
Can it be removed?
Yes, paint protection film can be safely removed from the factory finish without damaging the paint. In fact, we encourage removal after 5-7 years, or upon any sign of deterioration. On repainted vehicles, it is highly recommended that quality assurance is obtained from the bodyshop before the installation of paint protection film. The workmanship and quality of repaints can affect film’s safe removability. Paint lifting is more likely to occur when removing film from a repainted surface. Since we have no way to determine the quality of the paintwork on a repainted surface, neither the film manufacturer nor UltraShield Orlando are responsible for any resulting damage. If a vehicle has been poorly or improperly repainted, and/or has not cured, we do not recommend the use of paint protection film.
Will it increase my resale value?
Yes, by protecting the areas that typically indicate the most wear, PPF increases the value and appeal of your vehicle. It can also help to reduce lease turn-back charges.
“I spent $800 at the dealership on a lifetime paint sealant, why do I need paint protection film?”
Spray on sealants may help reduce the severity of bug acid damage, but these expensive “coatings” can’t do anything to help prevent rock chips, debris damage, scuffs or abrasions. PPF puts a durable 8 mil layer of clear protection between your paint and the elements. Read the fine print on your sealant’s warranty – the coating is so delicate that if you use a washbrush or automatic car wash, its warranty may be worthless.
Why not just use a regular bra or bugshield?
Decades ago those were the only alternative, but you no longer have to conceal your paint to protect it. Black, vinyl bras are high maintenance and can severely damage your paint if not removed and cleaned frequently. Many automakers have even stopped offering OEM vinyl bras for new models.
Bugshields typically require drilling to install, only protect the leading hood edge, and they alter the vehicle’s aerodynamics.
“I don’t like the seam.”
Upon close inspection, the trailing seam of the Standard hood and fender coverage is sometimes noticeable, especially on dark colored cars. If “the seam” bothers you, inquire about full hood and full fender coverage. This option is available for most models. On some vehicles, a pre-cut hood may not be available (this is sometimes the case for hoods with significant cowling, recesses, and/or protrusions).
What is Rocker Panel and Trunk Ledge coverage?
Rocker panel coverage varies by vehicle but typically includes the painted beam that runs under the doors and between the wheels. It is intended to help protect from debris spun off by the front tires. Trunk ledge coverage also varies, but typically covers the lip of the upper rear bumper, and spans the width of the trunk opening (designed to help protect from loading/unloading of cargo).
Do you accept Credit Cards?
Yes, we accept all major credit cards.
How do I maintain it?
Due to an integrated clearcoat in the film itself, PPF can be maintained just like the rest of the car. Simply wash regularly and wax every 3-6 months.
Do I have to wax?
Waxing is not required by the manufacturer, but applying an additional protective layer (wax, sealant, ceramic coating) is recommended to maintain the appearance of your film. Under normal conditions (on the film or on paint) wax protection gradually diminishes – even the most expensive waxes can’t last more than 8-10 weeks. Keeping your paint and Clear Bra well waxed will protect them further from the elements (bug acid, hard water etching, sap stains) and make them easier to keep clean.
How long will it last?
With regular care (proper washing and waxing), your clear bra may last about 5-7 years. After this time, or upon any signs of deterioration, removal is highly recommended.
What if my vehicle was repainted?
Paint must be allowed to fully cure before applying PPF. Curing time varies from one bodyshop to the next, but we recommend at least 30 days to be on the safe side. If a vehicle has been poorly repainted or improperly prepped (sometimes evident by finish irregularites, peeling, or bubbling), we do not recommend the use of paint protection film. See “Can it be removed?” question, above.
Why is it so expensive?
Not all clear bras are alike. We use only premium paint protection films made by 3M and XPEL. These films have a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty that include labor and materials.
Some competitors offer cheaper films that look good initially, but may fade or discolor more rapidly. Be careful if you’re trying to save money on a clear bra. By choosing a lesser film from an uncertified installer you may be sacrificing longevity, clarity, and warranty coverage in the process.
Some films offer a “lifetime” warranty, how is a 10 year warranty better than that?
– First and foremost: All Paint Protection Films are meant for temporary use and should not be left on the car for more than 5-7 years. Especially in Florida, where the sun is unrelenting, PPF will eventually breakdown and must be removed before that occurs. Under no circumstances should any PPF be left on a vehicle for a “lifetime”.
– Read the fine print. Many films with “lifetime” warranties cover materials only, leaving you with the expense of having the old film removed and the new film installed. If your 3M Scotchgard™ Pro Series or XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS Paint Protection Film is found to be defective within the warranty period, the manufacturer covers the materials and labor.
– Will this competitor be around for a “lifetime”? Over the years, many film manufacturers have tried to capitalize on the PPF boom – some of them are struggling, others were bought out, and some have dropped their PPF line altogether. 3M has been around since 1902 and few companies can match their reputation. XPEL has decades of experience in PPF and is continually setting new precedents in quality and innovation.
Can I get it on my headlights & foglights?
Yes, if the lens surface has no significant protrusions then most vehicles can have film applied to the lenses of lights. PPF will prevent cloudy headlights (typically caused by surface coating erosion after high mileage and highway driving) and reduce the likelihood of a cracked lens – (a headlight assembly can cost over $1,000 to replace). However, the manufacturer does not warrant your film if applied to a non-painted surface (such as plastic headlamp lenses), and the Department of Transportation has not approved it for onroad use on headlamp lenses. Also, some aftermarket bulbs and vehicles with HID light systems may run much hotter than typical headlamps, which could distort the film. Use of paint protection film on headlamp lenses (i.e. headlights, foglights) is at your own risk.
Will you install film purchased elsewhere?
In some circumstances, yes, however you should use caution when buying film from low-cost retailers. Here’s some advice if you are shopping around for paint protection film:
1) Ensure it is genuine paint protection film from an authorized retailer for that manufacturer (XPEL, 3M, etc.), or you may have no recourse for warranty coverage.
2) Compare coverage. Low cost patterns are often less expensive because they are designed to fit on a smaller amount of film by utilizing more seams and sacrificing coverage.
3) Fitment. Make sure the retailer guarantees this. If the pattern does not fit properly you could be stuck with it.
Due to the high number of complications that may arise from installing low-cost kits purchased elsewhere, UltraShield Orlando does not warranty any materials which were not purchased from us. We are not responsible for quality issues such as fitment, lifted edges, delaminating, coverage gaps, etc. For your protection as well as ours, we will not attempt to install non-premium films or films of questionable origin. Please call us or email before buying elsewhere, we will be happy to offer advice and a no-pressure comparison.
I got a better quote somehwere else, why should I go with UltraShield Orlando?
The following criteria will help to ensure that you are comparing “apples to apples” when choosing an installer.
– What film are they using? Our films are more expensive than other films. Inexperienced installers may try to persuade you to use a bargain film because it’s cheaper and easier for them.
– Are they Certified and authorized to install paint protection films? The manufacturer may not honor warranty claims unless the film was applied by a Certified/Authorized Installer in their network.
– Are they using computer-cut patterns or lowering their costs by trimming on the vehicle itself? If it is computer-cut, compare the patterns carefully, our kits are designed for professional use with fewer seams and more comprehensive coverage.
– Are they experienced? Don’t risk your car being practice for a novice-installer. Wendy is licensed, trained, 3M Certified, and has been working with Paint Protection Film since 2001. UltraShield Orlando is not a tint-shop doing clear bras “on-the-side”, paint protection film is all we do.
Do you offer Window Tint also?
Though the application of window film and paint protection film may appear similar, the properties, techniques, and expertise for each are unique. Certainly, diversification benefits a business, but we believe that specialization benefits the consumer. For these reasons we do not offer tinting.
Where is UltraShield Orlando located?
We are fully mobile and equipped to perform paint protection film installations anywhere from a client’s home garage to a dealership showroom. The typical application process takes about three to four hours, and we appreciate that you have more important things to do than sit in a waiting room.
How do I prepare and what should I expect for my installation appointment?
Upon scheduling your UltraShield appointment, we will send you an email confirmation with important instructions and the specifics of your appointment. Ensure that your appointment details and vehicle information are accurate and note the 24 hour cancellation policy. Since we utilize pre-cut film, your kit must be prepared prior to your appointment. It takes time to prepare the film in a controlled environment and, once cut, the film cannot be restocked. For this reason we have a strict 24 hour cancellation policy (reference your confirmation email for details).
To prepare for your appointment we ask that you personally take the time to wash your own car. This ensures that you have an opportunity to identify any pre-existing issues. Even if the car was just brought home from the dealership, washing is necessary, not only to clean the surface, but to flush dust and debris from seams and crevices. After washing and drying, immediately park your car in your garage (front/nose facing inward) and do not drive it prior to your appointment. If possible, clear an area around the car (free of bikes, tools, shoes, boxes, etc.) so that we’ll have room to set up our lights and table.
We make every reasonable effort to arrive at the scheduled appointment time and will call if there is a significant delay. Wendy, the owner and lead installer, performs ALL installations. A second certified installer may assist on some jobs.
Duration: Varies depending on the coverage – Standard Clear Bra coverage takes approximately 3-4 hours to install, Full Front coverage may take about 5 hours, and full car coverage may take up to two days.
What should I expect after my appointment?
Care instructions are printed on the back of your receipt, read through these carefully. You may drive the vehicle immediately after, but please refrain from washing, waxing, or disturbing the edges for 2 days. Light bubbles or distortion may become evident initially but usually diminish after about two weeks. Do not press, pick, scrape, or agitate these areas. If you notice any lifted edges at the seams, let the area sit in direct sunlight and firmly press down once hot. If it continues to pop up, email a picture and we will make arrangements to come out and personally inspect it.