If you have a brand new car, or you’ve had your current car repainted, you will want to have some protection on it before it is affected by the general dirt and debris of driving. This can be done fairly easily by waxes and ceramic coatings.
However, how do you protect the paintwork from scratches, scuffs and chips? This is where Paint Protective Film comes into play.
What is Paint Protection Film (PPF)?
Paint Protection Film (PPF) is an aftercare product for newly painted or coated cars. Its primary task is to protect the painted surface of the car, preventing any chips or scratches against the paintwork.
PPF is a clear polyurethane-based substance that is applied to the body panels of a vehicle, acting as a second skin that protects the paint beneath it. The material is very strong, flexible, resistant to UV degradation and is chemically stable.
How does paint protection film work?
PPF comes in ready to use rolls of material, consisting of several layers that each have their own purpose.
- The bottom layer is a release liner that protects the other layers, keeping them clean until installation. When it’s time to apply the film, the liner is disregarded.
- The middle layer is acrylic adhesive, which is around 1.6 mils thick. The adhesive binds the PPF to the clear coat, but it is designed to stay attached to the film, making it 100% removable without damaging or removing the paint.
The thickest portion of the film is the urethane layer, which is around 6 mils thick. When impact hits your vehicle, such as a stone, the urethane layer will flex on impact, absorbing some of the force and spreading out the rest into a much wider area. The elasticity of this layer also helps it to repair itself.
- The final top layer is a thin clear coating around 0.5 mils thick, which seals and protects the urethane layer from contaminants. This top coat is resistant to UV, oxidation and a variety of airborne pollutants.
Is paint protection film worth it?
Yes, PPF is absolutely worth it. Since it is a transparent protective film, it will cover any surface whilst still showing your vehicle's paintwork beneath.
If you’ve just bought a new car, or recently had your current car repainted, PPF will protect the exterior of the car, reducing the amount of damage to your paintwork.
When would my car need paint protection film?
Ideally, you should get paint protection film when you buy a new car, since it won’t have experienced any wear or tear.
If you have got your current car repainted, this is when you should be looking into getting PPF. You should be looking for garages which can provide both a painting and PPF service so you don’t have to transport your car in between the paint and PPF application.
How do paint protection film services work?
Before your vehicle can be wrapped with PPF, you will receive a consultation with our PPF specialists who will review your vehicle and speak to you regarding your specific requirements. From here, you can choose the most cost effective package.
Once you’ve chosen your paint protection film package, a database will be created featuring the specific dimensions of your vehicle as provided by your vehicle's manufacturer. From here, the exact amount of PPF will be established for each installation.
Specialist software and printers are used to produce pieces of PPF, which are then measured and cut to exact dimensions.
Once the film has been correctly applied, a settling period will be established to ensure the PPF is 100% bonded, after which the vehicle will be 100% protected.
How much does full PPF cost?
The cost of PPF can vary depending on various factors including the type of package you choose and the size of your vehicle.
If you’re considering getting paint protection film for your vehicle but you’re unsure of the costs, contact our specialist team at Wheel Gods, who will talk you through of the prices you could expect to pay.
The pros and cons of paint protection film
If you’re going to invest in PPF for your vehicle, there are several pros and cons you should be considering.
Superior protection against chemicals and corrosion
PPF are infused with four layers of material, with each layer providing their own roadblock from harmful contaminants and chemicals. It also provides superior protection from stains and chips from dirt and debris.
Instant healing from minor scratches
Most PPF brands have self healing properties. This means minor scratches can be fixed by detailers by simply applying direct heat. If the scratch is really minor, it can sometimes heal itself by just the heat of the sun.
High temperature resistant
The nano-tech in PPF helps to provide a heat shield that blocks UV rays and IR radiation from penetrating the vehicles surface materials. This unique feature can help prevent headlights from fogging up, maintaining your visibility on the roads.
Some brands are sub-par
You should always do your research before committing to a certain brand of PPF being used on your vehicle. While some offer great protection, others can tend to be a bit lacklustre.
At Wheel Gods, we always provide high quality and durable products for our customers.
Consider your options
There are several other protective coating options available on the market beyond PPF, that will provide similar benefits for years.
Don’t be afraid to ask for other options when considering PPF, as other types of ceramic coatings may be better suited to your specific situation.
How long does paint protection film last?
Realistically, paint protection film will last around 5 to 7 years depending on the overall wear and tear of your vehicle and how well maintained your vehicle is.
The self healing properties of PPF will diminish over time, which is natural due to general wear and tear.