Full Car Paint Protection Film: Shield Your Paintwork From Damage

Paint protection film (PPF), or clear bra, as it is otherwise known, is transparent vinyl that’s applied to the paintwork of any vehicle to protect it from rock chips, minor scratches, bug splatters, tree sap and, swirl marks. The most technologically advanced films are 6 to 8mm thick, offer stain resistance, and include self-healing properties.

Full car paint protection film is the single most important protective layer you can install on your vehicle to avoid damaged bodywork. While some vehicles are fully wrapped in protective film to protect the original paintwork, many customers chose to only partially wrap the vulnerable or high-impact areas of their vehicle – usually the front section, including the bumper, fender, side mirrors, and hood.

High-quality automotive PPF doesn’t turn yellow or show UV damage and comes with a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty. To install protection film on your vehicle, contact Tinting Chicago today at 773-455-0467 or 312-212-0493.

Top 5 benefits of clear bra

  1. Superior protection for original paint on vehicles
  2. Crystal clear so doesn’t change the look
  3. Gives a permanent polished finish
  4. Choose from gloss or satin finish
  5. Maintains the resale value

Cost of installing PPF film on a vehicle

The cost of installing paint protection film is dependent on the following factors:

  • Brand of film
  • Area of surface covered
  • Skill of installer
  • Complexity of vehicle

To wrap a whole vehicle in clear bra, you are looking at a cost of $4499 onwards. If you own a high-end sports car or a unique vintage car, remember that this is a valuable investment in your asset. PPF film lasts for 7 to 10 years and usually comes with a 10-year warranty.

If you are unable to afford to fully wrap your car in a clear bra, then another option is to either partially wrap or fully wrap the front end of the car. This includes covering the hood, bumper, fender lights, and mirrors and will cost from $1950 for sedan to $2149 for SUV/Pick up.

Most common areas to cover with PPF

  • Fenders/partial fenders
  • Full hood/partial hood
  • Door edges
  • Side mirrors
  • Front bumper
  • Front of wings
  • Headlights

What’s the difference between vinyl wraps and PPF?

Paint protection film and vinyl wrap should not be confused as there are key differences between the two products. Vinyl wrap is a relatively thin film that is applied to the bodywork of a vehicle to primarily change the aesthetic appearance or add promotional graphics. Paint protection film is a relatively thick, opaque film that is harder to install and provides a protective coating to the original paintwork.

Clear bra is most commonly installed on a new car, sports car, luxury car, or vintage restored car.

Should I install PPF myself or get a professional to do it?

The install process for paint protection film is fiddly and challenging even for experts with years of experience. For this reason, PPF installation is usually carried out by professionals. Protection film needs to be installed in a well-lit, dust-free environment and preferably by more than one set of hands.

Best paint protection film brands

There are many different paint protection films on the market, varying in clarity and thickness. Some have a self-healing top layer, others don’t. Generally speaking, the thicker and clearer the film, the better quality it is. However, to be confident you are choosing the correct brand for your car, speak to our professional installers at Tinting Chicago.

How does PPF repair itself?

The most advanced automotive paint protection film also contains ‘self-healing’ technology, meaning light scratches and swirl marks can be removed easily by applying hot water or a heat gun to the affected area of the film.

It should be noted that the self-healing layer will only protect against light scratches that are 6 to 8mm deep, it won’t protect against deep scratches caused by rock chips and other debris on the road.

Different finishes for paint protection film

Clear paint protection film comes in a standard gloss finish and a satin finish, otherwise known as ‘Stealth’ in the automotive industry. Either finish can be applied to any type of painted surface on a vehicle.

Can you put ceramic coatings on PPF?

Yes, you can apply a ceramic coating to PPF or clear bra. The main purpose of PPF is to absorb physical damage, whereas the purpose of a ceramic coating is to make the car easier to clean and maintain. When a ceramic coating is added to paint protection film, it gives it hydrophobic properties that help extend the life of the film.

Tips for caring for paint protection films

  • Hand wash (avoid tunnel washes)
  • Keep a pressure hose at least a foot away from the surface of the vehicle
  • Remove dirt, bird dropping, bug splatter as quickly as possible

Frequently Asked Questions

Will seams be visible on my car after PPF installation?

Whether or not seams are visible on your bodywork is dependent on the quality of the paint protection film installation. At Tinting Chicago, our installers are both experienced and highly trained and know how to apply protection film so that the seams are more or less invisible.

How do I wash a vehicle with full car paint protection film?

It's always advisable to hand wash, rather than tunnel wash vehicles that are covered with paint protection film to avoid damage or lifting of the film.

What kind of warranty is offered with car paint protection film?

Most paint protection manufacturers offer warranties against cracking, yellowing, and peeling for 5 to 7 years. However, other manufacturers produce films that come with a 10-year warranty.


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