Xpel PPF can be applied to any car regardless of its make or model.
Every car gradually loses its attractive appearance, no matter whether it is actively used or not. The paintwork fades, making it shine less, and tiny scratches and chips appear on the surface. Without any car care measures, these slight damages keep ruining paint condition and lead to corrosion. Luckily, the modern market offers a lot of protective means to minimize the consequences of mechanical factors and environmental damage. These include paint waxes and sprays, paint protection films, vinyl film wrap and ceramic coatings.Book appointment
Protect Your Vehicle – Car body protection film
PPF and vinyl wraps are considered to be the most progressive barriers for safeguarding a vehicle’s paint from outer damage. However, even if they both serve the purpose of protecting a car from daily tear and wear and keeping its new look for a longer period, they are very different. It is vital to understand how exactly they work to choose the right protection. Keep reading to learn their main properties, pros and cons, as well as warranty and cost.
What is paint protection film?
Paint Protection Film (PPF), also known as a clear bra, is a thin transparent cover of a maximum of 8mm. It is made from polyurethane material and incorporates a specially formulated adhesive to allow it to stick flawlessly to the car’s exterior. You can install paint protection film over an entire car directly on top of the original paint. The key role of PPF is to safeguard against various damage threats while driving, as well as extreme weather conditions. These include minor rock chips, scratches, road debris, bird droppings, acid rain and direct sunlight.
High-quality PPF wrap products come with self healing properties activated by heat, allowing minor scratches to disappear when processed with heat. A standout advantage of the paint protection film is its cost-saving effect in the long term despite the high installation price. Should a car sustain scratches or damage, there is no need to replace an entire car panel or undergo pain correction. It is enough to remove the PPF film from the damaged area and replace it with a fresh piece. Generally, PPF can minimize the everyday wear and tear of all vehicle surfaces. The product longevity is up to ten years once you opt for PPF from reliable manufacturers. However, in the case of a major accident with substantial impacts, PPF application may not fully shield the paint from a deep scratch and other damage.
What is a vinyl wrap?
Vinyl film is widely used for car wrapping. It is a blend of polyvinyl chloride polymers that includes various additives that make it flexible and easily applicable to all areas of the car’s surface. Modern vinyl films are UV-resistant and waterproof. They can even serve as a barrier against minor scuffs and scratches. However, this cover is not meant for superior impact protection. It is mainly designed to fully or partially customize a car, giving it a fresh and unique look.
Vinyl wrap is a top alternative to repainting as it is faster and more cost-effective. Another winning feature is its variety of options. PVC-based materials come in an array of colors and finishes. You can select from gloss, matte, chrome, pearl and metallic finishes. Besides, there is a rich palette of shades, including even colorflip variants. With vinyl wraps, you can be creative and completely transform your vehicle’s paint job, making it favorably stand out from the crowd.
PPF and vinyl wrap comparison
Vehicle owners often confuse the functions performed by a clear bra and vinyl film. PPF is often believed to be just a thinner version of vinyl wrap. But in a nutshell, these are two absolutely different products. To better understand their properties, here is a short comparison of the main metrics.
- Material and thickness. PPF is thicker than vinyl. Yet, the paint protection film is made from polyurethane, while the vinyl wrap is PVC-based. Thus, the latter is more brittle than PPF. But vinyl has a unique property that PPF lacks – it can be dyed to acquire any imaginable color. With regard to thickness, protective films vary from 6 to 10 mil (a sheet of paper is typically 2.3-3mil thick), and the vinyl cover is 3-4mil.
- Protection level. Both a clear bra and vinyl wrap come with a certain degree of protection. However, vinyl wrapping is focused on UV protection, prevention of water stains and minor scratches. The paint protection film is a more reliable solution to maintain the original paint intact and bright. It has fewer customization options but will efficiently protect the car’s surface from a lot of mechanical and environmental damage factors.
- Installation process. PPF needs to be wet before applying over a car. This approach allows it to smoothly cover all surfaces without air bubbles and other imperfections. On the contrary, vinyl wrap is installed dry. Even the smallest water marks can spoil the expected outcome. Both types of coatings require a hand of a professional PPF installer. It is a delicate and intricate process an amateur can easily mess up.
- Cost. It is rather difficult to estimate the cost of PPF and vinyl coatings. First of all, the price depends on the quality, thickness and durability of the chosen product. Additionally, the size of the covered area and the complexity of the application process may add to the final cost. But generally, vinyl wraps are cheaper than PPF installations, as they are usually temporary solutions only.
- Warranty and durability. PPF film typically lasts longer than vinyl wraps as it is thicker and intended for more proactive protection. Thus, in most cases, paint protection films last for 7-10 years, while vinyl wraps will normally do half of this term. And a vital thing to note – professional installation and proper maintenance are core factors in protection longevity.
The above characteristics should have given you enough hints on what to expect from PPF and how useful a vinyl wrap can be for you.
While PPF and vinyl wraps offer a bunch of powerful protective features, they often lack hydrophobic properties. This drawback can be easily eliminated by ceramic coating. It is a liquid polymer that is manually applied on a vehicle’s outer surface to create a protective layer with a hydrophobic surface. This offers several advantages for the car owner:
- The car remains clean for a longer period, requiring less frequent cleaning.
- The cleaning process is faster and easier.
- Reduced damage from UV rays.
- Enhanced protection from chemical contaminants like acid rain and bird droppings.
You can combine ceramic coating with PPF or a vinyl wrap, making it a super powerful due that will reliably shield your car from endless everyday risks.
PPF car wrap services near me
To get paint protection film installed, a considerable budget is needed. High cost encourages certain vehicle owners to apply PPF on their own. However, it is strongly advised to opt for professional installation to achieve the best outcomes. Certified installers guarantee accurate alignment and flawless application and minimize the likelihood of air bubbles and other flaws. Experts have the necessary equipment and tools to do the job properly and install a clear coat over a whole vehicle or a part of it.
If you are looking for wrapping services in Illinois, Tinting Chicago will gladly offer you a wide range of wrapping works. We are one of the most reputable installers in the area and can apply a protective coating to any car model and make, including:
Even if you have a specific vehicle to apply PPF, our team will find the most suitable solution. We adhere to a special procedure when applying a protective coating to your vehicle. First of all, our professionals assess the paint condition, checking if paint correction is necessary. We clean an entire vehicle from off-road debris and prepare it thoroughly before we apply film. Tinting Chicago offers only the prime PPF products, like XPEL, with strong protection metrics, self healing properties and a life expectancy of up to ten years. Trusting your vehicle in our hands will enable you to forget about paint imperfections for years. We approach each request individually, finding a winning option for the car and the owner’s budget. Do not hesitate to contact us to learn more about how to install paint protection film. PPF installation with us is efficient and affordable.
Which car’s paint protection is right for you?
Vehicle owners often struggle, making decisions between a vinyl wrap and PPF. The choice ultimately depends on requirements. It is easier to do it knowing the fundamental contrast between the two coatings: vinyl wraps are not designed for protection, whereas PPF is exclusively intended for safeguarding the car’s paint.
If you’re seeking a cost-effective and swift method to shield your new car, installing PPF is likely the optimal choice. This extra protective layer can be applied to various or all parts of your vehicle or its entire surface. But if your main aim is to modify the exterior color or overall look of your vehicle, then it is definitely a vinyl wrap case. Additionally, vinyl wraps can be personalized with tailored text and designs, opening wide opportunities for commercial purposes. Get your car covered and forget about painted surface issues for years!