Paint Protection Film (PPF)

Messages
98
Location
MD
Bought a brand new Armada and shopped around for PPF as I wanted to give it a whirl in order to protect the bumpers and hood. Never done PPF before, so I did some shopping and found an installer with an excellent online reputation (mostly window tinting) and having been in business for 20+ years. Also got tint done at the same time. Less than 40 miles on the vehicle when I took it in for the work. During the inspection we both agreed there's zero faults in the paint. I've never done PPF before as I'm pretty meticulous with regular wash and wax, but figured since this would be a commuter, it might be worth the investment to save the bumper/fenders/hood/mirrors. And I was doing this now before it turns into a daily driver at the end of the month. I'm not thrilled at all with the results. Just wanted a second opinion on the results posted below. Read on for a little explanation... Firstly, I was told by the estimator that they wrap the edges of all the body panels so that you won't even see the film lines. This wound up being untrue. I asked the person who did the work and he said he never wraps the edges. Second, I was told the film is cut by a giant printer for perfect fitnent. The cutting lines of the film look like they were done with safety scissors in some parts, and the alignment is clearly way off in several panels. Lastly, the cost. They were a little bit cheaper, maybe 15-30% based on pricing from 5 different shops. Still, this cost me $2k. If this was my own work (as a first timer) using a precut clearbra kit off eBay, I'd be thrilled with the results and might not bother removing it. I do my own maintenance but body work/tint I tend to just pay to have done. So it wasn't until I drove it home that I saw the problems and called back to express my dissatisfaction. While I was at the store I asked about the lack of edge wrapping and they said it was at the wrapper's discretion. So I called back and complained once I saw the extent of the lackluster work. He asked that I wait a week or two to see how it settles in and that he assures me they can fix any concerns but this job is a bit too far gone. The contours on the bumper aren't even smooth. It's like they had to slice it several times to accommodate the curves. And it's very definitely not covering all the painted surfaces of the panels the film is applied to. Even the mirrors leave about 40% of the paint uncovered on the top half of the mirror! Just wanted to share and warn others thinking of PPF not to go on positive reviews and a good sales pitch alone. I'll be requesting they remove this and refund the complete cost of the PPF. The tint actually looks pretty good right now, as long as a few obligatory bubbles disappear that I see. Make sure you see samples of their work before you commit to it, save yourself some hassle! I'm just going to stick with my wash and wax regimen, and if I really want to after 7yrs, I can pay for a respray/touch up from a good shop for well under the ~2k that PPF runs, I'm sure.
 
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HDoilDude

Thread starter
Messages
98
Location
MD
These aren't all the issues just a sampling of some of the worse/most noticeable ones.

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Messages
24,397
Location
Central Florida
Honestly..... I would never spend any money for a wrap or paint protection film even if I had a very fancy car. Give the installer a chance to fix the problem(s).
 

HDoilDude

Thread starter
Messages
98
Location
MD
Originally Posted by Mr Nice
Honestly..... I would never spend any money for a wrap of paint protection film. Give the installer a chance to fix the problem(s).
Yeah, lesson learned. There's enough wrong here that I'm just about beyond giving them a chance to redo it correctly. I'll sleep on it and cool down a bit. Just blows my mind how they attacked the bumper curves... (3rd picture)
 
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Messages
3,519
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
I've had 3 cars done with a local tint shop using Suntek film. Had full hood, front fascia, front fenders, A pillars, mirror fronts, headlights, door handle pockets, roof area in front of sun roof for the 3 vehicles. Sorento was done 4 years ago. Still looks perfect. RAV4 and JGC done last year and look great. Hard to see the edges of the film, its basically invisible. JGC hood film had to be redone, the hood WWF squirters makes it a hard application. A small section looked "smudged".They called it out when I picked it up. About $1200 per car. The job they did on your Armada was amateur at best.
 
Messages
15,855
Location
...
There are two things to consider with PPF. First the quality of the product itself. There are cheaper brands that are not as good as what you can expect from the major brands like 3M. Second, the installer. A bad installer can screw up a first class product. Did the shop tell you which brand they used?
 
Messages
1,303
Location
south dakota
I have seen some really good jobs and yours looks terrible. I had the bumper cover repainted on my Corvette last summer and it costed less to repaint it then the clear bra would cost. I had it painted and was going to have it protected with 3M protection and decided since it cost so much it would be cheaper to repaint in another 15 years. I put 3M clear on the gunnel of my boat because people step on the top and by doing this it won't scratch. I also installed it on the front of the hood on my 2014 F-150. I don't think it's worth the extra money and for a shaker job like the OP paid for I would demand my money back. Just repair when it gets all chipped up.
 
Messages
30
Location
MD
Wow, what atrocious work. I had mine done by an XPEL certified installer and have a 10-year warranty, and my installation was flawless.
 

CT8

Messages
15,399
Location
Idaho
Pretty much all vehicles are a liability,,They cost money and don't bring income. Certain vehicles may go up in value but that is not what this is about, don't spend and more money tham necessary maintenance on a depreciating liability.
 

HDoilDude

Thread starter
Messages
98
Location
MD
Looks like my gut feeling was right on, thanks all. With the subpar quality job, I'm not giving them a second chance. I'll just roll naked for now. Keep up with my cleaning/waxing/careful parking and driving. It's Clearshield Pro, with a 7yr warranty, but it looks like [censored] and I'll be getting a refund when the open up next week.
 
Messages
1,854
Location
British Columbia, Canada
I've had 3 cars (including both in my signature) done at the same shop in Edmonton, Alberta. They did a much better job and the cost was in the range of $300/vehicle. I did the hoods, the headlights, and the backs of the mirrors. I didn't worry about the plastic bumpers because even if they're chipped, they don't rust and can be repainted. The paint protection has worked out really well and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
 
Messages
597
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by CT8
Pretty much all vehicles are a liability,,They cost money and don't bring income. Certain vehicles may go up in value but that is not what this is about, don't spend and more money tham necessary maintenance on a depreciating liability.
Ya well when you go to sell that liability, guess which one I'm going to go out of my to buy or pay extra for. Someone who goes that extra mile and maintains external as well as internal. People kill me, willing to let their car look faded, sun beat, no clear coat when these days with the products available 15 minutes every few months will keep paint fresh.
 
Messages
1,967
Location
USA
I was using this as a learning tool for one I may do. I'm sorry for your experience. If I paid money for the job you have, it would be getting redone as we speak or he would be addressing the letter from my attorney. Believe me, as an Engineer I know well that despite the best of everything, some jobs just go south ( it happens). Sometimes you gotta just man up and admit we screwed up and eat it. I'm all for giving an opportunity to correct ( excluding certain circumstances) Lets see what the vendor does to correct the problem first. That will tell you what you need to know and define what your next steps should be- just do it with a cool head and maybe even a friend for an objective opinion.
 
Messages
640
Location
Alberta
I've had two cars done, and I have no reason to complain about the job done on either. I would go back to the installer and request that they make it right.
 
Messages
23,059
Location
CA
A pre-cut pattern is fine - they just need to extend edges with the software so that the installer can manually trim. The Prius Prime I recently posted about was done using all pre-cut patterns and there is not a single visible seam on any panel (except for the mirrors). My guess is that your installer is not comfortable with cutting film on the paint so he is using the standard size templates. When you do this, it can be more challenging to line-up every edge. I have a feeling that you may be working with an inexperienced installer.
 
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HDoilDude

Thread starter
Messages
98
Location
MD
I'm all about second chances, when they're deserved. The level incompetency is driving me to simply request my refund. He had an attitude of "I've trained all the local guys and been doing this a long time and we never wrap the edges." That'd be fine and we'll if they did a good job using their method. Anyways, not trying to stir the pot here, just fair warning to not do as I did. Request to see an example of their work. Or, if there's no cars in the shop for PPF, there's your clue!
 

HDoilDude

Thread starter
Messages
98
Location
MD
Originally Posted by HDoilDude
I'm all about second chances, when they're deserved. The level incompetency is driving me to simply request my refund. He had an attitude of "I've trained all the local guys and been doing this a long time and we never wrap the edges." That'd be fine and we'll if they did a good job using their method. Anyways, not trying to stir the pot here, just fair warning to not do as I did. Request to see an example of their work. Or, if there's no cars in the shop for PPF, there's your clue!
(Pardon the cellphone autocorrects!)
 
Messages
24,397
Location
Central Florida
Talk to shop owner and see how they handle this problem. He will not want you posting photos on various review websites showing the lack of quality installation of PPF.
 

HDoilDude

Thread starter
Messages
98
Location
MD
Originally Posted by Mr Nice
Talk to shop owner and see how they handle this problem. He will not want you posting photos on various review websites showing the lack of quality installation of PPF.
What am I, an animal? I've posted nothing to reveal the identity of the shop other than the fact that they've been in business a long time. Did I post the name of the shop? Am I throwing his/her name out there? If a shop sells a product/service and fails to deliver, that's a refund or rework, period. Given the sloppiness of the work, no way I'm letting them at it again. Refund. Fin. I'm posting this as a warning and wanted some 3rd party opinions on the work, is all. Not out to destroy a shop's reputation or name. My experience may be unique, who knows. I'm not giving them the 2nd chance to find out, though.
 
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