Originally Posted by eclipsisNA
Sealants and waxes don't protect against physical damage like rock chips. They might deter light swirling, but not by much. You and I are both lucky to be in SoCal, where, I know this is hard to believe, but our roads have far less rocks and other debris on them than a place like NYC. New York roads has sand, rocks, and salt all over them, primarily during the Winter months thanks to snow plows spreading them everywhere. Our roads in SoCal aren't perfect, but they're much more forgiving in terms of chipping. A family member had an E60 M5 w/ a clear bra that looked like it had gone through a sand blaster after only its first winter.
With that said, my favorite sealants are Chemical Guys JetSeal109
and Menzerna Powerlock. Both give fantastic long term protection against most of the elements outside of rock chips.
Something I wanted to throw into my previous post is this clear bra debate is, in my mind, similar to the case/protector for phones debate. With beautiful devices like the iPhone 5 or Galaxy S3, do you want to hide their gorgeous appearances w/ a distracting and ugly case? A lot of people do apparently, but for me, I'd rather see my phone in its natural state than covered with plastic.
I definitely see your points and you've made me think a bit about what you said. I agree with your phone case/protector analogy as well. I used to have a case for my iPhone, but it eventually broke and fell apart. I have spent $80 on 2 cases for my iPhone4S and since the second one broke, I have decided against buying another one, as it seems to be a waste of money. Instead now I just take better care of my iPhone, being especially careful to not let it drop to the ground. I think that I enjoy the iPhone more without the case now.
As for the clear bra debate, I both agree and somewhat disagree with your opinion. I used to have an E60 M5 that I let the front bumper get extremely rock chipped and had to respray it once. The respray cost me about $600 bucks, and the color Sapphire Black was easy to match with OEM. After I let the bumper get rock chipped up again I decided to get a clear bra in order to avoid having to keep respraying the bumper over and over again. I had a VentureShield ClearBra and I will say that there were a few negatives about it. For one, scratches. If you scratched the clear bra, you had to live with it unless you changed out the ClearBra. Two, rock chips. Although they didn't penetrate the ClearBra, they did make the bumper look a little beat up. Again, a change of ClearBra would be needed to make it look clean again.
Now that I have a brand new F10 M5, I'm trying to make the best decision that I can in which direction that I want to go. I forgot to mention that the reason why my front bumper kept getting so beat up is because I drive the heck out of my cars. We have amazing mountain roads here in SoCal and I go driving out there all the time. I remember at one point, in only 6 months time, I put over 20,000 miles on my E60 M5.
Here's what I think that I am going to do. I think that I am going to go ahead and ClearBra only my front bumper, my headlights, and my sideview mirrors. I think I will do this only to protect these areas from random mishaps due to normal everyday use. I am also thinking about putting a film on the front of the windshield to protect against marring and chipping as well. My E60's windshield was so badly chipped. BMW doesn't use very hard windshields anymore.
Now if I decide to go do a mountain canyon drive or do a run down the highway with a bunch of my friends, then I will apply this over the front bumper and perhaps the hoods and front fenders to give temporary protection to the ClearBra itself and other non-protected areas.
I think that this combination will save me from having to replace the ClearBra more often than not because of my high speed and mountain driving habits.
These combined with the Opti-Coat 2.0 should be good protection I think. We'll have to see.