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      08-30-2012, 09:20 AM   #1
kpaschall
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Paint Protection Film

Anyone had experience with the 3M type stone protection films for the front of their M5? Dealer pushing at $600.

Interested in feedback on how it performs as well as whether it shows and has an impact on when car is waxed, etc..

Thanks.
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      08-30-2012, 10:23 AM   #2
stealth.pilot
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I would only use the Xpel Ultimate film because it has a self healing clear coat. The 3M films tend to get scratched after a while. Also the Xpel film has a better finish.

I am getting Xpel Ultimate done by Atlanta Protective Films. The guy quoted me $1100 for full hood coverage or $700 for partial hood coverage. I am going with full hood coverage which means full hood, full fenders, bumpers, mirrors, headlights and rockers. This guy is very good.

Choose the installer very carefully some get bubbles under there or visible edges.
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      08-30-2012, 10:39 AM   #3
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Stealth, I would love to see some photos after your install is done.
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      08-30-2012, 10:49 AM   #4
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^^ Photos shouldn't show anything at all if the job was done right.

OP, I have VentureShield and I like it. On my Le Mans Blue you can't see it even if you know it's there unless you're looking very closely at the edge of the covered panels to see where the film stops. I don't know how visibility will be on Singapore Grey, but I do know some people with black cars report film being more apparent.

The shop I used here quoted me $540 to cover the front bumper, mirror caps, and headlights; that price included a 10% discount for getting tint done at the same time. I didn't want to do the hood because partial hood leaves a very visible cut line where the film ends (don't recommend that) and full hood was more than I was willing to spend; same logic for the fenders, which on an M3 have significant area coming pretty far forward, so that was tempting but I decided against it. Of course Murphy's Law prevailed and I have some tiny dings right at the very front edge of my hood just above the bumper. On an M5 though, the hood won't be as critical since it doesn't dip down toward the front of the car around the grille, instead the front bumper just extends higher than usual.

VentureShield warranties their stuff for either 3 or 4 years against discoloration, and I figure if it starts looking bad then and I still have the car, I'll just pay to have it professionally removed and a new film installed. I don't know about XPEL's self-healing properties, but I can tell you that although VentureShield has a few scratches and tiny pits in it, you don't see it unless you're looking VERY closely for them -- and hey, better than those scratches and pits being on my car!
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Last edited by jphughan; 08-30-2012 at 10:58 AM.
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      08-30-2012, 11:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johntomferg View Post
Stealth, I would love to see some photos after your install is done.
You won't be able to see it. Click on my current car (the link is in my signature). That also has the Xpel Ultimate film.
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      08-30-2012, 02:45 PM   #6
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I get the 'shouldn't be part....', but picture is worth 1k words.

I'll check out your current pics Stealth.
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      08-30-2012, 02:57 PM   #7
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My local Xpel dealer quoted me $1600 for Xpel Ultimate / full hood coverage ie full fenders, bumpers , mirrors, headlight and rockers. Is that too much ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stealth.pilot View Post
I would only use the Xpel Ultimate film because it has a self healing clear coat. The 3M films tend to get scratched after a while. Also the Xpel film has a better finish.

I am getting Xpel Ultimate done by Atlanta Protective Films. The guy quoted me $1100 for full hood coverage or $700 for partial hood coverage. I am going with full hood coverage which means full hood, full fenders, bumpers, mirrors, headlights and rockers. This guy is very good.

Choose the installer very carefully some get bubbles under there or visible edges.
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      08-30-2012, 03:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
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My local Xpel dealer quoted me $1600 for Xpel Ultimate / full hood coverage ie full fenders, bumpers , mirrors, headlight and rockers. Is that too much ?
No it's in the right ballpark. It depends on the dealer. I think it is a bit high though given where you live.

My quote is from the best installer in Georgia. But I do know if I was doing this back in Miami it would cost more.
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      08-30-2012, 03:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by journeyguy View Post
My local Xpel dealer quoted me $1600 for Xpel Ultimate / full hood coverage ie full fenders, bumpers , mirrors, headlight and rockers. Is that too much ?
Sounds right -- you're doing bumpers plural, i.e. front and back? Even if not, it's reasonable.

Fyi if you're doing rockers you might want to ask about them wrapping a narrow strip of film around the door edges. I don't know if XPEL can do that, but when my wife opened my door and scraped the edge against a rough concrete wall, I wished I'd thought to ask about that.
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      08-30-2012, 03:17 PM   #10
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just the front bumper...LOL. Also he told me I need to leave the car overnight to do a better job and I am not comfortable leaving my brand new M5. Is this normal ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
Sounds right -- you're doing bumpers plural, i.e. front and back? Even if not, it's reasonable.

Fyi if you're doing rockers you might want to ask about them wrapping a narrow strip of film around the door edges. I don't know if XPEL can do that, but when my wife opened my door and scraped the edge against a rough concrete wall, I wished I'd thought to ask about that.
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      08-30-2012, 03:20 PM   #11
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just the front bumper...LOL. Also he told me I need to leave the car overnight to do a better job and I am not comfortable leaving my brand new M5. Is this normal ?
If you drop it off first thing in the morning, I'd expect it not to be ready until toward the end of the day -- not because it actually takes that long, but because they'll have other cars to do that day too, so it'd be luck of the draw. If they want it first thing AND overnight, I dunno. But I could maybe see it depending on how many qualified installers they have vs cars coming in for clear bra.

At the end of the day, I'd say that if you don't trust them with your car, don't let them do the install. And if you do trust them with your car, then you should trust them with it overnight. Ferris Bueller's Day Off didn't take place at night, after all.

(On a more serious note, if you're really worried, just take a picture of your odometer when you drop it off. If it's got more than 1 extra mile when you get it back, ask why.)
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      08-30-2012, 03:23 PM   #12
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I have no idea about these guys, just looked up at the Xpel website and called them. Trying to to do some more research and also checking with my BMW dealer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
If you drop it off first thing in the morning, I'd expect it not to be ready until toward the end of the day -- not because it actually takes that long, but because they'll have other cars to do that day too, so it'd be luck of the draw. If they want it first thing AND overnight, I dunno. But I could maybe see it depending on how many qualified installers they have vs cars coming in for clear bra.

At the end of the day, I'd say that if you don't trust them with your car, don't let them do the install. And if you do trust them with your car, then you should trust them with it overnight.
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      08-30-2012, 03:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I have no idea about these guys, just looked up at the Xpel website and called them. Trying to to do some more research and also checking with my BMW dealer.
I wouldn't worry too much. Given that the cars that tend to get clear bra'd tend to be more expensive than average, chances are they see a fair number of sporty/exotic cars in their line of work, so as badass as the M5 is especially since it's new, it's probably not the fastest or most expensive car they've worked with by a long shot.
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      08-30-2012, 03:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I have no idea about these guys, just looked up at the Xpel website and called them. Trying to to do some more research and also checking with my BMW dealer.
It's worth doing the due diligence.

When I did the 550i the first time, the company I used had shaky lines, and bubbles. The guy I wanted was totally booked out since it was just before Christmas which is peak season for car sales. Eventually I had the better guy re-do it under warranty.

This time I'm going to the right guy in the first place.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/atlantaprotectivefilms/

There's another shop in Boca Raton that has also done amazing work if anyone here is in Florida.
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      08-30-2012, 10:37 PM   #15
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Agree with stealth.pilot, the Xpel is the only way to go, this is the second car I've had it on and have been pleased both times. I posted one pic from yesterday after my install. I've seen installation prices very from 1200-1500 on a job similar to stealth's as well as mine, agree it depends on where you live.
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      08-31-2012, 07:33 AM   #16
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Agree with stealth.pilot, the Xpel is the only way to go, this is the second car I've had it on and have been pleased both times. I posted one pic from yesterday after my install. I've seen installation prices very from 1200-1500 on a job similar to stealth's as well as mine, agree it depends on where you live.
Carolina
Where did you get yours done?
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      08-31-2012, 09:32 AM   #17
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Is there any issue with waxing or other cleaning when only half the car has the film? I.e should you only wax where there is no film?

My E60 had protective film over the ENTIRE body (was that way when I bought it used), and it was such a breeze to take care of.
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      08-31-2012, 09:42 AM   #18
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Carolina
Where did you get yours done?
Got it done through a company called Clear Defense here in North Carolina.
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      08-31-2012, 09:55 AM   #19
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Got it done through a company called Clear Defense here in North Carolina.
Im in SC, curious what city they are in. Do they have a website, I couldnt find anything other than a big company in Raleigh that makes protection film.
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      08-31-2012, 10:27 AM   #20
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Im in SC, curious what city they are in. Do they have a website, I couldnt find anything other than a big company in Raleigh that makes protection film.
Gentleman's name is Kevin Cooper, give him a call at 336-601-6319, he's in Greensboro NC
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