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      10-12-2023, 01:41 PM   #23
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+1 on finding a reputable shop that will cover the edges.

After two years with my partial "track" PPF package + ceramic coating, some points I would consider:

1. If you plan on any aero additions soon, do it before you get PPF for maximum savings. My shop charges $250+ for each CF spoiler, lip, sides, all which could have been included had I already had the installed.

2. If you sustain damage on just the PPF, you have to re-do which will be $500+per panel. If the damage goes through the PPF, you have to repair, re-coat paint, AND re-do the ppf.

3. With different tiers for Ceramic Coating, I'd get it done professionally only if you get the highest package- for anything below, I'd just do it myself, if you have polishing experience. I saw significant difference from the mid-tier Ceramic Coating vs when I upgraded to the highest a year later.

4. If you are OCD, the lines across panels for partial PPF is pretty noticeable, not to mention any color differences when you do remove them.

Overall, here is what I'd recommend:
- Forever car, Investment car- Full PPF, Professional Ceramic Coating
- Weekender, 4-5 year keeper- Front bumper/Hood, Rocker panels, Ceramic Coating (Pro or DIY)
- Track use- Above+ PPF on mirrors, Front Fenders, Windshield

But given your situation, especially if many things are uncertain, I'd honestly just ceramic coat it myself and call it a day. These are ultimately just additional leisures and hobbies.
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      10-12-2023, 01:43 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forzanerazzurri View Post
Pretty well known in the industry that STEK (and others) has a much flatter appearance with better gloss than anything XPEL makes. Its just a better film overall.
But it can also be too glossy. I've seen that many times. Until the film gets some age on it you can clearly see the difference between it and the paint.
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      10-12-2023, 01:51 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by ///MPhatic View Post
But it can also be too glossy. I've seen that many times. Until the film gets some age on it you can clearly see the difference between it and the paint.
Interesting. Are you saying in applications where you have only parts of the car done? I can definitely see that being an issue because my car is full PPF (not XPEL) and its way glossier and flatter than any factory paint job I've seen on a BMW. But since its full there are no transitions.
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      10-12-2023, 04:57 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forzanerazzurri View Post
Interesting. Are you saying in applications where you have only parts of the car done? I can definitely see that being an issue because my car is full PPF (not XPEL) and its way glossier and flatter than any factory paint job I've seen on a BMW. But since its full there are no transitions.
The usual reason PPF could be glossier is if the paint isn't perfect outside of the PPF. PPF application hides minor defects and haze for sure. If you do have perfectly polished paint I don't think it's possible to be notably glossier. Otherwise, he might be talking about some other effect.
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      10-12-2023, 05:25 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westside Guy View Post
One of my friends has a Brooklyn Grey M3 Competition with allover Xpel Ultimate Plus and parks his car outdoors where it is subjected to Floridaís intense sunlight and heavy rain. He is a nit picker and hasnít complained about any discoloring.
How long has he owned his car?
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      10-12-2023, 05:34 PM   #28
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I would not be concerned about the aging of the film, honestly. I would be more concerned about the non-PPFed areas oxidizing slightly over time and that causing a mismatch. You can always pull the film and replace, and will need to if it gets enough rock chips etc.
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      10-12-2023, 05:41 PM   #29
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How well does PPF withstand touchless car washes? If you live in a colder climates where they use salt on roads, taking your car though a touchless carwash is pretty much a must in winter (as they do an underbody spray to wash off the salt).
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      10-12-2023, 08:17 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forzanerazzurri View Post
Interesting. Are you saying in applications where you have only parts of the car done? I can definitely see that being an issue because my car is full PPF (not XPEL) and its way glossier and flatter than any factory paint job I've seen on a BMW. But since its full there are no transitions.
Yes, sorry, didn't clarify. Few people get the entire car PPF'd, and certainly for the first few weeks the PFF looks VASTLY better than the OE paint on almost anything.
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      10-12-2023, 09:58 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNK View Post
How well does PPF withstand touchless car washes? If you live in a colder climates where they use salt on roads, taking your car though a touchless carwash is pretty much a must in winter (as they do an underbody spray to wash off the salt).
You should avoid them. With auto washes there are generally two ways to get a car clean. Chemicals (touchless) or friction (touch washes). The chemicals used in touchless washes are pretty hard on cars in order for them to work adequately without friction.

I use hand washes (wand washes) exclusively. There are ones with underbody jets too that you park over. Wand washes also allow you to inspect the car for damage as you clean it as well. My car has full PPF with ceramic infused. I generally don't touch my car much physically in winter I just use the wand wash once a week and don't bother with the road film because it just comes back immediately. There are no swirls on my car from last winter at all and I get it professionally detailed in the spring and it looks brand new. The ceramic infusion is also as good as new.
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      10-12-2023, 10:24 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forzanerazzurri View Post
You should avoid them. With auto washes there are generally two ways to get a car clean. Chemicals (touchless) or friction (touch washes). The chemicals used in touchless washes are pretty hard on cars in order for them to work adequately without friction.
Hard in what way? I've owned my current car for 13 years and it's been through the touchless wash countless times with no adverse effects.

The problem with not washing the car in winter is that you are not doing your underbody any favours by allowing salt and other chemicals they put on the road to accumulate there.
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      10-12-2023, 10:37 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNK View Post
Hard in what way? I've owned my current car for 13 years and it's been through the touchless wash countless times with no adverse effects.

The problem with not washing the car in winter is that you are not doing your underbody any favours by allowing salt and other chemicals they put on the road to accumulate there.
I said use a wand wash. Bend over and wash the underbody yourself. No salt is going to be sitting on the car after. I do a better job in 5 mins than any touchless car wash would ever do. Generally you should avoid auto car washes of any kind with PPF. If you don't believe me then do a quick Google search and speak to your installer. Any decent detailer will also say this. Touchless car washes use pretty harsh chemicals that are designed to strip the paint without using friction.
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      10-12-2023, 10:47 PM   #34
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The guy I use, he did paint correction, ceramic coat then PPF the entire front, ceramic coat the PPF afterwards.
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      10-13-2023, 12:48 AM   #35
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Touchless should be fine but will weaken sealants and ceramic coatings over time. They usually use alkaline washes some over pH 11. I doubt it would affect PPF adhesive once it’s had a week or so. I probably wouldn’t use them all the time but occasionally shouldn’t be disastrous.

Last edited by chris719; 10-13-2023 at 12:58 AM..
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      10-13-2023, 01:44 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigermack View Post
The guy I use, he did paint correction, ceramic coat then PPF the entire front, ceramic coat the PPF afterwards.
What is the point of ceramic coating before PPF? That makes zero sense to me and smacks of a pointless upsell.
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      10-13-2023, 04:36 AM   #37
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What is the point of ceramic coating before PPF? That makes zero sense to me and smacks of a pointless upsell.
I totally agree, it is a ripoff!
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      10-13-2023, 08:26 AM   #38
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Not only that, it could interfere with the adhesive if it’s a slick coating, though not all are.
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      10-13-2023, 05:06 PM   #39
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It has no problems getting the ppf to stick. Itís to save the headache when the PPF needs to be replaced, easier to remove PPF, also less likely to damage paint when PPF gets removed.
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      10-13-2023, 06:34 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigermack View Post
It has no problems getting the ppf to stick. Itís to save the headache when the PPF needs to be replaced, easier to remove PPF, also less likely to damage paint when PPF gets removed.
Ask XPEL, Suntek, 3M, STEK, etc. directly and I bet none of them will tell you it is a good idea to apply it over a ceramic coating.
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      10-14-2023, 11:13 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris719 View Post
Ask XPEL, Suntek, 3M, STEK, etc. directly and I bet none of them will tell you it is a good idea to apply it over a ceramic coating.
Exactly!
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      10-15-2023, 07:18 PM   #42
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Never, ever, ever ceramic coat before PPF.
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      10-18-2023, 03:41 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris719 View Post
Ask XPEL, Suntek, 3M, STEK, etc. directly and I bet none of them will tell you it is a good idea to apply it over a ceramic coating.
I guess you know more than the guy I use, Xpel authorized dealer & certified by Ferrari.

What do I know, everyone on the internet is right.
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      10-18-2023, 04:11 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigermack View Post
I guess you know more than the guy I use, Xpel authorized dealer & certified by Ferrari.

What do I know, everyone on the internet is right.
I don't need to be a pro detailer (who aren't chemists or engineers) to know that putting an omniphobic coating directly under an adhesive is a stupid idea. If XPEL wanted their adhesive to be weaker then they would design it to be weaker. I'm sure there are cases where it works out just fine and could even be slightly beneficial, but it's generally looking like a waste of time at best and detrimental to adhesion at worst.



Oh, look, SunTek specifically says to remove the coating first.
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