What is PPF?
PPF is an acronym for Paint Protection Film aka Clear Bra. Essentially, it is a nearly invisible protective film that is made from ultra-rugged urethane. Clear bra looks like a thin layer of clear film that is basically bonded to your vehicle’s paint. Its main function is to shield your vehicle’s paint, providing the ultimate paint protection from road debris such as sand, gravel, abrasion and rock chips. It acts like a second skin, protecting your vehicle’s paint from road debris and other elements in the form of a clear car wrap. There are a few different clear paint paint protection film wraps on the market, so let’s break down the details.
What is the difference between a good and bad quality PPF?
Because there are so many different brands on the market (3M paint protection film, Suntek PPF, Xpel paint protection film, Ceramic Pro Kavaca), being able to determine quality makes all the difference. Paint Protection Film was initially launched by the 3M corporation back in the day for military use. They developed the film to protect helicopter blades from dust and debris damage that would result in blade replacement.
The PPF would take on the damage instead of the blades, dramatically cutting down replacement costs. Since those early days, the product has been fine-tuned by different manufacturers and enhanced for consumer and automotive paint protection applications. Now, what are the differences between good and bad quality PPFs?
Qualities of a good PPF:
- A warranty of 10+ years
- Thickness level of 8ml (+)
- Self or instant healing properties (light scratches or abrasions disappear with heat)
- Used along with ceramic coating
Qualities of a bad PPF:
- Warranty of 5 years or less
- Thickness level of 5ml or less
A good quality paint protection film will come with a warranty of at least 10 years. This is important because you will want this extra protection in case something happens to your PPF. A thickness level of 8ml will help the clear bra look as seamless as possible but also be super protective. With this level of thickness, it is easier to stretch over your vehicle. Self or instant healing properties are the sign of a great PPF.
Seeing minor scratches or abrasions disappear before your eyes is also the sign of a good quality paint protection film. Finding a PPF that is used along with ceramic coating is not super common, but it is important! Ceramic coating on top of the PPF improves the overall appearance of any surface it’s applied to.
Finding a PPF and ceramic coating that work together seamlessly can be quite the task. What you want to avoid is a PPF that comes with a warranty of 5 years or less. You want to make sure that your PPF can be replaced in case something happens to it. A thickness level of 5ml or less is not ideal, as it won’t provide as much protection as you’d like. There is one product that checks all of these good boxes, and that would be Ceramic Pro Kavaca.
Get a FREE Estimate for KAVACA PPF
There is no shortage of paint protection film products in this industry, but Kavaca truly stands alone. The introduction of Kavaca provides enhanced UV protection, while reducing damage to the vehicle’s paint surface from oxidation, corrosion, rock chips and road debris. The world of paint protection film has truly been elevated thanks to the global leaders of paint protection, Ceramic Pro.
Again, 3M started the paint protection film game and they are good at what they do. Their Scotchgard Paint Protection Film Pro Series claims to be virtually invisible, meaning that it does not alter the color or design features of your car. 3M paint protection film protects the vulnerable painted areas of the vehicle from scratches, chips, and stains. Scotchgard also has self-healing technology and is backed by a 10-year warranty. However, one thing we have noticed is that 3M paint protection film is thicker than Kavaca making it less stretchy and more noticeable on the surface of your vehicle. Over time it also tends to yellow making it super noticeable over your vehicle’s paint. Although it is covered by a warranty, having your clear bra paint protection replaced is probably not something you want to worry about in the future.
Many other clear bra paint protection films can produce a dull hue, but this isn’t the case with Kavaca. This PPF is customized for gloss or matte finishes, amplifying the shine without producing negative appearances. There isn’t another PPF out there that stretches better than Kavaca can. We owe that to its unique blend of advanced materials, which allow it to be fitted to different cars with ultimate precision. Kavaca’s enhanced stretch also helps to improve the instant healing properties and extend its longevity. Kavaca is also the most hydrophobic paint protection film out there. This is due to the advanced top coat that uses similar technology as Ceramic Pro 9H to leave a perfectly flat layer of protection. It allows water to bead off the surface keeping the PPF cleaner, as dirt, pollen, and other light contaminants simply blow off as you drive.
Since Kavaca is already coated with Ceramic Pro during production, the result is the ultimate in paint protection. The two products were developed to work together effortlessly. With the coating of Ceramic Pro top coat, Kavaca will improve the appearance of any surface right away. The cost of installation will also be reduced because you won’t need that extra step of ceramic coating. Kavaca was developed using only state-of-the-art technologies and top quality raw materials. The magical combination of the two most advanced surface protection products will leave you with an unmatched cosmetic effect, improved overall protection, and easier installation. Because Kavaca and Ceramic Pro top coats have been designed to work together, you can have Kavaca installed on top of an existing Ceramic Pro coating! It doesn’t get any glossier than this.
Paint Protection Film vs The Elements
One of our trusted Kavaca installers, Adam Cote from 5Point Auto Spa and Ceramic Pro San Diego, is an expert in PPF. He says, “especially living in San Diego, you need a paint protection film that is going to protect your car from the sun, salty air, and those Southern California roads.” Adam knows better than anyone that when it comes to paint protection, you need a clear bra that is going to withstand the constant harsh UV rays of San Diego as well as the mixed climate and salty air being so close to the ocean. The climate is pretty consistent so your main concern with paint protection is the UV rays and rock chips. Your vehicle’s paint takes quite a beating, especially the front end, from the roads down in San Diego.
Another one of our Kavaca installers, Jim Beech from Car Deets, is located in Wasilla, Alaska. Kavaca is the clear bra paint protection film that he trusts in that harsh Alaskan climate. Jim says, “Out here in Alaska the weather is quite extreme. We need a film that is equally as resilient as the weather demands. If the film isn’t good quality it will crack under the elements and road salt. Particularly during break up season when the snow starts to melt.” Jim knows a reliable PPF when he sees it, especially given the wear and tear that our vehicles endure out there in Alaska.
Paint Protection Film – Things to Consider
After you have decided which clear bra you’re going with, it’s also important to consider the installation. The reputation of the shop, and getting a chance to view past jobs will go a long way. You want to make sure that you are making the right decision because you will be the one living with it. Make sure the shop you’re talking to walks you through all the packages available so that you are fully confident when deciding on clear bra paint protection. Here are some things to consider before making the jump:
Wrapping edges vs. leaving it a quarter inch around the edges.
Shops that wrap edges will generally charge more as there is more work involved, however, dirt collects on the edges, and is visible on a lighter colored vehicle over time. The great thing about Kavaca is that the stretch and elasticity are 50 percent greater than other protection films. This trait, along with the nanotechnology in the adhesive, allows the film to be easily positioned while providing the perfect amount of tac/anchor point to cover hard shapes on a vehicle’s painted surface. This makes the application absolutely seamless.
Another reason to consider Kavaca over another paint protection film, is the reduced orange peel effect. Orange peel is a visual imperfection that makes the paint surface look wrinkled or rough. It’s a common negative attribute of several paint protection films. Kavaca produces reduced orange peel and no glue marks with PPF installation GEL.
Can you wax PPF?
You can wax PPF, however, the better quality films will come with pre-ceramic coated, so you do not have to. Using Ceramic Pro coating in addition to Kavaca will provide you with unmatched protection for your vehicle’s paint. Even though waxing your PPF will not hurt it, with ceramic coating, there is no need for wax in the first place.
Will it damage the paint underneath if I need to remove it?
Using heat to remove the PPF will prevent damage, but be sure to ask your shop for their process beforehand. After removal the paint should be like new because of how well it has been protected. Any paint protection product is designed to protect or enhance what’s underneath. So this means that if the vehicle has minor scratches or swirl marks before the clear bra is applied, paint correction may be required and this can cost you extra. Kavaca is infused with nanotechnology that fills these microscopic scratches. This removes the need to complete minor paint correction, which can save you money.
What are the reasons for removing clear bra PPF?
If your clear bra is showing some wear after about 5 years, you could need to remove it. Kavaca comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Ceramic Pro warrants Kavaca to be free of manufacturer defects for a LIFETIME from the date of purchase. The warranties for Kavaca are synced with Carfax’s database just like Ceramic Pro Coatings. Your warranty covers protection against yellowing from dirt and chemicals as well as bubbling, staining, and cracking or any material failure.
Another reason why you might need to remove your PPF wrap is in the case of an accident. If severe damage is done to your vehicle and parts need to be replaced, your clear bra PPF will also need to be removed.
Will insurance companies pay for re-installation?
You should let your insurance company know that this is something you have done to your vehicle. Usually around 90% of the time they will replace it if need be. Kavaca is added to your Carfax report and helps it maintain the value over time. Insurance companies will most likely replace your paint protection film.
When is the ideal time to get PPF?
On a brand new vehicle, as this will protect the front from rock chips and rusting, and preserve the value of the vehicle. It is smart to begin with paint protection as soon as you get the car, as it hasn’t been exposed to most road debris yet. With an older vehicle, touch-ups and paint correction might be required before clear bra installation. If the vehicle has minor scratches or swirl marks, paint correction will most likely be required – which can cost several hundred dollars extra. Kavaca is infused with nanotechnology that fills these microscopic scratches. This removes the need to complete minor paint correction, which can save money.
How much film should I put on the car? What should I protect?
The amount of clear bra paint protection film you should put on your vehicle’s paint depends on your budget and the type of driving you do. If you’re doing a lot of highway driving we usually recommend the full front end in order to protect the front bumper, the hood, fender, and back of the lights. If your budget is tight, you may choose the 24-inch partial hood and fender kit to protect the main impact areas of the vehicle. When these sections of the vehicle are covered with protective paint film paint damage from stone chips, tree sap, bird droppings, bug splatter, and other contaminants are significantly reduced. Remember that Kavaca doesn’t need heat to self-heal, unlike its competitors.
For more information on specific pricing and the different packages, you will need to contact your shop. Kavaca is applied and installed by Ceramic Pro’s network of authorized auto salons and technicians. They are all thoroughly trained and each installation is cut to precisely fit your specific vehicle. You can rest assured knowing that your local Kavaca installer is great at what they do!
Applying a quality PPF like Kavaca is something you can do today in order to help maintain the look and feel of your car’s paint for years to come. Preserving your car’s resale value is an added bonus. If you’re looking for more information about paint protection film, check out ceramicpro.com to find our more and find your nearest Kavaca installer. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure that you’re getting the right package for your vehicle’s needs.