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Old 01-04-2016, 05:34 AM   #1
nhantre
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Default Is getting clear bra for a new car recommended? ('16 WRX)

How many of you here recommend something like XPEL clear bra for a new WRX? I don't know how good it works and if the value of 1300$+ for a full hood/bump/fender/side mirror protection with film
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:48 AM   #2
Jamtill
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How bad will rock chips bother you, at some point they will happen and factors like how close you drive to other drivers and just time spent on highways will increase those factors.

I have read some people on here suggesting just painting the bumper every few years, but that to me seems not the most cost effective approach.

I have my STi ordered for March and when its delivered I am taking it right to the detailer and having them do the first detail and install a clear bra. Online the Xpel full hood/fender/mirror is 740, and the 1/2 is 359. I am still not sure between the two because I am a little worried on the 1/2 that the line will start to show on a DGM. I had an RX8 the just got demolished with rock chips, that was enough to convince me that the cost is worth it.
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Old 01-04-2016, 12:37 PM   #3
nhantre
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I'll be doing a lot of highway driving soon on it. Do you suggest the whole thing or half on WR blue color? I'm just worried if I don't need to spend that much... I could use it towards other things. Do you know how to much approx it would be to buy it and get installed?
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Old 01-04-2016, 02:10 PM   #4
Jamtill
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I am probably not the best source. I have only seen it on 1 car and that was 5 years ago on a black G35. He had the 1/2 3M clear bra, From about 3 feet away I couldn't tell it was on there but if you got closer and really looked then you could see the tiniest of lines that ran across the hood. I am still having the debate of full or half myself, i am guessing the a lot of the times its wax/polish that could accumulates on the edge of the 1/2 bra which would make it more visible.

I would try posting in the nasioc local chapter and see if anyone has had any good experience with some local vendors. I am in a much smaller market so I have only found the one to install it, but i think you are right 1-1.3k for bra+installation, less the 300 or so if you go 1/2.
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Old 01-04-2016, 06:02 PM   #5
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I have the WRB and had/have the same concerns. I opted to have a detailer do the whole car with Mequire's synthetic 2.0 sealer, $250. Not sure if it's better but, it still scratches very easily. What the car really needs is about 2 more coats of a good clear.
If you care what it looks like (assuming that you do) cover as much as you can afford. "Other things" are not going to matter much if you have a scratchy, swirl marked hood with a bunch of rock chips that makes angry every time you look at it. You will notice many people here that did not cover the first year, end up doing it the second year anyway.
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Old 01-04-2016, 06:07 PM   #6
lookylookitzadam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhantre View Post
How many of you here recommend something like XPEL clear bra for a new WRX? I don't know how good it works and if the value of 1300$+ for a full hood/bump/fender/side mirror protection with film
General consensus here is that you should get a clear bra for the car since subaru's paint is notoriously thin. As such, the front of the car tends to get a lot of small chips.

If you can afford it, and plan on keeping the car, it might be a worthwhile investment since it will keep your paint looking nice and new. Most of the clear bra's have warranties as well so you dont have to worry about it peeling or yellowing over time.
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Old 01-04-2016, 10:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhantre View Post
How many of you here recommend something like XPEL clear bra for a new WRX? I don't know how good it works and if the value of 1300$+ for a full hood/bump/fender/side mirror protection with film
I have XPEL on my 2015 WRX. I do around 15,000 miles of interstate driving every year. I have what you are looking at plus the a-pillars and front of roof. I had it installed the first week I recieved the car. I have zero regrets.

I also had the entire car protected by Opti-coat. Also no regrets with that.

If you drive on 70 MPH interstates and have things like salt, sand, rocks, tire treads and wood hitting the front of your vehicle it would be wise to get it. The front of mine has taken some serious beatings and still looks good.

Last edited by DDS4; 01-05-2016 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:29 AM   #8
Seditio
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As other have said depending environment and driving habits it's pretty much a must have. I would say to at least do front bumper but if you decide to do the hood don't do just half. The line is barely visible but if you're like me it is visible and it can collect some dirt/grime alone the seam.

I would also recommend some type of paint protection for the entire car opticoat or ceramic pro. If you like your car clean with ceramic pro everything just falls off after a simple wash.
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Old 01-06-2016, 04:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhantre View Post
How many of you here recommend something like XPEL clear bra for a new WRX? I don't know how good it works and if the value of 1300$+ for a full hood/bump/fender/side mirror protection with film
Subarus are know for some pretty bad paint I feel it's one of the biggest downsides of the cars. The paint will chip and if you are concerned the money you spend now will be an investment. I had an older gen STI and in 6000 miles my car was all salt and peppered.

Where are you located?
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Old 01-07-2016, 02:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: Paint Protection Recommendation

MotorTrend guys say Nano-Fusion PPF from Service Group Distribution is the stuff. If you live in the Southwest (rock chip city!) or Northeast, you can even do the windshield in the stuff, although I don't know how long that would last or clarity. Might be a good idea if you are doing lots of highway driving. If I knew what I know now, I would of wrapped the entire bottom of the car in it off the lot after detail. I've spoken with guys with GTR's, Porsches and they have wrapped their entire cars for five years and had zero issues, even with crazy Southwest UV. Like window tint, you want the best quality stuff installed correctly and you should be good.
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Old 01-07-2016, 05:32 PM   #11
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@nhantre - As many others have mentioned getting the XPEL clear bra done is the way to go. Here in Massachusetts its pretty much a necessity. The clear bra, when done right by an Authorized Installer is almost invisible. Use The Dealer Locator to find one in your area then look for reviews to select the right one. The WR Blue Pearl is a gorgeous color and Subaru paint does chip easy. A lot of manufactures these days have paints that chip and scratch very easily. Getting the Xpel paint protection film right away will save you big bucks in the long run. It will even add resale value too as the original paint will be intact.

As far as coverage options goes your possibilities are endless. Id recommend the full wrap package it's the best value for protection. Add-ons like the A-pillars, rocker panels or a luggage strip for the trunk are great ideas also.
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:05 AM   #12
Subanez
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I forget where I read it, but a brand-new DGM was brought in for a full front wrap and ceramic coating, and the paint was swirled and needed significant help before the install. This was after one single wash at the dealership's auto car wash. The paint sucks.

I'll be dropping my car off tomorrow morning for a full frontal SUNTEK wrap and CQuartz FINEST application. It is scheduled to take the entire week, and the cost should be around $3,500 when it's all said and done.

It seems like a no-brainer investment to get this done on our cars. More than just to avoid chips, the paint should be protected to keep it looking great and prevent these cars from looking like garbage in 5 years. It is expensive at first, but you get what you pay for.

I'll post pictures once I pick up the car.
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Old 02-03-2016, 05:57 PM   #13
silencei2
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I went with a full front (bumper, full hood, fenders, and side mirrors) Suntek clear bra within a couple of weeks of getting my car. After dealing with paint chips on my previous car as well as 2 aftermarket bumper replacements, I can say hands down it was the best purchase I made for my WRX.

Currently going on 25k miles and still happy and satisfied with it. Total cost for mine ended up being around $1200. The way that my installer described the differences between say XPEL, Suntek, and 3m is that they go from thinner to thicker respectively.

XPEL looks great/pops, self heals, and has a great warranty but is the thinnest protection between the three

Suntek looks good, self heals, and has a competitive warranty and is right in the middle of thickness in protection

3m is the thickest of the 3 and offers the most protection but will be more susceptible to discoloration. It also does not boast self healing properties.

This is all a matter of opinion so take it with a grain of salt but I trusted him as the professional.
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:15 AM   #14
dozmaguaz
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I bought my 16 WRX in WRB back in December. I drive mostly highway to work and have counted at least a dozen decent sized rock chips in the hood itself. I should've gotten the clear bra when I first bought this, but think I desperately need to do this before this continues to get worse and my car looks like swiss cheese. Only question to you is what should I do with the chips in preparation of the clear bra, touch up, leave them as is, etc.
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:42 PM   #15
kmarkl
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I put xpel on the front of my impreza and have no regrets. Ideally I'd spring and opti-coat it as well, but paying for my coming wedding comes first.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:34 PM   #16
jefmcc
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I had a clear film installed on my new 2004 WRX. It looked great for about 2 years, then it started to crack and pick up junk around the edges. I finally removed it last summer. For me, I'll never do it again. The money is better spent on a repaint. Theoretically, you are supposed to replace the clear film every 3 to 5 years, or something like that. After 11 years, it looked TERRIBLE, and now I have a sweet two tone hood, lol!

But I totally understand the emotions of wanting to do something to protect your new car as best as possible.
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Old 02-10-2016, 04:09 AM   #17
Niche79
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I have a clear bra on my Nissan 370z and plan to install one immediately as soon as I pick up my new STI. Here is what I can tell you, mine has been on there since I owned it and it has saved my car's paint from more rock chips than I can count. I have one or two areas the plastic actually tore a bit but it did not affect the paint underneath!!! They say they are good for 5 years. I didnt have Xpel, mine is 3m but rest assured, after what Happened to my 2001 Honda from so many years of driving, I plan to spend the money on the clear bra ASAP on my STI!
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Old 02-11-2016, 01:28 AM   #18
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Default dont do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by nhantre View Post
How many of you here recommend something like XPEL clear bra for a new WRX? I don't know how good it works and if the value of 1300$+ for a full hood/bump/fender/side mirror protection with film
I hope this reply isn't too late.....I have had this on three of my vehicles and once the sun UV gets ahold of them they haze out and you CANNOT buff it out......however, I do recommend sides and by fenders where the sun doesn't "directly" beam down on it.
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Old 02-11-2016, 01:58 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jvell View Post
I hope this reply isn't too late.....I have had this on three of my vehicles and once the sun UV gets ahold of them they haze out and you CANNOT buff it out......however, I do recommend sides and by fenders where the sun doesn't "directly" beam down on it.
Xpel Ultimate has a 10 year product AND installation warranty. If it's hazing up from the UV rays, I'd get it warrantied.
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Old 02-11-2016, 05:18 PM   #20
rlarsen462
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I had the nano-fusion product applied to the entire front of my 2016, hood, bumper, fenders, rockers, a-pillars, and front of the roof. At 100 miles when I brought it in (winter in Colorado) I had already picked up 2 chips in the hood despite driving about 500 yards behind the nearest car when I had to drive it. Chips were repaired prior to film applied.

Fast forward after the film was applied, I had to drive from Denver to Rangely (~285 miles each way, Vail pass & Douglas pass) in the snow and crap, sand and gravel everywhere. Car just got obliterated with rocks, windshield pretty much already destroyed (have a whopping 1500 miles on the car).

Car was so dirty I couldn't really tell but I figured the film was also toast and I had totally wasted my money after that gravel blasting. Nope, washed it off and have one tiny knick in the hood film, otherwise spotless. I am believer...I simply can't believe the abuse this thing took especially on the backside of Vail pass behind semis. Worth every penny there literally would have been no paint left otherwise.
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:57 PM   #21
02wrx86
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Clear bar imo is great. Invest in a good claybar if you don't do a clear bra...
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:59 PM   #22
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Get a clear bra or deal with the chips. It is really that simple. I am +1 for xpel ultimate. Had mine for over 2 years of PA winters and never garaged it. Still looks great with no discoloration.
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Old 03-22-2016, 02:22 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subanez View Post
I forget where I read it, but a brand-new DGM was brought in for a full front wrap and ceramic coating, and the paint was swirled and needed significant help before the install. This was after one single wash at the dealership's auto car wash. The paint sucks.

I'll be dropping my car off tomorrow morning for a full frontal SUNTEK wrap and CQuartz FINEST application. It is scheduled to take the entire week, and the cost should be around $3,500 when it's all said and done.
First, swirls have nothing to due with the paint. All cars swirl, even Mercedes swirl. Your example is purely the case for not using any car washes. They swirl paint.

Second, you are getting hosed. A whole week and $3500. New car prep plus finest should be a grand, and then add maybe another 1200-1500 for film. Where does an extra 1k come in?
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Old 03-22-2016, 02:51 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16Rex View Post
What the car really needs is about 2 more coats of a good clear.
Just a side note here: More coats of clear isn't better. In fact, too many coats of clear is known to cause issues.
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:39 AM   #25
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I'm glad to see most of you guys are being smart and protecting your paint. Subaru paint is not the best and it does chip very easy. With all the money invested in these cars why not have them looking new everyday, right? That being said I wanted to chime in and provide some education to clarify what's out there for paint protection film also known as Clear Bra.

Thickness does not necessarily mean one film protects better than the other. We are talking about .1 mils of an inch, and Xpel actually is the thickest at 8.1mil. To get the benefit of the extra thickness it would have to be so thick that the loss in clarity would be significantly less and often not worth it. The films finish and clarity is what differs most between films and makes one "better" than another.

Xpel Ultimate- In my opinion is the best available film on the market right now. It's clarity is excellent. It has a self-healing top coat that protects against swirl marks and light scratches. It's also backed by a 10 year warranty.

Suntek - Its clarity is arguably slightly better but is thinner. It also has a self-healing top coat and because overall it is thinner, this layer is also thinner thus it cannot protect as much as the Xpel Ultimate can. The glue on this film is a bit weaker than Xpel Ultimate too. So in some cases you cannot cover complex corners and curves. Its warranty is also only for 7 years.

3M- Is more of an entry level film. It's clarity is the poorest of the bunch. This is a film we recommend for someone with a budget in mind. Not everyone can afford what is at the pinnacle of the industry so this a is great alternative option.

Thanks for listening and I am glad to help out with any other Paint Protection film or "Clear Bra" related. Happy Motoring
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