Over time, the paint on your car can experience chips and scratches, which is a natural effect of driving your car on the road. Once a blemish appears, your car will become unsightly, and such damages can be expensive to repair, so the key is to take preventive measures.
While nothing is completely foolproof, the right step will significantly reduce flaws in your car's paint, and the following will help protect your finish:
Car Bra/ Front End Cover
These are made of black vinyl material and fit over the bumper and front of your car's fenders. The underside of the bra will usually be fitted with a felt-like material for additional protection. A car front end cover is manufactured for a specific vehicle and so provides a custom fit. The car bra can be attached and detached easily through straps and clips hidden in the wheel wells, under the hood and in the car.
No special tools are required for installation. You will have difficulty finding a front end cover for newer vehicles as their popularity has diminished. Front end covers do protect the area the cover. On the negative side they need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Of greater concern is the tendency, with the constant wind force to rub and wear at the paint. A Car Bra would not be a recommended solution to protecting your vehicle.
Plastic Hood Protector
A hood protector is a 6-8” attachment to the leading edge of the car’s hood. Made from a plastic formulation it protects the area of the vehicle getting most of the abuse. Hoodprotectors, also referred to as Bugshields are inexpensive and something you can install yourself.
Not as popular as they once were, bugshields are often used to conceal hood damage on a used vehicle.
Protective films/Hood Protection/Paint Protection (PPF) is a clear urethane material. It absorbs the impact of debris and stops chips, scratches and denting. You want a product with UV protection built in, otherwise a noticeable colour difference will develop. Paint Protection is precut on a plotter to ensure the best fit.
This is not a DYI option. Quality protective films are very expensive and require professional installation. Areas of a vehicle can be as little as the headlights up to doing the entire vehicle. Most common protected areas are the hood, fenders, headlights, bumper and mirrors. You can cover the entire hood or just a portion of it. Your budget will be the limiting factor. The cost will vary depending on the quality and amount of coverage you want.
Years later the PPF can be removed, revealing the pristine manufacturer’s paint surface.
Vehicle wraps are not done to protect the vehicle, but it is a barrier between your paint and the elements that can damage it. Car Wraps are generally done to advertise a business, change a vehicle colour or to provide accents such as a carbon fibre hood.
A vehicle should be done before or very shortly after a vehicle hits the road. Oil, dirt, rust and chips will all reduce the quality of the final result.
Clean and Wax Your Vehicle
TLC is important in our relationships, our lives and for anything important to us. Proper washing and waxing let you bond with your vehicle and produce significant benefits to keeping it ‘new’. Put in the effort and reap the rewards. Waning, ceramic coatings and other miracle cures are just that. The ultimate cure, the easy fix we all yearn for does not exist.