PPF Aftercare – The Auto Curators Guide
As a vehicle owner Paint Protection Film, or PPF, should make your life easier! It’s the only true solution to keep your paintwork safe from impact damage caused by stones and other flying debris. At Auto Curators we are proud to offer our clients the best paint protection film in the business, Xpel Ultimate Plus. The benefits of this superior film are many. However, one of the advantages is that the product carries a 10-year guarantee against yellowing, staining, cracking, blistering and delaminating. To ensure that you keep your installed paint protection film in tip-top condition we recommend particular PPF aftercare. Read on to discover more.
Washing your vehicle:
Firstly, we ask all our clients not to wash their car for seven days following a PPF installation. When the seven days are up and you proudly reveal your super slick car on the driveway for the regular Sunday wash, avoid pressure washing close to the exposed film edges. Always stay at least 36” away. The Xpel warranty does not cover damage caused to film by incorrect washing.
Don’t get burdened by bubbles:
Immediately after installation, you may notice some bubbles or a slight haze or pattern in the film. This is nothing to worry about, it is residual moisture and it will evaporate through the pores of the film in the next 2-3 weeks, sometimes even longer at colder times of the year. Bubbles can appear and disappear due to the amount of liquid used during installation. If you have a concern, please get in touch with us.
Above all, don’t poke, prod or try to pierce the film to get rid of any bubbles as you will damage it.
In the summertime…
In warm or hot weather, remove bug splats and other stains (such as bird droppings) as soon as you can.
The acid contained within these contaminants can start to damage the top surface of the film, and hot weather, or heat from the engine soaking into the panel, can accelerate that process.
Most debris can be easily removed during your normal wash routine, but for more stubborn stains, use a strong dilution of All-Purpose Cleaner, or a tar removing solvent.
Be wary of the wax you use:
Clients often ask if they can use wax as part of their PPF aftercare. While you can apply wax to the film, be sure the product you are using doesn’t contain Naphtha or Kerosene in concentrations over 5%. Additionally, avoid waxes that contain dyes.
For best results, we recommend using our Auto Curators Signature ceramic spray sealant. This product has been formulated for safe use with polyurethane paint protection films, as well as all other exterior surfaces of the car, to provide the maximum protection and gloss. It’s free from any ingredients that can cause discolouration over time. Using this recommended product also avoids the problem of wax build-up at exposed film edges.
Swirl marks and scratches:
The self-healing clear coat of Xpel Ultimate Plus and Stealth is designed to repair itself from swirl marks and light scratches from car washes, hedge scratches, etc. It will typically heal itself in 20-30 minutes at room temperature. This process can be sped up using hot, but not boiling, water, poured over the affected area. If a piece of debris has penetrated all the way through the clear coat on the film, it will not self-heal. The only way to fix this would be to have the piece of film replaced.
Finally, remember that when viewed through polarised sunglasses, panels wearing PPF can appear to have blemishes and distortions. This is a very common occurrence with Paint Protection Film of all brands. It has to do with the difference in refractive index between the layer of film and the paint on the car. It is most noticeable on compound-curved surfaces. This is because the film must be stretched over these areas to allow it to be installed without wrinkles. When the film is stretched, it becomes slightly thinner in those areas which cause the phenomenon seen through polarized glasses.
It can also occur on flat surfaces when the installer needs to use a drying solution (as opposed to a slip solution) such as alcohol and water to get the needed bond to the paint. This is due to the difference in viscosity of the fluids and their effect on the adhesive’s properties.
Polarized glasses have this effect on several different multi-layer surfaces (not just paint protection film) made of glass or plastic.
If you still have questions about PPF aftercare, contact us, we’re always happy to answer any questions.