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What Is Car Paint Protection Film?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated Feb 19, 2024
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Car paint protection film is a clear protective film applied to high-impact areas of a vehicle to protect against stone chips and other harmful damage. Using a self-adhering adhesive covering on the reverse side of the film, a vehicle owner is able to place it in the areas on the vehicle that are the most easily and frequently damaged by stones and debris. Once applied, it can be washed and waxed in the same manner as the original finish and is said not to yellow or tarnish over time. Offered by several manufacturers, the film offers a removable and clear option to a car bra.

The biggest enemy to a quality paint job is road debris in the form of small stones and sand. High-impact areas of a vehicle include the front edge of the hood, bumpers, and the front facing side of the outside rear view mirrors, all of which can be covered with car paint protection film. Once the film has been installed on the vehicle, it can be waxed and maintained with the same products used on the rest of the vehicle. This film covering is not intended to cover the entire vehicle; rather it is intended to only cover the high-impact areas and blend in with the surrounding panels.

Prior to the introduction of the car paint protection film to the public, a bulky car bra was the vehicle owner's only option to protect a vehicle's finish from stone pecks. Often, the vehicle received more damage from the car bra rubbing against the finish than it would have received without the product in place. The high-quality film offers an excellent layer of protection that will not harm the vehicle's finish and is easily removed at any time the owner wishes to take it off. Owners should wash the vehicle after removing the film to eliminate any residual line that may form along the edge of the film.

One popular application of this product has owners applying pieces onto their vehicle's headlights. The film protects against not only stone chips, but aids the lenses in resisting yellowing and dulling. Manufacturers claim that it will also protect boats, aircraft, and just about any smooth surface that experiences scratching and premature finish wear.

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