With the many options available in automobile paint protection, it may be difficult to know which type of protection is best for your car. You may be considering paint protection film or a ceramic coating. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Perhaps the best way to decide is to think about your typical driving conditions and the potential damage that you want to prevent. As you’ll see, you may even want to combine the two for additional protection.
What Is Paint Protection Film?
Paint protection film (PPF, also called clear bra) is a thermoplastic urethane with a self-healing topcoat. This film is typically 8 mil in thickness. SunTek Paint Protection Film is produced in 8 mil. As well as a 12 mil. thickness. The film is applied to painted surfaces of new or used cars to protect it from stone chips, bug splatters, and minor abrasions. This film is also used on airplanes, RVs, cell phones, electronics, screens, motorcycles, and many other areas. Paint protection film is OEM approved by virtually all car manufacturers.
PPF is commonly applied to the front of a vehicle but is not limited to just this area. Sometimes people add the film to the lower parts of their cars, glossy interior parts, or will wrap the entire vehicle with PPF.
PPF now comes in shades and colors. One company STEK Films has started producing what the industry calls designer films. They have shaded films for headlights that come in blue yellow and two different shades of smoke. They also produce a carbon fiber film and a highly glossy black film.
What Is A Ceramic Paint Coating?
The simplest way to understand Ceramics Coatings is to think of them as a second layer of skin, or a sacrificial layer of protection over your car’s clearcoat.
Utilizing nanotechnology, which are essentially tiny particles that create a very fine, thin layer completely invisible to the eye. Because these particles are so small, when applied to a surface, they seal all the pores making the surface hydrophobic (water-repellent), but also resistant to UV, scratches, chemicals, extreme heat and even anti-graffiti. This ceramic layer is completely transparent and when done correctly will enhance the gloss and clarity of your finish.
Compared to traditional waxes and paint sealants that last just months, Ceramic coatings when properly maintained can last years.
Ceramic coatings are often applied paint, glass, plastics as well as wheels and brake calipers.
Ceramic coatings will help slow the aging process and make cleaning your car a breeze.
Having a Ceramic Paint Coating applied to your car’s finish eliminates the need for regular waxing that is recommended by all vehicle manufacturers.
Will A Ceramic Coating Prevent Rock Chips?
Many times customers believe that a Ceramic Coating will prevent rock chips. The sad truth is it won’t. The internet is full of misleading advertising about these types of products. Ceramic Coatings like Ceramic Pro with a 9H pencil hardness will help reduce scratching.
Is Paint Protection Film Easy To Maintain?
Paint Protection Film (Clear Bra) is actually as easy to maintain as your factory paint. Some manufacturers of PPF even add a hydrophobic topcoat. This makes the film even easier to clean and maintain. The self-healing hydrophobic topcoats also resist staining.
If We Had To Choose
The ideal choice would include having both types of protection. However, if we had to choose we would pick the Paint Protection Film. Why? From our experience, the only way to reverse damage from rock chips is to repaint the bumper. Typically this cost more than the cost to have paint protection film professionally applied. By putting a little sweat equity into washing and waxing exposed paint on a regular basis you could save some money or haveing a ceramic paint coating applied at a later date.