What Does Paint Protection Film (PPF) Protect Your Car From?


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guys installing paint protection film to protect the cars paint

Paint protection film (PPF) is the thickest and strongest type of paint protection you can get for your vehicle. Here I’ll show you what can PPF, a.k.a. Clear bras protect your car from.

I deeply researched all the most common questions, and I’ll answer them as thoroughly as possible so that you can know what level of protection to expect from paint protection films. 

Of course, there are different thickness levels of PPFs, but I’ll concentrate on average clear bras that most people install on their vehicles. 

Things That PPF Protects Against

Here are the 6 most important things paint protection films will protect your car from. 

1. Door Dings Protection

Paint protection film keeps your car’s paint safe from door dings unless they’re extremely strong. So, for standard “parking” door dings, high-quality PPF will prevent scratching and dents. 

One of the most common paint damage I see as a detailer is on the car doors. And mostly, that’s because of door dings at parking spots. Most parking places are narrow and don’t offer you enough space to open the door comfortably, and that’s where these damages occur. 

By installing a clear bra on your vehicle, you’ll prevent damage in 95% of cases. Mostly, people won’t kick your door hard, and the PPF will be strong enough to prevent any paint damage from happening. 

2. Keying Protection

PPF should protect your car against keying. Keys aren’t usually extremely sharp, and they shouldn’t breach the film, especially if it’s some high-quality paint protection film. 

There’s nothing worse than seeing your car scratched with keys. Usually, scratches are deep and go through the clear coat, which often requires professional paint correction and spraying your car. It’s also an extremely expensive fix. 

However, if you have a clear bra installed on your car, it will probably protect the paint unless it’s some extremely sharp key or someone is pushing really hard. 

3. Rock Chips Protection

The most common reason people install paint protection film on their cars is to prevent rock chips. Rocks are usually small and light, and they can’t go through the film so easily. 

Mostly, rock chips occur during wintertime, when road services throw them onto slippery roads to add some traction and also prevent freezing of the road.

Also, if you live in a karst relief like me, rocks on the road are a daily problem. There’s no car without rock chips in my town, hehe. However, if everyone would install a PPF just to the hood and front bumper, it could be prevented. 

4. Swirl Marks and Scratches Protection

Paint protection films offer fantastic protection against swirl marks and light scratches. Even better, their self-healing option fixes those swirl marks and scratches just by heating the film (as long as it isn’t torn apart). 

Swirl marks mostly occur due to improper car washing techniques, and they’re especially visible on dark-colored paints such as black, dark grey, blue, etc. Light scratches mostly occur during very light parking accidents and while using automatic car washes. 

The fantastic thing about paint protection films is that all high-quality PPFs have a self-healing option. I’ll talk about it in a minute, so make sure to continue reading. 

5. UV Rays Protection

All high-quality paint protection films provide excellent protection against Sun’s UV rays, which are known to burn the clear coat and the paint. PPF will block and reflect harmful UV rays and keep your car’s paint like new for a long time. 

A burned clear coat is a very common yet very expensive problem to fix. It happens because of constant exposure to the sun without adequate protection.

Waxes, sealants, and ceramic coatings also offer fantastic protection against UV rays, so if that’s the only reason you want to install PPF, it may not be the best choice because of extremely high installation costs. 

6. Chemical Burns Protection

Paint protection films are extremely durable against various chemicals that usually cause the paint to burn. These include bird etching, acid rains, resin, etc. However, even though they’re extremely durable, you should wash off these chemicals asap. 

Most chemical burns on cars happen because of bird poop and acid rains. When you install a clear bra on your car, it’ll prevent them from touching the paint, thus keeping the car in good condition for longer. 

PPFs are thick, and it’s hard for those chemicals to burn through them easily unless you really neglect your car and never wash it properly (check my complete guide on washing cars). Waxes, sealants, and ceramic coatings also offer fantastic protection against chemical burns, so keep that in mind. 

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Can You Repair Paint Protection Film?

I said above that I’ll talk about the self-healing option of PPFs, so here’s that part. 

All high-quality paint protection films have a self-healing option. All you need to do is to heat the film, and it’ll return to its original state. However, this only works for light scratches and swirl marks that didn’t tear apart the film.

If the film is completely torn, there’s no way of fixing it. You’ll have to replace the whole film on that car body part. 

High-quality PPF brands that have self-healing properties are:

Wrap Up

I hope that now you have a better picture of what does paint protection film (PPF) protects your car from. Clear bras are fantastic products, but of course, they can’t protect your car’s paint from everything. 

If you’re seriously thinking about installing paint protection film on your car, make sure to check the pros and cons of PPF.

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