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Paint protection film

  • Go for it

    Votes: 6 31.6%
  • Not worth it

    Votes: 13 68.4%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While I wouldn’t normally entertain the idea of getting paint protection film on a daily driver (unless it was a 911 or the like) I’ve read a number of reports on here and elsewhere about the paint on the newer Subaru models being rather soft and prone to rock chips. I’m wondering if the fellow an*l retentive owners out there, who either decided for or against the paint protection, regretted your decision or not?
 

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2020 Onyx
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I had a mitsubishi that had paint that easily chipped off exposing primer, but none of my 4 Subarus have had that problem, but I'm not a retentive. I am however afraid of hiring people to do a botched job of putting on PPF. If you hire a well established quality shop it's $$$$$ and if you hire a new low cost installer then it might be &O^&*)(^&!

So while I'm not a-retentive I am paranoid about people doing poor work on my cars. Expectations vs Reality. A top quality shop will do the job right.

 

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2011 SSM Outback 2.5i Premium
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You could also consider paint protection SPRAY. This appears to be one such product - Car Paint Protection Spray | Liquid Spray Wrap

I'm sure there are others on YouTube that have shown it off, but there's a salesman at a Chevy dealership in KY that showed an application on his YT channel in the last 1-2 years (I watched the video but don't recall when), his channel is ChevyDude.
Here's his video showing his C8 corvette in the process -
If you browse his channel you'll see him showing it off on his C7 also. There's also the follow-up video for the C8 that shows how easy that particular product (not the one linked above) is to peel off.
 

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2020 Outback -Onyx XT -Magnetite grey
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119 Posts
I'm a big proponent of paint protection films, especially on the leading edge of the car. With as boxy as the front end is, it's going to make it a magnet for rock impacts and chips. The films do a great job of absorbing some of the small to medium size dings that would normally botch the paint. Some of them have "self healing" properties that will allow the suns heat to relax visible scratches out of the film, which is nice.

Having said that, I both love an regret my decision to have it installed. First off, The Subaru techs did an amazing job laying mine down . The edging is all equally spaced, the lines are clean and I have no bubbling at all. My regret is I wish I would have taken the time to do a 2 stage paint correction before I had it installed. I really wish I would have flattened and polished the clear coat first. The deviation in Subaru's clear coat spray isn't the worst I've seen, but it's noticeable, and it's also noticeable with the film installed over it... I plan to 2 stage my paint soon, and the film line on the hood is going to pose a bit of a problem. I can do one of three things now: 1) Polish the rest of the car up to the film line 2) spot test the film and polish over it with the rest of the paint hoping to smooth it out and not mar it 3) remove the film polish and re-apply.

I really wish I would have waited until I had done paint correction before having it installed, but having it installed is a no brainer to me. Especially if you live on dirt, or in an area of the country that sands their roads. I plan to keep this car 10-20 years, anything I can do to prolong that investment is a worthy upgrade to me.

****, I kicked around the idea of rhino-lining part of the lower lip and partway up the sides.
 

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Just had our 2021 Onyx XP done with the XPel and it turned out very nice. Both our 2018 Cross treks were done when new. because they were mainly highway driven and also one was towed behind a motorhome. and there are zero chips in the film area and a couple in the unprotected areas. As mentioned you need to find a real qualified shop. We tried the do it your self kit and bought all the special cleaners and fluids. After wasting an entire day we brought it to the shop we found as recommended by the dealer They finished and fixed our mistakes.. MY neighbors 2018 Cross trek has a couple chips but not unusual . My wife thinks it is too expensive and I do not. Works well for me.
 

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I told myself if I got a new car I’d get the PPF and so I did on my 21 Outback onyx. Chips are inevitable on highway commutes and we plan on road tripping in this vehicle so it makes sense to do for us. I plan on keeping this vehicle for a long time. If you’re just going to trade it in few years down the road, I wouldn’t.
 

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'18 Outback Touring 3.6R, '11 Legacy 3.6R Limited. '11 WRX not stock
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At the very least do the headlights.
I'll never own a vehicle "I care about" that hasn't been paint & lights protected with high quality film professionally installed.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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just because the film has a lifetime warranty - doesn't mean it is gonna look OK 15 years later so, be sure to find out how much it costs to remove, BEFORE it starts to crack and look like a jigsaw puzzle like the 3M film I put on my WRX
 

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2018 Outback 3.6
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I got both my new cars done up by a great installer (Xpel brand). The reason is, I had a 2008 car I bought that had it done. The front end was chip free after 12 years. The film was still in pretty good shape. My other older model Lexus (thick paint) was chipped to **** without the pp film. So that's my experience. It's worth the money to me.
 

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paint protection film is absolutely worth it on the sides of the car where the rear wheel arches are (front part that curves out)
 

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Had film on the hood of 4 cars now, it is absolutely worth it if you plan to be a long-term owner in places where cars rust. The main purpose of this protection is to prevent stone chips that develop into rust spots with time.

If you live somewhere without winters, I wouldn't bother.
 

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just because the film has a lifetime warranty - doesn't mean it is gonna look OK 15 years later so, be sure to find out how much it costs to remove, BEFORE it starts to crack and look like a jigsaw puzzle like the 3M film I put on my WRX
I had this happen to my 3M film as well back when I lived down south and had to part the car outside in 110F weather and scorching sun. So yes, as soon as film starts yellowing you need to remove it ASAP before it starts cracking. If it hardens, removal becomes A LOT harder.
 

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2018 Outback Touring 2.5
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Worth it. The paint is soft and thin just like the sheet metal. Unless you just drive in the city, sand, gravel and rocks will beat up your front end.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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I had this happen to my 3M film as well back when I lived down south and had to part the car outside in 110F weather and scorching sun. So yes, as soon as film starts yellowing you need to remove it ASAP before it starts cracking. If it hardens, removal becomes A LOT harder.
yeah, it's ironic that I'll probably damage the paint removing it.
 

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I never get chips in my hood, but my wife has a million on her vehicle.

But I don't ride people butts, she does constantly. Not saying you do, I'm just saying lol. I find if you just stay back, your paint will probably be ok. You're not going to go any quicker, so why put your vehicle in the line of fire. I've also never had a windshield crack, she's had plenty of those too :LOL:
 

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I've done ceramic coating on my last few vehicles, but 2 of the last 3 have had nasty rock chips in the leading edge of the hood. I just got a 21 Tacoma and I'm picking it up.later today from getting PPF on the front and door cups.
 

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I've done ceramic coating
I ceramic coated my last car, a Scion Frs. It was pretty easy and the shine was amazing like a mirror. I'd probably do my Outback if it wasn't white. This pic I don't think I'd washed the car in like 2 weeks. Everything just kind of falls off the car.

510831
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I ceramic coated my last car, a Scion Frs. It was pretty easy and the shine was amazing like a mirror. I'd probably do my Outback if it wasn't white. This pic I don't think I'd washed the car in like 2 weeks. Everything just kind of falls off the car.

View attachment 510831
Did you coat yourself or had it done professionally? My local shops start at around $1k for a coating, so I just bought one of the better consumer systems (AvalonKing) and am planning on giving it a go myself. Probably going to just get a partial front paint film and do the coating after that.
 

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Did you coat yourself or had it done professionally?
I did it myself, think it was maybe $100 on Amazon for the little bottle. It worked really well, looked as good as the day I did it 2 years later. One thing though the cloth you use to buff the stuff will be ruined, it’ll be hard as a rock later lol. Maybe could have saved it if I’d washed it.
 
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