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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m awaiting receipt of a 2022 Subaru Outback Touring and was wondering if anyone has paint protection film applied to their OB. What are your experiences? What type of coverage did you get? Are there any issues with film when car is left in hot summer sun?
 

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2021 Outback Touring XT
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I recommend film after my 2014 Crosstrek and a friends’s 2018 Crosstrek (and a ton of Subaru forum posts) had issues with rock chips. I did full panel coverage for hood, bumper, and front fenders. I also added door cups and door edge protection. I prefer full panel coverage because it looks like a panel without film (no obvious line if installed correctly).

My car is garaged at home, but when it has been in warm weather it has had no issues.

A good installer is as important as the quality of the film. I have seen bad installs that had obvious dirt, bubbles, and even one instance of cigarette ashes under the film (from the installer smoking during install).

Just to make sure you have reasonable expectations, film will get damage with age. That is the point. The film takes the hit instead of your paint. I have seen several forum posts on car sites with people mad about rock damage to film. The whole point is for the film to take the damage.
 

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21 Touring XT & 21 Taco TRD Sport Premium
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I've got PPF on my 21 Touring XT. I can try and get a picture or two later this weekend, but I'm very happy with how it came out. I went with Stek PPF installed from my local pro detailer. It is hydrophobic which makes cleaning bugs significantly easier as an added bonus too!
I went with the front bumper, leading hood/fender and door cups. I also got the same package plus mirrors on my Tacoma. I skipped on the grill and mirrors on my OB as I'm going to do a chrome delete and then decide if I keep the silver trim or not.
 

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2020 Limted XT Black/Ivory
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I have a partial on my hood. I wish I had gotten the whole hood done. I’m not as concerned about the bumper since it’s made of plastic, my main reason was to protect the aluminum hood from chips and the eventual oxidation.
 
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I put on PPF on the door edges. Hard to see them, and they work well. Pretty easy to apply. Happy with the results.
 

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2021 Outback Touring - Cinnamon Brown Pearl
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I’m awaiting receipt of a 2022 Subaru Outback Touring and was wondering if anyone has paint protection film applied to their OB. What are your experiences? What type of coverage did you get? Are there any issues with film when car is left in hot summer sun?
I haven't put any in my 21 OB yet but I did have ppf applied to my 18 Crosstrek. I had it applied to 1/2 hood & front, all door handle cups, and all door edges. Car has always been parked outside - summer & winter in SW Ohio. The installer did an excellent job, you can't tell it's there unless the car is dirty and a line of dust/dirt shows on the hood. I'll do the full hood on my OB because of that. I'm completely satisfied, no chips or nicks (and I've had the windshield replaced from rocks), no fading, and door edges and handle cups are like new. I think it's worth the money - as long as you have a good installer.
 

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Not worth it. For the price of the film, you could get the hood repainted a few times over. I have it on other cars with a higher value and its great, but just difficult to justify on this car, even for some of the boomers on here who love to talk about how they’ll have this car for the next few decades.
 

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Not worth it. For the price of the film, you could get the hood repainted a few times over. I have it on other cars with a higher value and its great, but just difficult to justify on this car, even for some of the boomers on here who love to talk about how they’ll have this car for the next few decades.
Not true at all. The hood will run you 3-500 for a full, less for a partial. Prep work plus paint and materials on a hood repaint will far exceed that (this is what I do for a living). Not to mention the protection from bird droppings, etc.
 

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Not true at all. The hood will run you 3-500 for a full, less for a partial. Prep work plus paint and materials on a hood repaint will far exceed that (this is what I do for a living). Not to mention the protection from bird droppings, etc.

Not sure why you keep dropping “boomers” in every other comment like they are some mythical things that only exist to do things you disagree with (and this is coming from a millennial).
A quality PPF instal costs far in excess of a few hundred in my area, and starts degrading in appearance after a few years, even when properly cared for.
 

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I have Xpel on my hood...from front edge to 20" forward of the wiper cowel. Also both front fenders, cut line matching that on the hood. After the first year, the cut edge yellowed. Second year, its black and gunky. I wish I did the entire hood, as the edges are wrapped under the hood where I won't see the edges. I take care of it. It is a relatively sacrificial coating, that in time, will need to be replaced. I live in a salted road state, so I have to have something. The hoods are aluminum. One chip to corrosion, they are scrap. They can be repainted but the corrosion comes right back. IMO, the $270 I spent on it, saves me from replacing hoods.

To me, the film is like buying all weather floormats, or mud flaps. Do you need them? No. But, they sure do help keeping the car nice.
 

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I chose to go down the ceramic coat route rather than PPF, and more than a year down the track, the surface of my car still looks brand new and water still beads up. I only have one little chip at the front, however you can see it's only in the ceramic coat and hasn't touched the paint at all. If I get the coat renewed in another year or two if it starts to look off, it will fill in that hole and become invisible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I chose to go down the ceramic coat route rather than PPF, and more than a year down the track, the surface of my car still looks brand new and water still beads up. I only have one little chip at the front, however you can see it's only in the ceramic coat and hasn't touched the paint at all. If I get the coat renewed in another year or two if it starts to look off, it will fill in that hole and become invisible.
Is that similar to the ceramic coating they recommend post PPF?
 

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Is that similar to the ceramic coating they recommend post PPF?
No, in my case it was instead of. That said, there's nothing stopping you from doing both for added protection, but it'd be like wearing multiple layers of clothes (which is useful in paintball now that I think about it).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
No, in my case it was instead of. That said, there's nothing stopping you from doing both for added protection, but it'd be like wearing multiple layers of clothes (which is useful in paintball now that I think about it).
Did you apply it yourself?
 

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Did you apply it yourself?
God no - it's very labour intensive. I paid a third party detailer do it. They washed it, then used a studio light to go through and make any corrections in the paint prior to application, then buff and shine. The entire job took eight hours (though that also included an interior detail as well).
 

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Ceramic coat is not a full substitute for paint film. They are better off used together. Ceramic coat does little if anything to protect against rock chips. Anyone telling you otherwise is misrepresenting the product. I say misrepresenting because frequently it is an understanding issue. I have heard dealerships flat out lie and say it does when I am sure they know it does not (I believe this to be the source of the misunderstanding for most people). I have also seen misleading marketing with ceramic coat that can lead consumers to believe the coatings hardness protects against chips.

Both are great products. Here is a link that quickly highlights the differences. Paint Protection Film vs Ceramic Coating | What's Best?

I have done ceramic coating at home (have not done it on my Outback yet, but have on other vehicles). As the previous poster mentioned it is very labor intensive and requires paint correction prior to application. I did my Crosstrek last year and it took me 8 hours. Unless you enjoy doing the work, the cost of necessary equipment (lighting, polishers, etc.), polishes/coatings, and time is likely not worth doing it yourself for most people.
 

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Ceramic coat definitely does not stop chips and I've never seen it advertised as doing so, but those chips that it does get are very different to normal chips. Only the ceramic coat is damaged, it doesn't get to the paint, let alone metal, of the panel. Some ceramic coats can "self heal" with heat, like the sun and minimise or even hide the damage (mine does not, but there are plenty of demo videos on YouTube for the former).

I currently have one tiny chip in my bonnet that would otherwise have much more chips after one year of having this coat done. It definitely protects against light stone chips, but it appears it's also quite effective against stronger chips too - I have lots of little chips on my windscreen but literally nothing but the one chip on my bonnet. If I got the ceramic coat re-applied on my bonnet only, it would fill in that chip and be completely invisible.

Just to be clear, a ceramic coat will do nothing in a severe impact like a collision with another car or a shopping trolley hitting you at speed. It definitely protects against drag-scratches (tree branches, people walking past you, sidling past you, etc) and light impact, eg: resting traditionally scratchy objects on your car such as a bunch of keys, etc.

If you want it done properly, always get a third party detailer to do it. The whole process is very labour intensive and any inexperienced person will make mistakes.
 

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I am glad you are happy with your ceramic coating. Forgive me if I do not believe that it has helped your rock chip situation. I firmly believe that you just happened to get the right rock (since it is a rather random event). It probably has helped in a very mild way, but it is in no way comparable to paint protection film in that regard. The way you have described it both times leads me to believe you do think it is protecting from chips. Maybe I am misreading, not trying to start an argument one way or the other. Just want to be very clear to the OP and anyone else reading this..... If your reason for PPF is chip protection you chose the right product. If it is to keep your car looking clean and you do not care about chips, you are better off with ceramic coating. The absolute best option is using both.

Here is a good page from a ceramic supplier on what ceramic coatings do not do. You will note that light scratch protection is a gray area in their writeup (meaning it likely offers some protection). What Does A 9H Ceramic Coating Not Do | Paint Protection

Edit: Worth mentioning my Crosstrek had a professional ceramic coating done when I purchased it. The car is covered in rock chips and started getting them within the first year. I have always been into detailing and eventually purchased my own setup to do paint correction and ceramics at home. It is a long process, but it is easy to learn how to do. I spent a good amount of time reading up on how to do it and practiced on some old body panels that I had in the barn. I like and appreciate the use of ceramic coatings. As long as it is not for rock chips :)
 
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