Congratulations if you have got a Paint Protection Film (PPF) applied on your vehicle. This is one of the best protection you can give to your car’s paint. You can now be rest assured of keeping the car’s paint shielded from the damage caused by rock chips, bug splatter, bird droppings, brake dust, acid rains, and other external contaminants.
Now, the next step is to care PPF. Many of you might think why does the PPF need care when it itself is a caring technique for your car’s paint. If you want to maximize the lifespan of your PPF and prevent it from damaging, it is important that you do not ignore the upkeep of the PPF. In simple words, caring for PPF ensures that you can enjoy its benefits for many years.
To maintain Paint Protection Film, you need to follow certain DOs and DON’Ts.
Paint Protection Film: What You Should NOT Do?
- Do not wash your car within the first seven days of the PPF installation – This is advised because the use of water and soap will hinder the edges of the PPF from setting appropriately. During these initial seven days, the moisture between the paint surface and the film is still evaporating. Simultaneously, we need to allow the edges to dry up so that the adhesive can stick to the paint correctly.
- Do not use a pressure washer on film edges – After the initial seven days, you can start washing your car. We have explained the two bucket method technique in one of our earlier blogs that is recommended to wash your car. Occasionally, you can also give a pressure wash. However, too much pressure can possibly damage the PPF finish. It is recommended that the pressure wash is given from at least three feet away from the film’s surface. A closer pressure wash may result in the lifting of the edges of the film.
- Never wipe on a dry film surface – If you see any swirl marks and scratches on the film, pour some warm water on the affected area, and then wipe the surface gently using a microfiber cloth.
- Do not use just any polish or wax after you have installed PPF – Use of polishes that contain abrasives, petroleum or solvents should be avoided over the PPF. As far as the wax is concerned, only use natural wax-like Carnuba Wax on the PPF. Use of abrasive or resin-based products and solvents damages the self-healing layer of the PPF and will remove the adhesive. They can also cause a haze to the surface of the film.
- Keep aggressive chemicals away – Chemicals like tar and bug removers are considered very harsh to be used on a PPF. These are known to shorten the life and damage the PPF immensely. So it is highly recommended not to use such aggressive chemicals.
- Don’t worry about bubbles that may appear – Due to the wet method used for the installation of PPF, it is natural for the bubbles to appear and disappear for a few days. The moisture will eventually evaporate through the pores of the film in 2-3 weeks.
Paint Protection Film: What You Should Do?
- Remove tree-sap, bug-splatter, and bird-droppings immediately – Such contaminants are acidic in nature and can do a lot of harm to the paint protection film if not removed quickly. Use warm water or a quick detailer spray along with a microfiber cloth to wipe off such contaminants. If these are not removed quickly enough, the acid can etch through the self-healing layer with the help of the heat produced by the car.
- Use pH-neutral car care products – Make sure you or your car detailer is always using pH-neutral products post-PPF application. This ensures that your car is chemically protected and the protection layer of your PPF does not degrade after a wash.
- Apply Ceramic Coating over Paint Protection Film – Applying a Ceramic Coating on top of PPF guarantees maximum protection and performance. If for some reason you are not able to get this done, ask your detailer to use a protective sealant of premium quality.
- Give a clay bar treatment – Detailing clay helps in removing tough water stains, stubborn insects and bird droppings. You can ask your car detailer to give a clay bar treatment after PPF is installed.
- Take it to a detailer periodically for inspection of PPF and also to remove mineral deposits around edges of the panels, door jambs, logos and wheels.
It Is Noteworthy
PPF in itself is such a strong protection layer that it does not require any special maintenance. The film will be easier to clean and will last longer if the film is treated with a good quality sealant twice a year. You can cover almost the whole of your vehicle with PPF. Instead of an automatic car wash, always prefer hand washing (using the two bucket method) your car.