Xpel Paint Protection Film on my Jeep Compass

People comparing the cost of PPF with repaint costs. Please understand, both are never the same.

vardhann5 recently shared this with other BHPians.

The thoughts about paint protection started around mid-December when I was almost certain of getting the car by month-end and was in the market (in Hyderabad and Bangalore) looking out for paint protection options and reading a lot of reviews online.

Since my first preference was a red Compass Night Eagle and I wanted to make sure it looked new for as long as possible, I wanted the absolute best and was not willing to take any chances. After all, I was spending almost 27 hard-earned Lakhs on a car and dint want to compromise on looks to save few thousand’s.

For all the people who literally say/said (not just here but various other platforms too) “PPF = Waste of money”; here is my analogy and reasons what made me go with PPF.

My swift (2012 model) got back bumper painted twice (in 2013 and 2015) at Maruti.

In early 2017, I was planning to upgrade my ride. During price negotiation, I casually enquired with the SA about trading swift. He immediately arranged for a vehicle check-up. The check-up person comes and we walk towards the place where my car was parked outside. Without me uttering a word, he points out and said, “Sir, the bumper is painted”. I was shocked to hear. Then as we discussed further, he explained how a repainted panel (No matter who does it and where) is never going to be the same as an original one from the factory. He further explained how the paint jobs are done in garages (Including the authorized service centers). Many brands authorized service centers in our country actually outsource paint jobs to local garages to save money and space. A factory-painted car is the best and one should always make efforts to save it if they really care for car looks.

That day, I decided, my next ride must and should have bumper guards (since self-healing PPF was an unknown concept to me then and Teflon’s don’t really protect the paint) and all possible accessories to protect from crazy 2 wheel drivers (who always try to sneak through between gaps in traffic).

People comparing the cost of PPF with repaint costs. Please understand, both are never the same.

While a lot of thinking was happening at the back of my head, the car color changed from red to silver (aka minimal grey) due to stock availability as Jeep was launching a new model next month and looking at on-road cars and hearing from people who own the color (red probably is the most difficult one to maintain after black). Red would also catch a lot of attention on the roads and I prefer to maintain a low profile.

Now that the color is silver (my swift is silver too and is the easiest to maintain), my initial plan was to get PPF only on the scratch-prone areas. And normal DIY 3M wax polishing (Monthly/ quarterly). Ceramic was not even considered due to the heavy maintenance after application.

Read a few reviews which talked about how patches don’t really look good and how the dust settles at the edges and makes a car look ugly. Ever got a phone, computer screen, or anything else covered with plastic? Look at the edges and you would know what I am talking about. Dust settles down quickly and gets stuck. As time progress, it even spoils the original color by leaving marks.
A self-healing PPF is the best choice. This not only takes all the impact of the harsh roads we drive on, but also the crazy stunt masters in city traffic. And not to forget the acidic rains and pollution. The PPF takes up all the hit and the marks almost disappear as exposed to the sun.

Conclusion: Get PPF done on all 4 sides of the car. The top can be ceramic or left untouched.

Below are the options considered

  • (First choice) 3M PPF (Standard)
  • 3M Ventureshield (Next level protection from the first choice)
  • Lumar Platinum (remember seeing some ads on Instagram)
  • (Google suggested and close to my house) Opticoat
  • (Little research and lot of positive reviews) Xpel Supreme PPL
  • Xpel Ultimate (The undoubted kind and the best option)
  • (This is a weird one) Spend a fraction of the budget and get a strong and good looking bumper guard
  • (Friends and so-called experts suggested) Get the car detailed at a regular intervals (whenever I feel the car is looking dull)

Reduced the list to 2 options finally and it was 3M vs Xpel (popular choice vs best in the business).

Expert advice: Any PPF is as good as the people who are applying it. So it’s important to have the right people do the work. Also, the film should not be cut at the edges/ ends (this attracts dirt and chances of peeling off). The film should be folded towards the inside.

Went with Xpel. 3M was costly and the google reviews of their service centers were all mixed and pointed out how they literally loot money on brand name and not justify the cost with bad quality work. Xpel on the other hand had few reviews but all positive and so I decided on them. Googled for Xpel in Bangalore and we only have 1 location in the entire Bangalore (it’s in Koramangala).

Connected with them the next morning and spoke. Negotiated the cost on all the work I wanted to get done.

My Car delivery was on the 31st evening and I requested Xpel for a pick-up from the Jeep showroom on Kanakapura road to Xpel Koramangala. The driver who came was a young lad, drove the car very well as I was watching him closely in my rear and side-view mirror. Reached Xpel soon and below are the costs and works that were quoted.

  • Xpel supreme 675 per sft plus GST (Selected this) (Compass would need about 190 sft)
  • Xpel ultimate 875 per sft plus GST. Both the films are self-healing and anti-yellowing.
  • All 6 glass to get a water-repellant coat (got done as complimentary)
  • Windshield protection – 25K (Dint take it)
  • All Alloys to get protection coat – 3K
  • While discussing, I went ahead and added the sunroof too for the PPF as it was about 8K more

Total bill = 1.54L (paid 1.5L at delivery)

The major difference between the supreme and ultimate is the 5MM and 7MM thickness. And hence the warranty is for 5 years and 7 years on the films. The SA further explained that yearly maintenance is required to keep the shiny look and they would removing 1mm a year to keep the good look.

Work got completed and took back the car on the 3rd evening. Was asked to come for an inspection after 10 days and meanwhile, I shouldn’t wash the car. If the sun comes out (Bangaloreans can relate as it is bound to be cold and cloudy all day mostly at this time of the year), then I was asked to leave the car under direct sun for few hours so the PPF can stick well. The more the heat, the better it is for the film. Observed some bubbles on the door panels at the time of delivery which I was told would go in few days after getting exposed to the sun.

Some maintenance tips:

  • Always use a microfibre cloth (at least 240 GSM)
  • Don’t use shampoos or chemicals to clean the car
  • Don’t use a jet spray
  • Don’t rub in circles to clear the car. Always do an up-down motion and squeeze the cloth fully after each use.
  • Use different cloths for Glass, body, and bottom.
  • Keep a box of wet tissues in the car always and clean bird dropping as quickly as possible to avoid decolorization on the paint in the dropping area.

Thanks to vardhann5 once again! Check out BHPian comments for more insights & information.

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