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3M Paint Protection Film Review


3M Auto Film Review

Paint protection film was first made by 3M in 1960 on the request of Unites States Army to protect helicopter rotar blades from damage in desert operations. More than 50 years after it was first used, 3M has made it commercially available as an after market option for paint protection. Recently introduced by 3M in India, the Paint Protection Film (PPF) comes across as a must have on your new car. What exactly is it? We find out.

PPF Brochure

3M Scotchgard Paint Protection Film (PPF) is a transparent Urethane Film specially designed to preserve the beauty and integrity of automotive finishes. It helps protect a vehicle’s paint finish from harsh conditions and other potential sources of damage on the road such as stones, sand, road debris and bug acids that damage the paint. This film can be applied on the hood, fenders, bumper or the entire surface of the car. 3M offers different packages for PPF namely city, city +, highway and highway +. In the city package the front and rear bumpers are covered, city + package includes the external rear view mirrors. The highway package also includes the bonnet. If you frequently ply on the highways, with time you will notice that small stones hitting the car at high speeds can actually peel away the paint, leaving the front bumper blotchy.

Application - The application is a time consuming affair, especially because the 3M guys take their work seriously. Our Maruti Suzuki Swift took almost four hours for the application, but it included a few additional things such as removal of minor scratches and polishing before application.

3M-Paint-Protection-Film-Car-Wash

The first step is washing the car. To get a spotless vehicle, high pressure spray and foam is used.

3M-Paint-Protection-Film-Cleaning

3M uses their in-house universal cleaning solution to remove debris which settles in the crevices. It is important that the area to be covered is cleaned thoroughly else the dirt will be visible through the film. The film application cost only covers the washing and application. Any extra procedure such as debris removal with the cleaner, gloss and polish is charged extra.

3M-Paint-Protection-Film-Soap-Application

Once the area of application is completely clean, soap spray is used to clean the surface. 3M uses Johnson baby shampoo as it has the minimum amount of chemicals. If the chemicals are in excess, they may interfere with the adhesive properties of the film. The cloth used to wipe the bumper clean is also a 3M product and wipes the area clean without causing even a minor scratch.

3M-Paint-Protection-Film-Cutting

The film required is cut from the master roll as per the size and dimension of the area to be covered.

3M-Paint-Protection-Film-Application

The film is similar to a window film. A thin layer of plastic is peeled off to reveal the adhesive layer which is adapted carefully. Film application is a very technique sensitive job, a skilled worker can make this look easy but its mighty difficult. As far as possible, the film is used as a single piece. In case this is not possible, the joints are placed so close to each other, they are hardly visible.

3M Paint Protection Film Application

The film is adapted around the curvature of the bumper.

3M-Paint-Protection-Film-Fine-Adjustments

The fine adjustments are done and the excess is cut off.

3M-Paint-Protection-Film-Front-Bumper

A finished job looks like a new freshly painted bumper has been put on. The best part is, if you need to remove the film for any reason, it leaves absolutely no residue and will not peel off the paint. We recommend in case you need to remove it, visit the nearest 3M centre rather than attempting it yourself.

3M-Paint-Protection-Film-Rear-Bumper

3M Paint Protection Films are available at 3M Car Care Stores all over the country. The application is done by experts who are trained by 3M carefully on using the right materials and match the contours of the car. It costs roughly Rs. 455/- per square foot. You can either opt for the packages offered by 3M or can make your own customized package. We opted for the front and rear bumper for our Swift and this area was roughly 29 square feet. The only precaution you need to observe is to refrain from washing your car with diesel as it will cause a yellow discoloration on the film. So next time your car goes for service, make it a point to remind the service guys. The film does tend to turn yellow with time (about 5 years) and is only noticeable on a white car. 3M claims that the average life of the film once applied is about 5 years which is good enough. After using the film on our car, we will recommend it as a must have, especially for your brand new car.

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{ 23 comments… add one }

  • Davneet February 18, 2013, 6:39 pm

    Nice job. Where i can get these Motorbeam.com stickers.

    Reply
    • Faisal Khan February 18, 2013, 11:41 pm

      Davneet, we are still not ready with them, once we are we will let you know.

      Reply
      • Davneet February 19, 2013, 10:49 am

        thnx

        Reply
  • kumar February 18, 2013, 6:57 pm

    instead spending 12k for 3M film for 2 bumbers, spend 6k for good quality A.S.S. paint job.

    Reply
  • Jeffy February 18, 2013, 10:52 pm

    12-13k for this is quite high….. Repainting the bumpers can be done for almost half of this price

    Reply
  • jai February 19, 2013, 8:20 am

    If you spend 3-5k more ,You will get a new Bumper .

    Reply
    • Javeid Khan February 20, 2013, 11:16 am

      Jai and everyone else, I agree but please consider the following points –
      1. How many of us will actually change or get the bumper painted for minor scratches? Not many.
      2. This product targeted at the enthusiast who take care of their machines more than anything.
      3. As someone said, you can get a bumper painted for Rs 6000, maybe for a Swift, but what if you own an expensive car whose bumper costs more? Say a Fortuner or an Audi.
      4. Minor scrapes from your rowdy rickshaw driver will save your paint and film for a long long time.

      Reply
  • Ninu February 19, 2013, 11:27 am

    Javeid, Its your swift, Right?… :)

    Reply
    • Javeid Khan February 20, 2013, 11:13 am

      Yes, that’s my car :)

      Reply
      • Ram May 19, 2013, 11:41 am

        Hi Javeid,
        Im from Chennai….I own a Royal Enfield and looking forward to get the bike with the “Paint Protection Film” from 3M. Im eager to understand the below issues.
        1. Does the film stay even after heavy car wash (You know how the water wash centres perform the cleaning)
        2. Are there any other restrictions/limitations after applying the film from 3M?

        Appreciate your response. Thanks indeed.
        Ram

        Reply
        • Javeid Khan May 19, 2013, 1:10 pm

          Ram, i have been using the film for almost 6 months now. The film does not come off even on pressure wash. The only restriction is that you must refrain from using diesel to wash your vehicle as this will make the film yellowish. 3M claims that once the film is placed, it should last a good 5 years. Hope this helps.

          Reply
  • Ysak Menon February 25, 2013, 5:49 pm

    nice.. except the cost.. nyway 3M wont come cheaper 2 u..

    Reply
  • ashish February 27, 2013, 1:06 am

    hey, do u guys know is there any 3M centre in delho or not! coz i cant find it? plz reply guys.

    Reply
    • Faisal Khan February 27, 2013, 10:41 pm

      Ashish, they don’t have a detailing centre in Delhi. It is coming up in Delhi in May.

      Reply
  • rajesh February 28, 2013, 7:49 pm

    makes more sense on luxury cars

    Reply
  • Apoorv Bhatia May 4, 2013, 6:54 pm

    Hey every1.
    We provide the equivalent product in Mumbai and other regions depending upon orders. The prices are too competetive.
    At your footsteps to provide complete Car Paint protection & Scratch Guard solutions.
    We provide Car Paint Protection Films which saves your car from scratches & colour fading.
    Advantages
    Protection From Scratches
    Protection From Colour Fading
    Gives Good Shining & hence no need of Polishing & teflon Coating
    Protection From Anti(UV) Rays
    Long Lasts For 6 Years
    No residue after peeling off
    If u want to remove Scratch Guard/Paint Protection Film there will be no paint loss.
    1 year warranty on our film.
    After successful implementation in south India, we are providing our services in maharashtra.
    We believe in providing highest level of customer satisfaction , we do everything to meet our customers sastisfaction.
    If you are a true car lover, we are the match makers, we protect your car from scratches.

    Reply
    • nikhil May 24, 2013, 11:14 pm

      pleas tell me ur contact number for mangalore

      Reply
    • Renju Raju December 27, 2013, 4:42 pm

      Please give me your contact number and do u have an outlet in mumbai ?

      Reply
  • nikhil May 24, 2013, 11:12 pm

    Hey can you tell me where i can get this in mangalore karnataka ??

    Reply
  • Ajay March 5, 2014, 4:52 pm

    Hey, Please let me know where can I get this done in Mangalore

    Reply
  • samson May 26, 2014, 4:51 pm

    I own royal Enfield.can I do ppf for my bike.anyone who does this is mumbai

    Reply
  • vikram June 26, 2014, 12:51 am

    Mujhe 24inchx100ft ka roll chaiye

    Reply

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