Protective Clear Shield Installation PPF by Cartronix

This past week I had a clear protective film installed on my new Kia Optima Hybrid.  I have always wondered how something like this would hold up, as a clear “film” doesn’t sound very strong.  I’ve looked into having it installed on previous vehicles but each time I got a quote, I took a step back and decided not to have it done. 


A little more than a month ago, I bought a new Kia Optima Hybrid from Grossinger Kia in Lincolnwood, IL.  I was really happy with my purchase, and I wanted to take the extra steps in protecting my investment.  When I was having my windows tinted by Cartronix Inc in Valparaiso, IN, Brian Trinsokey mentioned that they also offer the installation of a clear protective film, which you can imagine as a clear bra for the front of the car.  I really didn’t think about it but after I left and talked it over with my wife, I decided to contact them later in the week to get more information and pricing.  


Having just bought a new car, one that I plan to keep for a good while and drive a lot, I decided to order and have the clear protective film installed.  It is expensive, but lot cheaper than having to repaint your front bumper.  I really get upset when i see rock chips and damaged paint due to driving on today’s roads.  In just the few short weeks that I have had the car, I have already noticed a few chips.  I was excited to have it done and wanted to share the experience, so I decided to do a time-lapse video of Brian installing the film. 


From looking at the short time-lapse, you can see a full day’s work in just under a minute.  While the product itself is not that pricey, the time and labor that goes into the installation is what constitutes the higher cost.  From spending the day at Cartronix, I now know what all goes into installing it.  Think of it as putting the screen protector on your phone, with no bubbles or mistakes, but on a MUCH larger and curved scale.  There was a lot of prep in getting the car ready, which included getting every speck of dirt, wax and bug remnants off of the bumper, providing a smooth surface for the film to attach to.  After that, there was a lot of back and forth to ensure the film was lined up correctly and smoothly, with no bubbles or imperfections.  It’s a full day’s process for sure.  Personally, I wouldn’t have the patience to do it, so I’m glad I could tape Brian in action.


After all had been completed, I saw the finished work and was really pleased.  There were some hiccups due to the manufacturer sending the wrong bumper kit (Optima instead of Optima Hybrid) so I had to reorder and come back.  Everything else was smooth sailing.  I had the deluxe kit installed, which included protection for the hood, fenders, mirrors and bumper.  The film is made by 3M Scotch-guard with a 5 year warranty.  3m offers three different models with a warranty ranging between 5-7 years.  The film will prevent the paint from fading, and is easy to remove.  


If you are interested in getting more information about having the protective clear film installed, please contact Cartronix Inc. Prices vary depending on your vehicle and how much protection you would like.  I drove over an hour to the shop and it was well worth the trip.  They do a great job and are rated as one of the top 20 car audio shops in the country.  Tell them I sent you and keep an eye out for my review of having the Viper Smart Start remote start system installed.  


Cartronix Inc

(219) 548-2571

2105 Laporte Ave

Valparaiso, IN 46383

A great place to purchase your next vehicle...

click on image to visit website

click on image to visit website

If you have read my previous posts, you will remember that I recently purchased a new Kia Optima EX Hybrid.  After months of reviewing hybrids and talking about buying one, I can say we finally own a hybrid.  One key part of this decision was the professionalism of Grossinger Kia staff.  


My wife and I had a vehicle on order from another manufacturer.  After months of thinking it over, waiting for twice as long as we were initially quoted, and the manufacturer not meeting the promised deadline of our order, we realized that our first choice wasn’t the best car for us.  While talking it over for the umpteenth time, we found that we really liked the Kia Optima inside and out.  After being notified that the vehicle we had on order was delayed another month, we visited our local Kia dealership mainly to look around.  Our plan was to just check it out, and we had zero intentions to purchase a new vehicle that day.


We arrived at Grossinger Kia shortly after 8pm, aware that they closed in less than an hour, and we were immediately greeted by Jerry Dunn.  I don’t know about you, but being the middle of the week and working all day, most would think that closing time couldn’t come fast enough and show that in their demeanor.  Not for Jerry, he has a different view of time and acknowledged us with a big smile once we got out of our car.  We had our 2 year old son with us, who immediately saw the balloons hanging from the ceiling and decided he must have one.

Walking into the showroom we immediately noticed two Optimas on the floor.  One was an SX turbo model (which I recommend reading my previous review on), and an EX hybrid.  We were interested in the hybrid due to mpg but let me tell you, we admired the SX turbo as it is no joke.  After looking at the hybrid, my wife and I both looked at each other and we knew this was the right car for us.   Knowing what time it was and that we really aren’t those people to come in right before a business closes to purchase something, we decided to leave with the intent to return at a better time.  Jerry immediately noticed we liked the hybrid and started to make conversation about it.  We went back and forth and said we really weren’t interested and were just looking.  Knowing that we liked that car, we wanted to see how he would react to objections.

Well it worked and got Jerry interested in trying to get my attention on the vehicle.  I had in mind what price I was willing to purchase the car for and I said give me a good price and I’ll take it tonight.  I was trading in my current vehicle and they took it to give me a fair trade in towards the new car.  Long story short, Jerry talked it over with general manager Al and came back with a price lower than what I had in mind.  We said done deal and we started the process.  I couldn’t have been more pleased and my wife and I were sure that we were doing the right thing in purchasing this vehicle immediately.  

The whole process was flawless.  From the time we arrived till we left we were treated with smile and friendliness.  My son even got that balloon he so desperately wanted.  We stayed later than 9pm and ended up leaving at 10pm after finishing the paperwork.  Not one person complained or seemed annoyed about staying late for us, which we really appreciated.  I can really say, and I am not jumping on their band wagon, but I am sure that this is dealership to go to for a new Kia.  We scheduled several appointments afterward for packages and accessories that we added that couldn’t get installed that night and had no problems getting right in.

After having the vehicle for a full day, I noticed there was a manufacturer defect in the lower rear bumper.  It was really weird and I’d never seen something like that before, but there seemed to be a minor paint crack that had been cleared coated over on the assembly line.   It was weird; you never would have noticed it unless you were looking for it.  You couldn’t feel anything and it was smooth so between the bumpers being painted and sitting waiting to get cleared, that the paint cracked.  I addressed it to Jerry and Al and they immediately took care of it and got it back looking like new.  No pointing fingers, no excuses on backing into something, nothing. They said we will take care of it and gave me a loaner while our car was being worked on.  


Now having the car for two weeks and 1500 miles later, I like it even more that when we first drove it off the lot.  I waited a little to do this review in order to make sure all the hiccups, if any, had been addressed, and we have had some.  Earlier in the week I noticed that dome light and the garage door opener weren’t working.  I didn’t think anything of it so I figured let me turn the car off and back on and maybe it will work.  Well not so much, the car just died and sat there.  I had no power and I couldn’t do anything.  I had my two year old son in the car on a warm day in Chicago, so i called Jerry and told him that car just died.  He said call roadside service to get car back to dealership to diagnose the issue.  He then said he will run back to talk to head tech and call me back.  I called roadside and set up a tow.  Shortly after that call, Jerry called me back and told me to locate a key fob holder that was located in the glove compartment.  We had a push start vehicle so he said try putting the key fob in there and try starting it.  Boom, it started.  I wasn’t too far from the dealership so I drove it to them and canceled the tow.  

Upon arrival they gave me a loaner to take my son to class and got right on to diagnosing the problem.  In less than an hour, I got a call and said it was done.  They said it was just a loose fuse.  I knew (hoped) it was something simple since it didn’t sound mechanical nor did the car run funny.  But knowing that this dealership went out their way to make sure I was taken care of and addressed the issue immediately, I was pleased from the communication from both the service department and my sales person.  

Bill and Nicole were great in making sure everything went smoothly in service and Alan, the head tech, spoke to me explaining what happened.  Jerry and Al both apologized for the inconvenience, but I was just thankful everything was easy to fix and was still amazed how friendly everyone was.  I have been back to the dealership several times and I can say they have treated me the same every time.  I have bought my share of vehicles throughout the years and after you drive off the property and you come back, they usually treat you in a different way.  Not at this dealership. 

I’d really like to thank the whole staff at Grossinger Kia.  They really are a dealership you can trust and be sure you are getting the proper attention.  Note it’s a small dealership and if you are looking to get service done, please have patience.  They do great job and work with what they have to work with in space so give them some slack. When you visit, ask for Jerry and Al…and make sure to ask for a balloon too.  

Automotive Shop Spotlight - Cartronix - Valparaiso, IN

Tinted with 38% on windows and rear glass at 20%.  Viper Smart Start with GPS installed

As many of you know, a few weeks ago I purchased a new vehicle.  For many of us “car guys”, we plan ahead for what add-ons we would like to have installed.  For me, it’s always been tinted windows and remote start, no way around it.    As I mentioned in some previous write-ups, I had a vehicle on order.  So, to plan ahead for the delivery of that vehicle, I took my then current car to Cartronix in Valparaiso, IN to have them remove my remote smart start for use in the new one.

Viper Smart Start is a remote starter that you can operate through your mobile device.  It is a way you can stay connected to your car from just about anywhere in the world as long as you have a phone signal or are on wi-fi.  This device not only remote starts your car, but it offers a GPS feature where you can track the car.  So for those who have young ones starting to drive, it’s a great way to know where they have gone, set a speed limit and or designate an area where they have to stay.  You will get a notification if the speed limit has been exceeded and if the vehicle travels outside of the designated areas.  It also notifies you on low battery and you can lock down the car so when it moves, you’ll know.  It truly is a great product.  I for one am glad my parents didn’t have this when I was younger.

Cartronix was happy to remove the device for me and boxed it up for when I received my new car.  As it turns out, I got a different car than the one ordered.  Since the new car, like many of today’s vehicles, has a push button start (which the old Accord didn’t have) the guys let me know that I would need an additional bypass module for the remote start to work.

After what seemed like forever, I finally got my new car and made an appointment to have my remote start installed and windows tinted at same time.  Cartronix is one of the leading car audio shops in the country, with certified installers that they stay booked for weeks.  So the earliest I was able to make an appointment was two weeks later.  I’m very impatient so the wait was hard, but installation day has come and gone, and I am super pleased on how it all turned out.

I spoke to Eric Carter to make the appointment and got reminder couple of days prior to my appointment.  I was planning to spend the full day at the shop, but I was wrong.  Brad Marvin got my remote start installed in less than 2 hours and while he was working on that, Brian Trinoskey tinted my windows with Viper window tint.  When it was all said and done, I was in and out in less than 3 hours.  They were super friendly, easy to work with, and took care of my vehicle in no time.  As a bonus, Cartronix is an authorized Viper dealer, so I have a lifetime warranty on my remote start and window tint, which came out perfect…the best I’ve ever had on any car.

I strongly recommend taking the drive to Valparaiso, IN to have your vehicle worked on by the Cartronix staff. They service Chicagoland and Northern Indiana, though their customers travel to them from as far as Ohio, Missouri, and Iowa.  They attend several seminars throughout the year to stay up to date with today’s vehicles and are fully certified.  They also do large amounts of work on motorcycles and boats.  They carry multiple lines including Alpine, Hertz, Wet Sounds and Viper, and stand behind their work with a lifetime warranty.  Call them today at (219) 548-2571 and tell them Chris sent you. 

Click on Image to visit website

Click on Image to visit website