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.
2105 Laporte Ave
Valparaiso, IN 46383