What is XPEL Paint Protection Film?

XPEL Paint Protection Film is a virtually invisible urethane film. It protects your vehicle’s paint from unsightly damage and maximizes re-sale value. Some of its features include Self Healing, Stain Resistance, and Superior Optical Clarity.

What is a Ceramic Coating?

A Ceramic Coating (such as Revivify, Gyeon Mohs and Ceramic Pro) is a liquid polymer that is applied by hand to the exterior of a vehicle. The coating chemically bonds with the vehicle’s factory paint, creating a layer of protection.

A Ceramic Coating is not a substitute for Paint Protection Film, which provides a more comprehensive form of defensive skin. Rather, it is a premium wax alternative. A Ceramic Coating creates a permanent or semi-permanent bond with a vehicle’s paint, meaning that it does not wash away or break down and does not require repeated application every few months.

What can a properly applied Ceramic Coating do?

In short, a Ceramic Coating adds additional protection to your car’s exterior and helps keep it looking like-new with comparatively minimal maintenance. The coating achieves this result by making your vehicle more resilient and easier to clean. Here are the main benefits:

PROTECTION FROM UV DAMAGE / OXIDIZATION

If a vehicle is often exposed to the sun, its paint will begin to oxidize, resulting in dulled and faded paint. A layer of Ceramic Coating protects a vehicle’s paint from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, thereby reducing the amount of oxidization.

 

PROTECTION FROM CHEMICAL STAINS AND ETCHING

Another danger for your car is chemical staining from naturally acidic contaminants. By creating a chemically resistant surface, a Ceramic Coating can keep some contaminants from bonding to your vehicle’s paint. The result is that your vehicle will be more resistant to staining and etching, provided the contaminant is removed in a timely manner.

 

EASE OF CLEANING

One of the most significant features of a Ceramic Coating is that it is hydrophobic, which is a fancy way of saying it repels water. When a vehicle has a hydrophobic Ceramic Coating, water will bead on the surface and slide off more easily. This means that mud and grime will have a more difficult time bonding to your vehicle’s paint, and when you wash your car, contaminants can be removed with less effort.

ENHANCED GLOSS

If you want your paint to pop with gloss, you will want to add a Ceramic Coating. A good Ceramic Coating enhances the reflective properties of your car’s paint and clear coat, adding to the depth and clarity of your paint.

As we said at the outset, a Ceramic Coating will add value to your vehicle. At Exclusive Detail, we are the leading installer for ceramic coatings for Edmonton, AB, and the surrounding area. If you would like to learn more or schedule an appointment, follow the links below. But be sure to keep reading to learn about the limitations of Ceramic Coatings.

My car is brand new, why does it need to be power polished?

You’ve finally purchased a brand new vehicle and are making the right choice to protect it for the long term. You’re probably thinking if you should have XPEL Ultimate Plus paint protection film installed or have ceramic coating or both. However, before you get to those steps, we have to take a step back and look into your vehicle’s paint first. It doesn’t matter if your car has twenty kilometres or one thousand kilometres, a brand new car does not mean you have perfect paint.

In most cases, there are micro marring, swirls and imperfections on the finish of the paint. How can that be?

  • Vehicles sit on the car lot
    • People can brush up against the vehicle when browsing at cars in the lot.
    • If it gets snowed on, then lot attendants and sales people will have to brush the snow off which can cause scratches if you’re not using a foam brush.
  • Vehicle transport
    • Some vehicles get transported from overseas and then get sent with a vehicle carrier to its final destination. Oftentimes they are not in an enclosed trailer and are subject to the dirt and debris during transport.
  • Improper wash methods before picking up the vehicle
    • The job of the car dealership is to sell you cars and to service your vehicle. When it comes times to pick up your vehicle, it is their job to make it look shiny and clean enough for you to drive away happy. It is not their job to remove imperfections and use high end, professional detailing products.

 

If your car has swirls and imperfections and we install ceramic coating, then that means the imperfections will be locked under the ceramic coating for years to come. The only way to remove the imperfections is to….wait for it….power polish the ceramic coating off and the clear coat. Basically we are back to step one.

However, if you are only getting XPEL paint protection film on your vehicle, then a minor polish will do. This will help with adhesion and again to remove any minor imperfections. The good thing about XPEL is that it can hide many of the swirls under the film because of how thick it is.

If you have a brand new vehicle, check the paint first before getting paint protection film or ceramic coating.

Is a Ceramic Coating or Paint Protection film better?

So which product is right for your car?

Here’s the good news. You don’t have to choose one or the other. They can both be applied to the same vehicle. The dynamic duo of Paint Protection Film and a Ceramic Coating is the ultimate form of invisible protection you can purchase for your car.

Here’s how it works.

Paint Protection Film is applied first to the portions of your vehicle that will be most susceptible to rock chips or scratches from road debris. Since a Ceramic Coating does not protect against this kind of damage, it’s important to apply Paint Protection Film to these areas. This often includes the front bumper, hood, fenders, side mirrors, rocker panels, and rear wheel arch.

Once the most vulnerable areas are protected with Paint Protection Film, your whole car receives a Ceramic Coating. The coating will bond to both the vehicle’s factory paint and the film that has already been applied. When applied on top of film, coating will provide an additional layer of protection from chemical etching and stains. It will also help keep the film clean and free from contaminants, which will lengthen the life of the film.

Everywhere else on the vehicle, whether protected by film or not, the Ceramic Coating will thwart oxidation and chemical etch marks or stains. Moreover, the hydrophobic surface will make it harder for contaminants to bond to the vehicle, keeping the paint cleaner and making it easier to wash. The smooth surface of the Ceramic Coating will also enhance the gloss of your vehicle’s factory paint.

Together the two products will preserve your car’s paint over the long-term, and enhance its appearance on a day-to-day basis.

How long does the Ceramic Pro coating take?

Ceramic Pro coating is usually a 2 day process and may take longer depending if the car needs to be power polished and/or installed with XPEL.

Why does my brand new vehicle need to be power polished?

Brand new cars may need power polishing! Factory paint is not perfect. Whether it’s during transport or detailing the vehicle for delivery at the dealership, there are many instances that can cause swirls and scratches.

What is the difference between 3M and XPEL?

3M is a common name referred to paint protection film. Older 3M paint protection film tends to yellow, crack and fade. XPEL is a brand of paint protection film we use to install on your vehicle. It is self healing, fade resistant and virtually invisible.

Do you wrap the edges for XPEL?

Yes, we wrap the edges for our XPEL installations wherever possible. This will help protect the edges from getting rock chips.

What are swirls?

Swirls are micro scratches on the surface of the paint. It can be caused by using a brush at a car wash, dusting off your vehicle or even wiping your car dry with the wrong microfibre towel. These can be corrected with power polishing.

Can you do just a quick detail?

Here at Liberty Autoworx, we recognize the fact that you can get a cheaper, quick detail somewhere else. We do not exist to do such a thing. We go much further in-depth with the details and methods we use to rejuvenate your vehicle. “Quick” details often miss things that set us far apart from them, and we exist to be your go-to guaranteed best auto salon in the city.

My car is brand new, what should I do?

First of all, congratulations on your new purchase!

We highly recommend having the vehicle go through a “no-touch” process from the dealership and brought straight to our salon. This will decrease the chances of potentially creating paint imperfections. No brand new car is perfect, whether it has ten kilometres, twenty kilometres, two hundred – we still have to look at the paint condition and assess it prior to installing ceramic coating or XPEL paint protection film.

My car interior is not that bad...

Here at Liberty Autoworx, we recognize the fact that you can get a cheaper, quick detail somewhere else. We do not exist to do such a thing. We go much further in-depth with the details and methods we use to rejuvenate your vehicle. “Quick” details often miss things that set us far apart from them, and we exist to be your go-to guaranteed best auto salon in the city.

We do offer regular maintenance detailing to ensure your vehicle is always looking its best.

 

Should I wait until spring/summer to have my vehicle done?

Quick answer is no. If you have the opportunity to bring us your vehicle straight from the dealership please do so! We want to protect your vehicle from the get go. If you drive it a couple hundred km’s or a few thousand km’s before having us protect it, then you’ll increase the chances of rock chips and imperfections.

You may not notice tiny rock chips or pits prior to installing the paint protection film. However, once the paint protection film is on, it takes the shape of the surface. If there are imperfections, then they will show. Hence why we recommend bringing your car in with the fewest km’s possible.

I want my XPEL film to have zero debris.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s not possible. We do not install in a vacuum. There is dust in the air. We will clean, prep and ensure that we do everything to minimize the debris under the film. Your film is a sticker…

How much to polish my vehicle?

Every vehicle is unique.

Japanese car paint is different from German car paint.

The amount of swirls varies from one car to another.

Simply put, we have to assess the vehicle’s paint condition with you to ensure we are on the same page. We also want to know what your expectations are. Are you looking to display a vehicle in a car show and expect to win best paint? Or are you looking to make your vehicle shiny with a permanent solution?

 

The dealership/competitor/friend can do it for less

No problem.

We don’t compete on price. We never have.

We only do the best work for every vehicle every single time.

Do they prep your vehicle the same way? Probably not.

Do they provide the best plan of action for you without overselling? No.

Do they ensure that you and your vehicle are taken care of for the long run? No?

Do they educate you on the different services and products available? You tell me.

The dealership can do the XPEL/3M for less.

Sure, no problem.

Our prep process is different.

We use the highest grade film.

We don’t cut your paint.

We’re highly trained professionals with years of experience.

We only do what’s best for your vehicle.

Your temporary savings are actually costing you way more because of financing.

Do you remove panels to tuck the edges of XPEL?

Yes we can do that no problem.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Are you winter driving this vehicle?
    • Our climate goes through a lot of freeze thaw so there is a high chance of it lifting and failing.
    • If your panels are extremely tight, having an 8 mil film is not a good idea.
  • Do you want us to take apart your brand new vehicle?
    • There is higher liability and you have to sign a waiver.
  • Are you willing to pay for the extra labour involved?

I want no seams in my XPEL

OK for sure.

We’ll let you know if it’s possible and where there could be challenges. Rest assured, it’s going to cost a lot more.

I know someone that can ceramic coat for cheaper

That’s great.

Are they insured?

Do they have trained professionals?

Can they guarantee their work?

Are they preparing the paint properly prior to installation?

What ceramic coating are they using? Off Amazon? From China? Not all ceramic coatings are made equal.

Are you prepared to pay more to fix their mistakes?

I have a high end car that I'd like to have services done.

Fantastic! We can arrange enclosed carrier transportation for you from our partners for a fee if you want to minimize the amount of clicks on your car.

You want us to come to your garage and work on your private collection? No problem, we can do that for you.

My ceramic coating isn't beading anymore, what should I do?

Contrary to popular belief, you still have to maintain your vehicle with regular washing even after having it ceramic coated.

The ceramic coating is still porous and prone to getting dirt, debris and contamination. Furthermore, iron and tar deposits can will occur usually on the lower half of the vehicle. This will then affect the ceramic coating’s ability to perform. We will need to do a full exterior decontamination wash.

My car is freshly repainted

If your car is freshly repainted, then we do require for you to wait about 2-3 weeks prior to us installing any paint protection film.

However, it is possible for us to install film if you want to minimize the amount of rock chips that may occur. The body shop does have to give us the go ahead that it is cured. Also, we do require for you to sign a waiver as the paint may lift.