Auto Paint Guard, located in Tampa, Florida, has applied paint protection film on 5400 vehicles since 2000.
We are trained by Xpel and certified by 3M in paint protection film installation.
Combining our experience and knowledge, we have put together the following “fact sheet” to give our customers the knowledge on which to make the important decision on paint protection film for their vehicle.
Auto Paint Guard strives daily to make sure our customers receive the best installation, the best film and the best design patterns for their vehicle. The experience, skill and knowledge of the installer are critical to any successful installation. A properly installed film does not have stretch marks, “grab” marks, lift lines, or large gaps around the edges of the pattern. In most cases, Auto Paint Guard guarantees a “perfect installation” that will meet the customer’s most rigorous inspection.
- We believe you get what you pay for. Auto Paint Guard does not price match. Rather, we base our prices on the use of top-quality films, superior film kits, job complexity, and fair labor costs. Newer companies often rely on low-cost, inferior films, poorly-designed kit patterns and lower pricing to obtain price-sensitive customers. The job will cost you less, but installation quality will be lower and durability will suffer. Auto Paint Guard provides superior installation that will protect your paint and lights for years to come.
- Buying a clear bra through a dealership may appear attractive, but can be fraught with problems. Often, installers at dealerships are not properly trained. On many occasions, we have seen examples where the installer did not use computer-cut kits, but rather used “bulk film” and attempted to cut it to fit the contours of the car with razor blades! This usually leads to cutting through the clear-coat and often the color coat as well. Further, dealerships often use inferior, lower-cost films and kit designs that provide only minimal coverage and protection. Dealerships simply want to get the job done quickly, and as cheaply, as possible in order to get the car out the door. Quality is often of secondary importance.
- There are six film companies in the industry: Xpel, 3M, ClearShield, Avery, Llumar and Venture films.
- There are several design companies such as: Xpel, Proform, Invisible Patterns, Computer Cut and 3M kits.
- $20.00 vinyl kits sold on EBay and other internet sites are not Paint Protection Film. They are not designed to stop rocks or road debris. They provide no more protection than putting a layer of masking tape on the front of your car. They will not hold up long term.
We are also one of three major companies in the state of Florida that offers full vehicle wraps. These wraps cover the entire hood, front fenders and bumper of the vehicle. This option, while expensive, is becoming more and more popular with owners of unique and exotic cars. All of our installed kits come with a 5 year film warranty and superior customer service. To see some examples of our work, check out the picture gallery on our website.
The two design pattern companies we recommend are Xpel and Proform. They have the largest library of vehicles with the most coverage possible, including full hood, full fenders, etc. These patterns are more expensive than others, but with that you get a better fit with no seams, more coverage and an all around a better install. A properly designed kit such as that produced by Xpel and Proform does not require any trimming.
We can customize hood kits to wrap the edges and we can curve the trailing edge of the film on the hood, if desired. We can also cut hood kits out of 12”, 18”, 24”, 30” , 48 or even 60”- wide film, depending on how large a section you wish to cover.
Through the years, we have applied all the films available in the market. We keep a current stock of the most popular brands and we continually examine and try new films to make sure our customers receive the best. Most other companies only stock one brand of film. We spend thousands stocking multiple films so that we can offer you the optimal choice for your specific vehicle. However, we always encourage our customers to choose a film with a great warranty: ClearShield, Xpel Ultimate and 3M film. They are the only three companies that reimburse the installer for the film and pay the installer to re-do an installation, if needed. Don’t believe companies that say that their film has a “lifetime warranty.” You will end up repaying the labor fee which makes up a large portion of the price of installing a kit.
Auto Paint Guard only recommends clear coated films for our Florida residents. Non coated films scratch easily, stain and dull quickly in the Florida climate. Clear coated films act in the same way as your clear coat on your paint, providing extra protection and durability to the paint. In Florida, we have found that 3M and ClearShield films provide outstanding protection and superior durability. They have the strongest clear coat film available for our wonderful acidic Love Bugs. Your local climate can affect film choice. Some films may perform better in one climate than another, so please contact your local installer.
Films that contain a clear top coat require less maintenance and care compared to the non top coat films. However, even clear-coated films require some care to maintain their brilliance and luster. We recommend the use of Plexus Plastic Cleaner and Protectant. This is a military-spec plastic protectant, which was initially developed to clean and protect the canopies of fighter aircraft. Available in spray cans, Plexus contains a plastic wax and imparts antistatic properties to the film. We recommend its use at least once a month to provide a smooth finish and great shine to the film. The slicker the surface can be maintained, the less likely the film will attract dirt and staining. (Stains will bleach out in the sun).
If you happen to get scratches in the 3M or ClearShield film you can take rubbing alcohol to remove them. Do not attempt this with other films!
On occasion, computer-cut kits are unavailable for such areas as aftermarket front bumpers, rocker panels, doors, A pillars and rear bumpers. Unique vehicles such as race cars, custom builds and even air planes may require special installation when patterns are unavailable. We are able to do these custom installations, utilizing skills and experience gained from our 8-plus years on over 3300 cars and trucks. If you have an application that you feel will require a custom installation, please give us a call to discuss the details. We haven’t found a vehicle that can not be covered to our customer’s complete satisfaction!