Dings and scratches to your car or truck’s door can easily cost hundreds of dollars. With all the hazards out there, like people swinging their door into yours or a shopping cart rolling down a parking lot into your vehicle, there is a non negligible chance that your door will get dinged at some point. Instead of having to get your paint repaired every time, you can prevent your door from getting dinged in the first place.
One of the ways you can accomplish this is through paint protection film. Paint protection film acts as an invisible suit of armor, shielding your paint from dangerous situations. Although it may not be able to take as much of a beating as paint protection film with a layer of ceramic coating on top, paint protection film alone should be able to protect your vehicle’s paint from typical minor damage such as a small door ding without a problem.
What Paint Protection Film Does and Does Not Protect Against
The main purpose of paint protection film is to absorb any potential impact. By absorbing an impact, the paint protection film reduces the number of abrasions from reaching your paint underneath the film. This is one of the factors that play a role when deciding if you want paint protection film or a vinyl wrap since vinyl wrap does not provide significant protection.
Paint protection film is great at warding off chipped paint from flying road debris and mild to moderate scratches and nicks. This hidden layer of paint protection film applied over the top of your paint will take the force imposed by other people’s car doors, branches scraping along it, and stones hurling down the highway.
With this in mind, paint protection film is not invincible. If someone is determined to key your car, they will likely be able to push through your paint protection film to make it to your paint. It is unlikely for a tree branch, for example, to push that hard nor repeatedly go over the same exact spot. Similarly, paint protection film will not stop your paint from getting damaged in a serious accident.
Product and Installation Considerations
How much protection you get will depend on the particular type of paint protection film you get and who it was installed by. For example, aside from the normal small bubbles after installation which will dissipate in a couple of days, imperfections in your paint protection film can make it much less efficient at its job of protecting your paint. So that you don’t have to worry about what to do about small bubbles, dirt, or dust under your paint protection film, you should have your paint protection film installed by an expert who has experience with these types of installations.
Even better would be if you can have your paint protection film installed by a certified installer for the particular product you’re having installed. For example, if you’re having XPEL Stealth Paint Protection Film installed, then going to one of the best certified XPEL installers is a good idea. Although maintenance of paint protection film is not difficult, it is worth noting that knowing how to properly maintain paint protection film will extend the lifetime of your paint protection film and avoid ruining its protective properties.
Which product you get also matters. XPEL’s Ultimate Plus Plus Series Films come with a 10-year warranty regarding discoloration, delamination, ruptures, peeling, and bubbling. This product and other paint protection film by XPEL not only protect against door dings but also has a self-healing topcoat.
Self-Healing Paint Protection Film
XPEL’s paint protection films, including their Ultimate Plus and Stealth series, come with a self-healing top layer. This means that scrapes bristle swirls, and light scratches to your paint protection film do not require you to replace that area of the film due to the damage. Instead, the paint protection film will heal itself and revert back to its original condition!
One of the things you should know about a paint protection film before you purchase it is if it has self-healing properties. These properties are activated by heat. If your vehicle’s door gets a ding, chances are all you will have to do is park your vehicle out in a nice sunny area for 20 minutes to an hour and it will be good as new without any imperfections to either the paint or paint protection film.
Alternatively, you can bring your vehicle to your installer and they will use tools meant specifically for that purpose. This might be a good idea for more serious dings so that you have the best chances of it self-healing instead of having to replace that piece of your vehicle’s paint protection film.
Self-healing is only possible for lighter abrasions and blemishes though. The outside layer that has self-healing properties is only 13 microns thick. If the impact gouges out (not just pushes in) further than 13 microns, the paint protection film will not be able to mend itself back into its original form.
Partial Application Options
Even though getting paint protection film installed on all of the painted areas of your vehicle results in the best protection, you do not have to do this. Most installers have different paint protection film packages so that there is an affordable option for everyone. For example, one package may include installing paint protection film on your hood, headlights, mirrors, and front bumper, where another package will include your entire vehicle.
It is entirely possible to have only your doors protected with paint protection film, and many installers will be happy to do that for you. This way, you can feel safe parking within reach of other vehicle’s doors without having to get the entire vehicle protected.
One of the best defenses you can have when it comes to your vehicle’s paint is paint protection film. With options that will be completely unnoticeable or improve your gloss’s shine, this discrete paint protection film can protect your doors from dings and other paint damage. It is advisable to have a certified installer install your paint protection film to avoid any defects that may inhibit its protective abilities and to get a paint protection film that comes with a self-healing top layer.