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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The finish on my new car is gorgeous. And I would, of course, like to keep it that way!
Is it necessary to have the dealer apply a paint protection product or is the factory paint job pretty resistant to fading, scratching, etc?
Thanks for any feedback.
Best,
Angus
 

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Clean and wax.
Clean and wax.
Clean and wax.
Clean and wax.
Clean and wax.
Clean and wax.
Clean and wax.
Clean and wax.
Clean and wax.
Clean and wax.
Clean and wax.
Clean and wax.
Clean and wax.
Clean and wax.
Clean and wax.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks KTPhil...

I GET IT
I GET IT
I GET IT...
Thanks for your input. I decided to not go with the dealer applied **** or whatever it was! I suspect that this is one area where they can make a few extra bucks.
Best,
Angus
 

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The hood and front bumper are prone to easily get rock chips.
You would be smart to install or have installed a clear bra.

do a search in this forum, there is plenty of info on the clear bra.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks SYNCMASTER...

I'll check it out.
However, it sort of reminds me of those clear plastic sofa slipcovers our parents used way back when!!!
But you're right it would protect against dings from rocks.
Thanks again.
Best,
Angus
 

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The clear bra is different... it is invisible until you get within just a few feet. I have a black bra and would recommend one or the other because of rock chips.

The use Aerospace Protectant 303 on all the rubber and plexiglas items.

Oh, and Rain-X on the glass.

And seat covers.

Don't forget a dash mat.

And the sun shield.

I'm big on protection...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow you are serious!!...

Once again thanks for all the tips.
Best,
Angus
 

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KTPhil said:
The clear bra is different... it is invisible until you get within just a few feet. I have a black bra and would recommend one or the other because of rock chips.

The use Aerospace Protectant 303 on all the rubber and plexiglas items.

Oh, and Rain-X on the glass.

And seat covers.

Don't forget a dash mat.

And the sun shield.

I'm big on protection...
Where are you finding all this "protection"? Is it custom made? Especially the sun shield, clear bra, and seat covers. Could the Rain-X hurt the paint job if it gets on it? Thanks.
 

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Sunshade and dashpad were dealer items. Seat covers from GT Covers online. Bra from Coastal online. Aerospace 303 was found at a boat shop (it's great for fiberglas, apparently).

I don't think Rain-X hurts paint, since but you put it on a cloth, then wipe the glass, you don't get drips or runs anyway. Just clean and fully dry it first.

Can't tell you where to get the clear bra. Local installers do it (you can't), so ask here if any locals have had success.
 

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The "clear bra" is 3M vinyl. It's availble in a pre-cut kit for different cars, or can be applied from a roll. I recommend you get it done by professionals. Zeibart is one place that will install it. It's hard to see but not invisible. You can see the line where it ends quite easily. I've got it on all my vehicles. Had rocks bounce off the car (and over the roof) with no damage. A couple of sharp rocks have torn it, and those spots are easily seen. No damage to the paint underneath. It is applied with a solution of isopropyl alcohol. When the alcohol dries the vinyl is stuck down. It can be removed by soaking it with the alcohol solution and peeling it off. Typical cost installed is $200 - $300.

The same stuff is made in several thickness products - a much thicker one is designed to go over headlamps. It hasn't yellowed or changed in any way I can see in the last 6 years. Great stuff for protecting those $200 headlamp assys. Typical cost installed is $50. I also had 8" wide strips of the thicker product put on the sides of one car to protect from door dings.
 

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David Beale said:
It can be removed by soaking it with the alcohol solution and peeling it off.
I don't think the above statment is correct.
I read that if you want to remove it, you park it in the sun for a couple of hours and then peel it off like a piece of scotch tape.
 

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what about black "bra" affecting air conditioning?

Since I live where it's very, very hot for several months out of the year, I bought the super white car thinking it would be cooler and cool off more quickly that a dark colored car (and I think it does). Where is the ac located under the hood? Could putting that Black bra on the front of the Prius affect the ac and how it might absorb heat from the sun and/or outdoor temperature, making the ac work harder and thus use more fuel? My car fortunately is parked in a garage most days, but can get hot quickly when I go shopping. Haven't got a sunshield yet as I had for my old car. I like the look of an all white car better, but I don't like the idea of applying anything with chemicals that could hurt the paint job the way the clear bra seemingly can. Still, I want to protect the paint job from cuts and scratches. Only 2 months old and the left headlight cover has a couple of rock scratches! AAArrggghh!
 

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Re: what about black "bra" affecting air condition

LittleLamb said:
I like the look of an all white car better, but I don't like the idea of applying anything with chemicals that could hurt the paint job the way the clear bra seemingly can.
I don't know where you got this info. I don't think it is correct.
search the net for 3m clear bra.

from everything I have read, the clear bra is alot better than the black bra.

here is a link about the bras
http://www.automotivearticles.com/Clear_Bra_3M.shtml
 

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When professionally installed the 3M vinyl protectant (clear bra) will not harm the paint.

Unless you try to remove it without soaking it with isopropyl alchohol. It can remove the paint if you do - saw it happen! They were going to repaint the car anyway so they just tried to heat the vinyl a bit and pull it off. The paint came with it, so it sticks well to the car until you want it off and do it the correct way.

The strap-on bras will scuff and scratch the paint every time. Some dust or sand gets in behind it and the wind or vibration makes the bra move over the paint, scuffing it.

The clear vinyl comes in various thickness products. A nice thick one is used for headlamp assys. Expect to pay $200 to $300 for the clear bra, depending on how many pieces there are (side mirrors, how much of the front is covered, etc). Expect to pay around $50 for the headlamp protection - if it saves one headlamp assy it pays for itself four times over! I have both on my Pathfinder (the anti-Prius), and have watched a large rock bounce off the headlamp without damaging it. Ditto for the hood - though a sharp rock will cut the vinyl. This has happened three times on my RX-7. No damage to the paint, but the vinyl has small tears in it. There is also an insect here in Alberta that has non-OSHA approaved "guts". It will stain the vinyl a reddish brown and I haven't been able to get the colour out.

Bottom line though, is if the vinyl is damaged enough you want it gone, it can easily be removed (by the professionals) and replaced if you like.

Another tip is Zaino (search for Zaino Brothers). This stuff ("show car polish") is amazing. It takes a little work to "do up" the car properly but it's worth it, both for the shine and the protection. When I "Zainoed" (it's so good the car fanatics have made it a verb) my vehicles I found when finishing a highway trip, the coating of bugs can be removed by a garden hose for the most part.

First a word of advice. Any time you touch the paint you put minute scratches in it. You usually can't see them as they are usually very small. As you will be putting scratches in the paint, you want to make sure they are mimimally visible - so on horizontal surfaces move cleaning/polishing front to back/back to front. On vertical surfaces move up down/down up. This way the scratches will only show up at two angles, and they will look "normal". Never move in circles - this will leave "swirl marks" which will show up at any angle.

Zainoing:
1. Remove all wax from car - wash with "Dawn" dish detergent to do this - don't use dish detergent very often, once a year at most. It's hard on the paint.
2. Apply Z1 to prepare the surface. This can be done in full sun with no problem (other than you might overheat). Use as little as possible to just cover the surface.
3. Once the Z1 dries apply either Z3 or Z5 right over it. Z3 is the show car polish, Z5 is used if you have "swirl marks" from over aggresive polishing. Again, in full sun is no problem. Again, use as little as possible to just cover the surface.
4. Once the Z3/5 dries, wipe off the excess with a cotton towel. It wipes off easilly, just be gentle. You can leave it on for as long as you like before removing it. It will not "stick" or make a mess.
5. To finish, spray a small area with Z6 and quickly wipe off. Don't let it dry on the surface. It spreads the molecules of the Z3/Z5 to give an enhanced shine by making a "flatter" surface reflector. It also removes excess product that dims the shine.
6. You are now ready to apply another layer of Z3/Z5 if you like. Go to step 3.
The more layers you apply the "deeper" the shine. There are, of course, diminishing returns. I use 3 layers on my RX-7, and one or two on the anti-Prius as it's a lot of work on that vehicle (large surface area).

Step back and enjoy the shine! Check out most of the sports car forums for rave reviews of this product. You don't need a lot of it, either.

My tip of the day for this topic.
 

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David Beale said:
Zainoing:
I highly recommend you do not follow the directions above. They are old and obsolete.

First of all, Zaino now produces ZFX, which is a curing accelerator that you add directly to their Z-2 Pro, Z-3, and Z-5 Pro "polishes" (they are actually sealants). ZFX eliminates the need for a Z-1 wipedown, and eliminates the need to wait several hours between coats, enabling you to apply up to three coats of sealant in just a few hours. Zaino recommends that you use ZFX rather than Z-1. The only reason for Z-1 now is if you need to apply sealant to a small area, since it's hard to mix up a small amount of polish and ZFX.

Second, Z-3 is for single-stage paints. All Priuses, even white and black are clear coated. The correct polish is to use is Z-2 Pro, not Z-3.

Third, Zaino has come out with a Z-8 spray and it produces a far more spectacular finish than Z-6. The only problem with it is that enhances any imperfections in your paint. If your paint is near-perfect, Z-8 produces a much better appearance.
 

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I just knew someone would chide me for being obsolete! On a forum for the most advanced car design. ;) Yes, Zaino has new "improved" product. Follow the instructions on their website. I find the "old" product works just fine, particularly because I have it already, and there isn't any waiting between coats if you apply on warm days, so the accellerant isn't needed! Added expense and profit for Zaino only. The main reason I posted the instructions was to show generally how it was applied, or specifially how I apply it . Again, follow the instructions for the product you buy - they are posted on their website.

Oh, and if you follow my warnings, there isn't anything you can do with Zaino that will harm the paint! Even if you apply the wrong product, or apply in the wrong order. All their product is compatible with each other. It can be applied on top of each other, I guess is the way to say this.

One thing I didn't mention is the clay bar. If you park under trees or live in a city, you will get "stuff" stuck on the paint. Wash the car, get some carwash soap (the Zaino stuff works well), mix the soap as per the instructions that come with the claybar. Spray the soap on the car, and gently pass the claybar over the area (follow the fore/aft for horizontal surfaces and up/down for vertical surfaces recommendation I gave previously). It's amazing how clean and smooth the paint is after being claybared. You can hear the "tick, tick" as it removes the "bonded contaminents".

One other thing. When I got my RX-7 it was filthy, especially under the hood. The original shipping wax was still there, baked on and gray with dirt! No solvent would remove it (and some I tried were hazerdous to paint!). The Zaino Z1 got it off without damaging the paint. Great stuff for cleaning up accidents.
 
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