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My Northern Virginia dealer offers Scotchgard 3M paint protection film. The premise is that it protects the front end from stone chips, bugs, etc. They put it on the front end of their demo S5 and it looks actually quite invisible, with the exception of where it transitions to the unprotected paint surface.
It is not particularly cheap at about $1000 for a front end.

Has anyone seen this used and what kind of results have people had?
It sounds like a great idea on the surface (no pun intended), but I would be worried about yellowing and how to remove it if needed without damaging the paint.
Information link http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Scotchgard-PPF/Home/
 

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I'm assuming this is the same product as a "Clear Bra" and if so I have heard both positive and negative reviews.

On the positive side, it really does protect your front bumper against chips and so forth.

The negative, and it's a big one for me, is over time there is an outline of the bra on your car. This is due to soap, wax, and dirt buildup that accumulates against the edges of the mask. It made my buddy's BMW look horrid. If you have a lighter car it may not show up as much....
 

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I had the clearbra (differnt brand: VentureShielf) put on my Ibis White S5 and I think it's completely worth it. You really can't tell it's there unless you look.

The instructions indicate that you can remove the wax buildup at the edge with rubbing alcohol.
 

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A5inReston,
Slightly different solution - I had a paint treatment applied to the whole car when I bought my S4 four and a half years ago. The product used by VW/Audi then was called A-Glaze:
http://www.aglaze.com/
however Audi in the UK now use Autoglym Lifeshine:
http://www.autoglym.co.uk/enGB/lifeshine.asp
Although this won't protect from stone chips, after 52k miles in my S4 I only have 2 incredibly small stone chips on the front of the bonnet, which are not noticeable at all from anything more than about 3 feet away.
I've also never had to polish it, I've left bird droppings on the paintwork for weeks with no ill effect and it still beads water after I wash it - all in all an excellent product, and it's why I've specified it again for my new A5.
 

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I got that autoglym pack for free from my dealer, scratch.

However, I really don't see how it would protect the paint from stone chips at all. At most, there's a sealer on there (included in the pack) which stops contaminants getting deep into the paintwork. I'm not sure if it binds the paint in order to stop it from flaking off if a stone hits it???

I think the 3M film is an excellent investment. I think it matters what colour of car though. One of the reasons I bought an Ibis White A5 is because of the amount of motorway miles I do, and the amount of stone chips you get with that!! :mad:

The white makes stone chips barely noticible if it's a white basecoat on the car.

Also, VAG paint seems to be quite thick (in comparisson to my old alfa romeo!). Alfa used to use Dupoint paint, which is EXTREMELY thin! The amount of stone chips I had was unbelievable. ... if any of you ever see the paint code sticker on brand new alfas, you'll notice that they're no longer using Dupoint.

Not sure what paint Audi is using :confused:
 

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Rab88,

Yep, won't protect from stone chips at all, as I said.

My impression is that the 3M film seems to be more popular in the States, but then you see a lot of 'car bras' there too and they're just plain ugly! I guess that whilst the 3M film is fantastic at stopping stone chips, it's a bit of a pain and not a perfect solution as you can still notice it's there. If it also makes the paint fade at different rates (anyone with Brilliant Red take note!) then it will look awful after just a couple of years' exposure to the sun.

I asked the dealer to throw in the Autoglym for free as a deal sweetener, but he mumbled something about the 4 year warranty not being valid if they don't charge - rubbish if you ask me! I managed to haggle an extra £750 trade in on my S4 as a back-up if I don't sell privately instead, so same result really...
 

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Further to my last, looking at the A-Glaze website, their product works by a polymer resin which soaks into the top layer of the paint during treatment and is therefore permanent. Whilst they make no claims about protecting against stone chips, I would surmise that this must make the top layer of the paint tougher than without it, so maybe that's why I've suffered far less from stone chips with this car than any previous one I've owned.

I don't know if the Autoglym works in the same way - their website is a bit thin on information, but does seem to give a pretty good warranty on your paintwork (4 years from new).
 

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Maybe, i'm not a great fan of autoglym. I'm more of a meguire's man myself.

Also, there aren't many 3M dealers here in the UK, are there? At least, I dont think there are any up here in Scotland!!
 

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Scratch, I have LifeShine on my black A5; I am a bit of a perfectionist, i will admit, but so far (2 weeks) it does not seem to be doing a very good job with helping to keep the dirt off; I would be tempted, if I had had to pay for it, with spending the money on a professional valet using one of the best products like Zymol. Since my treatment was included in the deal, however it was an easy choice. The problem is that they applied it over paint that was not 100% clean to begin with (for example I could feel road tar spots under new treatment on the rear bumper when i collected the car)- i am going to get the garage to re-apply the treatment to a properly cleaned car.
 
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