I'm looking for opinions/thoughts on the 3M Scotchgard film: waste of money? Durability? other products better?
Is that the stuff they use for a Clear Bra?
If it is what you're talking about... I've heard its REAL good and if you get it done at the right place, they totally insure your car. However, its very costly and a real PAIN IN THE ASS to install on your own.
I'm probably going to get it soon... just gotta find a good place that won't charge an arm and a leg.
I'm not familiar with Clear Bra, but it is something my dealer is offering as one of their extras (along with the tire warranties and other crap). They have some guy that comes in and does it for them; I would never try to do it myself.
The dealer wants ~$450 to do the hood, fenders and side-view mirrors. I'm sure there is a LOT of profit built into this price, but it is something I am interested in living here in Detroit.
Definitely see it installed on a car before purchasing. I thought I wanted it before I saw it in person. A clear line will show on the hood and create a nice place for wax and dirt to build up. It also reflects the light differently than the paint and will look very obvious under certain lighting conditions.
I did purchase some covers for the headlights and fogs to protect them. I'd rather just touch up the occasional paint chip than have something that obvious always on my car.
P.S. There's been a few horror stories of bad installations so if you do go with, check the installers work first. Make sure it's aligned properly and all the edges are sealed really well.
Thanks, for the feedback. The dealer salesperson told me that all their loaner cars have the flim installed, so I'll check it out on them. The difference in sunlight is probably a bigger deal for you in CA than for me in MI (sunlight is a precious commodity around here!)
Some like it some dont. I had my headlights covered but not the hood or bumper
There are other products that are sinilar. There is a very reputable shop by my home that has been long used by our local VW/AUDI/Porche dealer who used to use the 3M prosuct but has recently switched to a product made by Avery (Yes, the same famous label maker) apparently it is thicker (more protection) and less prone to discolouration.
Avery is not thicker than 3M. Both are 8 mils. There is a great deal of misinformation in the industry. There are approx. 6 different companies that make film supposedly doing the same thing in this country. Most of the bad info is spread by the installers and not the manufacturer. If an installer were to give you the positives and leave out the negatives about a product he is using then the customer is not fully informed. To date , no one film is perfect. A consumer and and installer must decide which properties are more important to them and choose once supplied with all the info. I was very skeptical of the product when it was first introduced to me. I went for it after much research and knowing an installer. There are only 3 options; do not drive it, cover it , or watch it deteriorate the more you do drive it. The paint is not the same as your grandmas sta wag. My cars, and my mcys are now covered.....very pleased - no longer running out of touch-up paint.
The final look of the job is determined by installer skill, film used and pattern used. end of sermon. Glen
I had a 3M ClearBra installed on my A4, I was not convinced I wanted it done until after it was done. Here in Colorado they have a LOT of rocks/pebbles on the roads that just tear up the hoods. I am so glad I got the ClearBra and it really not that noticeable. On my car, I had the hood, fenders, headlights, foglights and under the door handle done. I wish I had done the work sooner, as I am very happy with the end product. In addition, 3M offers a 5 year warranty on their product.
Oh also, I found out who the local Audi and VW dealer use for their ClearBra and tinting work. I then right to the source instead of going through the dealer. The dealer mark-up is typical and terrible.
Modified by djsaint at 9:40 AM 10-13-2006
I just picked up a 12" x 48" roll of the 3M stuff on ebay for about $34 (w/ shipping). I'm going to apply it below each door handle and on the bumper just below the cargo area. Haven't had a chance to mess w/ it yet though. I am going to go w/ a pro install for the front bumper.
It sounds like everyone claims that their coating is better than everyone elses on the net so it's hard to judge any of those claims. I haven't read anything from anyone who's been really disappointed in any of the products. The skill level of the installer seems to have more to do w/ the final quality than the different products.
Clear Bra is just a generic term these days. There are quite a few companies that make pre-cut kits (or sell the software to installers) that go under different names, but most use 3M or similar films. I had in on my M3 and my MINI and am very pleased with the protection. I did not opt for it on the A3, mostly because it's a lease car and I didn't want to spend anything extra on it. As many have stated, the installer can make all the difference it its relative appearance, and going to the source rather than paying the dealer's additional markup is a good idea.
2012 Porsche Carrera 991
WORTH EVERY PENNY
i have had it on my last two cars and its on all the other cars in the house. the rock chips it has saved the front ends and the ease of bug juice removal is just awesome.
totally worth it.
1996 Cabrio VR6 on air
2015 A3 2.0T quattro Prestige/Adv tech/sport - Fourtitude.com Project A3
"The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent my employers opinion"
on IG @brianmccauley1 for all kinds of car stuff and @2015ProjectA3 for A3 specific photos