Car Protection Questions - ScotchGard? Clear bra?
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This is a discussion on Car Protection Questions - ScotchGard? Clear bra? within the Detailing Forum forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; First off, to the mod: I have no idea where better to post this. Please move wherever it should be ...

  1. #1
    Registered User etnpnys's Avatar
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    Question Car Protection Questions - ScotchGard? Clear bra?

    First off, to the mod: I have no idea where better to post this. Please move wherever it should be if this isn't it.

    Now, on to the questions. I'm (hopefully) about to take possession of a 2012 DGM base hatchback, and I was wondering what the community's thoughts were in the following areas:

    • Protecting from road rash. Is there really anything that is worth it? Like a 3M clear bra? I'm not a fan of the idea that it doesn't cover the whole hood - doesn't this leave a lip that is bound to collect dirt/dust and eventually start peeling up? I guess I picture it to be like a screen protector for my phone or something...
    • Protecting the interior. I used ScotchGard on my last car and really never had to wash it until I sold it at 215,000 miles. At that point, I used Tuff Stuff and the interior seriously looked new. Any reason to believe that I will have different results with the WRX?

    Now, I'm not crazy about car care but I like to take care of my stuff. I know that I could use OptiCoat or whatever, but quite frankly I don't think it's worth the effort. I want to drive the car and have fun with it - not be paranoid about fingerprints. On the other hand, I commute in Los Angeles so the freeways have the potential to create some road rash. I also know that the general consensus is that the paint on these things is soft by comparison.

    Any opinions are welcome!! Even if you're just gonna tell me I'm stupid and that "EVERYBODY OptiCoats their cars!!"
    "Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain."
    -Van Helsing, from Bram Stoker's ​Dracula

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  3. #2
    Registered User etnpnys's Avatar
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    41 views and no opinions? I *did* say that *any* opinions are welcome... !
    "Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain."
    -Van Helsing, from Bram Stoker's ​Dracula

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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    I have a clear bra.It covers the 1/3 hood,bumper,A pillars,mirrors,rockers & door cups which are the most vulnerable parts of the car.

    I haven't had any problems with it so far.Thankfully it is holding up & no rock chips

    Only problem was mistakenly getting a bit of claybar on the edges.That stuff is really hard to wipe off.

    You can get the whole hood if you want.It will of course cost you more.
    T0ny
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    The Big 2011/2012 Mod Thread


    Ooh,hang on. That is the throb of a turbocharged flat four engine. A sound which,all over the world,heralds the imminent arrival of a moron - JC.

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    Registered User etnpnys's Avatar
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    That is exactly the kind of feedback I'm looking for. Thank you sir!

    What about the obvious difference in UV protection from naked/clear bra... is the expectation that the thing will eventually need to be peeled off? And at that time due to the UV difference, won't there be a stripe where you see the color difference?
    "Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain."
    -Van Helsing, from Bram Stoker's ​Dracula

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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    That is a question only time can answer.I got varied answers when I did my searches.

    My car is mainly garage kept,so I would think the paint fade would be less of an issue for me.In any case by the time the paint starts to fade it will be time for a respray.My installer has assured me that the film will never peel off.

    I had a small incident involving a wall.Got too close & scraped a fender against it.The film was torn to pieces.I was fearing the worst.But amazingly the paint was intact.Even my installer was scratching his head in amazement.

    Also whoever does the job,look into them first before you give your car to them.At least look for some examples of their work.
    T0ny
    2011 WRX
    2012 FXT

    The Big 2011/2012 Mod Thread


    Ooh,hang on. That is the throb of a turbocharged flat four engine. A sound which,all over the world,heralds the imminent arrival of a moron - JC.

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    Registered User Ricktalife's Avatar
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    I'm going to get the clear bra put on hopefully within the next week or so. There is a local shop that installs them on Porsche's, Audi's, BMW's and so on. Not cheap, but definitely looks worth it.

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    Registered User etnpnys's Avatar
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    Great feedback Rage. I'll be looking into the clear bra.

    Now about interior? I think I'm going to ScotchGard it ASAP unless somebody chimes in and says that's a dumb idea.
    "Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain."
    -Van Helsing, from Bram Stoker's ​Dracula

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    Just checking, is your tag suppose to be: 1Kings 18:21-39? Just making sure im picking up what your puttn down.

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    Registered User etnpnys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tke467 View Post
    Just checking, is your tag suppose to be: 1Kings 18:21-39? Just making sure im picking up what your puttn down.
    Yes sir! Congrats; you were the first to notice. One of my favorite passages... my sig will probably change a few times before this forum is shut down...
    "Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain."
    -Van Helsing, from Bram Stoker's ​Dracula

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    I'm not going to tell you that you're stupid for not opti-coating your car. I will tell you that the clear bra will cost you much more and that finger prints aren't going to hurt opti-coat. It would take much more to scratch your paint with the OC. Sandblasting behind the wheels for me hasn't been an issue with my car being opti-coated, BUT I still plan on getting some mudflaps or some other sort of protection.

    The 3m is thicker and offers more protection IMO. Also keep in mind to be fair though that if you leave the clear bra on for a long time it will begin to yellow and you may wind up with 2 different color paints as well when it is removed.

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    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    Several pieces of feedback:
    1. Every clear bra eventually will start to yellow, especially in sunnier climates like SoCal.
    2. You will definitely be able to see a difference in the paint color over time. How much color difference will depend on how much sun exposure the car gets, the particular film you use, the location on the car (i.e. the more horizontal the surface, the more the paint gets sun bleached).
    3. The only time you see rock chips is very close up. The only time you see the clear bra is very close up (at least until a few years pass and the bra and/or paint starts to change color).
    4. If you do decide to get one, definitely DO NOT try to install it yourself. Professional installation is the only way to go.
    5. Only buy top of the line, high quality stuff like 3M.
    6. Rock chips are sexy.

    If you can't tell, I'm not a fan of clear bras...
    Scott
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    Registered User etnpnys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teflon_jones View Post
    6. Rock chips are sexy.
    +1!!

    Hahaha I actually hadn't thought of that until you said it, but that's a great perspective for these cars!

    I also heard in another thread that the OptiCoat will actually only last about 2 years in a normal situation. That's not enough for me to call it "permanent" and I will probably be completely forgoing the exterior protection and just opting for a good waxing every year or two.

    So, in summary, I'll probably be forgoing exterior "pretection" per se and just end up ScotchGarding the interior. I appreciate the feedback guys!
    "Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain."
    -Van Helsing, from Bram Stoker's ​Dracula

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    Quote Originally Posted by etnpnys View Post
    +1!!

    Hahaha I actually hadn't thought of that until you said it, but that's a great perspective for these cars!

    I also heard in another thread that the OptiCoat will actually only last about 2 years in a normal situation. That's not enough for me to call it "permanent" and I will probably be completely forgoing the exterior protection and just opting for a good waxing every year or two.

    So, in summary, I'll probably be forgoing exterior "pretection" per se and just end up ScotchGarding the interior. I appreciate the feedback guys!

    My friend... not a single wax on this planet is going to last you a year. You will be lucky to get 6 months out of the longest lasting sealant and 3 out of the best wax. There have been plenty of tests done on cars and with the longest lasting waxes out there and under the elements and in real world testing... many of them don't hold up for even 2 months. OC being 2 years IS 2 years and if the paint is taken care of you may be looking at longer time than that. In most cases except for extreme scratches and such the OC will need a light polish over the whole car and a reapplication. It's also up to 9h on the hardness scale which I read was the hardness of pencil lead... not sure about that one though. It's 100 times the thickness of just about any wax or sealant. I just posted this in the other thread. I've been detailing cars since I worked at my first detail shop when I was 17... i'm 33 now and OC IMO is the best way to go if you are the kind of guy who wants to just wash and dry his car and be done with it. If you use wax or a standard sealant, I would recommened getting a polisher and learning how to properly correct paint... you're likely going to need it.

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    Registered User etnpnys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Methodical4u View Post
    My friend... not a single wax on this planet is going to last you a year. You will be lucky to get 6 months out of the longest lasting sealant and 3 out of the best wax. There have been plenty of tests done on cars and with the longest lasting waxes out there and under the elements and in real world testing... many of them don't hold up for even 2 months. OC being 2 years IS 2 years and if the paint is taken care of you may be looking at longer time than that. In most cases except for extreme scratches and such the OC will need a light polish over the whole car and a reapplication. It's also up to 9h on the hardness scale which I read was the hardness of pencil lead... not sure about that one though. It's 100 times the thickness of just about any wax or sealant. I just posted this in the other thread. I've been detailing cars since I worked at my first detail shop when I was 17... i'm 33 now and OC IMO is the best way to go if you are the kind of guy who wants to just wash and dry his car and be done with it. If you use wax or a standard sealant, I would recommened getting a polisher and learning how to properly correct paint... you're likely going to need it.
    Every time I read something from you I lean more towards the OptiCoat. What has me cringing though is the possibility of screwing it up. Is it easy to screw up the application of it? And what if I *do* screw up the application of it? lol

    And will one of those teeny bottles last me for both my car and the wife's RX330?
    "Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain."
    -Van Helsing, from Bram Stoker's ​Dracula

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    Registered User etnpnys's Avatar
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    Here's the answers to your questions in the other thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Methodical4u View Post
    On the OC, what you need to realize is that one coat of this stuff is about the thickness of 100 coats of standard wax. It helps to protect against scratches, UV rays, bird droppings... all of the stuff other products protect against. You also have to keep in mind that OC is 60.00 ... many good waxes out there are at least 30.00... grandted you can use more applications with them... but 2 years man? That's a long time IMO it's worth it.

    If you are against it however that's fine and there are many great products out there. Let me ask you a few things.

    1. What color is your car?
    2. A standard wax provides a warm and sort of natural glow... while a sealant provides a candy coating type of finish.. what do you like?
    3. How long do you expect the product to last? Do you mind waxing the car every few months?
    4. It's looks or durability your main concern?
    5. I see you're in SoCal... so I am guessing your car sees a lot of sun but not much rain? Is the car garage kept?
    I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. It's going a long way to getting some direction on it.
    1. Dark Gray Metallic
    2. I honestly can't say that I understand the difference. I guess a candy coating would be preferable?
    3. I don't have any idea how long to expect it to last. And I don't have the time to wax my cars all the time, so I guess I was hoping a few years.
    4. Durability is the primary concern
    5. I am in SoCal, but I work like 6am - 2pm every day with about 3 hours total commute each day. The car is garaged at home and it's in a parking garage at work - so really, the only sun it sees is on the 1.5 hour drive home.

    Again, I am extremely grateful for your time. I'm not only asking regarding my WRX but the wife's Lexus RX330 also. It's dark gray also (and yes, I *do* know that they make cars in other colors ). Hers is the primary kid transporter, so it takes more abuse. It already has a sizable scratch on the psgr side that needs touch up paint, and some boxes fell on it at our old place in the garage (crappy wall shelves) that scuffed it nicely also. Then there's the normal scratches/scuffs from keys dangling and hitting it.
    "Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain."
    -Van Helsing, from Bram Stoker's ​Dracula

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