Clear bra requirement
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This is a discussion on Clear bra requirement within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; I have read in a few places that the paint is shotty. Is this the case with 2011s as well? ...

  1. #1
    Registered User twister8008's Avatar
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    Clear bra requirement

    I have read in a few places that the paint is shotty. Is this the case with 2011s as well? Clear bras are expensive, so I am wondering if they are a requirement to keep the car nice. I have owned a Honda, Hyundai, Mercury, and a Volvo and have never had paint issues. I plan on waxing it to keep it nice. Thanks for your help.
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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    The paint on the 2011 is pretty thin.You can wax all you like but the clear bra is mostly useful not for preserving the "quality" of you paint but for preserving the paint itself.Especially if you do a lot of highway driving.It is especially a problem if you live in the NE with a lot of snow & salt on the roads in the winter.That might not be a problem in AZ.

    If you are paranoid about chips on the paint I would get a clearbra.It's given me peace of mind.But then again I have OCD.
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    Registered User AmateurX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rage-wrx View Post
    The paint on the 2011 is pretty thin.You can wax all you like but the clear bra is mostly useful not for preserving the "quality" of you paint but for preserving the paint itself.Especially if you do a lot of highway driving.It is especially a problem if you live in the NE with a lot of snow & salt on the roads in the winter.That might not be a problem in AZ.

    If you are paranoid about chips on the paint I would get a clearbra.It's given me peace of mind.But then again I have OCD.
    +1 Totally worth the price.
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    Registered User lordgrinz's Avatar
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    I contemplated the ClearBra, but isn't it expensive? I figured I would just have the Bumper resprayed by my trusted autobody man if it becomes and issue. By the way, already have a chip on the lower edge of the front bumper :-/
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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    I have had my car for 10 months now.The paint survived a brutal winter & so far I am chip free.
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    Registered User AmateurX's Avatar
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    Had mine put on 2 weeks after I bought the car, back in October. I've noticed some small pits in the bra but nothing penetrating into the paint. Yeah, it's expensive. Mine was a custom wrap, and close to $1k for the entire front bumper and half way up the hood. There are cheaper alternatives. I live in probably the most heavily salted (for snow removal) area in the US, so I need as much protection as I can get. I plan to keep this car forever, so to me it was worth it.
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    Registered User tommy_c's Avatar
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    To me its all about surviving highway driving during my work commute and the salted roads in PA. I contemplated a respray but I am way too OCD about paint so I decided on a clear bra. Mine cost about $240 only because I did it myself. I will likely pull it off after the winter and redo it but I really can't see having a car with thin factory paint and a lot of highway driving go without one. Just my 2 cents.

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    Registered User lordgrinz's Avatar
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    Its a trade off I guess, but just seems like a lot of money to save paint that isn't all that great to start with. I would probably contemplate it with a Porsche, Ferrari, Corvette, etc.....but these aren't collectibles, they are use them and abuse them cars. I figure do a proper respray with better paint a few years down the road. I guess if the clear bra was like $100 and was easily done by the owner, but the prices being thrown out here are excessive.
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    Registered User tommy_c's Avatar
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    To be fair, after I installed my own clear bra I can see why installers charge the rate they do. It is by no means an easy job and it does take a considerable amount of skill to get it right. The difficulty of the job is the contours and curvatures of the front bumper. To have the job look nearly invisible, the installer really needs to know what he's doing.

    I can understand the idea of "why protect paint that is poor to begin with". I personally hate imperfections and things in paint so spending the money and time to install the clear bra was just an investment I felt worth while. If you ever plan on doing it yourself for a fraction of the price just grab some friends, a case of beer, a well lit garage and give it a try. I thought only the bumper was hard.

    (I also have a DIY on this on the forum)

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    Registered User kcwrxfan's Avatar
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    Well I have 3k miles on my 2011, I do highway and city driving, and I keep my bumper waxed at all times and have already touched it up twice from the chips. I just got a nice chip on the grill and hood this week. Got 3 quotes for professional touchup to blend the SWP right then getting clear bra. the 800 I will drop will save me at least 2-3 resprays on the front end alone in the next few years.

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  12. #11
    Registered User tommy_c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcwrxfan View Post
    This is my DD but it doesn;t mean it has to look beat up.
    +1

  13. #12
    Registered User lordgrinz's Avatar
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    You guys are scaring me! I drove my MINI for the last 3 years and all thru the winter, it really had only a 2-3 very small(like super tiny) manageable chips that did not freak me out, or the dealer when I traded it in. My car was 8 years old and the paint was still glossy, it looked great, and I hadn't waxed it ever. The other benefit was the black plastic on all the lower panels, personally I wish every car came with it, paint all the way down to ground effects is just asking for damage.
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    Registered User tommy_c's Avatar
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    Well Subaru paint is just notoriously thin. I have a 10 year old Audi TT in Lake Silver and it's in great condition. It had good amount of road chips but its 10 years old but the rest of the body is nearly perfect. The paint is just a different standard when it comes to different cars. I knew about the subaru paint before I bought the car and knew what I was getting into and that is why I opted to do a clear bra myself to protect my car and to save money in my pocket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy_c View Post
    To be fair, after I installed my own clear bra I can see why installers charge the rate they do. It is by no means an easy job and it does take a considerable amount of skill to get it right. The difficulty of the job is the contours and curvatures of the front bumper. To have the job look nearly invisible, the installer really needs to know what he's doing.

    I can understand the idea of "why protect paint that is poor to begin with". I personally hate imperfections and things in paint so spending the money and time to install the clear bra was just an investment I felt worth while. If you ever plan on doing it yourself for a fraction of the price just grab some friends, a case of beer, a well lit garage and give it a try. I thought only the bumper was hard.

    (I also have a DIY on this on the forum)
    Where did you purchase the items to install it on your own and about how much did it run you? Thanks for such helpful information as I'm trying to get in touch with the guy that told me he was going to do it but he's been MIA.
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    Registered User tommy_c's Avatar
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    Welcome to ClearDefender | ClearDefender

    It will likely run you around $250+ range depending on what hood option you go with. I would go on the site and pick your car specs and go from there. You're gonna need two spray bottles (Home Depot - $2 each), 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol (Target - $2), and Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo (Target - $0.80 - travel bottle). The instructions will be given about washing, waxing, etc. before installation.

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