I think the vinyl bras can rub against the paint over time, wearing it down in certain spots, but I think it takes many years... in which case you still come out ahead because there are zero rock chips & bug zits (which require stripping the paint off to fix properly).
I have a 3M clear bra on my MINI Clubman and it has saved the front from rock chips. It makes you feel good as you clean it to see where a stone hit, but did not damage the paint underneath. I also have it on the mirror caps, door cups, back bumper.
I'm having the Cube done in 8 hours from now. Not cheap, but it saves heartache later.
I was going to have viper stripes put on too, but now I think some pinstriping with Greyhound characters at the front of them. I'll photograph it when it's done so you can see. Just something to change it up a bit without taking away from it.
The 3M is warranteed for 5 years. Some brands are warranteed for the car's lifetime. They used to use the film on helicopter blades in Viet Nam to protect them from flying debris and then started using it on cars and other things.
I think it lasts way beyond 5. I also get the protective vinyl applied to the headlights. It prevents breakage on those, too and as we all know headlights are expensive. The MINI has xenon lights and I know those are expensive to replace.
When I had the Porsche I found out the headlight glass replacement was $1400. The $49 it cost to get them protected was well worth it. I paid that amount for the Cube's film too.
I tried applying precut film to my MINI's lights, but they are so curved, especially the foglights, that it was an impossible task for me. I brought the film to the professional installer I use and even he had problems with the curves. One problem with the precut pieces I bought was that the film was thicker than most and it made it difficult to mold over the curves. When he had such trouble with the almost round foglights I suggested he use his materials instead of mine and that made the difference. It was still difficult, but it worked.
My installer has been doing this forever and he always has the most interesting cars in there for graphics, bras, etc. He does every police car in the tri-city area including the tribal police cars.
I'm starting to feel like a regular there as I've had all my cars done by him as I could afford it. I had the MINI bra put on at the dealership, but the price difference was $500. Dealerships give nothing away, so when I got the Cube I knew I would have my guy do it instead.
Also, useful info on this site was a link to a warranty site in Santa Rosa. My dealership charged me nearly $1700 for a 60-month 75,000 mile warranty. That same warranty through Santa Rosa is $549. I cancelled my dealer warranty and they agreed to lower the cost or I will get it from Santa Rosa.
That savings will pay for all the detailing I had done to the Cube, so I have this forum and that particular Cubee to thank.
Whenever I wash my car I wipe under the hood part of the bra and the sides. The rest of it covers plastic. Like many reviewers the comments in the article are personal and bear no close identity to an intuitive thought process. The inside of my bra is a material that won't scratch. However dirt can get there, hence the wipe down. The way I look at it by the time it ruins the paint the CUBE will belong to someone else :no:
I agree with you Pejay66. Sorry if I came across the wrong way. I think the old school bras are a cheap, decent way to do it. Not everyone can afford a clear bra. And if there is wear, it is at certain spots & easier to touch up than stripping and repriming-painting-clearing the front end due to the rock chips.
I had one back in the early 90's but I'm not anal enough to use one properly and it scratch up the paint as much as it protected it from rock dings. I also had problems with it staying tight around the ends and this was an official factory accessory not cheap aftermarket.
The one I bought stays tight. You replace two screws in the fender wells with screws that have a snap on the end. Clips that do not show work with the grill work. Check out my pics and you will see just how tight it is.