When operating a car, all kinds of chips and scratches are inevitable on its paintwork. If you do not do anything with them, then over time they begin to darken and become covered with a coating of rust, which causes not only anxiety for the car owner, but also the prospect of expensive body repairs in the near future.
Therefore, it is necessary to “wage war” with damage to the paintwork, regularly touching them up, until they reach a dangerous transformation into a nasty corrosive “bug”. Or, as some masters advise, cover the car with a special protective film in advance. But is she really that good? Like everything else in the world, such protection has its advantages and disadvantages.
Screen protectors are usually made from vinyl or polyurethane. The first material came from advertisers – they cover various street signs and information stands with vinyl films. Its thickness usually does not exceed 100 microns, which is not effective enough to combat damage. In addition, it often tends to swell and burst under the influence of the environment. The pluses include the relatively inexpensive cost.
The polyurethane protective film is an invention of the US military. Initially, this material was developed for the protection of helicopters in the deserts of the Middle East. The composite blades of the helicopter quickly collapsed under the influence of sand during landings, and the dense, hardening coating reliably protected the expensive material from damage.
Later, the polyurethane coating began to be applied to the protection of cars. This film is much stronger than vinyl, its thickness is usually from 150 to 300 microns. This is quite enough to resist scratches, “shelling” of gravel and even minor road accidents. Damage in collisions with a supermarket trolley, door strikes with a neighbor’s car and even touching a bumper with an obstacle at speeds up to 10 km / h are not scary to her.
However, why, then, all cars, without exception, are still not covered with such a film? This is primarily due to the high price. Full pasting of the body with polyurethane film will cost from 50 to 150 thousand rubles. In addition, there are many nuances associated with its operation.
There is no universal gluing technology – each workshop prepares this “cake” in its own way. Somewhere they use expensive specialized products in preparation for application, somewhere they use ordinary soap solution for this, and somewhere they use plain tap water. The quality, accordingly, is also different everywhere. And if, after the end of the work, seams and glues appear on the film, the craftsmen can convince that “this is normal.”
In addition, it is important to know that before applying the film, the car’s paintwork must be perfect: there must be no deep scratches or chips on it. Otherwise, the ingress of water during preparation and further conservation under the film layer will significantly aggravate the development of the corrosion process at the site of damage.
The most significant disadvantage of the protective film is its sensitivity to sinks. Such a car should be washed very carefully. Otherwise, several tens, or even hundreds of thousands of rubles spent on the coating will go down the chimney through the fault of an ordinary washer. The thing is that if the jet of “Karcher” hits the joints of the film, there is a great risk of its scuffing and breakdowns.
Also, water infiltrated will cause bubbles to appear. As a result, after one unsuccessful wash, you will have to go to the craftsmen again and re-glue the damaged part. Therefore, it is necessary to warn about the presence of a protective coating for washers in advance, or carefully wash the car yourself.
In general, it is worth thinking hard about whether it is necessary to apply such a protective coating (the cost of which is comparable to a full-fledged paint) on the car, especially considering that its service life will be about 5 years. In addition, the quality of application depends entirely on the qualifications of the craftsmen.
Therefore, coatings, such as polyurethane, are applied mainly to premium expensive or very rare cars. Moreover, as a rule, immediately after the purchase, in order to preserve the ideal external data of the car, which can be useful for its subsequent sale.
For inexpensive or old cars, especially those with damage, the protective film will be useless, if not even harmful. It will be much cheaper for the owner to simply paint over the “joint” than to fiddle with an expensive coating. And in case of poor-quality application, the film will only spoil the appearance of the machine.
Examples of pasting a car with vinyl film