Home » The Autopian Is Thrilled To Be Working With XPEL, The Company That Keeps Your Beloved Car’s Paint Looking Perfect [Partner Post]

The Autopian Is Thrilled To Be Working With XPEL, The Company That Keeps Your Beloved Car’s Paint Looking Perfect [Partner Post]

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I’m pumped. I really am! The Autopian is always looking for brand partners to help bolster our site to ultimately create the greatest sustainable car community out there. But choosing a partner is difficult because we pride ourselves in being 100 percent transparent with you, dear Autopians. There’s a trust you have in us to not shill for things we don’t believe in, which is why I’m pumped about our partnership with XPEL — the product they offer is actually known across the car-scape as being LEGIT. Here, let me tell you what I mean.

I don’t think I’m capable of complimenting a product that I don’t actually think is good. You readers would see right through me, anyway. But that’s not a problem here because XPEL is a household name in car-circles. It is the absolute cream of the crop when it comes to Paint Protection Film, a clear wrap-like sheet that trained installation specialists carefully place over pretty much any painted surface of your car to make sure that paint stays in perfect shape for ten years (there’s a warranty).

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

I did some research before we started going down a path with XPEL, and all my car friends were like “XPEL? Dude, that’s legit. Their stuff rules.” And in case you don’t believe me, I walked over to The Autopian’s sister company Galpin Auto Sports, and asked the guy known for being their finest wrap-installation specialist what he thought of XPEL. Listen to what he has to say, completely unprompted by me:

 

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A post shared by David Tracy (@davidntracy)

Anyway, I just spent last week with XPEL reps at SEMA in Las Vegas, and let me just say: I had a ball. And sure, that’s part of the job when it comes to media exposure: You’re supposed to make the media like you. But I mean, these folks were just a good hang, and nerdy, which I, an enginerd, really appreciated. Check it out; here’s me at SEMA giving a little intro to their product, a stain-resistant, non-yellowing, self-healing (!) elastomeric polyurethane that clings onto your car’s paint, protecting it from scratches and scuffs:

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A post shared by The Autopian (@theautopian)

The way it works is, you bring your car into an XPEL specialist, their team cleans it, details it, and pulls your car up in a database called “DAP.” Then in a matter of moments, a printer spits out a bunch of film that’s the exact right shape for each panel of your car. Then an installation guru takes that film and installs it onto your car using a “slip solution,” a squeegee, and an unbelievable amount of skill. The process is downright impressive.

I know this because I saw it done to my Jeep Wrangler YJ, which I will beat the everliving crap out of off road in an effort to see how well this product protects my paint against tree branches, mud, rock, and everything else out there on the trails.

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Again, I’m pumped about this partnership. It’s something that I think makes sense for some of our readership. It’s a premium product that sure heck beats repainting your brand new Jeep Wrangler or Ford Bronco after a day off-road or — after years under the sun and behind rock-throwing semi trucks on the highway — having to respray your vintage, original-paint VW Polo Harlequin:

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You know a clean, original-paint Harlequin in a decade is probably going to be worth a mint. Or at least I hope it is; the Harlequin deserves some respect. Lots of respect.

More on our XPEL partnership to come. I’m pumped about it.

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MP81
MP81
7 months ago

Had XPEL Prime XR Plus tint installed on my Volt and our Cruze (everything but the windshields) and it is an extremely high quality product. My brother has it on his ’18 GS, and I think we’ll be going back next spring to get my Cobalt and his ’01 Mustang done up as well.

Definitely considering doing some PPF on the cars too (Cruze is ceramic coated, but that obviously doesn’t do what PPF does).

V10omous
V10omous
7 months ago

Have been very happy with Xpel on my Viper for 7+ years now. Still looks like it was put on yesterday.

Chronometric
Chronometric
7 months ago

I had Expel on the front of my Audi S4. It saved me from lots of track rash. Great stuff. Good partnership.

Matt Hardigree
Matt Hardigree
7 months ago

The Jeep looks fantastic, btw. Insane. I can’t even believe that David has a car that is this nice.

Chronometric
Chronometric
7 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hardigree

Wait, that’s DT’s Barbie Jeep? It does look amazing.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
7 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hardigree

My reaction as well
also, “Wait: you can’t put it on over rust—can you?”

6SpeedJunkie
6SpeedJunkie
7 months ago

I’ve had the stealth wrap on my M2 Competition and it has saved my car multiple times from careless coworkers, errant highway debris, and a clumsy brother. Plus it looks great and makes cleaning a breeze!

Would definitely do it again!

Goof
Goof
7 months ago

I did a very comprehensive XPEL Ultimate install on my Spyder back in late 2015. In the first weeks of putting miles on it to get past break-in period, I had a piece of scrap sheet metal (maybe 1.5mm thin but the size of my hand) come off a truck and hit at highway speed (60-70), and I assume a falling acorn at somewhere around a buck.

No damage. Barely even a mark for it to heal up.

Application is 8 years old at this point. Aside from some extremely tiny slivers that needed to be trimmed for it to look perfect, zero issues. Moreover, made washing it far more care and trouble free, as I’ve no worries about putting micro scratches into the paint.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
7 months ago

Anyone have long term experience with XPEL on plastic headlights? Both cars are over 20 years old. What I’m asking is whether the film provides a higher enough level of protection over the sealant/UV protectant in restoration kits to make it worth the cost (~$50). Don’t really care about the looks, but I have to be able to see the deer to dodge ‘em.

Paul B
Paul B
7 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Absolutely. Polished my wife’s headlights (pun intended) and put a set on. Lasted at least 6 years until we sold the car. Only thing was a very tiny bit of dirt collecting on edge of the film in a few spots

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul B

That’s exactly what I was looking for-thanks!

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
7 months ago

Oh well, my Polo 6N is not the Harlequin, otherwise I wouldn’t be actively trying to kill it at this point (damn thing will not die; what the hell is wrong with this neglected 90s VW?). Can they pull up the files for the Renault 4? That I wouldn’t mind having wrapped in some kind of protective film. Does it adhere to rust?

Gee See
Gee See
7 months ago

That’s a huge upgrade from the past supplier Fe2O3!

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
7 months ago

That’s cool. There’s a brand of phone screen protectors that seem like a similar material. Flexible self-healing, applies with a bubbly spray and a squeegee.

I’d never heard of these guys and now I’m wondering if its worth putting on my old MBs. They’re in great shape but already have a few paint chips. Would that be an issue? So the chips and scrapes need to be fixed first?

Gee See
Gee See
7 months ago

Usually you want the base as perfect as possible. You probably want to repair it, cure the paint for a while and add it on. Also after the layers, there might be a difference in paint color if you decide to take the layer off after a while, as some paint age differently in different conditions. I would say less of a problem with darker colour than light metallics.

Last edited 7 months ago by Gee See
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
7 months ago
Reply to  Gee See

Good to know, thanks.

Sandy Eggo
Sandy Eggo
7 months ago

Cool, congrats!

I had xpel PPF put on my M3 in January and it’s not cheap, but I must say the peace of mind is worth it. So nice not worrying and just enjoying using the car.

Angry Bob
Angry Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  Sandy Eggo

How much did it cost?

Sandy Eggo
Sandy Eggo
7 months ago
Reply to  Angry Bob

$7,500

Angry Bob
Angry Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  Sandy Eggo

I think I and my $3500 car will pass on this one.

Jblues
Jblues
7 months ago

I want video of the whole process of it being installed on your XJ!

Ron888
Ron888
7 months ago

My (non member) opinion for what it’s worth- I’m more than fine with such partnerships! These kinds of things reduce the need for normal page ads

CSRoad
CSRoad
7 months ago

I can see it appealing for some limited use vehicles in some environments, but not for me.
Most of my vehicles will end up with more than paint damage and then a wrap just costs more to fix. My cars are also exposed to salt and if the undercoat fails tend to rot from the inside out and then there’s park by ear drivers, who bend panels and sneak away.
My Kawasaki has supposedly self healing paint, so far so good.

121gwats
121gwats
7 months ago

1) This should come from factory, I’m not willing to pay the premium, its like having plastic on your sofa. This is an extended warranty in plastic form. If you’re a warranty person, you love this, otherwise you’re not opening the wallet. If you’re a warranty person, where do you draw the line? Can’t warranty everything, ammirite? High end cars, I see the allure. Ford fucking Maverick? Are you smoking the drugs?

2) What happens after 20 years. Google “clear bra old”, and you’ll see what I mean. I’m not paying once, definitely not paying twice. I’ll fill in rock chips with a paint pen like a cheapskate, thank you very much.

Check out this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=eTwtInpOThI

Last edited 7 months ago by 121gwats
Curtis Loew
Curtis Loew
7 months ago

From what I understand it’s a decent product. But I don’t understand why you would want to drive around with clear plastic wrap on your car all the time. It doesn’t look good. Then what, peel it all off when you sell it so the next guy gets a nice paint job while you drove it with silly wrap on it the whole time?

Last edited 7 months ago by Curtis Loew
Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
7 months ago
Reply to  Curtis Loew

So it’s gonna depend on the paint color but generally the film is quite invisible.

And sadly yes many people are more concerned about what they can sell it for in 4 years than how much they’ll enjoy it now.

Frankencamry
Frankencamry
7 months ago

Xpel sounds more like a laxative or colonoscopy prep than a car covering. Guess that’s why I’m not in marketing.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
7 months ago

Would be great if they had a custom tinted version to hide damage already done but look and stay like new.

Space
Space
7 months ago

Does it work on already dented and scratched body panels? Bushes and trees have taken their toll already while offroading.

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
7 months ago

Definitely vet partners better. Nobody should do business with Xpel.

I had my Porsche 997.2 pretty heavily done, allegedly at their headquarters. It wasn’t done correctly, but close enough to be tolerable. Except within a year, it was peeling up. And the self-healing wasn’t. So I contacted the dealer. Who was completely uncooperative to say the least.

You probably spoke with a Michael Mayall. So did I. At length. And via certified letter. He’s the one who claimed that Xpel did not provide a warranty card because they had installed it, themselves, at their headquarters.
He also, in spite of photograph after photograph, pushed warranty matters onto the dealer and refused to stand behind their product in any way. So either he lied about the installation or they lied about the warranty, take your pick.

And for the kicker? The car and PPF was looked at by three shops, two of which were Xpel dealers. Every last one of them knew who Michael was, and said that what was installed on my Porsche was absolutely not the Xpel Ultimate I had paid for, or any Xpel product whatsoever. Despite Xpel stating for the record as fact that they had installed it at their headquarters in Dallas.

And oh yeah. I have the receipts.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
7 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

Appreciate the heads up. It really sucks to have to deal with weasel ass wipes.
Better luck next time.

Goof
Goof
7 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

I’ve had two PPF jobs, one done extremely well, and one done… honestly, not too dissimilar from what RootWyrm describes.

The first I relied on the partnered installer of the selling Porsche dealer. Was XPEL Ultimate actually installed? Likely, but I’d describe the “receipt” as a hastily scrawled document done in pen on a general “service order” form. I also dealt with it peeling up and it being FILTHY. The car (a 2015 Cayman GTS) didn’t end up being the experience I wanted for the long haul, so I thankfully was able to walk away from it instead of having to pay to have some panels redone.

My guess is similar to RootWyrm, the installer flat out sucked. Yeah, RootWyrm’s installer may have been partnered with XPEL at the time, but that doesn’t guarantee anything. I learned that from my experience.

When I did the Spyder, I went to the forums. Lots of them, and collected recommendations on not who does it, but who does it the best. The response was very consistent, in which an overwhelming number of recommendations ended up going to a small shop in the burbs. He actually didn’t end up being any more expensive, either. Moreover, when one panel did get a bit of dirt under it and I asked about replacing it, he JUMPED to re-do it free of charge. Apparently he does the cars of the owners of all the New England major league teams, and he goes the extra mile on everything he does.

TL;DR: The film is only part of the equation. The installer is the rest.

Last edited 7 months ago by Goof
Col Lingus
Col Lingus
7 months ago
Reply to  Goof

This is a good point here. Quality of the product is important always.
Yet it means little if the installer is inept, or doesn’t give a crap.

Last edited 7 months ago by Col Lingus
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