Since we began installing PPF at our Hampshire detailing studio in 2017, much has changed in the automotive world. It’s a fast-paced industry; cars are changing all the time, sometimes subtly, sometimes not. So, in this month’s blog, we thought we’d look at how changing vehicles’ shapes and tech impacts PPF installation requirements.
PPF Installation Requirements for Changing Shapes, New Tech and Materials:
Challenging Shapes & Materials
Of course, it’s not the shape of cars that has changed to suit fashions; the choice of contrast trim has become significantly different. More manufacturers are now using piano black trim in new areas, including sills, splitters, diffusers and even wheel arches. This seems ridiculous, given that it’s about the least robust, most fragile material available! Thankfully, PPF offers a great solution, whether clear or solid black Xpel film.
We have begun to see some quite challenging bodywork on electric cars. From what we can see, they don’t benefit the vehicle other than styling. For example, the Hyundai Ionic 5 has a ridged piece of trim on the wheel arch. You’ll never get PPF to adhere to that for any length of time. Textured trim that has been painted or finished in colour will not allow the film to stick to it either.
Parking and Anti-Collision Sensors:
This technology has become more and more prevalent in newer model cars, so it is particularly relevant at the moment.
Generally, Xpel carefully and accurately design the templates with parking sensors in the pattern. However, more and more vehicles carry additional sensors which aren’t always visible.
When it comes to adaptive radar cruise control, we don’t cover those sensors with film. They are often visible in the front bumper or grille, but their operation can be affected by having film on them.
Lane departure and anti-collision or blind spot sensors are becoming more common, and again, there are implications to covering them. For example, Porsche issued a service bulletin for the 992 models with PPF installation requirements. They describe how the film should not cover a specific area on the rear bumper behind the rear wheels. Xpel works with the Porsche factory, so they have designed their template to include a rectangular box cutout. This pattern adaptation ensures there is no interference with the sensor. Aesthetically, it’s not ideal, but it’s vital not to hinder the operation of a safety feature.
The most recent Teslas are being delivered without parking sensors. The car has lots of external cameras to help you judge your parking, and eventually, the ‘self-park’ feature will drive the vehicle into a space on its own (although that software isn’t finished yet!). From our point of view, it’s nice not having to worry about aligning cutouts around four or six parking sensors on a bumper.
As glass touch screens and capacitive buttons (like a smartphone screen) become more commonplace, clients often ask us to install film over them. They are vulnerable to wear and damage, as well as fingerprints. The film doesn’t accept fingerprints so readily and can be wiped without fear of scratching the delicate finish.
Most challenges in PPF installation requirements can be overcome.
As a market leader, Xpel is in touch with car manufacturers directly. They work with them to design patterns before the cars are even seen by the public, giving them a chance to work through these challenges in a way that isn’t detrimental to the vehicle, or its systems. For those that Xpel don’t work with directly, they have many resources to reach out via, to get this sort of important information, then share that with the approved installer network, so we’re always well informed.
If you have any questions about PPF installation requirements contact us HERE.