Mustang Upkeep: How Self-Healing Protective Films Work

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This clear protective film works like magic to shrug off scratches.

It’s safe to say that Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained is smarter than most of us. So it’s great when he can take a complicated thing like self-healing protective wrap and explain it in layman’s terms. If you’ve already watched the video above you already know this. If not, here’s the abstract: The film isn’t quite solid once it gets warm. Much like the Zamboni can make ice mirror-smooth with warm water and a squeegee, the heat of the sun, hot water, or a heat gun makes this XPEL Ultimate paint protective film (PPF) flow back to a perfectly smooth glossy surface. Oh, and it’s also available in a satin finish as well, if you want the latest look for your Mustang.

XPEL protective film

This advanced chemical has properties that want it to be perfectly smooth and level. Given a little time and heat,  the molecules will rearrange themselves back to the perfectly smooth, clear, glossy finish that’s so hard to maintain with paint. The clear wrap not only self-heals from minor scratches like those from zippers, buttons, or tree branches but can handle nicks from gravel and debris too.

It’s safe to say that XPEL Ultimate will protect your car from the average car show, race track, parking lot, and road hazards. When you consider that typical clear coat paint is just 1.5 to 2 mil (thousandths of an inch) thick, this coating gives you more than 3 times the protection. The self healing wrap is 6.5 mil thick and has the self-healing properties no paint can boast (at least not yet).

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If there’s a downside to this space-age technology, it’s the cost. At the moment, a full wrap done at a shop will set you back up to $5,000. Applying the wrap is a labor-intensive job. If you want it to look perfect, it probably needs to be applied by professionals. For many people, that money could go toward a really nice paint job. But no amount of fresh paint has the ability to remove scratches just by keeping your car outside on a sunny day.

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