Paint Protection Film

I just purchased a 2008 Mazda Miata MX-5, Grand Touring edition, from a local dealer. The dealer offered, at a cost of $500, to have a transparent protective film made by 3M applied to the front of my car, for the purpose of protecting against chips and scratches occuring as a result of road debris. Should I have the film applied?

You could apply it yourself for a small fraction of the dealer price. This is a profit generator, pure and simple.

Is the front of your old car full of chips and scratches from road debris? If not, I suggest you don’t need this film at all.

Here is a review of the process. If it is what the dealer is offering, the job is labor-intensive and the dealer price may not be that far out of line (I’m surprised to say this).

Ed B.

I am not as enthusiastic as MC about DIY, but I would be surprised if you could not find a good local INDEPENDENT shop around that would take care of everything for far less than the dealer and it might well turn out to be the same shop that does it for your dealer.

The stuff is a good product and if you drive in an area where stone chips or even a lot of bugs are common, then I would have it done. While I live and the way I drive, it is not much of a problem so I have not bothered.

BTW check with the local paint shop, or shop the does window tints.

the job is labor-intensive and the dealer price may not be that far out of line (I surprised to say this)

You should be ashamed of yourself. :slight_smile:

The difference will be at another shop you likely will not be paying the dealer’s shop rate for labor, or if he has an outside shop do it, then you won’t be paying the dealer’s markup.

Unless the dealer runs their own body & paint shop, they’ll just contract out the work to some other body shop – and add their own markup to the price. You’d be better off going directly to the other shop.

How long is this stuff supposed to last? Does it have a track record for how much protection it gives and how long it lasts? According to its web page, it just peels right off. While it appears to come off easily for body/paint work or replacement, I’d worry about it working loose over time, and possibly coming off in large chunks. Does it really do anything that an extra coat or two of wax won’t do?

I know of many people who have had this 3M product applied to their vehicles. And all I can say is that it works. I know that if I were to purchase a new vehicle, I wouldn’t hesitate in having this product installed first thing.


That’s good to know. 3M is usually pretty good about putting out worthwhile products. My concern was about the adhesive degrading over time.

Well. I know of some vehicles where this film has been on for over ten years. And it isn’t showing any signs of coming off. The only way to remove this film is with a heat gun.