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rubyinla

3M Clear Bra

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Anyone have any experiences with these?  Looking at getting a 3M clear bra that will cover 1/3 of the hood, bumper, mirrors and a 10 yr warranty from 3M for $600.  They wrap the product around the edges so there's no edge to pull or ride up.  More $$ than I want to spend to do the whole hood.  I can live with the edge since I'm not taking it to car shows like previous vehicles.

Any questions you'd ask if you did it again?

Thanks...

A link to Invisible Bra kits:  http://www.invisiblemask.com/cgi-bin/products_ip/browser.cgi?prevtype=Automobiles+and+light+trucks&prevyear=2016&prevmake=LINCOLN&prevmodel=MKZ&prevsubmodel=&prevseries=&type=Automobiles+and+light+trucks&year=2016&make=LINCOLN&model=MKZ&submodel=HYBRID

Edited by rubyinla

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I had the Xpel version on my MKZ. Then came a time it had no bra on, because the warranty will not cover if the bra gets torn by an "outside" source, thus I had it removed. So take that 10 year coverage as a grain of salt, because its more so about just covering natural defects. I'll share my thoughts and opinion. Everyone will feel different about it. I've seen plenty of raves and reviews of course about clear bras, and so of course that is why I put one on my MKZ since I "wanted the best for it". But at the time, I didn't really think on my own life and driving experiences to actually believe if clear bra is something I should justify. I made the choice from review hype, not because "I hate seeing my vehicle get peppered with chips and dents on the front, and constantly taking it to the body shop so it looks fresh again". Honestly, that doesn't happen as much these clear bra services make it seem like it will.

After ditching it (as I did not want to pay again for another new bra and install), my MKZ never did get any serious rock chips or dents from areas I had the bra applied, and I gave it the full frontal package too. The only dent it got? Rear quarter panel, a spot that wouldn't have been clear bra'd anyway. Sure the clear bra will reduce the chances no doubt, but what if those chances are really not happening as much you may think? Truth is, the clear bra services are over exaggerating how often these chips and dents will happen. It really depends on one's living atmosphere and driving style if they will benefit from this form of insurance.

For me, I do not plan to ever clear bra another vehicle again, and use the money elsewhere. I rather just take it to a body shop I've made good connection with, because I know frontal paint chips or dents aren't that often for me. Plus being a daily driver, many quality touch ups that are not bank breaking will really suffice. All my vehicles without bras have never gotten chips or dings on the frontal half of the vehicle, prior to my MKZ being the only vehicle I gave clear bra a shot on (and then the MKZ going without a clear bra and until its demise, was flawless to the human eye) because of my driving style. Faster I go, the more I want to maintain distance from other vehicles, and traffic being very slow or stop n' go is hardly likely to bring risk of road debris being flung around.

I was more pleased by my ceramic paint coating for less time spent cleaning the car making most of my washes just needing a distill water rinse and use of ONR Wash & Shine. Great for glass, wheels, and everything to just be easier to clean on a daily driver. Now that I will definitely get done again for any vehicle I drive frequently throughout the year.

Think of this: In regards to past vehicles that were driven without a clear bra, How often did you end up with displeasing chips or dings on the front ends of the vehicle?

If you hardly or never been bothered by the appearance of a chip or dent (and even know a body shop that is good service to you), I wouldn't concern myself about it. Now ceramic paint coating on the other hand? Great stuff if you want easier cleaning sessions for a daily driver because of how often they will get dirty. But skip it if you just love wax and detailing bonding time with a car. I feel ceramic coating is great for daily drivers, and while say the weekend only vehicle or garage show queen can get by without it, the coating can compliment them too for more paint luster. My MKZ literally was cleaned only with distilled water and ONR Wash & Shine like 90% of the time. I rarely went to pressure washer stations to get the paint looking peerless and clean, nor spent many hours.

Well that's my two cents based on my experience. Good luck on your decision!

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I have had a clearbra on my 2014 mkz hybrid and then traded up to the 2017 mkz hybrid and did the same for that car, and never regretted making that decision, as for chips I never noticed any on either car and since I am not an avid collector of insects, they easily come off the bra.

Before the clearbra, I used the 2 piece bra which would collect dirt and pebbles which did leave some marks on the hood. Easy decision to go to clearbra

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Zalvern , Great observation from someone who has experience with and without the clear bra . I do have the clear bra on my car ( 2016 ) and had one on the 2013 , and while I had no chips on the hoods of either car I do wonder if it would be the same without the bra , I guess I could say that I have no chips because of the bra protection , in the end I feel better about having the bra on rather then going " nude" , but you make a good case for just a real good ceramic paint protection , it gives me something to think about .    

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Thanks for the replies.  I'm waffling on the decision exactly because of Zalvern and jimflutes experiences.  I had a Chrysler Crossfire that collected chips like crazy.  Then my Mustang which picked up a few in the oddest places; like on the panel behind the rear side window.  How'd that get there???  Nothing big, just annoying.  Right now I have a pit in the chrome of one of the plastic grill blades.  A lot of interstate driving will probably raise your chances for pitting as well.     

It seems nothing is perfect.  I've talked to my body shop guy who I've been using for 20 years and he doesn't like ceramics at all, let alone clear bras.  Another buddy in the car sales industry dislike both as well.  Then there are all the testimonials on YouTube about the different brands.

Thanks for the observation about the warranty Zal.  Have to figure there's always a gotcha for the consumer I guess.  Thinking, in my case, it will depend on how much cross country driving I really think my wife and I will do.

My MKZ is Ruby Red, my 2015 Mustang was as well as my 2004 Crossfire.  Love the color, hate the white where the wax gets caught in the pits. hehe..

Edited by rubyinla

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Automotive grade paint today is far tougher on its own than it used to be, especially clear coats which already is a form of protection against the actual paint layer. Wax deserves some good credit too. All the minor chips and dents that clear bras protect against, would often just scratch the clear coat layer, which is easier to refinish and not demand much money or time to do from a reputable and professional body shop. The shop will know their paint care best after all.

I've been extremely lazy (in my terms at least) with washing my Silver Ingot 2018 Focus, after putting all my best into my now gone MKZ. I've washed it only like twice since taking it in July 2018 and hilariously people compliment me how clean my car is. If I get bird poop or something, I just clean the spot with ONR and give it a quick wipe down then be on my way. It has no dents or chips other than what is clearly a side door ding from another person being careless (not big thankfully so I know at lease end, I do not have to worry about fixing it), but my avoidance with other vehicles on the highway shows at higher speeds, with the front of the car still being victimless of chips and dents. I avoid bigger vehicles like semi trucks if I can help it, be it speeding pass them or slowing down to keep distance.

While I mentioned fondness for ceramic coating in my previous post, I am consider skipping it for my upcoming next vehicle later this year. I will use my favorite car care products, and let my body shop provide professional waxing and paint correction care when needed. My favorite products are Car Pro Hydro2, Car Pro Reload, Optimum No Rinse (ONR) Wash & Shine, and good ol' Distilled Water. I also have Car Pro Reset and Car Pro Tar X but rarely use them. Equipment I have is a Metro Vac n' Blo and Portable 5 Gal. Pressure Washer with two tanks, quality Chamois cloths and a ACDelco portable polisher. I tend to jump around with waxes but find many of them favorable.

When I had paint protection and ceramic coating together on my MKZ, my 20/15 vision still saw all the abominable micro scratches that just...happen over time with a daily driver. I still can see them even on the "self healing" Xpel film I had, and it wouldn't go away till polishing in some wax to benefit it. I don't buy those "never wax again!" claims anymore.

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I'm coming to the conclusion that the clear bra is like an insurance policy.  You may never need it, but it makes you feel more comfortable going down the road.  I bought my MKZ after turning my Mustang back in after the lease.  In 3 years I averaged around 7k miles a year.  So this one will be with me for quite some time to come.

I've never gotten that involved in all the chemicals for the paint.  My favorite tool is my leaf blower.  No hard water spots, no drips and I only need one microfiber towel to completely dry it.  Not having 20-15 vision 🙂  and only daily drivers, I am using some Meguiar's wax & Ultimate Polish.  If things get out of hand I'll use their polishing compound. 

For dusting off the paint on all of my cars I've used Turtle Wax "Wax & Dry" and their Express Shine Carnuauba spray cleaner/wax.  I've also had good luck with Nu Finish on my cars and trailer over the years.

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10 hours ago, rubyinla said:

I'm coming to the conclusion that the clear bra is like an insurance policy.  You may never need it, but it makes you feel more comfortable going down the road.  I bought my MKZ after turning my Mustang back in after the lease.  In 3 years I averaged around 7k miles a year.  So this one will be with me for quite some time to come.

I've never gotten that involved in all the chemicals for the paint.  My favorite tool is my leaf blower.  No hard water spots, no drips and I only need one microfiber towel to completely dry it.  Not having 20-15 vision 🙂  and only daily drivers, I am using some Meguiar's wax & Ultimate Polish.  If things get out of hand I'll use their polishing compound. 

For dusting off the paint on all of my cars I've used Turtle Wax "Wax & Dry" and their Express Shine Carnuauba spray cleaner/wax.  I've also had good luck with Nu Finish on my cars and trailer over the years.

That's a cool idea, the leaf blower for drying. I've got a C3 blower I prefer over the gas powered one. I'll try that next time I wash my nice cars. I've got a $15 a month anytime deal at the local Zips car wash, for my daily driver work truck. So I haven't washed anything since last Summer, it's time to.

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I've been using a leaf blower to dry my cars for many years.  It's the only way to get water out of those nooks and crannies all over the car.  You won't believe how much water is hiding under trim pieces around the windows, moonroof, in the mirrors, etc.   More importantly, it minimizes how much you have to touch the paint, thus minimizing the chance of micro-marring it.  I use an Absorber to clean up any remaining drops of water.  My paint is flawless; no spider-webbing or tiny scratches.  Hand-washed only with a boar's hair brush.

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Leaf blowers for car drying are great. I only got the metro vac and master blaster because they were at a garage sale, for far less than what they retail for. Real lucky find that was.

 As drolds1 point out: the less one uses any kind of cloth to dry, the better. Keeping the vehicle hydrophobic will make it very easy to blow off all the water. It does not need to be a fancy or expensive either, but more power will aid in drying faster.

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I had Invisible Mask on my 2009 Ford Fusion for 10 years, and just recently removed it to ready the car for resale.

My commute is mainly highway driving and often it's like a meteor shower of rocks from trucks and construction equipment being transported.

My old film pulled off relatively easy and the paint finish underneath was beautiful! Where ever it covered... looked brand new when I was done. Other areas looked sand blasted in comparison. It even kept the headlights from yellowing. Now some stone hits were severe enough to bust through it, but for the most part it definitely did it's job for me.

This weekend I will be applying it on my new MKZ.

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