1. General inquiries about PPF
1) Is PPF for me?
Whether you use us or not PPF is an essential ingredient in ensuring worry free motoring in today’s conditions. PPF is for you if you want to preserve your vehicle’s value. Also, if you drive through a lot of construction zones, on gravel roads, or in any environment where road debris is a constant, you definitely need paint protection film applied on your pride and joy. Even if you do replace the film after 7-10 years, the whole process is cheaper and takes less time than a quality repaint to fix all those stone chips.
2) Why is Paint Protection Film an investment?
With the gleaming finish of the paint intact, your automobile will retain more value at trade-in time! Additionally, you’ll enjoy the beauty of the original stone chip free finish while being able to drive and enjoy the car, year round, year after year. Don’t let the slow degradation of your auto’s appearance diminish your pride of ownership! When you come to resell your vehicle, the paintwork underneath the film will be as good as the day it was installed – so it should command a higher resale price than a damaged car.
3) What does it protect from?
Paint Protection Film offers protection against: stone chips/rocks, bug acids, salt, fuel, oils, gravel, tree sap, bird droppings, acid spotting and other road hazards, ensuring the perfect finish of your car for a long time. The clear coat on the PPF used by Dragon AutoShield has a very low surface energy, which makes it extremely difficult for organic compounds to stick to the film. Insects, bird droppings and environmental contaminants (which would normally cause yellowing) such as road oils, exhaust smoke, and pollution can be removed during regular washing.
4) What level of protection should I have for my car?
Any painted area requiring protection from stone chips, abrasion etc. can be protected. The product is pre-cut to precision computer designs and fitted to the vulnerable surfaces of your vehicle (such as the bumper, bonnet, wheel arches, headlights etc.).
With Dragon AutoShield, you can have any level of coverage, from purely a bumper through to a custom kit, full frontal coverage, external sills or complete coverage solutions. Which of these will be right for you will depend on many variables, among which your desire to protect your pride and joy against stone chip damage, vandalism, bird lime, and other hazards; indeed, the design of the car itself may request a more extensive coverage in some cases – for example, bonnets are more exposed on lower cars (such as sport cars or supercars) than on taller vehicles, such as SUVs. Our specialists may offer you their advice. Dragon AutoShield’s design solutions are wholly customer driven, so you can choose whatever suits your needs.
5) How does it heal itself?
The Paint Protection Film used by Dragon AutoShield has a special polymer in its clear coat that flows even though it is cured. This allows the clear coat to find its natural level again after being disturbed on the surface.
6) How deep of a scratch will it eliminate and how long does it take for a scratch to heal?
The clear coat is designed to heal surface scratches and common swirl marks that occur during routine washing of the car. If the scratch penetrates through the film’s clear coat, it will not heal.
7) How long does it take for a scratch to heal?
The time for a scratch to heal depends on the severity of the scratch and the ambient temperature. Minor scratches usually heal in one hour at room temperature (72°F). In warmer climates, healing time will be shorter. The healing process can be accelerated at any time by pouring hot water over the scratched area.
8) How many times will the clear coat heal itself?
With this technology, there is no limit to the number of times the clear coat can heal itself. As long as the clear coat is not penetrated it will heal over and over again.
9) Will PPF diminish the appearance of my car?
No. Paint Protection Film will protect your car from stone chips and scratches for years to come and remains virtually invisible. In fact, from 2 metres away, most people will never even know there is anything on the car. And, yet, you’ll have the finest paint protection film available in place, with a 5 or 10 year manufacturer’s warranty against peeling, yellowing, bubbling or cracking from UV exposure.
10) Why is Paint Protection Film needed now?
Paints are different now than 20 years ago, and they are applied differently. Many of the environmentally unfriendly ingredients (such as lead) have been removed. Unfortunately, these ingredients are also what made paint more durable. Also, because of the technology advancements, paints are applied now in a much thinner layer. While this allows for great initial quality, the thinner paint is far less durable. More than that, chrome-plated metal parts have almost disappeared. Where bright trim is used, it is virtually always electro-plated plastic, which is vulnerable to stone chip damage. Headlights, formerly made of heavy, durable glass, are almost universally made of lightweight, super-clear plastic. While they are highly impact resistant, they are vulnerable to rock dings, scratches and scuffs from everyday driving.
11) When is the best time to get paint protection? Does it matter if it’s fitted in summer or winter?
Ideally, the best time to get PPF installed on your pride and joy is within 6 months of purchasing the vehicle. Installation is suitable year-round and it doesn’t matter if the PPF is fitter in summer or winter – what matters is to be installed by an experienced installer, for avoiding the consequences of a bad installation. Different times of year have different paintwork damage risks – loose chippings, bugs etc., yet as long as the conditions for PPF installing are accomplished, there is no importance whether the PPF is installed in the summer/winter.
12) I have heard there are several major companies who offer paint protection film, which do you use and why?
Here at Dragon AutoShield, we take great pride in only using the best products on the market. We make sure that nothing but the highest quality products are used to protect your car. We select the products to use based on our customers’ needs and are constantly testing all the films available to find the films which best suit your needs. Currently our choice are XPEL Ultimate and Suntek. Click here for more details.
2. PPF installation inquiries
13) What do I need to do prior to installation?
As long as the vehicle is clean, there is nothing you need to do prior to installation. At Dragon AutoShield, we will fully clean and prep the surface ready for installation for you
14) What if my vehicle has suffered body shop repaint?
The following items are required to be undertaken by a body-shop when repainting the car, to ensure the minimisation of risk to the re-spray during fitting paint protection film (PPF):
- A two-pack clear coat must be used (single pack clear coats can interact with the alcohol used in the fitting process);
- Must be oven baked (for ensuring that we have the hardest possible surface to work on, in order to minimise the risk of minor surface scratches);
- Must be fully primed and keyed – the latter point is essential to eliminate, to all practical purposes, the potential risk of paint pull should the film need to be removed/replaced at some future date whilst we cannot exclude this in its entirety. We know that where this is correctly done, the risk of this occurrence is as close to zero, as to be statistically insignificant;
- Seven (7) clear days must elapse from painting before work can be undertaken by us. This is to ensure that any residual gassing out has ended, thus alleviating the risk of bubbles forming under the film.
15) Do you use pre-cut patterns/is the film cut to shape on the vehicle?
We are aware that precision is the key to performance. Considering this, we only use high performance equipment that allows us to elaborate customized and precise projects (depending on your preferences and requirements), with no cutting on your paint.
One of our strengths is that we have the ability to create personalized patterns to fit customized panels/shapes or rare cars. We are proud to say that we are among the few companies who can design our own patterns to fit your unique needs, being able to offer full coverage for customized panels, shapes and rare cars.
Also, the high quality personalized patterns created in-house allows Dragon AutoShield to extend the area of served customers – from luxury cars, motorcycles, trucks, lorries, yachts, boats and even luxury furniture (patterns that are non-existent in national and international databases). We also ensure full coverage of the vehicle areas that some of the businesses that activate in the field cannot provide. More than that, the patterns we use provide for the leading edges of bonnets to be wrapped, eliminating the damage from stones that would otherwise occur in this vulnerable area. If you have a car which is not covered by the extensive pattern catalogue available, we can also do a completely custom installation, to ensure maximum protection. Ask us for a quote if you require special coverage – we’re happy to help!
16) Who does the installation, and how accurate are your kits?
Our installers have expertise and experience in paint protection film handling. We have an in-house design station which consists of a high-technology design and patterning equipment industry-leader in resolution and accuracy, allows us to create comprehensive and precise designs for any size project. Internally, it is engineered with a state-of-the-art positioning grid to ensure reliability, performance and quality and allows us to create custom made designs with superior fitment and accuracy. Our designs are exclusive to Dragon AutoShield and are computer cut to maximize coverage and eliminate risk of damage to the vehicle’s paint from hand cutting. Each vehicle pattern is precisely pre-cut on an industry leading high precision Roland cutter.
17) Can Paint Protections Film be used to protect my headlights?
Yes. Due to the extreme optical clarity of Paint Protections Film, it will not diminish light transmission from your headlights, while providing 100% protection.
18) Can Paint Protections Film be installed on aluminium or brushed metal accents of the car?
Yes. It will not affect the color of the metal, and will add the protection you need.
19) Is it possible to cover vinyl graphics with Paint Protection Film?
In most cases it’s ok to apply paint protection film over vinyl graphics. Some vinyl may have problems with removal of paint protection film if it’s old or has a top laminate. Depending on the thickness of the vinyl, a small air gap may reside at the edge of the covered vinyl of about 1mm or less.
20) How long does installation take?
Generally speaking, it always depend on the complexity of the car. In most cases, for non-altered vehicles, you should allow a day for PPF installation only.
3. PPF maintenance inquiries
21) How do I look after the film? Is any special care or maintenance required for it?
No, special care is not required. 48 hours after the film has been installed you can simply wash and wax your vehicle as you normally would, but avoid pressure washing near exposed film edges. No special maintenance is required. The film should be washed as you would the rest of your vehicle, and we recommend a non-abrasive wax to bring out the shine of the film.
To keep your film looking great, follow a few simple guidelines:
- Wait 48 hours after installation to wash your car.
- Remove insect or other stains as soon as possible with bug and tar remover.
- Stubborn stains can be removed with 99% isopropyl alcohol or lacquer thinner. Take care to keep these chemicals off the vehicle’s paint.
- Seal with professional sealant (we recommend XPEL Flawless Finish Paint Protection Film Sealant) at least once every 3 months to preserve high gloss.
- Light scratches in the film will self-heal in 20-30 minutes at room temperature. In colder conditions, or to accelerate the process, pour warm water (120°F) over the affected area.
22) How do I wash the film? Can I use a quick detailer or detail spray?
Yes, you may use any wash, wax, detailer, etc. that does not contain high amounts of petroleum distillates (such as naphtha or kerosene). Often times, a good detail spray is all you may need.
23) Can I use a pressure washer, and how soon after install?
Yes, you can – but wait 48 hours after installation and be mindful of the edges not to get too close as it could cause the edge to lift up.
24) Can PPF be washed & waxed?
Yes, you may wash and wax your car as if Paint Protections Film were not present. In fact, we suggest you do wax the Paint Protections Film protective layer just the same as the rest of the car, to ensure against uneven fading of your car’s paint.
25) Can I apply a coating on top of the film and how does it affect the self-healing feature of the film?
Yes, you can, but it’s important to note that the coating should only be applied AFTER the paint protection film is installed. The coating will not interfere with the self-healing properties of the paint protection films.
26) Will coating stealth make it shiny?
It depends on the coating. Some may deepen the finish, while others may add unwanted gloss. It depends on the coating and the install quality of the coating.
27) How can I wax stealth without it looking shiny?
We recommend using XPEL Flawless Finish Paint Protection Film Sealant.
4. PPF after-service inquiries
29) How long does the film last?
If it doesn’t get too damaged (if you scrape the vehicle, the film may get damaged, but your paint should be fine underneath) and is cared for, it should easily last for years. If need be, film can be removed and a new part fitted without having to buy a full kit.
30) Will my vehicle fade under the sun or will my paint fade or look different if the PPF is removed?
Although the film is UV stable, it does allow penetration of UV rays. If the film needs to be removed, any paint fade will be uniform – no matter if you opted for a partial or full PPF coverage.
31) Can I remove it? Does it leave a residue or remove the paint?
The Paint Protection Film used by Dragon AutoShield has a patent adhesive that allows for removal without damaging the paintwork and without residue, leaving your vehicle looking as great as the day you bought it. If the paintwork was original when fitted, it won’t remove that either (poorly cured re-sprays are more vulnerable, so always consult the dealer if this is the case). Professional removal of the film is recommended. However, when professional removal is not possible, the film may be removed as follows:
- Warm the film with a heat gun or hair dryer to loosen the adhesive. 170° is the recommended temperature for this process. Keep the heat source moving to avoid melting the film or damaging the paint.
- Peel one corner of the film up with your fingernail.
- Pull the film towards you at a shallow angle less than 45 degrees. This angle is important to ensure sure that the adhesive comes off with the film rather than staying on the paint. The film should “stretch” off the car.
- If any adhesive is left on the car, use a general adhesive remover to help loosen it.
It often happens to have customers who require the removal of competitor’s film due to poor installation technique and lack of craftsmanship. This is afterwards replaced with best quality Paint Protection Film. From experience, it frequently takes longer to remove the glue residue their films leave behind than the film itself. Not a job we relish performing!
5. Windscreen protection inquiries
32) What is ClearPlex?
ClearPlex™ is the first & only patented windscreen protection film, developed in the US. ClearPlex™ is optically clear and invisible to the driver. It is multilayered, designed to ensure optimum strength and durability for ultra-effective results on the road.
33) How is it installed?
The film is thermally fitted to every curve of the windscreen, forming a bond with the glass. ClearPlex™ can be installed using a pre-formed kit, or from raw material by the metre.
34) Is it scratch resistant?
Yes. The hand-coated film features much of the same scratch-resistant qualities as glass and will protect against normal, everyday abrasion such as windscreen wipers.
35) Will it remain adhered to the windscreen?
The adhesive is strong enough that high-power car wash streams do not cause the film to lift from the windscreen.
36) Is it permanent?
No. It protects the windscreen from harsh conditions, so would benefit from occasional replacement to provide the best protection, depending upon the miles driven and condition in which those miles are accumulated.
37) How is it removed?
ClearPlex™ uses a unique adhesive that keeps the film adhered tightly to the windscreen, but is not permanent. If necessary, it can be removed using a semi-sharp instrument such as a blade to lift up the corner, and will then lift o with constant pressure. Any adhesive left can be removed with soap and water.
38) Does it have a warranty?
Yes. ClearPlex Corporation offers a limited manufacturer’s warranty of 18 months or 18,000 miles. Additionally, there is a warranty on all work carried out by Dragon AutoShield for the length of ownership of the vehicle.
39) Why install it?
- impact resistance against road hazards
- UV stabilisers protect from harmful rays and reduce heat
- polarised finish reduces glare, making driving a more comfortable experience
- improves visibility with faster run-o of rain, snow and other elements
- improves safety; protects the vehicle and passengers, providing peace of mind
- eliminates unexpected distractions and unplanned delays due to damage
- environmentally friendly – helps reduce landfill waste.
6. Dragon AutoShield collaboration inquiries
40) What sets Dragon AutoShield apart from the competitors?
We chase perfection and we provide an exceptionally high quality of work in every project we undertake, by continuously exceeding industry standards. See here what sets Dragon AutoShield apart from competition.
Normal booking lead time is a minimum of seven (7) days. Bookings that fall within this time can only be cancelled at our discretion.
A deposit will be required to secure the booking if you decide to go ahead. For most undertakings we require a 25% non-refundable deposit (may be higher for bespoke works). If reschedule is made beyond the seven day, the deposit will be credited to the new date. However, if not rescheduled, the deposit will not be refunded, and the cancellation charges outlined below will apply.
For Bookings made beyond seven days, cancellation can be made any time prior to the eighth day without charge. Cancellations within the seven day period will incur (at our discretion) a cancellation fee on a sliding scale:
- Up to the third day prior to installation a 100% charge.
- Beyond the third day cancellation will incur a 50% charge.
This is due to the fact that all products are made to order and pre-cut for a perfect fit to your vehicle, so it is highly unlikely we will be able to effectively re-allocate either the installation kits or the installation date to another customer.
We accept most major credit and debit cards, and we also accept cash payments.
45) Re-sprayed vehicles
Although every care will be taken when working on a re-sprayed vehicle, because we are not in control in any way of the nature and quality of the re-spray, we cannot accept any liability for the impact on the re-spray in any way. We do provide a body shop advisory document which if issued to a body shop prior to re-spray and complied with will to all practical purposes eliminate risk. However, no one can ever fully warranty this situation therefore we cannot accept any liability on this issue whatsoever.
46) Quality commitment and Environmental Issues
We are as an organisation totally committed to the quality of delivery on our customers cars, that being said there are certain decisions exercised by the client which WILL have an impact on the quality of delivery (no matter how minor).
We recommend strongly that work (especially FULL frontal kits) are done at our facilities. We do accept however, occasionally clients will have the requirement to have the work done at a remote location. Where this occurs, as we have no control over that environment, it is necessary that clients expect that no matter how stringent our installers may be, some minor defect may occur as a consequence of undertaking the work in an uncontrolled facility. We will not therefore be held liable for defects of an environmental nature under these circumstances (this does not extend to a known installer error). Please bear in mind we are dealing with very large sections of statically charged adhesive transparent plastic.
We ask that clients deliver the vehicle to us in as clean a manner as possible, where the work is being undertaken at our facilities. We have the means to further clean the car to ensure that the dirt from the travel to us is completely removed and the car is in a suitable condition for fitting to proceed. At a remote location it is likely that we will not have such facilities (or that as a commercial organisation environmental concerns regarding correct disposal of residues cannot be complied with); in this eventuality, it is WHOLLY the client’s responsibility to ensure the car is to an acceptable standard of cleanliness for film to be installed. We cannot be held (and will not accept being) liable for the standard of cleanliness of the vehicle in a remote installation environment.
48) Warranty Work
In the exceptionally unlikely event that a warranty claim is made and we have agreed to undertake the work as being a valid warranty claim, that work must be undertaken within 60 days of the agreement by ourselves being given to proceed. Beyond sixty days from the date of acceptance it will be deemed that the client has accepted the work “AS IS” and the claim will be closed (unless we decide otherwise on a discretionary basis). All Warranty work will be undertaken at our facilities.
49) Film Selection
Currently, we recommend and manufacture our mainstream offering in 2 different brands (and warranty it accordingly), should a customer require another raw material to be fitted we will of course comply. That being said, the customer then must take full ownership of this choice and accept that we will not warranty these other raw materials in any way.
50) Care and Maintenance
You will be issued with a set of after-care instructions at the time of installation. We anticipate that you will follow our advice contained within. Although our paint protection films are the most robust films available and is in terms of our industry a low maintenance product, the long term appearance of the product is greatly enhanced by correct maintenance, we may not be held liable for any issues that are a consequence of neglect or failing to comply with our after-care instructions. We may decide wholly of our volition to replace where neglect may have caused these issues on a “goodwill” basis.
51) Title and Ownership
Title and ownership in the goods does not pass until such time as our invoices are paid in full.