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Roadfly Magazine
Issue Eight
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
Issue Eight
August 9, 2003
Cruising with Jay Leno
Hot Rod Power Tour
Paint Protection Film
Brake Pad Tech
Porsche Cayenne
Porter Cable Buffer
Coming Next Issue
Fernandez Racing
CPO Nightmares
Hot Lap: Strong Strut
Lotus Elise Preview

Paint Protection Films
By Bret Frazier
Associate Editor

(Wednesday, July 30, 2003 12:00 PM EST)

Important Links


One of the most common concerns of new vehicle owners, or those who've had their vehicle repainted, is how to keep the new paint looking just as perfect as the day it was sprayed. High quality waxes and polishes can make the paint sparkle and shine but they have no ability to protect the paint from the ravages of the open road. This is an issue everywhere but especially for those owners who live in areas where they get two seasons per year: Winter and Road Construction. What can vehicle owners use to protect their pride and joy from things like gravel, dirt, sand, salt and other road projectiles?

For many years vinyl nose masks, or "bras", have been popular. While they are widely available, they have downsides; they vibrate at speed and can scratch the paint they're designed to protect, they don't always fit very well, and they're prime bait for thieves. Some creative owners have had custom-built Lexan shields installed, acting almost as body armor. Others have gone "low tech" and attached things like window screens and Saran wrap to their cars in the hopes of adding a little protection.

In the recent years, paint protection film technology has grown rapidly to the point where it has become a viable alternative. Numerous companies have popped up offering various types of protective kits and films for most vehicles. Roadfly paid a visit to two of the most popular companies, Dynashield and Invinca-Shield, to get a close-up look at what paint protection film is all about. We met with the owners of Dynashield, Mike and Brenda Messer, and Thomas Bell of Invinca-Shield, and discovered there was a lot more to paint protection film than meets the eye (or the hood, or the fenders...). We also watched as the Messer's installed one of their kits on to a brand new Infiniti G35 coupe and learned that the performance of the film is directly related to how well it is designed and applied. While the more adventurous reader may be tempted to self-install their own kit, many will find that having an experienced installer makes a big difference in how well the protection film looks and performs.

Dynashield is located in Jonesboro, Georgia, which is south of Atlanta. While the company has only been around for 18 months, Messer has many years of experience with aerospace composite materials in both military and commercial aviation. His first experience with paint protection film came several years ago when he had a kit installed on his personal truck. He immediately recognized the technology - the grandfather of automotive protection films is used on helicopter blades to prevent abrasion which degrades performance (remember that a helicopter's blade plays the same role as an airplane's wing, the spinning rotor creates lift which allows a helicopter to fly). Both Messer and Bell are quick to point out that modern automotive protection films are not "helicopter tape", and those who claim it is are simply ignoring the new technology of current products.

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