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What is PPF For Cars? The Ultimate Guide to Paint Protection Film (PPF) For Cars

by Joel Rodriguez | Article | June 22, 2023 | Paint Protection Film
Home / Blog / What is PPF For Cars? The Ultimate Guide to Paint Protection Film (PPF) For Cars

You’ve just got a brand new car, or you’re thinking about buying that dream car of yours.  It’s extremely special to you, so you’ve got to have some way to protect it, right?  That’s where Paint Protection Film (PPF), or clear bra, comes in.  Nowadays, car owners everywhere are turning to paint protection film as a reliable solution to safeguard their precious vehicles.  When you’re out on the road, scratches, rock chips and more threaten your vehicle’s finish everyday. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into what PPF is, its benefits, what films are the best on the market, the application process, maintenance tips, and why it has become a must-have for car enthusiasts just like you and me.

What is Paint Protection Film (Clear Bra)?

What is PPF for cars?  Our technician fits PPF onto a blue vehicle for extra protection.

It Protects Your Vehicle

Basically, paint protection film (PPF), commonly known as clear bra, is a special material designed to protect a car’s paint surface from all sorts of daily hazards.  It protects your car’s paint from things like scratches, rock chips, bird droppings, and other things. The film itself is transparent and thin, and it’s applied on top of your car’s paint to form a strong, invisible protective barrier.

How It Protects Your Vehicle

Paint protection film is made of

thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) or polyurethane (PU)

, which is a kind of plastic that’s extremely elastic, has excellent abrasion resistance, and is highly transparent.  PPF also has multiple layers, including an adhesive layer, a clear protective layer, and a self-healing topcoat. The adhesive layer ensures a proper stick to your car’s surface, while the clear protective layer provides a robust shield against physical damage. The self-healing topcoat layer is a unique feature that allows PPF to repair minor scratches or swirl marks when exposed to heat or sunlight. This maintains the car’s flawless appearance.  In short: it’s got all the makings of a great shield for your car’s paint with its highly durable nature and its natural resistance to wear and tear. 

The Benefits of Paint Protection Film (PPF)

A closeup of a blue Porsche's hood logo while PPF is being installed at Performance Clear Bra.

It Prevents Physical Damage On Your Car

We’ve mentioned this once before, but let’s discuss in further detail how PPF exactly prevents physical damage to your car’s paint.  Basically, it acts as a shield for the following types of debris:

  • Scratches
  • Rock / stone chips
  • Minor abrasions
  • Gravel
  • Accidental Bumps
  • Human touch
  • Other similar types of debris

The biggest benefit that you’ll see from this kind of protection is the avoidance of any need for expensive paint repairs or touch-ups late in your vehicle’s life.  It saves you time and money that way.

It Provides UV Resistance and Fading Prevention

Alongside common light scratches from road debris, PPF also offers excellent UV resistance, effectively blocking harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun from penetrating your car’s paint. This protection helps prevent fading, discoloration, and the deterioration of your vehicle’s exterior.  This directly correlates to your car’s resale value, as with less fading due to UV rays means your car will maintain its aesthetic appeal and appearance for a longer duration of time.

It Can Self-Heal

Thanks to the top-coat layer of the film, paint protection film has the capability to

self-heal most minor surface scratches

.  The top coat protects the main layer of urethane against these kinds of scratches, and heals when exposed to heat. This can include the sun, your car’s motor running, warm water, or any other kind of heat.  At Performance Clear Bra, we like to demonstrate this with a copper wire brush to demonstrate the film’s self-healing ability.  With this ability, PPF ensures that your car’s surface remains flawless, minimizing the need for constant maintenance and preserving its pristine appearance.

What’s the Best Clear Bra Film on the Market?

The Competitors

Whenever it comes to choosing the right brand of PPF for your vehicle, you definitely want to get this right.  There are a lot of great brands out there, but many brands that you’ll want to avoid.  Overall, here’s the top competitors in the industry that most (if not all) installers recognize as great brands:

  • SunTek
  • XPel
  • 3M
  • Llumar

Why SunTek Is The Best

Certainly all brands are great, and you can’t go wrong with any of them.  There are really 2 main things you need to consider when picking a brand:

  1. Do you care about hydrophobic properties?
  2. What does your installer recommend?

Nothing else really matters.  They all are relatively comparable and equivalent when it comes to warranties, performance, and durability.  What you need to know is this:

  • If you’re not ceramic coating your car alongside PPF, and you want your installation to be hydrophobic, don’t choose 3M.
  • You should absolutely stick to whatever your professional installer recommends, because more than likely they’re more accustomed to their preference and can perform better installations with that brand.  At the end of the day, a quality installation is what you really want, so trust your installer.

Here at Performance Clear Bra, our installers have over 20 years of experience working in the industry. By far, the best experience we’ve had is with SunTek.  That’s why we recommend SunTek and use them exclusively for all of our clear bra installations.  We trust them the most to create long lasting protection for your vehicle, and if you choose to work with us, you should trust them, too.

PPF Application and Installation

A red Lamborghini with finished paint protection film and window tint installation at Performance Clear Bra.

Our Professional Installation Process

The first thing you need to know about installing PPF is that it’s extremely difficult, and it absolutely MUST be done properly – if not, PPF’s benefits completely disappear.  That’s why our installers are professionally trained, and have been hard at work perfecting their craft for over 20 years.  The process generally goes like this:

  1. We select your vehicle’s make and model from thousands of others so that our software can make precise cuts in the initial paint protection film.  We make these cuts unique to your vehicle, and we use them for a seamless installation.
  2. We thoroughly clean your vehicle using our indoor car wash bay to remove any dirt, debris, or contaminants that may interfere with the clear bra’s adhesion. See, most installers wash the car outside, and then proceed to move it indoors for installation.  This can create the potential for some road debris or other contaminants to get back onto your vehicle.  Our indoor wash bay prevents this danger, as moving your car from our wash bay to our installation area is completely indoors.
  3. From here, we apply the PPF cuts to your car’s surface.  This is where the magic happens, and our installers take pride in performing even the toughest installation jobs with ease.  We use the film’s malleability to perfectly wrap even the smallest of curves and contours of your vehicle.  At the end of the installation, the film won’t be practically undetectable!

If you remember one thing, it’s this: PPF installation absolutely must be done professionally.  A PPF is only as good as its installer. 


So, now you know what you need to in order to make an excellent purchasing decision when it comes to paint protection film.  If you’re interested in learning more about Performance Clear Bra’s services, head on over to

to see our coverage options as well as more commonly asked questions when it comes to PPF and ceramic coatings.  Investing in PPF is always a great decision to make – with us, you have the best installations in Fort Worth to back that investment up.  With this knowledge, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your car is protected and in good condition for the duration of its lifetime.