When is the best time to get a clear bra, and why?
You’re going to think this is a sales pitch, but it isn’t – the answer is “immediately.”
The short answer is, that automotive paints are thinner than ever, with some auto detailers refusing to even polish or compound (paint correct / paint enhance) some new cars due to the thickness from the factory.
Anecdotally, we have had some Tesla owners take delivery of their new Tesla Model Y at the Austin dealership, drive it up to us in Harker Heights, or home to Killeen/Copperas Cove, and it already is covered in chips. Especially when we are talking about sports cars such as the C8 Corvette or a BMW M8 Competition we did – they already had a significant amount of chips even though they still had temp tags on the car.
Ok, so what gives?
We want to protect the environment, but there are other effects.
Did you know that the historically frail Apple charging cables result from environmental protesting? In 2009, Greenpeace lobbied for “Green My Apple” – they asked Apple to remove PVC from their charging cables. Apple obliged but now their cables are not as durable. This is why Apple’s cables don’t survive any abuse, while third-party companies’ cables do. The lobbying to remove PVC created an entirely new market for third-party accessory makers that might not have existed to the extent that they do today had Greenpeace been unsuccessful in pushing for the removal of PVC.
Ok, so what’s your point?
The auto paint industry is the same. As a result of lobbying and regulation outlawing certain amounts of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), automotive paint has switched from solvent-based paint to water-based (or waterborne) paint.
The benefits of water-based over solvent-based paint are:
– Better for the environment, according to the EPA
– Healthier to apply to those in the industry due to fewer airborne toxins
– New products
– Cleaner and brighter than solvent-based paints
However, the one “benefit” for the automotive industry is a negative for our auto detailing industry and relates to clear bra and paint protection/paint enhancement:
“Less Clearcoat Needed. – For multiple hues and striping, waterborne paint has an advantage when it comes to spraying due to a thinner application. It takes less clear coat to even out the surface for the different layers.”
What does that mean for us?
That means that while we are making things healthier for those working with automotive paints, while we are doing better for the environment, we are making clear bra an absolute necessity for new cars.
The paint is so thin that there is very little rock chip protection. This goes for sports cars along the rocker panels, and where the tires kick up rocks, it goes for just about any forward-facing surface of any vehicle, regardless of sportiness. With Tesla, many owners choose to clear bra / PPF their entire car because the paint is notoriously thin (above and beyond the issues with water-based paint mentioned above).
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