Windshield Protection Film: Expectations vs Reality
Let’s be honest, if you’ve got a nice car or are an enthusiast, you’ve probably considered protecting your vehicle. While other film products like paint protection film (PPF) or Tint are pretty much everywhere these days, windshield protection film is considered the next big thing in the automotive film industry. Similar to where PPF was a decade ago, windshield protection film is quickly becoming the “must have” film in the industry.
This is growth in popularity comes as windshields are becoming increasingly expensive (not to mention difficult) to replace and film technology has advanced significantly. But with more attention comes an increasing set of expectations that may or may not be grounded in reality.
As you make the decision to buy, let’s talk about expectations vs. reality when it comes to windshield protection film.
Expectation: My windshield will be invincible!
Reality: We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there’s no windshield protection film out there that can make your windshield truly invincible. If you’re looking for something bulletproof, we suggest talking to the military.
That being said, a good windshield protection film will prevent the everyday damage that you’re likely to encounter while on the road. It’ll significantly reduce the chances of getting cracks and chips, and will definitely help to preserve your windshield glass from pitting and sandblasting that cause it to look hazy over time. But no, it’s not a magical shield that is guaranteed to protect your windshield from stray bullets or wildlife that hits your glass.
Expectation: The film will last forever!
Reality: Ever heard the saying “nothing good lasts forever”? Well windshield protection film is kinda like that too. While a durable, PET-based windshield protection film like ExoShield is designed to last a couple years, it’s not indestructible and will start to show signs of wear over time. How long it lasts will also depend a lot on how well you maintain it.
Expectation: I can install the film myself and save some money!
Reality: This one is partially true. If you own a Jeep or a Bronco and are a seasoned DIY expert - sure, installing it yourself is a great way to save some cash for more exciting mods.
For everyone else, unless you’re a professional, don’t even attempt to install the film yourself. In fact, most brands won’t sell their film to you unless you have experience with the film or agree to go to training (at least those are the requirements to become an ExoShield installer).
The reality is that unless you have access to an easy-to-use kit and the windshield is pretty much completely flat, it requires a very steady hand, a super clean environment, and a LOT of patience. One mistake can ruin the whole film and you’ll just end up spending more money in the long run. Trust us - for most of us it’s worth the cost to have it installed by a professional.
Expectation: The film will be invisible and nobody will notice it.
Reality: This is another one that is partially true, but really depends on the product you purchase. Every film will have slightly different optical properties, so if “invisibility” is important to you, look for a high optically clear, PET-based film. Without getting too into the science, PET-based films tend to have lower distortion, which means you won’t notice them as easily when they’re on the windshield.
That being said, there’s a chance that any film you put will be slightly detectable especially once they start to age! A good maintenance plan and making sure to replace the film after the first couple years is important.
So what do you think - were your expectations about windshield protection film accurate? At the end of the day, while windshield protection may not be bulletproof protection that lasts forever, having that extra protection is always going to be a lot better than nothing at all!
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