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Old 15th January 2022, 11:09   #1
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Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove

Hi All,

I had a horrible experience with 3M PPF which I had got done 5 years ago in 3M Thane. Over the period of time, PPF had become brittle and got converted from glossy to matt as you can see below:

Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove-20211219_171845.jpg

Decided to get it removed which was a nightmare. PPF had a strong adhesive and because it became brittle it was coming out in pieces. Below are some pictures for reference.

Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove-20211220_163728.jpg

Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove-20211221_125012.jpg

Due to the strong adhesive, the paint also came out along with PPF at some places, especially plastic panels.

Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove-img20211222wa0000.jpg

I have learnt a lesson and I'm never going to opt for PPF for any of my cars in future. May be ceramic coating is a better bet than PPF after having such a horrible experience.


Cheers
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Old 15th January 2022, 11:37   #2
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Re: Paint Protection Film (PPF)

Quote:
Originally Posted by motoholic31 View Post
I have learnt a lesson and I'm never going to opt for PPF for any of my cars in future. May be ceramic coating is a better bet than PPF after having such a horrible experience.


Cheers
Wow this is quite horrible. This is one reason I have stayed away from PPF. It just bewilders me how a thin sheet of plastic with glue can stay on a car for 5-10 years (the warranty period these companies boast of), endure our Indian harsh conditions and 'not' take out paint when you try to peel them off after a prolonged period such as this one. They say only cheap PPF has this problem. Your case proves them all wrong. I think all PPFs may have this problem after 5-6 years. Better to stay away.
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Old 15th January 2022, 13:28   #3
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Re: Paint Protection Film (PPF)

Quote:
Originally Posted by motoholic31 View Post
Hi All,

I have learnt a lesson and I'm never going to opt for PPF for any of my cars in future. May be ceramic coating is a better bet than PPF after having such a horrible experience.


Cheers
This is exactly my biggest fear which I shared in my previous post.

I was just trying to guess the reason for such horrible condition, it could be one of the following:

1) Was this PPF a Fake 3M sold to you. If it was a genuine one with warranty card etc then this should have never happened. Can you please take it up with 3M
2) Was it due to wrong installation method?
3) Was your car exposed to any extreme climate or some unhealthy environment of some chemical factory in the vicinity ?
4)Is life of PPF only 1-2 years and beyond which it is not safe for your paint?

A brand like 3M cant be selling such sub standard product which will spoil the cars paint. This issue should be examined for their own benefit.
Can you share which 3M PPF variant was sold to you and at what price?

Have you tried visiting the store where it was installed? Would like to know his comments.
I hope this is a result of some sub standard counterfeit product. Else everyone who has installed PPF to protect their lovely looking cars will be found after 5 years.

Last edited by goenkakushal : 15th January 2022 at 13:33.
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Old 16th January 2022, 14:13   #4
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Re: Paint Protection Film (PPF)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pancham View Post
Wow this is quite horrible. This is one reason I have stayed away from PPF.
Completely echo your opinion here. We all love our cars and mostly because of that reason it is always an emotional decision. We spend so much money on these things thinking these will protect our beloved cars. I spent almost a lakh on a 10 lakh rupee car which I cannot justify now after having such an experience with this product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goenkakushal View Post
This is exactly my biggest fear which I shared in my previous post.

I was just trying to guess the reason for such horrible condition, it could be one of the following:

1) Was this PPF a Fake 3M sold to you. If it was a genuine one with warranty card etc then this should have never happened. Can you please take it up with 3M
2) Was it due to wrong installation method?
3) Was your car exposed to any extreme climate or some unhealthy environment of some chemical factory in the vicinity ?
4)Is life of PPF only 1-2 years and beyond which it is not safe for your paint?
The questions which you have raised are the exact ones that came to my mind. Here is my response to the same.

1) PPF was done from the authorized 3M store Thane exactly five years ago on 20th Dec, 2016. Can they sell fake PPF? Also, PPF was quite thick as compared to what some local brands sell.
2) PPF was done by 3M staff and it was fine for the first 2-3 years, so we can rule out this point.
3) My car has always been parked in a closed parking and it has spent most of its time in Thane with no factory in the vicinity. However, for the past 8 months it has been in Lucknow and the North Indian weather is a bit harsh as compared to Mumbai but PPF is supposed to withstand that.
4) In my car PPF was absolutely fine for first 3 years and after that it deteriorated rapidly. I remember when I last visited 3M Goregaon for detailing, they explicitly advised me to get the PPF changed.

I have got 90% of the PPF removed but have kept 10% of it just to show it to the 3M store Thane when I go back to Mumbai in a few months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goenkakushal View Post
Can you share which 3M PPF variant was sold to you and at what price?
There was only one variant available back then which was priced at around INR 550 / Sq ft.

Cheers
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Old 17th January 2022, 10:33   #5
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re: Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove

Horrible experience with 3M PPF - Posts moved to a new thread.
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Old 17th January 2022, 18:22   #6
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re: Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove

A PPF'd Crysta in Mumbai traffic
See the condition of the said PPF
Makes the car look really bad

Coincidentally saw this vehicle 10 mins after reading this thread

Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove-20220117_1640190101.jpeg
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Old 17th January 2022, 18:39   #7
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re: Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove

This cannot be a genuine 3M PPF from what I can tell.

A friend has the same variant of basic PPF costing 550 per sq. Ft. on his 10 year old Punto and it still has the same properties. Has not faded but has picked up a few swirls here and there. The PPF is also 9-10 years old.

Though the store might be authorised, there could be some level of autonomy the franchise would have to do such stuff, so cannot rule that possibility entirely.

I have STEK PPF on my car for past 4 years and it is good so far.
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Old 17th January 2022, 20:07   #8
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re: Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove

Afterall its a stretchable plastic / polymer with glue. Its bound to harden after years of constant exposure to the sun's UV.

I don't trust this PPF bogey. Simply not believable to me that some "superior plastic" can cost a whopping ₹550/sqft. At that rate, one can get their car repainted thrice over!

P.S.: I don't trust online influencers at all in this matter, too many them are either directly or indirectly benefited to praise it.

Last edited by WorkingGuru : 17th January 2022 at 20:13.
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Old 17th January 2022, 20:09   #9
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re: Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRIV3R View Post
This cannot be a genuine 3M PPF from what I can tell.
I don't want to disregard what you are saying but in my opinion it was genuine. I have seen fake and cheap PPFs and mine was much more thicker and was good for about 4 years after which it deteriorated exponentially. The issue is when you try to remove it and most of the detailers are aware of it. Here is the post by AJ56 who has the similar observation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ56 View Post
As a detailer we regularly get cars for PPF removal and in my experience, once a film crosses the 3-4 year mark, the chances of it breaking up and coming off in pieces like this, increase exponentially. The adhesive begins to fuse with the cars clearcoat and one has to be very, very gentle during removal as too much heat (with the heat gun) or force will result in paint being stripped along with the film, also once you get the film off the adhesive left behind is another issue that takes a lot of tar and glue remover to dissolve. Note: this happens irrespective of brand, while I canít say for each and every brand under the sun, Iíve seen quite a few and all were prone to the same issue once they crossed 3-4 years in age (Optimum is a little better than 3M in terms of ease of removal). In fact, we have a policy in place now if PPF is older than 4-5 years we donít touch it, we request the person to get it removed from the place that installed it.
I'm attaching a few pictures on how PPF looked across different years:

After 3 Years

Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove-_dsc018812.jpg

After 4 Years

Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove-img_20200607_142623_bokeh.jpg

Cheers
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Old 17th January 2022, 20:13   #10
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re: Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove

@motoholic31 sorry to see your car in that condition. That is so sad to see.

I had seen a similar issue in a Fortuner at the place I had given for detailing. People over there were struggling to remove the ppf and it was peeling off paint too. I remember the guy mentioning that it was done at 3M as well. I was curious as I had plans to get it done at bumpers. Detailer mentioned that PPF is good for only 2-3 years at max after which it is an issue. Glad I didn't get it done.

Last edited by manson : 17th January 2022 at 20:19. Reason: Typo.
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Old 17th January 2022, 21:45   #11
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re: Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove

Quote:
Originally Posted by motoholic31 View Post
I don't want to disregard what you are saying but in my opinion it was genuine.



I'm attaching a few pictures on how PPF looked across different years:



Cheers
Understood. The PPF looks good in the older pics you have shared. Was the fading and deterioration sudden or did it come up gradually?

Harsh weather should not cause this. Any chance of any chemical/acid rain kind of exposure?

A good quality PPF with quality adhesive should come out fairly decent when removed.

Removal of PPF is best done with a steamer. Second best option would be by careful usage of a heat gun. That would free up the adhesive and would ensure paint is not damaged provided it is factory paint or good quality respray.
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Old 17th January 2022, 22:17   #12
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re: Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRIV3R View Post
Understood. The PPF looks good in the older pics you have shared. Was the fading and deterioration sudden or did it come up gradually?
PPF deteriorated exponentially since the last 6 months, before that it was shiny and glossy. However, it had become yellowish and brittle but because of the black colour of the car it was not noticeable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRIV3R View Post
Removal of PPF is best done with a steamer. Second best option would be by careful usage of a heat gun. That would free up the adhesive and would ensure paint is not damaged provided it is factory paint or good quality respray.
Heat gun and warm water were used. However, the adhesive was so strong that whatever approach we took it chipped the paint from the plastic parts and hard adhesive residue was left on the metal parts which took a lot of effort to clean. Here is the video which I captured while work was being done on the car.

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Old 17th January 2022, 22:43   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoholic31 View Post
I don't want to disregard what you are saying but in my opinion it was genuine. I have seen fake and cheap PPFs and mine was much more thicker and was good for about 4 years after which it deteriorated exponentially. The issue is when you try to remove it and most of the detailers are aware of it. Here is the post by AJ56 who has the similar observation.



I'm attaching a few pictures on how PPF looked across different years:

After 3 Years

Attachment 2261695

After 4 Years

Attachment 2261696

Cheers
The 3rd and 4th year pic looks neat..
What happened is 5th year... Acid rains ??

Was the car previously parked in covered parking and later in open parking under the sun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRIV3R View Post
This cannot be a genuine 3M PPF from what I can tell.

A friend has the same variant of basic PPF costing 550 per sq. Ft. on his 10 year old Punto and it still has the same properties. Has not faded but has picked up a few swirls here and there. The PPF is also 9-10 years old.

Though the store might be authorised, there could be some level of autonomy the franchise would have to do such stuff, so cannot rule that possibility entirely.

I have STEK PPF on my car for past 4 years and it is good so far.
Can you share the parking details of both the vehicle?
Covered / open at home as well as in office

UV rays could definitely be a major contributor to this exponential damage.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 18th January 2022 at 20:25. Reason: Merged consecutive posts.
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Old 18th January 2022, 08:02   #14
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Re: Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove

I keep my cars for long (typically 10 years), so thank you for this thread. Was always worried about how PPF would age over a decade. We did ponder over PPF, but eventually decided against it.

What works for me is good parking + car cover + detailing twice a year + other simple best practices listed in this article.

Turning 9 this year:
Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove-1.jpeg

Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove-2.jpeg

Almost 10 years since the last paint job:
Horrible experience with 3M PPF | Completely deteriorated & hard to remove-3.jpeg
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Old 18th January 2022, 08:49   #15
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Re: Paint Protection Film (PPF)

Quote:
Originally Posted by motoholic31 View Post
2) PPF was done by 3M staff and it was fine for the first 2-3 years, so we can rule out this point.
Sorry to see something like this happening. I too suspect fake PPF - even though it was by 3M outlet staff at the 3M outlet.

2-3 years is nothing - Isnt the warranty longer than that ?

(on another note regarding films: the Garware front w/s sunfilm on my Storme is still good after almost 9 years. And it is always parked outside.)
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