Paint Protection Film - 2013 Lexus GS 350 Long-Term Road Test
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2013 Lexus GS 350 Long-Term Road Test

2013 Lexus GS 350: Paint Protection Film

July 12, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Our 2013 Lexus GS 350 came with the optional $429 paint protection film. It covers portions of the hood, front quarter panels and front and rear bumpers. It's invisible except at the edges and its installation is perfect.

But is it worth $429?

2013 Lexus GS 350

To me, yes. Protection from paint chips, especially here in L.A., is valuable. And you never know when you'll find yourself behind a truck dropping anything from gravel to toilet parts. If this were my car, I'd buy this option.

Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor @ 19,362 miles


Comments

  • jederino jederino Posts:

    How long does it last, and what would be cost to simply pay for paint touch-ups every couple years?

  • Paint protecting film to me is a waste of money, protecting your investment is important but paint chips are a part of owning a vehicle. The film itself gets damaged over time and you end up with busted film that needs replacement anyway. It as a way for the dealerships to squeeze some more profit from new vehicles. I just recently had one of my vehicles that I have owned for the past 3 years touched up at a professional body shop and the total bill came out to 480.00 for the hood and both fenders and now it looks like new. Plus when a car get dirty you can definitely tell where the film is and the car ends up looking worse.

  • A good PPF will last for years and years. -- However I might find a quality local place that would do it and could make the templates a bit larger and wrap the edges. --- a good PPF will be nearly unnoticeable and will keep the car always looking good rather than cycling though it looking great then slowly worse over the next 3 years then back to great and then slowly worse again. -- plus at 480 to repair the damage every three years vs $429 once I pick the once. My PPF looks good years later and from 5 feet away you can't tell it is there. Wait till that touched up paint ages differently from the factory paint and the difference starts to show....

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    You can find a local place that would do it, with internet companies selling film as well. Just get someone to do it for you if it's anything more complex than a headlight, because it's a PITA to get right (and sometimes the pros don't get it right either). I think it's a sound investment for the usual scratch zones... bumper, hood, headlights, mirrors, rear trunk. Touch-up paint is not the same as simply peeling the film off and reapplying a new one... and it does wonders for resale value.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    duck is right - when the film gets beat up you can just get new film. Yeah, you can have it touched up but this is not a great solution - do it every 3 years and your car looks like crap for the last year before you have it done, and not having factory paint damaged is priceless. I have this on my GTI and would not be without it from now on. Also agree with zimtheinvader - that's too far from the edges - they need to wrap more. And Josh, if you think this is valuable in LA, just think how valuable in areas where rust is an issue (I don't drive the VW in winter, but still...).

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    duck is right - when the film gets beat up you can just get new film. Yeah, you can have it touched up but this is not a great solution - do it every 3 years and your car looks like crap for the last year before you have it done, and not having factory paint damaged is priceless. I have this on my GTI and would not be without it from now on. Also agree with zimtheinvader - that's too far from the edges - they need to wrap more. And Josh, if you think this is valuable in LA, just think how valuable in areas where rust is an issue (I don't drive the VW in winter, but still...).

  • cjasis cjasis Posts:

    You guys, like me, are lucky to live and drive in S. CA where we have a strong car culture. As such, we benefit from multiple aftermarket and independent solutions for car products. There are several very good clear bra shops in LA and Orange County and based on their work, I would argue that the $430 charged by Lexus for film which doesn't begin to cover edges is far from "perfect". If you are anal about keeping your car perfect and live somewhere where rock chips are a problem (our crappy roads here in CA qualify for that), then clear bras are a great idea. I did a full bumper, hood and front genders on my 911S to protect that expensive GT Silver paint and I was extremely glad I did. The key is finding the right installer. Most high end products are very good today (little to no yellowing over time) but the installer makes all the difference.

  • cjasis cjasis Posts:

    You guys, like me, are lucky to live and drive in S. CA where we have a strong car culture. As such, we benefit from multiple aftermarket and independent solutions for car products. There are several very good clear bra shops in LA and Orange County and based on their work, I would argue that the $430 charged by Lexus for film which doesn't begin to cover edges is far from "perfect". If you are anal about keeping your car perfect and live somewhere where rock chips are a problem (our crappy roads here in CA qualify for that), then clear bras are a great idea. I did a full bumper, hood and front genders on my 911S to protect that expensive GT Silver paint and I was extremely glad I did. The key is finding the right installer. Most high end products are very good today (little to no yellowing over time) but the installer makes all the difference.

  • csubowtie csubowtie Posts:

    I got it on my WRX. I recommend it. But would I pay $429 for it? No. I found this to be a good negotiating item since it was dealer installed. After I talked them down on price as far as I could, I asked for this and window tinting to be thrown in for free.

  • csubowtie csubowtie Posts:

    I got it on my WRX. I recommend it. But would I pay $429 for it? No. I found this to be a good negotiating item since it was dealer installed. After I talked them down on price as far as I could, I asked for this and window tinting to be thrown in for free.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    Given the way I keep cars for way too many years, it would not be worth it to me. If I was concerned with resale value, and would sell my car after 4-5 years, I think it makes sense. The gaps shown in the picture means that there will still be "sand blasting" or chip damage potential in those areas. The other responses I think have it right--the right installer would do a better job and possibly for less $. WAY better than a car bra.

  • 330i_zhp 330i_zhp Posts:

    I just can't get over the distinct line through the middle of the hood when this stuff is applied (along with the lines on all of the edges, especially visible on dark cars). The benefits of the film are obvious, but the possibility of a few tiny rock chips is worth the risk to not have a 5-ft line across my hood.

  • alex4515 alex4515 Posts:

    Anybody know if the newer paint protection films get this bad over time? http://www.autopia.org/forum/click-brag/145548-detailersdomain-com-1st-gen-3m-clear-film-removal-porsche-911-must-read.html

  • I got the clear bra on my IS350 before our GS 350 F-Sport and over the years it yellowed and looked very noticeable on our white car. Opted not to get it this time as the car is a lease and by the time the front is starting to get really chipped up it will be time for a new one!

  • herrstreet herrstreet Posts:

    I paid to have this put on nearly the entire front end of my 911 because where I live there is a cold winter and lots of gravel on the roads... not to mention when they oil and stone chip the roads. Having said that, they don't get near enough to the margins with that stuff do they? Seems to be a big unprotected spot.

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