Auto Armor of Asheville xpel ultimate

Which clear bra do you recommend?


    I normally hesitate to recommend specific products or brands because there are so many different manufacturers and everyone has their favorite products; but, every now and then a new product hits the market that simply redefines everything. We're talking about an market-shattering innovation here -- the self-healing paint protection film aptly named "Ultimate" made by Xpel.

    The Xpel Ultimate paint protection film is truly self-healing!

   Paint films of the past have suffered from three major failings

Peeling and Cracking.
Scratching and Hazing

   Yellowing, Peeling and Cracking were huge problems with the earlier generation of paint films, but now there are several good long-lasting brands. But up until now, no one was able to solve the problem with Scratching and Hazing. They say that seeing is believing, so check out the videos below!!

Finally, Xpel goes one further by offering a ten year warranty for film and installation labor. They have the industry's best paint film and the best warranty! That combination wins them our Xpert recommendation.

Opti-Coat or Clear Bra?

I'm on a bit of a limited budget after purchasing my new car. Which would you recommend, Opti-Coat or a Clear Bra?


That's a great question -- and one that we get asked all the time. The important thing to remember is that a paint protection film and Optimum Opti-Coat do two different things.


Opti-Coat is, in our opinion, the best paint sealant on the market today. It protects against UV damage, swirl marks, bugs and insect damage, bird droppings and other paint contaminants, but Opti-Coat will not protect against rock chips.

Clear Bra / Paint Protection Film

Paint protection films, on the other hand, offer excellent protection against stone chips. But a paint protection film will only protect the parts of your vehicle that are covered by the film.

Recommendation -- Clear Bra 1st

For most vehicle owners, I recommend choosing to apply the clear bra first because even a few stone chips on a brand new vehicle can be heart breaking if you love your car. And even though it would be best to protect the entire paint job with Opti-Coat - normally that can be done even a year or two later without any major losses. For example, you may get some swirl marks or hard water stains, but swirl marks can be buffed away and hard water stains can be removed. We do those kinds of paint corrections all the time. But paint chip corrections can be much more difficult to do perfectly. Some paints are very hard to match, and it takes a lot of time and care to completely fill a paint chip level to the surface of the surrounding paint.

Major Exception

There is one major exception to the above recommendation -- and that is bird droppings. If you must park underneath trees that are frequented by birds, then I would recommend applying the Opti-Coat first because bird droppings can cause irreparable harm to your paint in a very short period of time. That's one case where totally protecting the entire car from bird droppings may be more important than protecting a small portion from rock chips.

Love Bugs can also cause a lot of damage, but Love Bugs usually concentrate on the front grill, front hood and other surfaces that will be protected by a paint protection film

How long do Clear Bras last?

Someone told me never to get a clear bra because they all turn yellow, peel and fade or worse hurt the paint underneath. How long will a paint protection film last?


Well, you've asked several questions there, so let me take them one by one.

Will a Clear Bra hurt my paint?

No, the latest adhesives from name brand manufacturers such as 3M and Xpel  are formulated to be strong enough to prevent peeling, but weak enough to release the film as it is stretched. The latest removal technique is to heat the film with a heat gun and pull it. As the film stretches, it releases. Never pull a film back over itself, like tearing off a band aid -- that can put too much stress on the clear coat.

Will a Clear Bra Yellow?

. Not anymore. Yellowing has been a severe problem in the past, but the latest films are warrantied against yellowing.

How long will a Clear Bra Last?

Xpel guarantees their paint protection film against peeling, chipping and yellowing for 10 YEARS, parts and labor.

Is Xpel Ultimate really Self Healing?

This sounds like the "Holy Grail" of clear bras. Can it really heal itself? I'd have to see that to believe it.


They say "Seeing is believing". Check out this video from It shows the clear bra healing itself after someone scratches it with a wire brush!

Which should I do first? Opti-Coat or Clear Bra?

I'm planning on having my new car Opti-Coated too, but should I have it Opti-Coated before or after having the clear bra installed?


According Optimum Polymer Technolgies, the maker of Opti-Coat, you can do either. Opti-Coat can be applied to the clear bra to protect it from UV damage. On the other hand, a clear bra can be applied after the vehicle has been Opti-Coated. Yes, a clear bra will adhere to Opti-Coat.

Having said that, to us it makes more sense to install the clear bra first for these reasons:

Cure Time.

Opti-Coat needs a few days to fully cure before a clear bra can be installed over it.

Adhesion Warranty.

It's probably better, from a paint-film warranty perspective, to have the clear bra installed directly to clean paint.

Full Protection.

If the Opti-Coat is applied last, it can also be applied to the Clear Bra

Why do some clear bra's turn Yellow?

I've seen some really ugly clear bra's, mostly on older cars. What went wrong?


Without seeing the specific vehicle, we cannot give you an exact answer; but, usually the yellowing is not the clear bra itself. Sometimes vehicle owners use cleaners, such as tar removers, with petroleum distillates that weaken the paint protection film, or open the pores up leaving it subject to contamination. Then oils and other organic materials are able to penetrate into the paint protection film. When those oils or organic materials turn yellow, then the clear bra itself looks yellow.

Clear Bra Maintenance

How should I maintain the clear bra on my vehicle? Can I wash it? Should I wax it?


In general, you should maintain your clear bra the same way you maintain the painted portions of your vehicle; however, there are some important exceptions:

Washing. Use an automotive shampoo. Never use degreaser or harsh dish washing soaps.
Waxing. Use name-brand waxes, but check the ingredients. Never use any products with petroleum distillates.
Polishing. You can polish a paint protective film using polishes designed for automotive clear coat; but:

limit yourself to water-based products.
If you use a rotary polisher, always position the pad away from the edge of the clear bra. If you must polish the edge, then either tape it, or make sure that the portion of the pad in contact with the clear bra is spinning in such a way as to go from clearbra to paint.
NEVER polish with a rotary spinning on the edge from paint to clear bra, since this could force compound underneath the clearbra, or cause the clear bra to peel.
REDUCE your speed to avoid overheating and damaging the clear bra.

Pressure Washing. You can use a low-pressure (about 800 PSI) pressure washer to clean your vehicle and clear bra; but, NEVER point the wand at the edge of the clear bra because you could cause it to peel. If you must clean the edge, position the want to spray water across the clear bar, over the edge and onto the painted surface.
Edges. Use a cue-tip to gently remove any compound or debris gathered at the edge of the clear bra. Or use a microfiber towel. Always wipe from clear bra to paint to avoid peeling, lifting or forcing debris underneath the protective film..

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