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I've had 3M film on my car since June 2000, about two months after she was delivered. I got the film from X-pel and had it professionally installed at a shop back then. My first impressions were that it looked a little yellow, but that went away after some sun exposure. Over the past five years, it has saved the car from all sorts of hazards, from the dreaded Florida love bugs (acidic little suckers) to flying tin cans (a truck dumped a cardboard box full of them right in front of me a couple of months ago) to a fridge (roadside assistance didn't notice my car was in gear when they started it up).

About two months ago, I looked at the car and it looked as if a cat had walked all across the hood of my car. It started to get much worse really quickly, and I called X-pel to tell them about it. The film's warranty went out after 4 years (their new film has a 5 year warranty) so they gave me a 50% discount and I got fresh (3rd generation) film for less than I paid 5 years ago. Here are pics of how the car looked when I started getting worried (the second one is during the reinstall process so you'll see some missing coverage on the hood, the first pic shows the new fender film already installed).





This shot shows the paint underneath the old film, with the beating the film took over 5 years.



Overall, it took three times as much time to remove the old film than install the new one. That adhesive definitely loves to stick, and the old film was brittle and kept coming off in tiny pieces (I jumped in to help him out, and it took the two of us about 4 hours to get the mirrors, fender, bumper and small portion of the hood off). It turned into a two day project just because of the removal, but on the second day he had gotten tips from tint film installers and used a technique that cut the removal time 75%.

Installation of the bumper section:



Hood section and detail near the kidney grills:








Finished product:





Can you see the Lidatek or the clear bra?



The new film looks much better after the install than the old film did 5 years ago. There is no yellow at all. Overall, a highly recommended purchase. It might be a little different looking for darker models, but most people won't notice it unless they are looking for it. If any of you are near central Florida, I would highly recommend Steve at PhantomShield in Orlando. He has a website that has all of his contact info, and he's probably got the most experience out of anyone who installs this film in Florida. If you need any info, just post or PM me.
 

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pretty impressive. too late for me at this point, but if i ever have my front end resprayed, looks like this stuff does the job...
Mike
 

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The install looks great on your car. I pulled mine off (mirrors, hood, bumper) after about 2 years, and it was a PITA! Luckily, mine was still flexible. Would you care to share the secret to removing that stuff?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ELEVENS said:
The install looks great on your car. I pulled mine off (mirrors, hood, bumper) after about 2 years, and it was a PITA! Luckily, mine was still flexible. Would you care to share the secret to removing that stuff?
He called it a technique called "sweating" the film. He sprayed the citrus adhesive remover all over the top of the film, placed a sheet of paper over it, and hit it with a hair dryer for a few minutes, and then repeated the whole process. All in all, it took 20 minutes to prepare the film. After that, it just peeled right off when we used a plastic squeegee underneath. It still broke off, but it wasn't sticking to the surface of the hood as it was before.
 

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Looks great. I posted a question about the film about a week ago. I've been checking around here in S Calif to find a good dealer/installer. I wanted to get my wife's X5 & both my M5 & toy truck done. All the cars are in real good shape with little pits so I figure I should get it done while I have the chance. I'll probably have mine done in the next few weeks or so. I would highly recommend it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Nasu M3 said:
Looks great. I posted a question about the film about a week ago. I've been checking around here in S Calif to find a good dealer/installer. I wanted to get my wife's X5 & both my M5 & toy truck done. All the cars are in real good shape with little pits so I figure I should get it done while I have the chance. I'll probably have mine done in the next few weeks or so. I would highly recommend it.
Good installers can usually be found on the film company's website. Check out x-pel or stongard. Good luck!
 

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Anzir said:
He called it a technique called "sweating" the film. He sprayed the citrus adhesive remover ...
I tried several adhesive removers, but without a way to get it under my (structurally good) film it didn't work.

I'd do the film again if my car was a lighter color - it was quite visible on my LeMans Blue car. Far too many people asked "What's that line on the hood?" :(

With the film, on the highway you don't have to stay fifty yards or more behind the vehicle ahead of you. Now, I avoid the highway and use alternate routes.


Lookin' good, Anzir :cheers:
 

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If you look closely, the "line" is clearly visible - this is why I pulled my film off:
 
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