Is protective spray film worth it? What about rust proofer?

Asked by Sep 11, 2014 at 03:53 PM about the 2003 Pontiac Vibe GT

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My last car was "stained" with bug parts and normal rock dings. Normal stuff for a 170,000 mile vehicle.

I just bought a new one and would like to make it last as long as I can. I see lots of companies make a spray-on film that can be peeled off at a later date. Does this stuff really do what it says?? (protect against bugs and rick dings/paint chips)...Does it damage paint when you peel it off?

Lastly, does the spray on "rust-proofer" really work? Id like to do my wheel wells and a few other areas just as a little extra protection, if it works that it...

1 Answer

1,145

I don't have any personal experience with "clear bra" materials, but I do with headlamp films which are essentially the same, and can tell you that if you park your vehicle outside in the sun, it's only good for a couple of years before turning brown and hard. And its a PITA to remove too. As for rust proofers, no don't do it. As the vehicle is driven and subject to the normal conditions of twisting and bending, being hit by stones and the like that get kicked up from the road, they all develop cracks sooner or later and make the situation worse. These cracks will actually HOLD moisture to the body/chassis and it will rust out faster than it would otherwise after that point. When I was still in the business we worked with a known rusty-bucket model car. The worst ones were the ones that had had sound deadening or rust proofing installed. The best one I EVER saw had nothing applied to it's undercarriage. It had some surface rust on the floorboards and chassis, but that was it. That particular car was also a few years older than the ones we normally worked on as well. You're better off taking it through a car wash with a high pressure undercarriage spray unit a few times a month during road salt weather.

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