Bug guards, protective bras & film

achenatorachenator Member Posts: 128
I bought a 2001 Accord EX on Friday and am considering purchasing a nose mask. I have problems with gravel trucks and "love bugs" here in Louisiana. I have heard that these masks can cover your nose and as the rest of your car fades what's under the mask doesn't. Any ideas on this? P.S my car is dark blue.


  • vw1vw1 Member Posts: 3
    I was wondering if anyone had any information on
    car bras? When I travel on the highway for a long
    period of time there are bugs all over the front of
    my car. Should I look into buying a front end

    Would you have any advice about not getting one.
    Do they damage the paint or front ends?

    Should I get it from my auto dealer...Acura? Or
    from an accessory supplier?

    Let me know your opinions
  • ycookmdycookmd Member Posts: 4
    I have a 2000 Sienna just a month old, on which I placed a bra last weekend. I purchased the Toyota bra from Toyota Wholesale Parts Online for around $100, a few bucks cheaper than the local dealer ship.

    The "factory" fit is pretty good, but you might be able to find the same for your Acura in an after-market item.

    Unfortunately, while installing, I found a large chip in the hood paint already :(

    ...guess I should have put it on sooner...

    As far as whether it's good to have on or not, though, I'm not sure. I installed one on my girlfriend's Civic today (we wanted matching cars, how dorky) and the directions for hers said that if water gets underneath and dries, it can cloud the paint. Most of the posts I have read say it's not damaging if you triple wax underneath, and wash and dry the hood frequently with rewaxing. That seems like a hassle, though.

    Hope that helps a little.
  • vw1vw1 Member Posts: 3

    Thanks for the response. I found out I can pick one up for $100 also from A & H. Could you tell me what the instructions/or your experience is w/ washing the actual front end cover? Do they hold up well while its actually raining or is it better to remove them if you know it will rain? How durable do they seem? But if spending $100 will save me some scratches and dents, I guess its worth it.

    Thanks for the info
  • mavrckmavrck Member Posts: 5
    Just purchased a bra for my '99 ZX2. Only plan to use it on highway trips of 50 miles or more for protection from bugs, stone chips etc. If staying at my destination for more than a day, I'll remove it until my return trip.

    Around town, I think it's better to go "braless" because of their reputation for causing paint problems. My daughter left her bra on her car for a few weeks at a time and definitely had a paint fade problem when she took it off. It took some good, hard waxing, but I got the finish back.
  • avs007avs007 Member Posts: 100
    I have my bra on my GTP 24:7

    No problems whatsoever... However, I'm a detail freak... I wash my car once sometimes twice a week, with regular wash/clay/wash/polish/wax sessions... I even do my wheels that way. I also always at least take off the hood-portion of the bra when I wash.... No fade problems, and no problems with the bra whatsoever... I also use Meguairs Vinyl & Rubber conditioner/protectant on my bra, and it looks like new, despite all the sun/rain/snow/bugs it has seen....

    It'll hold up as good as you take care of the rest of the car...

    Also, never spray armorall on your bra or your tires, if you want to keep them in good condition... It will promote cracking and drying out, despite their claims....

    In fact, when putting anything on your bra or tires, make sure THEY DO NOT contain petroleum distillates, otherwise, they will eventually crack and dry out your vinyl and rubber....

    One of the things to look out for when you remove your bra, is to remove any dirt particles or pebbles that may have found their way into it... Otherwise you will scratch your car... Also, if you use your bra in the rain, (but is always a good idea anyways), get some clay... It will get rid of all the crap that gets lodged in the paint under the bra, and all the other miscelaneous crap like rail dust from the rest of the car... And put a good coat of wax on the paint under the bra!!
  • schwanbeckschwanbeck Member Posts: 1
    I sell masks for a living, so I know about them. They protect your paint, they look neat, but they require some care.
    1. Wash underneath every week or so and keep it waxed. If you get grit under it, the movement of the cloth as you drive will act like sand paper. Also, rinse off the back of the mask to get the grit off.
    2. Take if off after it rains. Sun comes out after it rains, heats up the mask (black absorbs heat) which heats up the water trapped underneath and you can get paint damage. If you are driving the whole time (like on a trip), no problem cause the wind cools and evaporates the water underneath.
    3. Don't put oily stuff on the mask to make it look shiny. They are all made with vinyl with teeny holes to let moisture evaporate thru the mask (to reduce paint damage). Oily stuff clogs the holes.

    Yes, they require some care, but paint chips are real ugly.
  • vw1vw1 Member Posts: 3
    Great info


    So what products do you recommend for cleaning a Bra? What other cleaning steps do you also recommend? Is it fine to wash them w/ water then after they dry, protect them with certain products? What about the under part of the bra? Does it just require washing or does it also need a special cleaner different from the outside?
  • damiensiggiadamiensiggia Member Posts: 3
    I had a bra on my 94' acura integra for over 4 years. The bra went over the bumber part only, not on the hood. I must say, I used to wash my car quite often (whenever it got dirty). Usually I took the bra off, but their were times I didn't. I never had a problem with fading or scratching (but I always kept a close eye on it). Other bras may be different than my acura bra, but if you got an acura I think you'll be ok.
  • khakiboykhakiboy Member Posts: 4
    I'm considering purchasing a bra for my 2000 Neon ES. Am wondering if they are worth it? Right now I don't do any highway driving, so don't have to worry about stone chips there. I understand they are as good as you care for them. How difficult is it to put them on and off? How long does it take? I want to keep my new car looking new for as long as possible. But at the same time I don't want to spend an entire day each week washing it, etc. Thanks!
  • rbrunnerrbrunner Member Posts: 1
    An option to all of the, "take it off-put it back on" hassle with the black bras is to install a CLEAR poly bra. The 3M automotive division has developed this .080" film with a clear coat on the outside. It is most effective and is practically invisible. More info. on this product and clear headlight / fog light covers, as well, can be obtained by visiting http://www.xpel.com
  • minerva1999saeminerva1999sae Member Posts: 6
    Where can I find the bras for toyota cars at wholesale price like a message earlier mentioned. I have a solara anc can't decide on whether to get a bra or not. Plus, should I go with toyota's or a retailer on the net.
  • mcpmcp Member Posts: 1
    Are car bras really worth it???

    I'm thinking of buying one because my city uses
    gravel a lot in the winter. However I've been
    hearing that some people get discoloration because
    their bra traps moiture and if sand ever gets in
    between the bra and your car, it can act like

  • rob67rob67 Member Posts: 1
    Don't even think of using or buying one !

    This 'Bra" only makes things worse (Ruins the paint, decolrs-it, and makes stains) It ruined the hood of my Beretta !

    Don't waste you're money !

  • bechtelbechtel Member Posts: 2
    I have always had a bra on my vehicles. It protects the front end from stone chips. You need to take it off and let it dry after days of rain and I run my through the gentle cycle of the washer monthly to clean the felt liner. Those that had problems of discoloration or paint damage did not follow instructions. They are not meant to be left on for months at a time through rain, sleet and snow. They need to be cared for just like your paint. I have never had a problem with them.
  • wareware Member Posts: 28
    After reading post #5, I wonder if I could handle all the frequent care required - I hate the paint chips, but vinyl masks seem almost impracticle unless you have lots of free time to fool with them. The xpel mask sounds interesting - who knows the downside to that product?
  • sebargesebarge Member Posts: 50
    Have been using car bras since '89, w/ no ill effects to my paint, and currently have one on my '98 JXi. You cannot keep it on all the time, as stated above. You must take it off if wet or if there is suspect of sand/dirt underneath, so that makes it a pain at times as it requires care and the time to do so. But, it is extremely helpful when you go on long trips to protect the front, or if you live where there are love bugs (their bodies' acid will eat your paint).
  • srwsrw Member Posts: 4
    If you buy a bra, plan to keep it on forever. Just a little sand between it and the paint and you will have little scratches along the edges. It is especially bad if your paint is a dark metallic color. Save your money.
  • jmcc55jmcc55 Member Posts: 1
    I have a Camaro Z28 and am sick of bugs and stone chips. I,d like more info about Bras but I can't find one in a color that I like. I can only find black (yuck!). Are there any othr colors and where do I find them? Also I didn't know that you were supposed to take the bra off. Thanks for that info!
  • vac23vac23 Member Posts: 118
    Unfortunately all bras come in black. I don't believe I've ever seen any other color. Another option you might want to consider is a pastic "tint" like film that you can applied over the front end. It's made by 3M and is suppose to work just as well as a bra except it's clear and barely visible. You can get more info at this site www.xpel.com. Hope this helps
  • bdstriebdstrie Member Posts: 18
    I checked out that site Jmcc55....I don't know...is there anywhere I can see the product???????? Do you know of anyone whose used this?? Looks kind of risky, and if it doesn't look good, you can't get rid of it....

    Any ideas?
  • kzmkzm Member Posts: 55

    What ever you do, only get a mask that your dealership recommends. This way they can be held responsible if anything occurs under they mask while you are using it. I bought an after market mask from Lebra for my 2000 Pontiac Bonneville. I only had it for a month and moisture and heat from the mask formed a cloudy stain in the paint on my hood! The dealership won't touch it and Lebra says I have to first take it to an auto shop to have heat lamps put on it to try to remove the stain and I will have to be reimbursed for that! I've used a Lebra mask on my 92 Bonneville with no ill effects. My wife used a GM mask for her 98 Grand Prix and no ill effects either, so I would just be careful.



    Be careful
  • auntbeaauntbea Member Posts: 18
    I had the Honda dealer install a nose mask on my '98 Civic. When it was totaled in a crash 3 years later, part of the mask broke off. The paint was fine underneath it. The car was red.
  • remus26remus26 Member Posts: 34
    I would suggest getting a "clear bra". It won't scratch the paint like regular bras have a tendency to do, and you can't really tell it's on your car because it's a thin layer of clear plastic stuck to your car.

    I bought universal size from www.clearmask.com and I applied it to the mirrors on my 3.2TL and you can't tell it's there and it does a great job of protecting. I'm soon getting the clear bra for the whole front end and bumper.

    The product is also sold at x-pel.com
  • auntbeaauntbea Member Posts: 18
    As I stated in Post #3, after 3 years there was no paint discoloration or defects at all on my red Honda. I had planned on putting one on my new Honda also this week. I was never told you are supposed to take them off either. Maybe it takes 8 or 10 years to see a difference in the paint. After reading these posts, now I am not at all sure I will get the mask.
  • kzmkzm Member Posts: 55
    I only had my Lebra for a month on my 2000 Black Pontiac Bonneville and it clouded the paint towards the front of my hood. I washed the car every week taking the bra off and on and it still happened. I had a Lebra for my 92 Pontiac Bonneville almost since I got the car in 94 and didn't have any telling paint problems. My wife's 98 Grand Prix has a GM bra that performs fine also. Maybe the problem I had is because of the black paint. But after just a month?!

  • baker16baker16 Member Posts: 45
    I installed the xpel product on my 2000 Accord. It's been on the car a year now with no problems. I would highly recommend it. It was pretty easy to install. It looks a lot better than a regular bra and is no hassle whatsoever. It really isn't invisible ... you can see the edge but it lots a lot better then stone chips! It's a great product!
  • killakella123killakella123 Member Posts: 52
    Hello, I just bought a '01 Accord and I want to protect the notoriously thin honda paint from chipping. Have any of you heard of/used the 3M clearmask stuff? Seems like it would work and look good, if it isn't too visible and doesn't damage the paint underneath? If any of you want to check it out, go to www.clearmask.com. Also, if any of you have put the stuff on yourself, let me know how difficult it is and whether or not I should have someone else do it. Thanks!
  • baker16baker16 Member Posts: 45
    3m Clearmask is the same thing as the xpel product I talked about in message #27. Check out www.xpel.com. I looks and works good. I haven't tried to remove it but it is suppose to be removable ... can't vouch for that.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Check out the Additional Resources box in the left sidebar for an opinion piece on clear bras.

    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • ineto6ineto6 Member Posts: 161
    great info - but what's up with the dates of the posts? Started as 2001 and got some as 1999. Y2K issue? hahaha

    anyway, I used to have a full nose mask for my previous car - kinda a pain to take care, but greatly reduced chips driving on the highways.

    I am currently using the 3M clearmask - hoping that it will last as long as my window tints.
  • luthor1luthor1 Member Posts: 15
    Love my xpel clear mask on my white solara but find bugs stick to it and are harder to remove anyone know what works on removing stuborn bug stains?
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    subzero1 "Hyundai Santa Fe" Jul 7, 2001 3:23pm

    Usual disclaimers (and then some, lol)

    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

  • cyranno99cyranno99 Member Posts: 419
    that's weird. I had bugs sticking on it and I cleaned them off easier than on the bumper. I think you can use the tar/bug remover without damaging the mask. You might want to ask them if you are skeptical.
  • fastnissan69fastnissan69 Member Posts: 6
    i had a bra for my maxima, and the other dy I was driving on the highway it came off and was flapping against the hood of my car, any ideas on how to make it stay put?
  • drew_drew_ Member Posts: 3,382
    Have you checked the straps and tiedowns to make sure that they're tight? Obviously it should flap at all.

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • fastnissan69fastnissan69 Member Posts: 6
    to drew--thank you for the obvious suggestion but for some reason all my bra came with was a strap that goes right accross under the hood nothing else. my freind bought one and it had straps that hooked into the hood itself--weird.
  • jonnysjonnys Member Posts: 1
    Looking for source to provide a custom fit bra and stone/bug guard that mounts across the front of hood.
  • jpage7jpage7 Member Posts: 4
    Bought a '02 Merc MT last month and even picked up a accessories brochure 3 wks ago from dealer. Tried to order front end cover (bra) as displayed in brochure on a '02 SUV and they keep sending dealer a bra for '98 MT. This has happened 3 times at two dealers. Contacted Ford 800# to discuss and person there was worthless/clueless how to resolve. I asked them to get someone to confirm part # in brochure with factory/whse in Canada that shipped product and you would have thought I requested the formula for worlds most difficult math problem. Again, no help. Was told to wait another 6 months then try again. My local auto parts franchise was no better to locate cover. IF Ford/Mercury has pictures in their brochure, surely someone can tell me where to find same even through aftermarket. If I wait 6 months I might as well repaint the hood first from rocks/bugs and winter salt - HELP!!!
    PS - No luck using sites for '02 Explorer to resolve this either
  • tronsr1tronsr1 Member Posts: 149
    Call this # 1-800-529-4486

    It is the JC Whiney toll free # and there will probably be someone that will be able to solve your problem. They have contacts with all the "major bra" companies. Front end bras.. for cars...that is!!!!
  • fastnissan69fastnissan69 Member Posts: 6
    try covercraft @www.autosupermart.com they will custom fit your bra.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Someone was asking about the pros and cons of car bras, so this topic has been brought out of the archives to see if anyone wants to continue the discussion.

    Steve, Host
  • fomentarfomentar Member Posts: 49
    I have a 97 Maxima and commute an hour, with a significant highway portion. I purchased a bra with the car and have used it year round. There is definintely a maintenance effort in keeping the bra lining clean and not leaving it on the car, when wet, for too long. That being said, the paint has sustained far less damage than would be expected after 127,000 miles. In my opinion a bra is a good choice if you are interested in protecting the paint of your vehicle and you are willing to expend the effort to maintain it properly. I am now in the market for another vehicle and will consider the "Autobahnd" bra, which is the clear film placed on the paint as a permanent protective barrier...less maintenance for similar protection it would seem, but I am not speaking from experience.
  • dinu01dinu01 Member Posts: 2,586
    I prefer a deflector b/c it still steers small rocks and insects up from the windshield.

    As for bras, paint damage (fade) along with possible corossion (lots of salt on the roads in winter) detracts me from it.

  • trashman2trashman2 Member Posts: 44
    i just bought a 2003 mountaineer premier.does anyone know where to purchase some rear splash or mud guards with the mercury logo on them. thanks trashman.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Try asking in the Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer discussion.

    Or search there for "mud flaps" for posts like this one:

    heintz1 "Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer" Jan 4, 2003 5:15pm

    Steve, Host
  • nativetex31257nativetex31257 Member Posts: 1
    I had a bra and used it for about 6 months. I finally left if off for good. I got very tired of having to take it off and put it back on every weekend when I washed my car. It was a big pain to take it off, then back on.
  • tinkmeistertinkmeister Member Posts: 2
    Just ordered an aftermarket bra for my 2003 Camry LE. (I believe it's a "Wolf"?) Anyone know if this is a good brand? About half the price of Toyota's ... also, anybody know how easy it is to put on/take off, as from reading the discussions, it seems I'd better know how to do this ... a LOT ...
  • johnboy10johnboy10 Member Posts: 1
  • bottgersbottgers Member Posts: 2,030
    I have a bra on my wife's Intrepid. I can say it has caused some paint damage, but then again I don't take it off all the time either. I suppose if you don't mind taking them off all the time and fiddling with them, and you don't mind the looks, bras are OK. If you're like me, I hate taking them off and messing with them, and I'm not crazy about the looks. There was a company at one time that made bras in colors to match your paint, but the last time I checked, they only had them available for for certain sports cars. Personally, I like the idea of using the clear film; it's almost invisable, and once you install it, you never have to remove it. I was also told it's polishable.
  • bottgersbottgers Member Posts: 2,030
    Holy cow! I finally found a place in town that installs the clear 3M film and they want between $300-$400 to do the whole front end on our MPV. I had no idea this stuff was so expensive to have installed. I guess it's probably worth it considering a bra would probably cost between $100-$200, the film looks better than a bra, and I've had bad experiences with bras wearing off paint. I've also had problems with the bra straps streching out and becoming a problem to keep in place.
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