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Bug guards, protective bras & film



  • After seeing what 35K miles/year of highway driving did to my hood, I decided to protect the hood on my new vehicle that I purchased the beginning of this year. I'm not a fan of 'bras' but wanted the protection they provided, but I also didn't want to bother with the upkeep - especially in crappy winter weather. I really wanted the clear plastic film type mentioned here, but was too cheap to have it installed and too scared to do it myself. I did buy the x-pel protectors for my headlamps and foglights - they were fairly easy to install. But what I did get for my hood was a "Magnet Bra" from
    It 'sticks' to my hood with the magnetic attraction of the bra. The material is similar to the flexible refrigerator magnets that a lot of businesses use to advertise their products. Unlike the conventional bra, dirt won't get between it and your hood, and it stays 'stuck' on the highway - no flapping. The front edge is secured by a flexible beading that 'clamps' the bra to the hood. They aren't made for every vehicle, and some new vehicles have hoods made of aluminum or alloy that they won't stick to. But the price is very reasonable - about $45 plus shipping. And I believe they are available in black and white. I did 'wax' my hood prior to installation. After 8 months, it and my hood still look great!
  • I have a 2003 Nissan Murano and began exploring the clear plastic coatings from XPEL and Invinca Shield to protect the front of my car. I've received complete price quotes from installers of both products and the price difference is significant. XPEL wants $1,000 and Invinca Shield wants $483 for the kit and installation. Can anyone tell me what justifies the cost difference? Is one dramatically better than the other?
  • Also check stonegard. If possible go to the installer and check the work on other vehicles. Some are different thickness, some include all the lights (head/fog/parking and mirrors) Some have more pieces which is potential edges corners that might peel up. Most of the kits I looked at where close to the same price when all pieces are packaged together. I plan to get a Stonegard for my Sequoia. The local shop does a great job, has all three to choose from. The stonegard had a 1 piece grill, 1 piece bumper (the x-pel was 2 or three for each) included door cups (for finger nail scratches etc) all lights, mirrors etc.

    I also saw them removing an invinca shield on an X-5 that a competitor installed. it had many gaps, wasn't flat in many spots had bubbles etc. all from poor workmanship not product.
  • Thanks Sequoiasoon for the information on Stonegard. Is there a webs site for Stonegard where I can look up information?
  • try
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Anyone install film recently? What's the price running these days?

    Steve, Host
  • In H-Town the dealership was asking for $595 plus tax for a 330i ZHP. I declined.
  • eman6628eman6628 Posts: 41
    I gotten my car about 2 weeks ago with the 3M clear plastic film protector on the front of the car, my car's color is silver, when the car heats up under normal driving condition, part of the plastic film have a brownish dust like color to it, but would go back to clear when the car cools down. Is this normal?
  • jeff1jeff1 Posts: 11
    It's designed to remove the bolb of the touch up paint? Anyone used it?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I haven't tried it but have heard good things about it. Try an Advanced Search for posts like this:

    bretfraz "Paint and Body Maintenance & Repair" Dec 15, 2003 6:15am

    Steve, Host
  • vckvck Posts: 7
    I just bought a new Jaguar X-type and am considering getting one of these invisible products for my car. I have a few reservations, however, about:
    1) does the paint fade differentially in the portion that's covered vs uncovered?
    2) how long do they really last before bubbling, etc (I live in the NE so the weather conditions are not exactly friendly)
    3) do they damage the paint beneath them if they bubbly, fail etc and then what do I do??

    Thanks for any insight.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Lots of questions - need more personal experiences. Anyone want to share?


    Steve, Host
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    Any comments in regards favoring one over the other? It appears they are both made of 3M material. Invinca seems to cover more but has more seams.


  • I just placed and order with my local BMW Dealer in Concord CA for a 2005 BMW 330Ci Convertible. The after market BMW dealer installed car alarm does not include a motion detector because of a mounting issue with 2005 330ci Convertibles. Can anyone suggest a good after market car alarm for this type of vehicle that would include a motion detector or at least something that would include intrusion detection of the vehicle via the convertible top that would not void the manufactures warranty?
  • I would never again put a car bra on any of my vehicles. For one you have to take it off after it gets wet or the pigmentation on your hood will be messed up! The darker the color the worse it is! We learned our lesson years ago on our 1987 Mustang GT. It is a medium soon as we took off the car bra it had a whitish pigmentation on the hood. My 2004 Nissan Maxima has 3M protective film on it. The hood, the fender's, the headlights, turn lights, the mirror's and the tailights have it. It may of been a pain to put on but it was worth it! It will not kill my paint or fade it!
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    You might be interested in this discussion:

    Security systems (Lojack, alarms, engine immobilizer, etc.)

    tidester, host
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    Does anyone know if the window deflectors for the Ford escape will also fit the Mercury Mariner????
  • jamiljamil Posts: 2
    another question:
    anyone know the name of a clear spray product that coats your license plate so that traffic cameras cannot read it?
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    I'm not aware of a spray but you can purchase clear plastic covers that do the same thing.
    Look in the back of an auto magazine like Car & Driver and you'll find one.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    anyone know the name of a clear spray product that coats your license plate so that traffic cameras cannot read it?

    Is that legal?

    tidester, host
  • I just got 3M installed on my 2005 Carbon Metallic Yukon. I was scared but I went to StarShiled and looked at some samples and was impressed on the white color but weren't sure how mine would turn out. It turn good, they a written 5 years warranties on the product and installation. 3M has 7 years warranty on the film. Expect a 3 hours wait. They have A, B, and C kit. I got the C and extra for under S400.00. The guy I dealt with was Ryan. You are suppose to not pressure your car and wait 24 hours before washing. You can was and wax as normal after the 24 hours. I will give 48 to be sure. It is a whole lot better then the plastic stuff that people put on their truck. Black plastic bra are cover up the beauty of the car. It might sound like I am advertising for them but I have done 2 weeks price searching. One place quote me 700.00 another 450 with the just the hood, bumper, fender and mirror. I have hood, bumper, fender, door jam, top cabin, mirror, and the back and front tire because I don't have a mutt flap, all for 400. Just do a search for StarShieldArmor. You will be very happy with the price. They don't open on Weekend so I have to take vacation to do this. I hope this help, if you have question, I will try to email. :)
  • I would like to have the 3M clear coating installed on my BMW but the dealer is charging $695.00. Does anyone know of a place in the East Bay area near Walnut Creek,CA that will install it for less?
  • marcogonmarcogon Posts: 2
    There is a spray called " photo blocker" .
    There is also a website.
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    This may be the wrong question - but how does the cost of having paint chipping on the nose of your car professionally retouched every year or so compare to the cost of a bra or a coating?

    I think that (quite often) the bra's and coatings are uglier than the problems they're supposed to prevent. You can't see paint chips from 10 feet away, but you're sure going to see that bra.

    Sort of like when Grandma put plastic covers on the leather sofa she got.
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    You'd be surprised at how invisible the 3M clear plastic coating is.

    I doubt you could see it from 10 feet away. 2-3 feet, yes; 10 feet, you have pretty darn good eyesight. And even at 2-3 feet, I'd doubt you would notice it unless you were looking for it.

    The clear plastic coatings are the way to go in my opinion. Once you have to touch up or repaint a hood, your value will decrease much more than the cost of the coating.
  • what kind of BMW? let me know
  • dreamstardreamstar Posts: 8
    2005 330Cic Convertable... Can you help me?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    3M has a "Where to Buy" tool at

    Find a Professional Film Installer

    Steve, Host
  • sophieksophiek Posts: 1
    I am thinking about getting a bra to protect the front of my Matrix from all the bugs and small rocks from the freeway. Does any one have any advise on where to get one and IF I should get one? I also read that it can actually damage the paint longterm, any recommendation?
  • ilight4uilight4u Posts: 7
    I had one on my 2001 Chev Tahoe for the last 4 years - it was GREAT. However, don't let dead bugs sit on bake - they slightly ate into the film when left for a month one summer.
This discussion has been closed.