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HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO WRAP A CAR?
Vehicle vinyl wraps typically cost between $1800 to $3500 in the Cincinnati locale. Determining factors include type/brand of material, size of the vehicle, how much vehicle disassembly is required & if design services are needed (mostly for commercial wraps or if mockups are requested).
HOW LONG DOES A VINYL WRAP LAST?
On average, a vehicle vinyl wrap will last between 3 to 7 years. Determining factors include type/brand of material, care techniques of the wrap after installation, how much UV light the wrap will be exposed to throughout the year (Wraps will start fading sooner in Florida than in Maine) & the condition of the paint on the vehicle prior to installation.
CAN I GO THROUGH THE CAR WASH WITH VINYL?
Going through a car wash with a vinyl wrapped vehicle is highly discouraged & may void warranties, however there are some exceptions. We recommend choosing touchless car washes without brushes to keep any graphic edges from lifting and laminate from being scoured from brushes being heavily contaminated with dirt particles. If using a self-serve wash, we recommend holding the wand farther away from the surface of the graphic and from going against any graphic edges to keep from lifting.
WHAT DO I CLEAN VINYL WITH?
We strongly recommend using a baby shampoo & water mixture to soak the car in & a soft microfiber towel (at least 350 GSM recommended). This can be followed up by most quick detailer sprays & non-abrasive carnuba wax for an added layer of protection against UV.
CAN I WETSAND A WRAP TO GET SCRATCHES OUT?
NOOOOOOO! Sorry, we see this quite often. Vinyl wrap material is just a thin layer of plastic. Gloss finishes have such a minute layer of laminate, any kind of wet-sanding even with 2000 grit can potentially completely ruin the material. Satin & matte finishes if sanded at all will ruin. Also any kind of abrasive polishes & rubbing compounds are heavily frowned upon as the abrasiveness of these products will wear the protective layer of vinyl graphics down & you will not get the life you should out of your investment. Micro-abrasions (light swirl marks) caused naturally from cleaning with a semi-contaminated microfiber towel have the potential to what we call "flash out" (repair) with heat or while sitting in the hot sun.
WILL VINYL DAMAGE MY PAINT?
Not at all! However, if the vinyl wrap is installed for longer than recommended by the manufacturer, paint discoloration (yellowing from glue) can occur & heavy paint correction services may be necessary from a body shop. Another exclusion of this is paint that is older than 10 years at the time of initial installation may have a weaker bond to the car's surface and in extremely rare cases could cause paint to peel.
WILL A VINYL WRAP PROTECT MY CAR FROM ROCK CHIPS?
Yes! Vinyl wraps will provide an extra layer of protection against road contamination such as rocks but is limited & not as protective as PPF, Paint Protection Film (Clear Bra). PPF is much thicker.
CAN PAINT PROTECTION FILM, PPF (CLEAR BRA) BE INSTALLED OVER VINYL?
This is a toss-up. Some body shops will install paint protection film over a vinyl wrap. UNDERCOVER does not offer this as an option due to the fact that the stress of the installed PPF on top of the vinyl (because it has to be stretched more) may be greater than the stress of the vinyl underneath and will cause a weak bond between the vinyl wrap & the paint on the car, eventually causing lifting issues & material failure of both layers. An alternative to installing PPF film over vinyl would be to find a spray PPF (it does exist) for equivalent protection, or installing ceramic coating for less but good protection.
WILL A DROP OF GASOLINE WHEN FILLING UP DAMAGE VINYL?
Short answer is No. We recommend wiping any kind of acidic contamination off of vinyl surfaces as soon as possible though. Vinyl wraps are a thin layer of plastic that is acid resistant but not acid proof. Eventually enough acidic exposure over an extended period of time can cause plastic content in vinyl wrap material to break down and fade faster. Avoiding such acidic exposure will only prolong your investment.
WILL BIRD POOP DAMAGE VINYL?
Absolutely! Vinyl wraps are a thin layer of plastic that is acid resistant but not acid proof. Be sure and wipe any kind of acidic contamination off as soon as possible to avoid stains in your vinyl. Normally using a non-ammonia glass cleaner without dye will provide the best results for cleaning. Let the glass cleaner sit on top of the contaminated area such as bird droppings if already dried, then wipe clean after soaked. A quick swipe of rubbing alcohol on a rag after the glass cleaner will insure the complete removal of the acidic contamination. Follow up with a non-abrasive quick detailer or carnuba wax to add an extra layer of protection.
ARE MATTE VINYL WRAPS HARD TO CLEAN?
Matte vinyl wrap material is actually very easy to clean! This is based off of personal experience. We thought it would be the complete opposite until we wrapped our own car in matte Cheetah Wrap brand. An exception to this might include a lighter color such as grays and whites showing dirt & stains easier but not if cared for correctly. Especially if the wrap is soaked first with a foam cannon, bugs & tar will fly right off of the surface when rinsed! If you want to get scientific, a matte sheen has a low surface-energy, which means lower friction & contamination won't like to stick to it.
IS PAINT DEAD?
Paint is very much alive! Popular culture has created a niche in marketing, basically advertising vinyl wraps as being a replacement for paint. Vinyl Wraps are NOT a paint replacement. A simple download of a vinyl spec sheet from Avery Dennison specifically notes they will only cover defects in their material if "paint" on a customer's vehicle is 3 years old or newer at the time of installation. If your car had no paint to begin with, Avery would not offer this warranty because they know their vinyl film will adhere to a painted surface better than any non-painted surface. Paint is also an excellent choice for customers who want a basic, longer lasting, cheap color change. Vinyl wraps showcase glam at a lower price; such as color shifting, sheen (matte & satin), textures, metallics & pearls. These custom effects if painted would put quite a dent in your pocket!
DOES THE SUN DAMAGE VINYL?
Eventually the UV rays will break down the plastic content in the vinyl lamination. You can however, prolong your investment by keeping your installed wrap in a garage, parked in shade & wash frequently with a quick detailer and/or a non-abrasive carnuba wax. Avoid using off-brand ceramic coatings as this can cause unwanted discoloration of vinyl material (darkening) & stubborn water stains.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE VINYL WRAP GETS DAMAGED IN A WRECK?
This is the gray area with insurance. We recommend telling your insurance company you have a new wrap installed on your vehicle so they can possibly include it in your coverage in case you are in an accident. The insurance company most likely won't cover just the material if it gets damaged (let's say if someone opens their door and scuffs your wrap in a parking lot). However, they may cover the cost of having the newly repaired body panels affected re-wrapped.
WILL MY CAR INSURANCE COVER ANY DAMAGE ON A VINYL WRAP?
Most likely no. We strongly recommend telling your insurance company you had a vinyl wrap installed before any kind of damages may happen. We've seen damage to vinyl be covered by insurance only if the body panel underneath has been damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced but not if only the material gets damaged or scratched. Most of the time car insurance companies will require you to get quotes from both a body repair shop and a vinyl wrap shop to get you back on the road looking like new!
WILL I NEED TO TELL THE BMV I CHANGED THE COLOR OF MY CAR?
Yes! Wait, why do you want to know? Even if you don't plan on committing any crimes, the DMV will still like to know what the color of your car is. The BMV will have you fill out a new registration for your car that includes the new color.