Is a Clear Bra "smooth as glass" after installed?
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Thread: Is a Clear Bra "smooth as glass" after installed?

  1. #1

    Default Is a Clear Bra "smooth as glass" after installed?

    Hello all,

    I've tried to find an answer to this question both here in the forum and online but haven't had much success. I will be taking delivery of a 2103 Blue Topaz Volt this afternoon! Can't wait!

    In anticipation of this I have made an appointment (next week) to have a clear bra installed on the car. Everyone who has ever had one seems to swear by them for keeping the finish of your car looking showroom new.

    I know that a clear bra is "clear" (if you pay for a good quality one) and that at the edges of the clear bra installation you can see a hairline look at the edge of the film. Understood.

    Never having actually seen a clear bra installed before I do still have some hesitation as I don't want to be sorry later. My question is this. Does the surface of an installed clear bra look "smooth as glass" like the actual paint finish on your car? Or does it bring with it a bit of waviness or tiny bumps and ripples?

    I am picturing the clear protective film that I often put on the face of a cell phone or other touch-screen devices and those often have a surface that is less than smoooooth.

    The benefit of your experience is appreciated!
    6/7/12 Ordered 2013 Blue Topaz
    7/23/12 Build week!
    8/1/12 Got a VIN#! D4285!
    8/7/12 My Volt's on a train...

    8/16/12 Delivery!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Phoenix, AZ


    I have some installed on my new 2003 harley trike conversions and it is smooth as glass. It is the new premium 3M film, and the guy told me the if you see anything on it like nicks and such, boiling hot water will smooth it back out. From a couple feet away it is all but invisible.
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  3. #3


    Mine is very smoth. Mine goes about 1/4 of the hood. When you look you can see the edge. Unless you look for it or right were it ends, you never notice it.
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  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Grapevine, TX


    I have to admit...I'm not a fan of clear bras. They are always immediately evident to me when I am looking at a car and admiring it (note: usually nicer cars are the ones that get them and as a "car guy" I am always staring at them). I was at the local new car show here in Dallas in the spring staring at some high end car and thinking this paint is unimpressive...and then a second later spotted the clear bra. There is simply no substitute, IMO, for bare paint. Now, having said all that...does a clear bra look better than a rock chipped, road rash covered bumper or hood? If you live in an area more prone to that then I might say go for it...or I might say, spring for a bumper re-paint at the three year mark (hood re-paint I would not do). Your call.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Raleigh, NC VIN:#C-8909


    I had the 3M protection film on my last car (installed in 2002). Due to my Volt being a lease, I didn't get it this time. It doesn't do miracles, I had some rocks that went through the flim and it yellowed a little bit around the edges. I'm sure it's even better now than when I had it done back then.
    2012 Blue Topaz Volt - VIN:#C-8909 - Leather Seats Black with Dark Trim, Rear Camera 9/15/11 Ordered, 11/18/11 Arrived Volt Stats

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011


    I have the standard (?) 3M Scotch Guard. No it is not the same as no film. But only cab would notice it No one else has and I'm very happy to have that instead of rock and bug chips/rust spots.

    Now, if I could prevent the same from happening to my windshield...
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  8. #7


    There are several types of films available. One is smooth. One has a bit of a texture. The one with the texture is supposed to reduce maintenance. I have the clear. I have had it on the last 2 cars after not being thrilled with the sand blasted look of my last BMW. The line is noticable up close, but I couldnt care less. Once you compare a 3 year old Volt that does some good highway driving WITHOUT a bra to a car of similar mileage and age WITH the bra, you will not longer wonder if its a good idea.

    The clear bra can be removed, and a new bra can be applied when the old one dries/yellows. I am told the new material is much less prone to this. But only time will tell.
    2012 Chevy Volt
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  9. #8


    Thanks for the thoughts everyone.

    I have an appointment for install next week. The installer is going to cover the entire hood so as to avoid any lines on the hood at least. The front bumper, 15" at front of fenders, both mirrors and some protection at the rear hatch to protect from cargo going in and out are all going to be covered as well.

    The product I am looking at is the Xpel "Ultimate" which has a deep (10yr) warranty and good reviews from all I can see. It also has a hefty price for admission, but...

    I found a spot online ( where a user had his entire Porsche wrapped in this product and also describes waxing/sealing the film as well. From his photos it looks amazing, but that is just looking at web quality photos online. Seems promising though.
    6/7/12 Ordered 2013 Blue Topaz
    7/23/12 Build week!
    8/1/12 Got a VIN#! D4285!
    8/7/12 My Volt's on a train...

    8/16/12 Delivery!!!

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Milwaukee, WI


    Smoother. Smooth as a newborn baby's bottom!!!!
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  12. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Orlando, FL


    I'm also interested the clear bra. My last car had major paint damage frm lovebugs and debris and I'd like to avoid that on this one. I'm getting my windows tinted next week so maybe I'll ask them about it.

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