Car wrap Q&A
Here are some questions we see a lot, and our best responses to them.
How much does it usually cost to wrap your car
If you're doing something higher-end like a chrome wrap, color flip, or carbon fiber wrap
, you'll spend a lot more than if it's a regular vinyl color change wrap. Depending on your type of vehicle, most "standard" Vehicle vinyl wrap projects will be from the high $2000s to the mid $3000s. Be cautions of cheaper bids, as they're cheaper for a reason.
Many lower-end vinyl vehicle wrap shops compromise on installation process, material quality, surface prep, or all of the above. You won't notice the difference until 6 months down the road when your car wrap starts to delaminate from your vehicle paint. If you want nothing but the best wrap, contact Ceramic Wizards Paint Protection for a free estimate! We stand behind our work 100% of the time!
How long does a wrap last on your car
A good Vehicle vinyl wrap should last several years at least, though there's a wide variance of lifespans for the exact same wrap depending on weather exposure, upkeep, and other factors. Furthermore, you can greatly extend the life of your vehicle wrap by protecting it with Ceramic coating, the same as you'd protect your vehicle paint!
Are car wraps durable?
Vehicle vinyl wraps are not immune to damage, but a high-quality brand such as Avery Dennison or 3M can last a long time if they are properly installed, and if they are properly cared for while on the Vehicle. Gently wash the Vehicle vinyl wrap regularly and, if possible keep it out of the sun--especially for extended exposure.
Quality of the Vehicle vinyl wrap material matters. A lot. Cheap or off-brand vinyl may look great when first installed, but may likely fade or bubble after a few months. Say you spent $1,700 on a wrap with some low-quality brand and saved $900 by doing so. You thought you saved $900, but you actually flushed $1,700 away. Plus, who knows what adhesive that off-brand manufacturer used on the Vehicle vinyl wrap?
It’s possible that the failed vinyl may not come cleanly off the car. Maybe it will leave adhesive residue, or take some vehicle paint with it. Basically, poor-quality vinyl can lead to a horror show. Do yourself a favor and use Vehicle vinyl wrap from proven brands. Again, 3M and Avery Dennison are the top two, but there are others who are good as well.
Quality of the installation matters as well. Some Vehicle graphics companies may cut corners on preparation, for example, whereas a good shop will spend adequate time cleaning the Paint from even hidden contaminants that may adversely affect adhesion.
Finally, once the Vehicle vinyl wrap is installed, how the Vehicle owner cares for it, and how the Vehicle is stored also matters. Is it left in the sun? Is it washed frequently with a gentle soap? Similarly to Paint, proper care and storage will extend the life of the vinyl vehicle wrap.
If you want to really go the extra mile, Ceramic Wizards Paint Protection recommends you have your Vehicle vinyl wrap Ceramic coated. Nano ceramic coating
is an amazing technology that works wonders for wrap longevity and appearance.
Is wrapping your car worth it
Asking if a Vehicle vinyl wrap is “worth it” is like asking if full coverage insurance is worth it. Depends on the value of the Vehicle. A good Vehicle vinyl wrap is not cheap, but if the cost is marginal to the value of the car, then of course the value is there and is “worth it.” Especially if your Paint is in good condition. A car wrap will preserve your Vehicle finish and thus preserve its resale value.
If the cost of the Vehicle vinyl wrap equals the value of the car, it may not make financial sense to wrap it, but you still may want to for other reasons. See, there are more ways for something to be “worth it” than monetary logic, which is why we people take vacations. For example, maybe you really want that cool camo wrap and can afford it—so why not?
Now, if you're talking about a company car wrap (Wrap advertising
or Vehicle Graphics), the return-on-investment is almost always positive. Whether you just need your business logo and phone number on your truck door in a custom car Decal
, or you want to wrap your entire vehicle in branded fleet graphics
, you'll get tremendous advertising value from custom design professional vehicle graphics
Can a wrapped car go through a carwash?
Ceramic Wizards Paint Protection recommends avoiding automatic car washes. If you want to be absolutely certain you're in the clear with whatever washing you're doing, following Manufacturer recommendations is the surest bet. For example, Avery Dennison says the following about their Vehicle vinyl wrap with regard to Automatic car washes:
A brushless automatic car wash with just spray is acceptable. The automated brush wash is not recommended as the brushes may scratch the vinyl surface, catch and lift the edges of the vinyl wrap, reduce the gloss finish and/or create a failure point.”
So there you have it, from the horse’s mouth. Use automatic car washes with care, and make sure they don’t have brushes.
Can wrapping a car damage it?
An inexperienced or amateur installer could potentially damage Vehicle Paint while installing a Vehicle vinyl wrap, but a trained and certified car wrap professional is always careful to avoid amateur mistakes such as cutting vinyl on the car.
Properly done, a Vehicle vinyl wrap will never damage the car, but will do the opposite: extend its lifespan by protecting the Paint finish. If you're considering evaluating car wrapping vendors, make sure you choose one with the portfolio and reputation you can trust.
Ceramic Wizards Paint Protection is one of the top West Michigan vehicle wrap companies, and we place quality foremost. Whatever your type of vehicle, we will make sure to get it perfect!
Can you ceramic coat a wrap?
Yes, you can Ceramic coat a color change car wrap or Vehicle Graphics. In fact, here at Ceramic Wizards Paint Protection, we always recommend it. Ceramic coating will protect and preserve the vinyl, and will make washing and care so much easier. The durable Ceramic will keep bird droppings and other corrosives off of the Vehicle vinyl wrap--just as it does for Vehicle Paint.
Can you wrap a car any color?
Manufacturers of Vehicle vinyl wrap products each release their own color palettes. When considering if you can wrap a car literally ANY color, the answer is no, and almost. No, because you’re constrained by the color selection that the vinyl wrap manufacturers have released. Almost, because they have released a LOT of colors. In most cases, between 3M and Avery Dennison, you’re almost certain to find something to fit the bill.
Can you wap a car with paint chips?
Yes, you can wrap a car with Paint chips, but the divots will probably show through the vinyl. Vehicle vinyl wrap does not hide any underlying flaws. Depending on the size and depth of the paint chip, it may show right through the vinyl as an indentation.
You're always better off getting a vinyl wrap (or clear bra) before your paint gets chipped. Barring that, you could consider having a small amount of paint or body work done. Again, it really depends on the severity of the chipping. Getting the opinion of a professional wrap installer BEFORE you decide on a wrap is always a good idea.
If you're anywhere in or around Grand Rapids, feel free to show Ceramic Wizards Paint Protection and we'll tell it to you straight!
Does car wrap fade?
Some car wraps fade quite badly over time, but others don't. The difference between those that fade and those that don't? It's probably down to the following two factors:
1. The quality of the Vehicle vinyl wrap itself. Top-tier vinyl manufacturers such as Avery Dennison and The 3M Ceramic Wizards Paint Protection have invested considerable into their materials science and their wraps hold up well. Other brands, not so much.
2. The amount of sun exposure. The quality of the vinyl matters, for sure, but let’s face it: the sun is harsh on surfaces, and that includes even the most quality Vehicle vinyl wrap. A top-quality wrap kept out of the sun will far outlast a top-quality wrap on a Vehicle exposed to lots of solar radiation.
Smart owners of a wrapped vehicle invest in Ceramic coating, which protects and extends the life and luster of the vinyl.
Can you wrap a car white?
Absolutely, you can wrap a car white. Not just white, but any number of shades of white. Or sheens: you can wrap your Vehicle satin white, pearlescent white, gloss white, off-white, and so many other variations on white.
If you're considering a white Vehicle vinyl wrap, your biggest challenge may be deciding which white is right for you. If you're in or around Grand Rapids, MI, feel free to call Ceramic Wizards Paint Protection at (616) 207 4925 for a consultation on the types of white available from top manufacturers of Vehicle vinyl wrap!
Can you wrap a Tesla?
Yes, of course you can wrap a Tesla. Many Tesla owners take such pride in their magnificent whips that they happily invest into personalizing them.
After all, whether you drive a Model X, Model S, or any Tesla model, driving a Tesla is already something of a statement; but driving a Tesla in a totally different colorway than any other Tesla on the roads? That’s taking prestige to a whole different level. If you’re a West Michigan Tesla owner, let Ceramic Wizards Paint Protection handle your Tesla vinyl wrap
Can you wrap carbon fiber?
Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer, commonly called carbon fiber or abbreviated CFRP, should not be wrapped over. This is not to say that it absolutely cannot be, but given that there are so many weaves of carbon fiber, and so many different types of Vehicle vinyl wrap from so many different manufacturers, the safest bet is to not do it.
Plus, why in the world would you want to? Carbon fiber is expensive and trendy, and if you’re lucky enough to have it on your Vehicle you should let it show! Here at Ceramic Wizards Paint Protection, we're usually putting carbon fiber wrap onto a car to cover up other surfaces, not covering up the Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer on the Vehicle!
Do Car Wraps come off easily?
The ease with which a wrap comes off depends on the following factors:
• The quality of the wrap when it was originally applied. Vehicle vinyl wrap from high-quality manufacturers like 3M and Avery Dennison is designed to come off easily, leaving your paint intact. Low-quality brands may use cheap adhesives that leave an absolute mess, or worse, take off some of your Paint.
• The duration of time the wrap has been on the Vehicle. Newer wraps will come off easier, all other things being equal.
• The amount of sun exposure the wrap had, and also the temperatures. Heat and sun baking a wrap year after year can make a nightmare of wrap removal, especially if the wrap was poor quality to begin with (see above).
So, ideally, you’ve used a quality Vehicle vinyl wrap from a respected manufacturer, have kept your vehicle out of extended sun exposure, and are opting for removing your wrap before its expiration date. Bravo. Now, if you want Ceramic Wizards Paint Protection to help you with your removal, contact us
with the details and we’ll be happy to help!
Does a vehicle wrap ruin the paint?
No, a vehicle wrap does not ruin the paint, unless it is a very poor quality product. Stick with top-tier brands of Vehicle vinyl wrap and you'll be fine. Not only does a Vehicle vinyl wrap NOT ruin the paint, it actually preserves it by shielding it from small road gravel (that would otherwise cause rock chips), bird droppings, and other corrosive influences.
Does Chrome wrap scratch?
Does chrome Vehicle vinyl wrap scratch? Sure, if you scratch hard enough! Don't scratch it.
How do I protect my vinyl wrap?
You can extend the life of your Vehicle vinyl wrap by keeping your Vehicle out of the sun as much as possible and also by keeping the wrap clean with regular washing. If you want to really protect it, opt for Ceramic coating, Paint protection film, or both.
Ceramic coating contains actual Ceramic nanoparticles that bond in an ultrahard finish to shield your Vehicle vinyl wrap. Paint protection film, or clear bra as it is often called, is a tough, transparent Polyurethane that can be applied over your Vehicle vinyl wrap on the front end (Bumper, Hood, Fenders, etc) to absorb road gravel.
Does carbon fiber wrap look real?
There are many types of vehicle vinyl wrap that look like Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer, commonly known as carbon fiber. Some of these have the actual carbon fiber texture, while others are completely smooth and only look like carbon fiber from a slight distance.
Can you wash a wrapped car
Can you wash a car that has Vehicle graphics or a Vehicle vinyl wrap? The short answer is yes, you can wash a wrapped car. The longer answer is you may want to be careful in doing so. 3M, on of the most respected Vehicle vinyl wrap manufacturers, recommends using “a wet, non-abrasive detergent such as 3M™ Car Wash Soap 39000 or Meguiar’s NXT Generation® Car Wash or Deep Crystal® Car Wash and a soft, clean cloth or sponge.”
They then instruct that one “rinse thoroughly with clean water. To reduce water spotting, immediately use a silicone squeegee to remove water and finish with a clean microfiber cloth.” Regarding automated car washes, 3M says that “vinyl wraps may be run through car washes. Touch less car washes are the best for graphic care. Use of brush car washes (depending upon the frequency and quality of brush) may cause dulling/scratching/lifting edge of the graphics.” So there you have it, right from the manufacturer.
Other manufacturers, such as Avery Dennison, have similar recommendations. Here is an excerpt from Avery Dennison’s instructions for the washing and care of a Vehicle vinyl wrap:
“PVC films behave similar to automotive paint if left in constant contact with dirt, grime and contaminants, it will eventually degrade, especially if left un-clean, exposed to UV light and/or heat. It is recommended that vehicle graphics should be cleaned on a regular basis or whenever it appears dirty. Ideally, a vehicle wrap should be cleaned every 2 weeks. This ensures that optimal visual appearance is maintained for the life of the wrap. Spot cleaning of surface contaminants like bugs, bird droppings, tree sap and tar is required immediately after it appears, as it can stain and damage the PVC film. This is also true of gasoline and other fuels.
Spot cleaning with Avery Dennison Cleaners …or Isopropyl Alcohol and a clean non-abrasive rag. It is crucial to remember that chemicals can damage a wrap or even paint. Always test these solvents in an inconspicuous area prior to cleaning the wrap. Always rinse the surface with clean water following the use of any cleaning agent. Chemicals should be free from abrasive components. pH balance of the chemicals should be between 5 and 9. Do not use any aromatic solvents such as acetone, M.E.K., toluene, paint thinner or lacquer Thinner.
A waterless wash or spray wax can also be used as long as the vehicle isn’t too dirty. These products can help maintain the gloss level and performance of the film. If the vehicle is not overly dirty, this is the preferred method. Avery Dennison’s Wrap Care Cleaner, Power Cleaner and Sealant are recommended for maintaining vinyl wraps. When hand washing, the first step is to pre-rinse the vehicle with clean water, thus avoiding scratching the surface. Gently wash with a mild soapy water solution and a sponge, start at the top of the vehicle and work down.
Avoid abrading the film surface with unnecessary scrubbing. Rinse the wrap thoroughly with clean water when finished. Allow the wrap to dry naturally or to aviod water spotting immediately use a silicone squeegee to remove water and then finish drying with a Chamois, micro-fiber towel or soft non-abrasive towel. Be careful to not lift the film edges. Detergent should be free from abrasive components, strong solvents and alcohols. Detergents should have a pH balance between 5 and 9. Always test the detergent in an inconspicuous spot on the vehicle wrap before using.”
Basically, wash your Vehicle wrap, use automated car washes with caution, follow manufacturer recommendations, and otherwise don’t stress too much about it.