Why I am deciding AGAINST the ClearBra

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by lutece7, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. lutece7

    lutece7 New Member

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    I just wanted to share what I have found out about ClearBras. My Prius, only has 1000 miles on it, and I very much want to keep it new looking because it is the first car I have ever bought new.

    But the local Expel installer wanted $740 for just the bumper. The local Proform installer wanted $500. The local 3M Invisishield dealer wanted $350. But have been told that it yellows. And I drive a white Prius.

    I was amazed at how expensive it it to protect your car. It can cost well over a $1000 to protect the bumper, hood, fenders and mirrors.

    So, how much would it cost to REPAINT the bumper after a few years, if I accumulate a lot of rock chips??? Well, I went to my local Toyota Body Shop and asked. 2 people in there spent 20 minutes with me mulling this over. It only would cost $450 to resurface and paint the front bumper on a Prius! So, why spend 5 to 7 hundred protecting it? Besides, they said that the bumper section is all plastic. The color is solid through the piece. The bumper is more likely to absorb rock impact or bounce them off with as much damage as metal body parts. They said that they felt like the hood would be more important to protect. But the one part they would definitely apply some Paint Protection Film to is the headlights. They said that you can not replace just the lens, that you have to replace the whole assembly (at $500 each, and that they will become chipped from rocks and foggy from chemicals on the road.

    So based on that information. I say why bother spending 5 or 6 hundred to protect a bumper that costs $450 to repaint?
     
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  2. JRitt

    JRitt Bio-Medical Equip. Tech

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    Good info.
     
  3. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    i heard they Don't yellow.. it's UV protected.. and if you do get scuffs or anything they can be buffed out. your paint keeps it original wax coat.. you didn't include labor into the labor for replacing that bumper.

    you should see how many chips are missing out of my hood... btw.. we are all lucky that most of the panels are aluminium... they don't "rust"... (otherwise clear bra would be a must!)

    the bumpers are not the same color all the way though.. unless you're car is black. (they are painted like the rest of the car)

    headlight protection is a must. i wish i had something covering. i've had to buff mine a good half dozen times to make them clear and shiny again. cover the fogs if you can.. they break really easily. er.. your 2010 doesn't have fogs... if you install them, cover them.
     
  4. DeanFL

    DeanFL 2010 owner - 1st Prius

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    Yes, good input and thanks for sharing. Also - if you would invest in the bra, and have a frontal accident that damaged the bumper and bra. When it's repaired - do you lose your bra? Wait, I'm trying to erase a visual.......OK, done. :eek:

    What I'm saying - if you invest in the bra and it's damaged in an accident, is your investment shot?
     
  5. LRKingII

    LRKingII New Member

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    My cost for Venture shield installed on full bumper / grill and FULL hood was $420
     
  6. Maineiac

    Maineiac Monkey Wrencher

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    Those of us who came of age in the '60s learned early on that bras are overrated.
     
  7. dfran1

    dfran1 New Member

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    On my 2005 Prius that I traded in, the front bumper and front of the hood were like sandblasted (badly), the lights and fogs were not that bad at all (surprising, maybe but none of my headlights from any car was ever bad for me)!!, I had 83,000 miles when I traded it in.

    Now I just paid $600 for one Prius and $800 for the other, for the clear bra's, yes you should be able to get them painted for $600-$800, but with the clear bra at least I do not have to wait for it to be painted, just peel it off and wax (at least that is what I would hope).

    So the decision is totally up to the individual, does he/she want to live with chips (going up to a/some point to get it repainted, most likely you will not get it repainted) or put a clear bra on and maybe peel it off in 5-8 years for a great looking front end with minimal chips!

    Good Luck to all
    Don
     
  8. swich2mac

    swich2mac Go Hard or Go Home!

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    You are against it because it will haze in a couple of years and you will be glad that you didn't go with it in the first place!
     
  9. Bobsprius

    Bobsprius BobPrius

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    Perfect Time for the discussion thread since I have researched some of the Clear Bra's this week.

    I am going to the installer tomorrow 9/11/09, to check on the 3M version. I have talked at length to them about it, and I was told, that the film that is attached is breathable, and they do not yellow. Should I be disappointed they would replace in any event like that.

    They told me that the warranty is good for 5 years. I plan to keep my Prius for close to that, so I should have the full protection. I would assume that within that time, Toyota will have refined the plug in version :).

    I was also told that it's virtually undetectable, however they did state that on a Black paint surface, most public would never see it, but you may, since you know it's there (if you don't do the entire hood for example).

    The rep also stated that it can be removed without any damage to the existing paint finish and it should look like new if removed. There can be some marking that occurs in the Clear Bra itself but it can be polished, and you may not get all the marks out depending on how bad of a scuff or mark is in it.

    My 2003 Prius looked like I drove behind stone trucks all the time, and I don't want a repeat of this again. The cost for the Hood protection is $350.00 installed. I don't think I am going to fork over the extra $$ for the Bumper since it is plastic and I would think that is Normal Wear and Tear on the vehicle.

    So I am leaning heavily to the 3M product and most likely will go forward with that soon after I see the product on a car tomorrow at the shop. I can report back what I saw and how it looked, it's on one of the owners Grey colored vehicles and I happen to have the Winter Grey so I suspect it will be a good test as to how it should look with that color too.;)
     
  10. Bobsprius

    Bobsprius BobPrius

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    Interesting you say it will haze?? In the warranty for the product 3M they indicate it will not or will be replaced.... Hmmmmmmm more information to check on with the Installer when I take my car in tomorrow.... Thanks!
     
  11. swich2mac

    swich2mac Go Hard or Go Home!

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    Right. I would do your research and at least try to speak to someone who has had the 3M clear bra on their car for about 3 years and where the car sits in the sun for a portion of the day. My neighbor purchased an S-Class Mercedes 3 years ago and the dealer applied the bra before he took delivery. It is now starting to develop a nice haze.
     
  12. paprius4030

    paprius4030 My first Prius

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    The bumper is not the problem anyway. That cheap envriofriendly paint on the hood is the problem. After 75k mi. mine is like I drove thru a sandblaster. Next new Prius I get, gets a clear 3m shield on the hood. If it yellows, big deal, I'll just peel it off and at least the hood will look like new.
     
  13. Bobsprius

    Bobsprius BobPrius

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    Thanks for the response. I will have to look at the warranty closely tomorrow before deciding since the Rep told me it was covered for that and should it happen they replace but only up to the 5 year period. I am not doubting you, and DO appreciate sharing any experience's your aware of.
     
  14. rachaelseven

    rachaelseven New Member

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    I worried about that before getting mine (3M) too. And the installer I used readily admitted that they used to yellow badly, even as recently as a few years ago. But he insisted that in the last few years they had redesigned/reformulated the films so that they don't yellow anymore. I believe he said that the film itself was coated with the same type of clearcoat that is already on the car and that the UV inhibitors in the clearcoat would keep the film from yellowing. And of course the warranty, blah blah. Could be a load of BS, but he pitched it convincingly and I had them do it. I got the bumper, front 2/3 of the hood, front half of the fenders, headlights, and rear view mirrors done for under $500. Then I flirted with him a bit and got him to make door edge guards and splash shields behind the tires for no extra charge. I know, I'm bad, what can I say :p
     
  15. bps

    bps Active Member

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    Don't worry Rachael...flirting is what makes the world go around. ;)

    Bryan
     
  16. a64pilot

    a64pilot Active Member

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    I believe your insurance has to return your car to it's pre-accident condition. I had a tire come apart on my Dually and insurance replaced the after market stainless steel mud flaps because it was damaged. They replaced both, because they couldn't get an exact match, so I would assume insurance would also pay for a clear Bra or any other accessory you added.
     
  17. bps

    bps Active Member

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    How strange...I posted on this earlier, but it was deleted. At any rate, here it is again:

    I used to own a Saturn Vue that had a clear bra. After a deer darted out in front of me and did $5,000 worth of damage, the auto collision shop installed a new 3M clear bra after the repairs were done. My auto insurance policy returns the vehicle to it's original state before the collision.

    And on a separate note, the clear bra never yellowed of hazed over in the 4 years after that.

    Bryan
     
  18. lutece7

    lutece7 New Member

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    great feedback everyone. RachaelSeven, I would flirt too, if I thought it would do any good. Are you successful because of your rap? or because you are a hottie? Or both?
     
  19. Bill60546

    Bill60546 Member

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    I own an 04 Prius (BC9) with all the goodies. I had the body side molding applied, first in the good old USA, and 3M protective film on the hood, bumper and alittle on the fenders in May 04 and could not be happier. Pics are in the PC pic folder (somewhere).
    The film is a lifesaver, has no adhesion problems and has not yellowed in the slightest. My car is silver so most people dont even know its there.
    Also, with regard to the bumper, I've had both front and rear replaced due to major parking lot scuffs. Each time I saw the new bumpers being prepped and they were gray, not silver. So the comment about the bumpers being color specific and uniform I would, respectfully, question.
    So long story short, if you plan on keeping your car for an extended period, the film is well worth it especially since in most metroplex areas you can get competitive, ie, non-Toyota dealer, pricing.
     
  20. rachaelseven

    rachaelseven New Member

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    Well, I'd like to think I was a hottie, but truth is I'm pushing 40 and things ain't what they used to be. But I'm still tall, blonde, and muscular, so I guess that's something. I think the real secret to my sometime success though is that I'm a woman that knows cars and other stereotypically 'guy stuff'... kinda confuses them when I know more than they do about cars and once they're disarmed, all it takes is a smile :)
     
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