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:crying: I'm so bummed and I need advice on paint protection. I don't know anything about cars but it seems like there's two ways to go...I can get a film wrap or I can go with some sort of liquid/wax barrier. I'm not confident I could do anything myself so I'll probably have to find a service place to do whatever it is I choose.

The dealership offers some type of exterior/interior protection package. I believe it's some type of coating (it is not a film). It runs about $900 but I'm not sure how helpful that will be against rock chips. I believe at least a few people on the forums have it and was wondering if they've run into any truck/highway/gravel situation and if it held up.

I don't know anything about the film wraps but I've been in contact with a guy from ClearBraWisconsin. They use XPEL film and he said he'd be able to do bumper, partial hood, fenders and mirrors for $700. Why would it only be a partial hood? Wouldn't that look weird? In fact, would it look odd if you just did the front and not the whole car??? Would the parts that were done be extra shiny compared to the rest?

Sorry if these seem like stupid questions. I've never done anything to the exterior of a car other than running it through the car wash occasionally. But I really love this car and want to keep it looking new.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

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If your primary concern is rock chips on the highway, I'd go with the clear film. It provides a physical barrier, and it will be less maintenance than a wax or sealant.

It's called a partial hood because it usually only covers the front portion of the hood, which is the most likely area to be damaged. You'll see a fine line where the film ends, but it's not unattractive. Most of the other panels he listed will be fully covered, and you won't notice the edges of the film because they'll align with the panel gaps. While you could theoretically wrap the entire car (at exorbitant cost), the front is the most likely area to be damaged. You'll see more difference between filmed and non-filmed areas if the car is very dirty, but it should all look pretty smooth if you keep it clean.
 

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The place I'm talking to will do the full hood but it will add around $500 because it will have to be custom. I guess maybe there are pre-cut sheets for some of the models but not for the CX3 because it's so new (or not fancy enough LOL). I'm worried that the 1/2 hood will look weird. Like I'll see a line across the middle of the hood. I'm kinda "A" type and that might drive me nuts.
 

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I cannot stand the half-hood application. While it looks okay new, it looks terrible overtime. Depending on color, you can have a black or yellow'd line across the middle of the hood. That would drive me crazy! Even more so than a few chips in the paint.

I've had Mazdas off and on for years and paint chips have been a very common complaint. It guess it depends on where you're willing to sacrifice on aesthetics.
 

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Rock chips are the worst.

I recently purchased the 3M Paint Protection Film from these guys: 2016 Mazda CX-3 3M Scotchgard Clear Bra Paint Protection Film Deluxe Kit They shipped pretty quickly - it arrived about 3 days after I placed the order.

If you're not comfortable trying to DIY this, you might want to call and ask those places how much they charge on labor only if they'll let you bring in the parts. The kit is about $300. If you search "Mazda CX-3" on their website, they offer some other kits with less protection for less $.

I would give you insight on installation, but I haven't gotten the chance to install this yet. I've read in numerous places that it's a huge pain in the ass to try to install yourself, so do your research and get a few more quotes if you're unsure if doing it yourself. The few quotes that I've gotten range from about $600-$800. I'm hoping I don't mess up the install so badly that I have to throw away the $300 kit. lol
 

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I got one not long after purchase as well. After painting it with the pen from Mazda, and buffing it so its not noticeable, I waxed my car, and haven't got one since. I think some form of wax is ok, but it's temporary, whereas film will last you a good time. So its a question of whats currently affordable for you.
 

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Hmmm, this is an interesting discussion. First of all, I, too, got a paint chip in my first week (purchased my GT on 9/4). It's right on the front edge of the hood. :-(

Second of all, I had my car hand waxed this past weekend and, while the guy was working on it, I asked him what the line across the hood was. It was a very slight horizontal line across the hood several inches back from the nose. He told me that I Mazda had put a paint protection bra on it. I never paid for that and still got a nasty rock chip. Not sure what to make of it...Thoughts?

Also, what's the best way to deal with this chips?
 

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Debbie- the thin line across the hood may have been residual adhesive from the plastic wrap on the car in shipping. Mine had a line that looked similar to a film application, but turned out they just didn't do a good enough job cleaning the car after they stripped the plastic off. Not overly pleased.

I got A LOT of chips and dings pretty quickly. So much so that I bought an XPEL Ultimate partial front treatment. I have a ceramic metallic GT, and the dark plastic/metal underneath that paint really jumps out when it's damaged (especially the black plastic). I paid the most well-regarded boutique shop to put it on, because I inspected an example from the dealer and they had sloppy edges and even a tiny overlap in one part. I know it's not easy, but for $800 I expected better. Plus the dealerships use the Digicut system. It's not the worst, but it's designed to help the dealership track usage and waste, not necessarily give you the best pattern or best film. They probably use the 3M film in the machine, which is pretty good stuff, but you should ask. The system is kind of like a CNC machine that just cuts the car's pattern from the roll of film, but some films are better regarded than others.

I paid about $900 for the supercar-stocked shop to do mine, but they use the well-regarded XPEL Ultimate (which has a good, sensible pattern to it) and their lines and edges were as fine as I could imagine any human hand laying them. Inspect some example work from any place you're considering. Get up close, down near the ground (all the tough spots), and use a flashlight. Check for things like parallel edges with uncovered portions, properly wrapped overhangs, and no overlaps. They covered 18" up hood, door cups, mirrors, lower bumper, partial fenders, emblem, headlights (basically most non-chrome forward surfaces), and lines on the edge of all four doors. It all looks very good, and from a few feet away I can't really see the line on the hood. Just like the paint, you have to take care of the film and be careful when doing things like applying wax near the edge, but if you're the type who knows how to protect and maintain paint the film should be no issue. I want to keep this car a long time, so thought the investment in not having little black freckles I could only touch up paint over (which isn't a great look on the light-dynamic ceramic) a sensible idea.

One more thing- the dealership may try to upsell you on the idea they'll warranty the film X amount of years or replace it if you're ever in an accident, like this is something special only they offer. A reputable shop should already stand behind their work, and the good films have their own manufacturer warranties, especially when applied by authorized shops. You add to the value of your car when you purchase this, so just keep your receipt. Have the shop print multiple copies and keep one somewhere safe. YMMV with your own insurance company, but my shop told me to just keep the records or call them for a copy of the receipt if the car is an accident. I have the right to choose where I get repairs done and film replaced so long as it's not over my amount of coverage.
 

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I got one not long after purchase as well. After painting it with the pen from Mazda, and buffing it so its not noticeable, I waxed my car, and haven't got one since. I think some form of wax is ok, but it's temporary, whereas film will last you a good time. So its a question of whats currently affordable for you.
I think a good coat of wax/polish/protectant does wonders to keep that surface smooth & slick. Multiple coats work even better.
I was surprised that all they did at my dealership was wash & detail (glass etc.). No wax or polish. Which was OK with me, because I'd planned on doing it as soon as I could, at home.
Also, there are some really good spray waxes available now. Not as much protection as the harder-to-apply products, but better than nothing.
Unfortunately, none of this will save your paint from a rock hurtling towards your vehicle.

It's not always possible, but I try to maintain maximum distance between my front end, and the vehicle in front of me. This goes triple if that vehicle happens to be a dumptruck etc.
Highway driving (at the higher speeds) is especially harmful.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Scheduled an appointment with the clear bra place. They use XPEL and told me there was a 10 year guarantee. I hope it turns out well. It's a lot of money but then replacing a totally dinged up hood is a lot of money also. Even though I try to keep back from trucks on the highway sometimes the rocks are coming from trucks in other lanes when your trying to pass. And I'm on the highway at least 2 hours a day.
 

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I'm doing the partial hood, bumper, fender, mirror package. It's actually there getting done today.
 

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Canada CX3 owner here. USA has had very large response - CDN side, starting to warm up... I thought it was just me, or had a couple or bad chips off HWY, Took my cx3 to 3 Auto Detailers, who specialize in paint - All said primer which is supposed to protect your paint, the coating is failing.

Also have spoke to Senior Mazda REp, off the record she has told me its the new paint they used on these models. I am hoping mazda steps up the plate and fixes the issue. - If not, Will be my last for sure.

Ford ran into this problem in 2006 - It happens, but they also painted peoples cars, fixed the issue. - See a forum on this site as well, about paint chips, I know we are not the only ones.

Winter will be brutal this year, I bet I will double the chips/Flakes on my hood/ also sides.
 

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I wouldn't be surprised if I had gotten a chip in the front fender, it happens, but I already have 2 chips on the top of the hood with only 2000 miles on the car. I have no idea how they got there. I have never heard anything hit the hood while I was driving and the car is always parked in a garage.
 

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We would all love to be able to drive our cars and not have anything happen to the finish of the car but utopia usually doesn't happen to the majority of us.

Our CX-3 has already gotten a chip in the front w/shield from a rock thrown up by a truck the day after we got it (fixed by a glass place just so we don't take the chance of having it crack) and we already have a scratch on the LF fender that I touched up (in the spring I'll get the car detailed and it'll get buffed out).

These to me are all battlescars.................and they give the car character, even my Shelby and Z06 has had it's fair share of minor paint issues from outside sources beyond my control.

I always like to go 2 years with a new car and not have anything major happen to it (like an accident or theft/vandalism), little things are the reality of car ownership.

Tony
 

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From reading these posts about the hood paint chipping off, I think that one of the best things you can do for your car is have one of the paint protecting plastic films applied. When I had mine done it already had one nasty little chip on the front of the hood. I put some of the Mazda touchup paint to cover it (only barely better than nothing). It was not down to the bare metal, but showed the primer coat clearly. I put this down to one of the problems with living in a rural area with lots of gravel roads. But I blamed the gravel, not the quality of the paint applied to my car.
 
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From reading these posts about the hood paint chipping off, I think that one of the best things you can do for your car is have one of the paint protecting plastic films applied. When I had mine done it already had one nasty little chip on the front of the hood. I put some of the Mazda touchup paint to cover it (only barely better than nothing). It was not down to the bare metal, but showed the primer coat clearly. I put this down to one of the problems with living in a rural area with lots of gravel roads. But I blamed the gravel, not the quality of the paint applied to my car.
Well, I can't blame any gravel roads so I'll lean more towards the paint. Two chips on the hood, not the front fender, in the first two months/two thousand miles is not a good omen.
 

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I think a small stone travelling at 30-60 mph will easily chip paint. Its amazing cars don’t get more chipped than they do.
 

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Well, I can't blame any gravel roads so I'll lean more towards the paint. Two chips on the hood, not the front fender, in the first two months/two thousand miles is not a good omen.
You can take a strike from a pebble on any paved road in Austin. Doesn't have to be gravel. Take a look at the pebbles stuck in the tread of your tires. Once your car gets up to speed, those pebbles are coming out.
 
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