If you just got a brand-new Tesla, you want to look for ways to protect its gorgeous factory paint coat. One of the best ways to do it is by applying a clear bra, but what is a clear bra for Tesla?
Clear bra for Tesla is a protective layer of clear urethane film applied to the front end of your car. It can protect your Tesla’s paint job from accidental scratches and scuffs caused by pebbles. A clear bra generally refers to paint protection film (PPF) applied only to the front.
The rest of this article will cover what the best clear bra for your Tesla is, whether you need one, how much it costs, and whether you should do it yourself or have a professional shop do it for you.
- Best Clear Bra for Tesla
- What Does Clear Bra Do?
- Do I Need a Clear Bra for My Tesla?
- Cost of Clear Bra for Tesla Model 3
- Clear Bra for Tesla Model Y, S, X
- DIY Clear Bra vs. Professional Clear Bra for Tesla
- Can You Apply Clear Bra To Your Tesla Wheels?
- What is the Expected Lifespan of a Clear Bra for a Tesla?
- How Do You Clean a Tesla with a Clear Bra?
- Can a Clear Bra Be Removed Without Damaging the Original Paint of the Tesla?
- Will Applying a Clear Bra Impact the Tesla's Appearance?
- Can a Clear Bra Protect the Tesla from Environmental Damage, Such as Bird Droppings and Tree Sap?
- Is it Possible to Apply a Ceramic Coating Over a Clear Bra for Additional Protection?
- How Can I Ensure a Clear Bra is Applied Smoothly Without Any Air Bubbles or Imperfections?
- Does Clear Bra Protect Tesla's Paint from Fading Due To Prolonged Sun Exposure?
- Can a Clear Bra Be Applied to Other Parts of the Tesla, Such as the Side Mirrors or Rear Bumper?
Best Clear Bra for Tesla
Before you get a clear bra for your Tesla, you should know that off-brand clear bras/paint protection films are nowhere near as good. You should only buy a clear bra from a company you trust. This will give you the best vehicle body enhancement and protection.
All of them are relatively thick, allowing for superior protection from flying debris. They all have UV coatings and aren’t visible on the car, thanks to high-quality adhesives.
That said, there are few clear bra manufacturers on the market that stand out clearly from the competition. Although there isn’t a single “best” Tesla clear bra, there are several great ones on Amazon.com that you can’t go wrong with:
3M is a famous brand for a very good reason—they make high-quality stuff. The 3M Scotchgard is one of the best and most affordable paint protection films on the market.
They collaborated with VViViD Vinyls to bring us the 3M Scotchgard PPF. If you shop for VViViD PPF, you’ll come across the same product under a different brand name.
One large roll is enough for multiple clear bras, so it’s worth every penny. It’ll protect your paint coating from chips and can even hide existing scratches. It will also keep your Tesla’s paint safe from road debris and corrosive chemicals.
The only downside to Scotchgard is that it’s not hydrophobic. In other words, water, soap, and other liquids tend to stick to it, even more so than on regular car paint.
XPEL is arguably the most important brand in the PPF industry. Their polyurethane film is 8 mil (0.008 in or 0.203 mm) thick and has a super glossy finish. It’s also hydrophobic, so it’s one of the best materials for a clear bra.
It will help keep the paint from being stained or damaged due to bugs.
If you want a full XPEL clear bra, you can order a kit or a roll from the XPEL website. You can’t go wrong with it, but you should have a professional install it because it’s very expensive.
Llumar is another major player in the car paint protection and window tint industry. With a thickness of 10mm (0.010 in or 0.254 mm), Llumar takes the cake on this list for durability. Plus, their products are often cheaper than 3M and XPEL.
It’s also super flexible, making it easy to apply. Lastly, it’s somewhat hydrophobic, making your vehicle easier to clean.
Here’s a PPF kit made specifically for the Tesla Model S (2016 – 2020). You can select from a few options, including Full Hood or Front Lights only. That way you can focus on the areas most likely to be damaged or scratched.
Factory Crafts PPF is 6 mil (0.006 in or 0.152 mm). That’s a bit thinner than premium options like XPEL, but it’s still relatively thick compared to the cheap stuff.
If you’re looking to protect your Tesla Model S, this is a great option.
If you have a Tesla Model Y, you probably have a few scratches on the rear door already. Due to the unusual front fender shape, small rocks and pebbles hit the rear fender constantly.
This simple two-piece kit by Crystal Shield is something you can install yourself easily. It only covers the most susceptible part of the door, not the whole door.
This kit is actually made of 3M Pro Series PPF, so it comes with all the benefits of their thick, high-quality protection. You also get a cool squeegee for easier installation.
Clear Bra for Tesla Comparison
|3M Scotchgard Paint Protection Film
|XPEL Paint Protection Film
|Llumar Clear Paint Protection
|Factory Crafts Protection Film (Model S)
|Crystal Shield Protection Kit (Model Y)
|Easy to DIY
|✔ (10 years)
|✔ (10 years)
|✔ (10 years)
|✔? (Not stated)
|✔ (10 years)
What Does Clear Bra Do?
A clear bra, also known as paint protection film (PPF), serves as a robust shield for the exterior of Tesla models, safeguarding the paint from various forms of damage caused by debris and environmental elements. It effectively prevents unsightly scratches, nicks, and dings, particularly on vulnerable areas like fenders and bumpers.
This specialized film acts as a protective barrier, preserving the pristine appearance of the Tesla’s exterior and ensuring that the most exposed parts remain unscathed.
Clear bra paint protection film provides a durable layer of defense without compromising the vehicle’s aesthetic appeal.
When applied with precision and attention to detail, this high-quality vinyl solution becomes an integral part of maintaining the long-term beauty and value of your Tesla.
Do I Need a Clear Bra for My Tesla?
If you’re looking for a way to protect your Tesla’s paint job, you’ll need a clear bra. The urethane film will prevent scratches and stop the paint from chipping. Clear bra can be a cost-effective alternative to covering the whole vehicle with paint protection film (PPF).
It’s worth noting that a clear bra (or any other form of PPF) makes more sense on a new Tesla than a used one. If you already have several scratches, kinks, and dents on your Tesla, it’s too late to add a film.
On a related note, I also wrote a complete Tesla Scratch RRed-Tesla-With-Scratch-Marksepair Cost Breakdown. Check it out! This might save you a few bucks! Let me know what you think!
Of course, you could have a detailing shop buff out marks and repaint everything and then apply a clear bra. But you’ll probably spend way more money than learning to just “live with it.”
All in all, a clear bra is a sound investment. If you ever decide to take off the clear bra, your Tesla will look brand-new. This will increase the resale value of your vehicle too.
Cost of Clear Bra for Tesla Model 3
Front-end clear bra kit for Tesla Model 3 costs about $400 – $500. It depends on the brand, thickness, quality, and which parts are getting protection. A professional front-end clear bra installation costs around $800 for a partial installation to over $4,000 for full protection for Tesla Model 3.
The price really depends on where you go and the PPF in question. If you’re doing it yourself, prepare to spend anywhere between $200 to $500 just for the materials.
- Partial front-end (Covers front bumper, headlights, front part of the hood, and front fenders) for $500 to $1,000.
- Full front-end (All front body parts up to the door, excluding the front doors) for $1,000 to $2,5000.
- Full body (All painted body parts) for $4,000 to $6,000.
The exact price of Tesla Model 3 clear bra will vary based on what options you select. I recommend the full front-end option for most people because it also protects your mirrors.
Pro Tip: Can you use a Tesla without side mirrors?
If you ever happen to lose a side mirror in a small accident, you can still use this workaround by turning on and accessing the cameras. That way you’ll be able to see the blind spot without needing any mirrors. This will help you out a lot if you ever find yourself in such a situation.
Clear Bra for Tesla Model Y, S, X
We already covered Tesla Model 3’s pricing. Unsurprisingly, the price ranges are slightly different based on the model of your Tesla.
Some models, like the Model X, are larger and require more work. Others are harder to work on because they have more grooves or inaccessible parts.
Tesla Model Y
Here’s how much you’ll have to pay for a professional Tesla Model Y clear bra:
- Partial front-end: $800 to $1,200
- Full front-end: $1,750 to $2,500
- Full body: $4,500 to $6,000
Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S is a sports sedan built with aerodynamics in mind. This makes it harder to work on, so the price is higher than the Model 3:
- Partial front-end: $800 to $1,200
- Full front-end: $1,650 to $2,400
- Full body: $4,500 to $6,000
Tesla Model X
The Model X is a very simple car to apply a PPF to, but it’s an enormous SUV. That’s why it’s typically the most expensive one:
- Partial front-end: $850 to $1,300
- Full front-end: $1,650 to $2,500
- Full body: $5,000 to $7,000
Anyway, on a similar note, I also wrote a related article about Tesla Model 3 Front Bumper Replacement Costs. Find out why Tesla parts are so darn expensive!
DIY Clear Bra vs. Professional Clear Bra for Tesla
In most scenarios, you should have professionals do a full front-end clear bra for you. Applying paint protection film requires a lot of experience, especially on larger surfaces like bumpers and hoods.
If you only want to protect a small part of your Tesla, for example, mirrors, you can DIY it. If you feel confident that you can do it yourself, you should still ask somebody to help you. Ask your friends to see if they have any experience with PPF.
But before you do anything, you should know what you’re getting into. Watch this video to see how difficult it is to install a clear bra onto a Tesla correctly:
Don’t get me wrong; I love doing everything myself. You can save over a thousand dollars if you do it yourself. However, you’ll spend a lot of time and, if you mess up, you’ll have to start over with a new PPF.
You can source the clear bra for your Tesla yourself. However, I’d advise against it. Most detailing shops won’t offer you a full warranty in that scenario because they’re not responsible for the materials.
Can You Apply Clear Bra To Your Tesla Wheels?
While clear bra paint protection film is commonly used to protect the exterior of vehicles, including vulnerable areas like fenders, bumpers, and hoods, it is not typically applied directly to the wheels.
The primary purpose of the clear bra is to shield the paint from damage caused by road debris, stone chips, and minor abrasions, which are more common on the body of the vehicle.
However, for wheels, there are specialized coatings available that are specifically designed to provide protection against brake dust, road grime, and other forms of wear. These coatings can help maintain the aesthetic appeal of the wheels and simplify the cleaning process.
It’s essential to consult with a professional detailing expert to explore the best options for protecting both the body and wheels of your vehicle effectively.
What is the Expected Lifespan of a Clear Bra for a Tesla?
The lifespan of a clear bra primarily depends on the quality of the film and external factors such as driving conditions and climate. Generally, a premium clear bra can endure for approximately 5 to 10 years, effectively safeguarding your Tesla’s paint during its lifespan.
It’s crucial to keep an eye on any signs of wear and tear, considering replacement if you notice significant degradation to maintain the optimal protection of your Tesla’s paintwork.
How Do You Clean a Tesla with a Clear Bra?
Cleaning a Tesla with a clear bra necessitates gentle yet effective maintenance practices to preserve both the protective film and the underlying paint. It is recommended to use a mild car shampoo and soft microfiber cloth during cleaning to prevent any potential damage to the clear bra.
Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning tools, as they might compromise the integrity of the protective layer. Consistent and careful cleaning routines will ensure the longevity of both your Tesla’s paint and the clear bra.
Can a Clear Bra Be Removed Without Damaging the Original Paint of the Tesla?
A professionally installed and high-quality clear bra can be removed without causing any harm to the original paint of your Tesla. However, it is essential to have an experienced technician handle the removal process to minimize the risk of any accidental damage.
By entrusting the removal to an expert, you can ensure the preservation of your Tesla’s paint in its original, flawless condition.
Will Applying a Clear Bra Impact the Tesla’s Appearance?
The application of a clear bra should not have any adverse impact on the appearance of your Tesla. In fact, a well-installed clear bra can contribute to maintaining the glossy finish of your Tesla’s paint for an extended period.
By effectively shielding the surface from scratches, minor impacts, and environmental wear, the clear bra helps retain the car’s original luster, enhancing its aesthetic appeal.
Can a Clear Bra Protect the Tesla from Environmental Damage, Such as Bird Droppings and Tree Sap?
Absolutely, a clear bra serves as a reliable shield against various environmental elements, including bird droppings, tree sap, and other contaminants. By acting as a protective barrier, the clear bra prevents these substances from directly affecting the paint of your Tesla, thereby preserving its pristine condition and appearance.
Is it Possible to Apply a Ceramic Coating Over a Clear Bra for Additional Protection?
Yes, it is possible to apply a ceramic coating over a clear bra, providing an additional layer of protection for your Tesla. The ceramic coating can further enhance the durability and resistance of the clear bra, offering increased defense against dirt, stains, and minor scratches.
This combined approach can significantly extend the lifespan of the clear bra while ensuring your Tesla remains well-protected and maintains its impeccable shine.
How Can I Ensure a Clear Bra is Applied Smoothly Without Any Air Bubbles or Imperfections?
Achieving a flawless application of a clear bra requires a meticulous approach and the right set of tools. To ensure the smooth and seamless installation of the clear bra, it is crucial to work in a controlled, clean environment.
Entrusting the installation to a professional with expertise in handling paint protection films is highly recommended. Their experience and skills can guarantee a smooth, bubble-free application, leaving your Tesla with an impeccable and well-protected finish.
Does Clear Bra Protect Tesla’s Paint from Fading Due To Prolonged Sun Exposure?
One of the key features of a clear bra is its UV-resistant properties, which effectively shield the Tesla’s paint from the detrimental effects of prolonged sun exposure. By creating a barrier against harmful UV rays, the clear bra prevents fading and discoloration, preserving the vibrant color and overall aesthetic appeal of your Tesla for an extended period.
This protective measure ensures your Tesla retains its showroom-worthy appearance, even in the face of harsh sunlight.
Can a Clear Bra Be Applied to Other Parts of the Tesla, Such as the Side Mirrors or Rear Bumper?
Clear bras can be customized and applied to various vulnerable parts of your Tesla, including the side mirrors and rear bumper, providing comprehensive protection against potential scratches and minor impacts.
By extending the coverage of the clear bra to these specific areas, you can safeguard them from daily wear and tear, maintaining the pristine condition of your Tesla’s exterior for a longer duration.
How Does a Clear Bra Compare to Traditional Car Waxing or Sealing in Terms of Paint Protection?
While traditional car waxing or sealing offers temporary protection, a clear bra provides a more durable and long-lasting shield against a range of potential damages, including scratches and stone chips.
Unlike regular waxing or sealing, the clear bra acts as a physical barrier, offering enhanced protection that is more robust and resilient. This ensures your Tesla’s paint remains safeguarded for an extended period, preserving its flawless appearance and enhancing its long-term value.
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