Clear Bra: Invisible Paint Protection — /DRIVE CLEAN

Clear Bra: Invisible Paint Protection — /DRIVE CLEAN

from It seems these days no exotic
or high-end sports car is without some type of paint
protection film on the nose, mirrors, and lower
rocker panels. In fact, Clear Bras are offered
as an option for almost every new car buyer by
their dealership at the time of purchase. How is the film protection
supposed to work? Does it work? And how is it installed
and cared for? That’s all coming up today on
this episode of DRIVE CLEAN. [MUSIC PLAYING] LARRY KOSILLA: Clear Bra is a
urethane-based film that’s applied to the high-impact
areas of the car with the intent of shielding the
paint from rock chips and road debris. The film is most often used on
the front bumper, the side mirrors, and hood, but some
drivers are even covering the entire car in Clear Bra. The technology was developed by
3M during the Vietnam War to protect helicopter rotor
blades from dirt and debris. In the 1980s, the race car
industry adopted this technology as a way to protect
the car’s finish to ensure optimal aerodynamics. By the ’90s, Clear Bra was
being used by the average driver, and its popularity has
continually increased. I’m here today with Joe from
Xtreme Vehicle Coatings. With 13 plus years experience,
Joe is one of the most skilled installers in the New
York Metro area. So thanks for being
here today. JOE: You’re welcome. LARRY KOSILLA: All right, a lot
of the questions I get– it’s a hot topic– is putting
Clear Bra on, is it worth it? Is it worth the expense? Should I do it? Should I not do it? What are some pluses and minuses
of putting this on? JOE: Well, the pluses
are you’re going to protect your paint. Paints now have to pass
emissions– water-borne. They’re a lot more brittle than,
let’s say, back in the ’60s where they used to
use a lot of lead. LARRY KOSILLA: So everything’s
VOC now, so it’s a lot– JOE: Yeah, everything has
to pass emissions. LARRY KOSILLA: Exactly. So it’s softer is what
you’re saying? JOE: It’s a lot softer. It’s a lot. I mean, you’ll drive
a car like this. You put 800 or 1,000
miles on it and– LARRY KOSILLA: You’ll
have little spots. JOE: Yeah, it’s going
to be peppered. LARRY KOSILLA: Yeah, OK. And it’s UV-protected. JOE: Yeah, the film has
UV protection in it. It also has anti-mildew. So you know how plastic
sometimes get the mildewy? It’ll have that. It also has an anti-cracking, so
it doesn’t crack like some of the older films used to do. LARRY KOSILLA: I remember
the old films used to have a yellow– that was a, oh, I don’t want to
put one of those on there because sometimes it’ll
become yellow. What was causing that? JOE: Well, the misconception
was, it wasn’t the film that was turning yellow. It was the adhesive. Have you ever noticed old
glue that gets yellow? LARRY KOSILLA: Yeah, yeah. JOE: That’s exactly what
was happening. The urethane top was
actually good. The adhesive in the back
was actually turning yellow from the sun. LARRY KOSILLA: And they’ve
basically corrected that? JOE: Well, yeah. I mean, yeah, basically– LARRY KOSILLA: So now this
is the good stuff? JOE: –have an evolution
on it, yeah. LARRY KOSILLA: And show
me how strong this is. I know you were doing a
little trick before. JOE: Well, here’s the
Lamborghini key. If you want to hold
that for a second. Just think of a rock
hitting this. LARRY KOSILLA: Geez Louise. JOE: I’m pushing this
pretty far. LARRY KOSILLA: Oh
my gosh, yeah. JOE: WIth a lot of
force into it. LARRY KOSILLA: That’s
a really strong. JOE: It stretches a lot, too. That’s how you get it to go
around the curves and stuff of the vehicle. LARRY KOSILLA: Yeah, so, this
is definitely some serious– JOE: You can see how
strong it is. LARRY KOSILLA: All right, so the
next step is prepping the car, of course, right? JOE: Yeah. Normally, you get a car like
this, whether it’s this or any type of car, you want to make
sure that it’s all clean. You might have to clay it, get
any wax residue, especially these signs. LARRY KOSILLA: If there’s
anything in here, I imagine if you– JOE: Oh my god, that’s
the biggest, biggest hurdle we have. LARRY KOSILLA: Yeah, you get
something underneath here. It’s going to get stuck,
and then you’re that little spot forever. JOE: I mean, just to think, you
put your fingerprint on it, and it stays in there. LARRY KOSILLA: Yeah, then
they’re looking at that for the rest of the life of– JOE: Yeah, so definitely,
there’s an art to it. LARRY KOSILLA: This is a 2008
Lamborghini Gallardo Now what’s interesting about this is
it had been repainted about 60 plus days ago, so we didn’t
really have to compound, polish, or even touch anything
up, which is a great thing to do if you’re doing
it on an old car. I mean, if you’re putting a
Clear Bra on an old car, you’re going to want to touch
those up, because once you put the Bra on, it’s only going to
emphasize any issues that may be in the paint. Joe was quickly recleaning the
surface of the paint, because in the time that he and I
were having that quick conversation, he was worried
about any little pieces of lint or dust or anything that
had fallen on the car. Now, if he were to put the Clear
Bra on right then, that little bit a lint would actually
show through and just emphasize even more, just like
a rock chip, with the Clear Bra on top of it. So he’s just double-checking
his work before he puts the Clear Bra on. Now that he’s sure it’s 100%
clean, what he does is he adds another layer of lubrication. And this is a mixture of water
and baby soap, so there’s tons of lubrication for
when he actually installs the Clear Bra. Now, if you’ll look at it, he’s
unraveling it in the same sort of fashion that Rob from
Infinite Tint did when he installed the tint
on the inside of the rear glass there. And the reason why is you just
don’t want any little contaminants getting
underneath there. It’s vital. Otherwise, you’ll be picking
things out, and it just doesn’t look very
professional. So what he’s going to do is pick
up the edge of the Clear Bra, and add more lubrication,
more lubrication, because the idea is he’s going
to manipulate– meaning move around– the Clear Bra, and stretch it
around the difficult areas, like when there’s little creases
in the hood or around the badge, you really want to
really kind of massage the Clear Bra in, and he’s going to
do that by hand at first. Clear Bras are actually
manufactured and cut to the specification of the car. So in years past, they would
come out in really big sheets, and some guys would actually lay
it on the nose of the car, and cut around it with
razor blades. Now, of course, you can imagine
sometimes if you cut too much, I’ve actually run into
cars in my career where I can see little razor blade
cuts that were perfectly horizontal or perfectly vertical
that ran along the edge of the actual Clear Bra. But nowadays, they have these
big computers that etch out and cut out the specification
of the car. So if this is a Lamborghini,
you’re going to do a Lamborghini cut. If you’re going to do a Ford
Mustang, then it’s going to have a Mustang cut. So Joe has a ton of different
templates, if you will. And his machine will cut it out,
and then he goes to the location wherever the car is
and can install the precut, which is also pretty neat. Once he feels comfortable with
the placement of the Bra, he’s going to use a rubber squeegee,
again, much like Rob from Infinite Tint. And he’s going to move a lot
of that water out of there. Now again, it’s not down
there permanently. He can still pick it up and
still play with it. But what I noticed is
afterwards, he’ll remove the water from the surface of
the Clear Bra– not the underneath part. I mean, he’ll do that as well. But he wants to see if there’s
anything in the Clear Bra. So there’s multiple checks
that he has to do. Number one, is it in
the right area? And then number two, does it
have anything underneath it? So there’s multiple things that
you can’t really get away with, much like tint, because
you’re looking through it. It’s a clear product. It’s a clear service, if you
will, that he’s doing. So he doesn’t have a whole lot
of margin for error, and that’s when this water and the
baby oil and that sort of lubrication comes in, because in
theory, he can just pick it back up and start over again,
which is interesting. And it’s sort of a double-edged
sword. Now, off camera, I asked Joe
what he was going to do with the edges, because I know the
edges can be a little bit tricky, because it is a round
surface, and you’re going to have to get that to stick
on the bottom. And what was cool is– you can tell he’s been
doing this forever– he’s going to pull, and when he
does cut it, it’s actually about a half an inch over
for each edge so that he can wrap it around. But I said, how’s it going
to stick there? And it seems like there’s
a lot of excess water. But he showed me a trick of
lifting the hood up, and letting it drip out while he
starts another process. And by doing that, it’s going to
reduce the amount of water that’s there so that he can
pinch that around the edge. And the positive aspect of doing
that is that you don’t really see any of the
Clear Bra edges. More importantly for a detailer
like myself, when there’s that edge where it
didn’t wrap around, you have to be very careful when you’re
applying waxes or sealings or coatings or whatever you’re
doing, because sometimes it’ll seep into the edge of the Clear
Bra, and you have to get it out with a little
special brush. And it’s kind of a
pain in the butt. And if it gets in there on a
regular basis and you don’t get it out properly, you can
actually pick up that edge and fill it with tons of junk. And once that tons of junk is
there, it’s almost impossible to get out. And then you’re going
to see a black line. It’s really an eyesore. So people like Joe are helping
detailers out because of him wrapping the lights and the
hood and fenders and the mirrors all the way around so
that there isn’t that gap where the wax can
get in there. So that’s very helpful to us. As you can imagine, this
is an extremely time-consuming process. It took Joe maybe four or five
hours to do the whole car, do the hood, the bumper, the
headlights, the mirrors, and the lower rocker panels. And as I was watching him, he
kept wiping the Clear Bra when he was done, meaning there’s no
water on top of the Clear Bra, and scanning his eyes back
and forth, looking for that little bit of lint, and
looking for those extra water bubbles that maybe he missed. And that seemed to consume,
I would say, maybe 50% of his time. So it’s pretty interesting. He actually did the work, but he
spent maybe half that much time going back and just
double-checking and double-checking. And we sort of spoke off
camera where he was mentioning, hey, it’s kind
of a double-edged sword. Because it’s clear, you can see
right through it, and it looks amazing and beautiful. But at the same time, it’s
clear, you can see if there’s any issues, as well. So it’s either going to be
really beautiful, or it’s going to be a shoddy job. So I have to spend a good
amount of time just double-checking,
double-checking. So he’s a man after my own
heart when it comes to detailing and double-checking
everything, so it was pretty interesting to talk to him. [MUSIC PLAYING] LARRY KOSILLA: As he works the
lower bumper, it’s almost the same process with a little
bit of a twist. So he’s going to clean it off as
he’s done before, make sure there’s no contamination
or anything in there. Then he’s going to add
his lubrication with the baby soap. Now he’s going to unravel it,
just like he did before. And he’s really going to take
painstaking time and effort to make sure that as he’s unrolling
it, nothing gets on the inside of it. So he has his assistant raveling
or re-raveling paper as he’s rolling it across
the bumper. And you got to think about it. When he was doing the hood,
he was doing more of a horizontal surface. Now he’s doing vertical. So the last thing you want to
do is have this fall off and fall onto the ground into
the dirt, et cetera. So that’s kind of the
caveat number one. Caveat number two is that
there’s way more elevation. There’s more changes. The bumper shifts around, and
there’s a lot of curvatures to it, so it makes it way more
challenging to get around those edges without creating
bubbles or little recessed edges that you may
need to cut. It’s a bit more complicated. So he spent a lot of time
talking to me about this. Now overall, the process that he
did– like I said, was the lights, the bumpers, the
mirrors, the lower rocker panels, and the hood– cost about– the customer– about $1,500. Now Clear Bra is, by any means–
this is when we were talking about in the
beginning, the positives and negatives. Clear Bras are amazing, but they
are expensive, because this is a total process. It’s time-consuming. It’s a bit of artwork here. And the Bra itself is
certainly not cheap. So Clear Bras can cost anywhere
from $500, meaning just the bumper, all the way to
$5,000, $6,000 if you wrap an entire car. I just got off the phone with
him a couple days ago, and he was talking about he
did a Rolls Royce. And they wanted every exterior
piece Clear Bra’d. And that was a $5,000
or $6,000 job. So there’s a wide range, of
course, based on what you actually want to cover. Now, the interesting thing about
this is when it’s all said and done, and it’s looking
fantastic, you can protect it. You can put sealants on it. You can put waxes on it. I do that all the time, and it
adds just another layer of protection and can still give
you that extra pop. Because a lot of times, I hear
from people saying, hey, you know, I don’t want to put
anything on it because it’s a clear– no, believe me, you
can put stuff on it. In fact, you can actually
polish it. It’s very difficult to do, and
I don’t recommend doing it unless you practice, but there
are ways to polish certain Clear Bras when it becomes
defective. But at the end of the day, the
Clear Bra is designed to be removed or replaced. So based on how much you drive,
how aggressive, where you live, all random factors
like that are going to go into play. But at the end of the day, when
you see an old one, and they’re yellowed, and it’s just
outdated, you can remove it carefully. I certainly suggest having a
professional do it so that you don’t remove any paint when
you’re actually pulling the Clear Bra off, which
happens sometimes. So have a professional do it. But by no means is it going to
last forever, especially if you’re driving your car hard,
as you’re supposed to. So every couple of years–
maybe five, six years– you pull it off, and
you redo it. But you won’t have to repaint
your car all the time. So that’s sort of the pluses
and the minuses of it. It gives you a little bit of an
idea if Clear Bra is going to work for you. Joe from Xtreme Vehicle Coatings
has done an amazing job prepping this car and
applying the Clear Bra. It’s almost undetectable, and
it’s going to do a great job protecting the paint and will in
the long run help maximize the resale value of the car. For a PDF of things you should
know before having Clear Bra or protective coating applied
to your car, visit As always, thanks for watching
another episode of DRIVE CLEAN right here on the
DRIVE network. After editing this video, I
got an email on Facebook asking me to talk about on my
podcasts and my personal YouTube page the effects of
bugs on the Clear Bra. It’s a great question, because
bugs have a thing called chitin which is an acidic
nature to them. So when they splatter all over
the Clear Bra, if you leave them to long, what’s going to
happen is they’re going to pit or embed themselves and form
these little craters in the actual plastic or the film. So what you want to do is clean
them off as soon as humanly possible. And there’s multiple
ways to doing it. You can wash the whole car, but
sometimes the whole car doesn’t need to be washed. It’s just the front. You can simply spray wax the
areas down, and wipe them with a microfiber towel. Or three, use a bug sponge in
warm water, and just wash the particular areas, the mirrors,
and the front bumper, and that sort thing. And that’s going to remove
or reduce that chance of embedding or ruining your Clear
Bra with these pits. Now, the second thing I want to
mention is we are taking a two-week hiatus, because we’re
filming two amazing– we’ll call them season
finales. One’s going to be on how to
remove scratches and swirls from black paint. And we’re going to talk
about polishers and which one to choose. That’s going to be fun. And the second one, or the last
one, is going to be how to clean and detail your
motorcycle from a crazy amount of mud. And that’s going to be a
beautiful episode as well. If you have any questions in
the meantime, shoot me an email at [email protected] And we’ll see you guys
in two weeks, and thanks so much for watching.

100 Replies to “Clear Bra: Invisible Paint Protection — /DRIVE CLEAN”

  1. Toaster, some people have expensive cars and worry about scratching them, this could help, for example i own a matte black Nissan GTR R35 Black Edition, and if a bird shits on the paint and i dont clean it withing about 30 minutes to 1 hour it ruins the paint, but if this can keep my paint looking matte then i might get some

  2. Thanks for the film. I am a big fan, I learn a lot from you. The clear bra seems like it is the 'super synthetic sealant' which i can make bead and hopefully shine using natural wax on top of. – Thanks again.

  3. But by showing rock marks, bug etchings, and haziness they make a beautiful car look like crap. That's the issue I have. Thanks for your comment!

  4. You guys should check out Plastidip's clear rubber paint you could use it for this same thing and it is way cheaper from first install to respraying and even touching it up to make it look new! 🙂 saved me a lot of money and time!

  5. but thos rock marks, bug etchings and haziness are only on your bra that can be replaced without harm to your paint, without one, thos things are all on your paint. Are you implying that you'd rather have chipped paint than the ugliness of a clear bra?

  6. I ordered Ammo's Paint Regimen from three days ago and I live in Northern Illinois. Anyone know when I should expect to receive it?

  7. You should include products recommended brands in your videos, you can make some money and we some advice, in this for example: recommended clear bra brands… In the video about cleaning engines: recommended engine degrease products… you get the picture…

  8. You folks need a real camcorder. The focusing in and out is giving me a headache. But good insight on the topics you have covered.

  9. would you recommend this for a winter truck? im afraid that moisture will freeze under the clear bra + how much would this cost?!

  10. Larry can you please do a video over coatings. How to apply, what products do you recommend, and how to care for coatings afterwords. Thank you I really appreciate your videos keep them coming! .

  11. Yes I am. If your paint is properly polished, maintained, and waxed, a clean and reflective paint job looks 100 times better than a hazed clear bra. But I guess I can see your point. Drive around with the hazy crappy clear bra on your car for 75k miles then take it off to have fresh paint. Is it worth the money to have it installed and then have it removed? Not for me. I appreciate your comment.

  12. Had a clear bra installed in Portland, OR. Moisture cannot get under it if installed properly. Drove the car all the way down to florida and it still did well in the heat.

  13. They're recording in HD and the shots they take are top quality and you're saying they need a real camera cos you have a headache or what?

  14. I'll break it down for you, rookie. A DSLR recording video is not a camcorder and does not have the same auto focusing capability.

  15. Ok it's an amazing technic and it looks very good. But I don't get it. If you have a normal car like a Mustang, Audi etc re-painting the car will cost you 1000€. Wrapping the car will cost you 5000€, that's 5 re-paints. In a car life, you don't need to re-paint it 5 times, so i can't see the upside of wrapping a car…

  16. Well is the paint now "softer" or is it "more brittle"? I love your videos too. But the thing about detailing that makes me think of snake oil salesmen is this kind of inconsistency.

  17. Clearbra is a trademarked company name. ( It is PPF film). Call it Swiss Cheese bra or something else. I would challenge your facts that he is the best installer in the world U.S.A. or wherever. Kits are for people with no talant…"The Original Clearbra Company does custom installs on purpose. Custom has a much better install than any kit does.

  18. Do dealerships do this? I need one installed on my car but I totally trucked it up doing it by myself so I want a professional.

  19. This process is almost identical to doing full body vinyl car wraps. This is essentially what I'm doing at work every single day, except the difference with this and vinyl as that you can apply heat to the vinyl to help wrap around corners and bends smoothly. Also, you typically do not do what is called "wet apply" with vinyl like they do with this clear bra, with vinyl you're applying it to the entire vehicle completely dry. Very cool, I had no idea that the process to apply clear bra is the exact same process that I use at work as a professional vinyl installer, that's awesome.

  20. can your see scratches through clear bra? For example if you had some minor swirls and you put on the clear bra would you be able to see the swirls through it. And another question i had is can you get more depth out of the clear bra like with paint you can polish the paint and gets a lot more depth.

  21. Here's the thing…if an entire car costs 5-6K to install clear bra, then it makes more sense to just paint the entire car for 6K after 5 years IF it looks bad enough. Therefore, I think clear bras are a waste of money if it costs the same as a new paint job.

  22. Claying usually slightly mars the paint. Wouldn't it make sense to polish it after claying? I would hate to put the clear film over top of any tiny scratches or swirls..

  23. Hey Larry,

    Do you film and edit all your videos? They are amazing and you do a great job!! love all your tips and useful information!

  24. I just my dads s550 and my moms 740. I'm doing my sisters escalade next! My Range Rover is almost done :-). It's going amazing.

  25. There's no way that amount of work should take 4-5 hours. I do the same shit almost daily on porsches and mercedes and it never take more than 2-3 hours.

  26. can you put a clear bra like this over paint that has been waxed, or do you have to remove the wax? thanks


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