Bad Car Wraps! You Get What You Pay For!

What sets apart a good vehicle wrap versus a bad car wrap?  All car wraps look the same from distance but when you get close enough you can tell apart a quality wrap from one that it has been installed in a rush or by a un-experienced installer.

There are many factors that go into a quality car wrap such as: Surface Preparation, High Quality Materials, Experienced Installer, Facility, Post Installation and etc. You can read more about these steps in our "7 Steps to Quality Car Wrap" article.

Our goal in this article is to show and talk about actual bad car wraps and what could be cause of them.

1)  Peeling Edges:  Most installers will use the 3M Primer 94 to ensure that the edges of the

wrap won't lift off.  The problem here is that the primer could damage the clear coat when the

wrap is removed and the residue from the primer is extremely difficult to remove.

The correct process would be to make the edges are clean and post heat every inch of the edge to the manufacturer's recommended temperature.

2)  Bubbling: This is one of the most common issues with car wraps.  The vinyl bubbles up in recessed areas.  This problem doesn't appear during installation but rather surfaces in few days or weeks after.

There are several factors that can lead to vinyl bubbling and lifting:

1)  Wrong Choice of Material:  All vinyl manufacturers offer several quality levels of their products (including 3M).  If a wrong combination of vinyl and laminate is used to print the wrap on then adhesion to curved or recessed areas will be impossible.

2)  Wrong Installation Techniques: Using the proper installation technique even with the right combination of vinyl and laminate is crucial in avoiding bubbles.

3)  Over Stretching of the vinyl:  Even the best cast vinyl can only be stretched to a certain point before loosing their posture.  Over heating and over stretching in vinyl will result in bubbling.

4)  Skipping the Post Heating process:  Every inch of

the vinyl that is placed in the recessed or excessive curved areas needs to be heated to manufacturers specifications in order the kill the memory of the vinyl.  If this process is skipped there is a good chance that they vinyl will go back to its original shape and bubble up.

3)  Bad Trimming:  Once the vinyl is installed, it is the Final Trimming of

the vinyl that will determine if a wrap looks like a paint job or just a bad sticker.  A steady hand, lots of experience and proper techniques are required to achieve a perfectly trimmed edge.

4)  Un-Tucked Edges:  Using the weather stripping of the vehicle to tuck the wrap is an easy way to ensure the there will be no lifting of th e edges.  However, the installer needs to make sure not to cut the actual weather stripping when trimming the wrap short enough so it would fit under the strips.

5)  Excessive use of Patches:  Getting around curves and recessed areas is not easy.  The shortcut is chop up the wrap into multiple pieces in order to cover the area.

This might be necessary on certain vehicle bumper installation where it's almost impossible to reach a quality and durable wrap without having multiple layers.  Again, it's a an art when it comes to overlapping the vinyl without creating large visible seems.

6)  Door Handle Wraps:  Some vehicles door handles are very difficult to remove without

having to remove the entire door panel (ex. Mini Cooper).  However, there are several techniques that ensure the vinyl is not over stretched and installed properly for long-term durability and good looks.

7)  Creased Edges:  To make a car wrap look good the installer needs to make sure that the edges are squeegeed flat and there are no wrinkles.

What does all mean to you as a customer?  At the end of the day you will get what you pay for.

A rushed wrap installation is almost guaranteed to fail in the future Bubbling and lifting will result in the vinyl to dry and crack which will further result in moisture to get under the wrap and cause failure in major sections.

For more information or questions / concerns please feel free to contact the Wrap Experts and

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