Mazda MX-5 Miata getting wrapped by AUTO ARMOUR in XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS Paint Protection Film
Mazda MX-5 Miata getting wrapped by AUTO ARMOUR in XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS Paint Protection Film


B​ecause life in the real world is not kind to automotive paint finishes

There is nothing quite like the look of a beautiful paint finish on a brand-new car. However, if it is left unprotected, your once-beautiful paint finish will slowly but surely deteriorate due to damage from all sorts of road hazards including gravel, road debris, bird droppings, airborne industrial pollution, road tar and more.

W​ouldn’t it be great if you could keep your car looking like new?

Increasingly people are protecting their vehicle’s original factory paint job from damage with paint protection film products, such as “clear bra.”

XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS Paint Protection Film (PPF) is a glossy, virtually invisible, adhesive-backed urethane film with a surface clearcoat. It has earned a well-deserved reputation – backed by a 10-year warranty – for its resistance to stains and its superior, non-yellowing optical clarity.BMW and Lamborghini being wrapped with XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS at AUTO ARMOUR

BMW and Lamborghini being wrapped with XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS at AUTO ARMOUR

XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS is the world’s first self-healing PPF. To protect the finish from scratches, heat from the sun or warm water will cause the self-healing material to fill light scratches like they were never there!

Austin Palmer wrapping a F​errari with XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS at AUTO ARMOUR
Tesla being wrapped with XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS at AUTO ARMOUR

Intrigued, I contacted XPEL to see if they were interested in wrapping my new 30th Anniversary Edition MX-5 Miata for this story. They were, and arranged with AUTO ARMOUR to install it.

M​y Miata was in very good company. Other vehicles included Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, BMW and Tesla.

Like XPEL, AUTO ARMOUR has earned an excellent reputation. Serving Southern California for 13 years, veteran-owned AUTO ARMOUR specializes in paint protection film and window tint. They take great pride in their attention to detail and exceptional workmanship.

F​or most applications, XPEL’s pre-cut patterns & templates are the way to go, but to demonstrate their full capabilities, AUTO ARMOUR disassembled my bumper, removed components and custom-wrapped my front bumper with XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS PPF. This extra work significantly adds to the cost.
W​hen disassembling a car, it is very important to keep track of all of the fasteners that are removed.

I camped out at AUTO ARMOUR in San Diego for two full days, taking pictures as they wrapped all of my Miata’s high impact areas that are prone to damage: the front end including bumper, fenders, full hood and lights; rocker panels, windshield surround, side mirrors and door handle cups.

The installation process is much more difficult than people might think. To achieve high quality, excellent results, it is important that the work be done by careful, highly experienced installers who take their time. The wet paint protection film needs to be carefully and precisely moved into position, stretched where necessary, precisely applied free of bubbles, and trimmed. Skilled installers know from their years of experience how the PPF material will behave as the underlying liquids dry and the PPF adheres in place.

For most applications, XPEL’s pre-cut PPF patterns or templates, hand-filled with precision accuracy, are the way to go, but to demonstrate their exceptional expertise to me, AUTO ARMOUR custom cut a one-piece wrap for my front bumper. To install that, first they removed all of the attached components from the bumper (lights, ornamentation and so forth). Then they wrapped the bumper. When everything was reattached, the edges of the wrap were hidden by the components. Needless to say, due to the additional labor involved, this would add significantly to the price.

Observing the care with which AUTO ARMOUR wrapped my car showed me why they were also chosen to work on the new Lamborghini and Ferrari that were next to my Miata, and why another high-end luxury car owner had made the effort to drive all the way from Los Angeles to San Diego, so that AUTO ARMOUR could apply XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS PPF to their new car too.

D​eep recesses like this one, being finessed by Evan Rowe, are especially challenging to wrap.
Evan Rowe.

XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS PPF is indeed transparent. I do not see a difference between the wrapped and unwrapped areas of my car.

T​his is what you want to see when you are finished. No fasteners remained in the box.

Wash your car often. On their website, XPEL offers a wide range of car care products engineered to protect XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS Protection Film and maintain its high gloss finish.

Mixed with a gallon of water, one ounce of XPEL Rinse Free Car Wash encapsulates dirt with a lubricating polymer, to prevent scratches or harm to the paint. Using a high-quality wash mitt, wipe it on in circles and then dry it off. XPEL’s 5-gallon wash bucket includes a grit guard to trap dirt safely below a protective grille.

Every few weeks, after washing the car, apply XPEL Ceramic Boost to seal the surface of the PPF with a micro-thin layer of protection that helps resist debris, contaminates and scratches, while repelling dust and lint.

In between washes, whenever your car has a light covering of dust, finger prints and smudges, use XPEL Detail Spray.

To locate a certified installer near you, click the worldwide “Installer Locater” on the XPEL website at In San Diego, contact Evan and Austin – AUTO ARMOUR’s co-owners – at (858) 255-0102 or email

Copyright © 2019 by Jan Wagner — AutoMatters & More #604r3

Jan Wagner

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