Just like any other product, there are things that you should know before choosing to wrap your vehicle. The options for vehicle wraps are as vast as one may imagine. There are many different styles, colors, finishes, brands and installation variations. Vehicle wraps have been around for quite some time but mostly as advertising on commercial vehicles. It is only in recent history that things have started to get really exciting when it comes to vehicle wraps.
Although it allows you a way to further personalize your ride, there are several ways that vehicle wrapping can go wrong. Let’s take a look at how the installation and materials used in vinyl wrapping can lead to improper wrapping or even a damaged vehicle.
The old-school wrap game was to install quickly without removing any components from the vehicle; since most vehicles were box trucks or other commercial vehicles, this quick install worked. However, vehicle wrapping has now graduated and with it, so should its installation. One would not simply wrap over an emblem on a brand-new Bentley.
To properly install a wrap, the vehicle must be dismantled almost as if for paint, and careful pre-treatment and prep should be done to ensure the best result. Getting a wrap by a sign shop or the ladder will simply not do, your vehicle must be properly dismantled by skilled technician. Once dismantle is properly done, a skilled wrapper is free to take the helm. The vinyl wrap comes in rolls of material—rolls that must be cut—shaped and conformed to the vehicle. It is in the cutting process the paint can go from perfect to a mess. An unskilled wrapper will cut on the paint leaving behind cut marks that will then be wrapped over, never to be seen again until the wrap comes off. Years down the road, this shop will most likely be out of business and will not be able to honor any paint warranty that you would hope to claim.
All materials are not created equal some materials are designed for high-end vehicle application, and some are designed for box trucks or parking signs. Just because you recognize the brand does not mean it is a top of the line material. Each company makes several tiers of product qualities. It is important to understand what you are getting; materials will differ greatly in longevity, durability, and the eventual removal process.
It’s important to remember that even with proper application, some materials can ruin your paint. When done properly with the right materials, there is no reason why you should not be able to remove the wrap at any time and go back to your perfect, pristine paint.
Companies like American bicep are famous for selling stripe kits that have a great brand name but are an inferior product. Go ahead—call them and ask what brand and series they use. I bet you get the brand but not the series.
Making the Decision to Wrap your Vehicle
If you’ve decided a vinyl wrap is what you want, researching the shops that offer it is key to having a proper installation done. Give them a call and ask them a few questions, such as:
• Do they have skilled techs to dismantle your vehicle?
• What brand and series of product do they use?
• How long have they been in business specifically in the high-end car wrap business?
Vehicle wraps are great—they can protect your vehicle while giving you an entirely new look. But you should not get your vehicle wrapped if you are not sure the place you have taken it knows what they are doing.