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      03-08-2021, 10:59 AM   #1
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Removing PPF from Headlights

Hi everyone,

I have to have my headlight PPF redone. my question is, will removing Xpel PPF damage the headlight in the process. I know Porsche has this issue but couldn't find anything on it with BMW. Thanks.
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      03-08-2021, 08:12 PM   #2
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If you know the PPF is from Xpel I'd try contacting them. Good luck!
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      03-09-2021, 05:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in VA View Post
If you know the PPF is from Xpel I'd try contacting them. Good luck!
Yeah it's Xpel.
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      03-09-2021, 05:50 AM   #4
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It should not. But it can, potentially.
I doubt Xpel would commit to anything much different than the statement above.

This was the very reason that sopped me from applying PPF on them, after I had already bought it....

Please do write back about Xpel's response and your experience with the removal! I may reconsider applying it...

Also why do you need to have them redone and how long has the PPF been on them?
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      03-09-2021, 06:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyhigh View Post
It should not. But it can, potentially.
I doubt Xpel would commit to anything much different than the statement above.

This was the very reason that sopped me from applying PPF on them, after I had already bought it....

Please do write back about Xpel's response and your experience with the removal! I may reconsider applying it...

Also why do you need to have them redone and how long has the PPF been on them?
I'll let you know. The PPF is about 4 days old and I can see some areas of glue underneath. The weather was really cold last week so I'm guessing it made the glue harden real quick and messed it up.
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      03-09-2021, 07:16 AM   #6
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i had xpel tint foil on my headlights for a few days.
removed it without any problems, just heat it up a bit with a hairdryer and peel it off slowly.
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      03-09-2021, 07:28 AM   #7
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4 days is nothing. I wouldn't expect any problems whatsoever. Just heat them up before removing and you should be fine.

My concern is what happens after 1-2-3-4 years.... baked in the sun, frozen in the winter... etc.
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      03-09-2021, 07:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyhigh View Post
4 days is nothing. I wouldn't expect any problems whatsoever. Just heat them up before removing and you should be fine.

My concern is what happens after 1-2-3-4 years.... baked in the sun, frozen in the winter... etc.
They're gonna steam it off I know that. I want the PPF to protect the headlights. At $1,600 apiece, I'm not looking to replace them again.
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      03-09-2021, 07:58 AM   #9
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That was/is my dilemma.... Since I don't drive much these days, I am unsure whether a PPF will protect €1600 headlights in the long run... or damage them once the film is to be removed in a X years time... (due to age or degradation)

Was it easy to shape it and apply it?
I only put if on the fog lights, which was easy. Low risk there too, in comparison.
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      03-09-2021, 08:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyhigh View Post
My concern is what happens after 1-2-3-4 years.... baked in the sun, frozen in the winter... etc.
It will still come off when heated. The problem with aged films is that they may have developed cracks, so instead of coming off in one piece they may come off in small sections.
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      03-09-2021, 08:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyhigh View Post
That was/is my dilemma.... Since I don't drive much these days, I am unsure whether a PPF will protect €1600 headlights in the long run... or damage them once the film is to be removed in a X years time... (due to age or degradation)

Was it easy to shape it and apply it?
I only put if on the fog lights, which was easy. Low risk there too, in comparison.
It was easy to put on but I'm unsure whether I should just have them coated with a ceramic coat or try again with the PPF. Both my headlights are brand new after all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfitz View Post
It will still come off when heated. The problem with aged films is that they may have developed cracks, so instead of coming off in one piece they may come off in small sections.
Yeah, they're gonna steam it off and use new film and then let the film sit over night under heat because of the weather.
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      03-09-2021, 08:12 AM   #12
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Oh it will come off, that's a given. But there are reports on the net (specifically from Porsche, but not exclusively) that they occasionally come off together with the headlight top-coat, effectively damaging the headlights.... That would be extremely nasty....
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      03-09-2021, 08:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyhigh View Post
Oh it will come off, that's a given. But there are reports on the net (specifically from Porsche, but not exclusively) that they occasionally come off together with the headlight top-coat, effectively damaging the headlights.... That would be extremely nasty....
Xpel says they're products are safe, now if both my headlights get damaged, I'm sure not going to be paying for brand new OEM headlights.
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      03-09-2021, 08:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boostedphil698 View Post
It was easy to put on but I'm unsure whether I should just have them coated with a ceramic coat or try again with the PPF. Both my headlights are brand new after all.
That depends entirely on your goal. A ceramic coating will only help you maintain a clean surface and wash away the dirt with less mechanical work required, thus also protecting them from micro- starches ...
I wax them for the same reason.

Neither wax, nor ceramic coating however will protect them from stone chips... which is actually the most important protection they need, if any, in the long-run.... Only a PPF can do that.
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      03-09-2021, 08:19 AM   #15
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May I also kindly ask you for some photos of how the PPF looks on the headlights... specifically how visible the edges are.

Much appreciated.
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      03-09-2021, 08:31 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyhigh View Post
May I also kindly ask you for some photos of how the PPF looks on the headlights... specifically how visible the edges are.

Much appreciated.
The stuff is basically invisible. For some reason, the pictures won't attach.
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      03-09-2021, 08:47 AM   #17
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You can use Imgur ... would be very curious to see.
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      03-09-2021, 09:15 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyhigh View Post
You can use Imgur ... would be very curious to see.
It's basically invisible.
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      09-18-2021, 12:32 PM   #19
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Thanks to the encouragement here, I finally went ahead and installed my XPEL headlight protection film.

The videos in youtube make it look so easy.... Except that it is not! The F3x headlights must be in the "hardcore" category in terms of difficulty, due to their 3D shape!

As a result, I got a lot of small water-bubbles and some "orange skin" stretch marks on top, where the material had to be compressed. Worth noting that the bubbles appeared within about 15-30 min of application. I did not just leave them in there. The film was mostly flat and bubble-free when I initially applied it.

Did you guys have similar bubbles after the installation and did they go away in time, as they say?

[IMG]
View post on imgur.com
[/IMG]

[IMG]
View post on imgur.com
[/IMG]

[IMG]
View post on imgur.com
[/IMG]


The second headlight came out better, as good as no stretch-marks and less bubbles but still plenty.
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      09-18-2021, 04:11 PM   #20
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If it’s real Xpel, it won’t crack or yelllow. And it should be removable with no damage to the underlying paint/plastic even after a long service life. That must be some especially sensitive coating on the P-car lights, BTW.

I was never a PPF fan previously, but I’m so glad my 435’s whole front fascia, incl headlights, was Xpel’ed professionally when new. It’s now obvious to me Xpel make a superior product.

It’s coming up on 6 years now, and I’m amazed how well the front has held up. It’s not babied by any means, and it’s mainly parked outside year-round. Rocks, bugs, winter sanded roads, ice/slush and what have you have been all over it repeatedly — though it’s hard to tell. ;D It’ll often look better than much newer yet unprotected cars front-ends at the meets I attend.

Everything in this pic is Xpel covered except the grilles and sidemarker…
Note: their Headlight Protection Film is an entirely different product than their PPFs.
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Last edited by visionaut; 09-18-2021 at 08:32 PM.. Reason: Added HPF note…
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      09-19-2021, 08:21 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visionaut View Post
If it's real Xpel, it won't crack or yelllow. And it should be removable with no damage to the underlying paint/plastic even after a long service life. That must be some especially sensitive coating on the P-car lights, BTW.

I was never a PPF fan previously, but I'm so glad my 435's whole front fascia, incl headlights, was Xpel'ed professionally when new. It's now obvious to me Xpel make a superior product.

It's coming up on 6 years now, and I'm amazed how well the front has held up. It's not babied by any means, and it's mainly parked outside year-round. Rocks, bugs, winter sanded roads, ice/slush and what have you have been all over it repeatedly — though it's hard to tell. ;D It'll often look better than much newer yet unprotected cars front-ends at the meets I attend.

Everything in this pic is Xpel covered except the grilles and sidemarker…
Note: their Headlight Protection Film is an entirely different product than their PPFs.
Thanks for the info. I have a quick question. For the headlights, you mean there is a separate xpel film for the headlights then for the body?
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      09-19-2021, 08:28 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyhigh View Post
Thanks to the encouragement here, I finally went ahead and installed my XPEL headlight protection film.

The videos in youtube make it look so easy.... Except that it is not! The F3x headlights must be in the "hardcore" category in terms of difficulty, due to their 3D shape!

As a result, I got a lot of small water-bubbles and some "orange skin" stretch marks on top, where the material had to be compressed. Worth noting that the bubbles appeared within about 15-30 min of application. I did not just leave them in there. The film was mostly flat and bubble-free when I initially applied it.

Did you guys have similar bubbles after the installation and did they go away in time, as they say?

[IMG]
View post on imgur.com
[/IMG]

[IMG]
View post on imgur.com
[/IMG]

[IMG]
View post on imgur.com
[/IMG]


The second headlight came out better, as good as no stretch-marks and less bubbles but still plenty.
I previously tried the headlights and had the same issue. I used a weathertech product, but had the same issue . The videos looked easy. I did not end up completing the project and realized I probably needed professional installation. The 3D shape seemed to me to make it look like one of those slap stick comedies, because as soon as I had one side of the film on and had it looking perfect the other side of the light was not right. I would go back and fix the other side and then the first part would be wrong, this went on for awhile and I realized it just was not going to work, at least not for me. Maybe it was the product and more likely it was me, but it was not easy and it never looked good.

Good luck!
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