Skip to Primary Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to Main Content All Site Map
Scotchgard Protector Site title
United States   
Car Buyers interior navigation top graphic Spacer image
Car Buyers home Navigation image Navigation image Navigation image Contact 3M Header composition graphic
Buy Now!3M Applicator Talk
Header composition graphic Spacer image
Spacer image Spacer image
Paint Protection Film FAQ



Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film Frequently Asked Questions

Purchasing and Installation
Maintenance and Removal
Purchasing and Installation
Q. Can I purchase Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film directly from 3M?
A. 3M sells larger rolls of film to selected 3M Authorized Distributors and Converters and not to end consumers. 3M does not manufacture vehicle-specific film kits nor does 3M install kits on consumer vehicles. There are hundreds of professional certified installers throughout the United States that sell film kits who also apply it to your vehicle. Click on "Where to Buy" in the "Consumer" section of this website to search by the city and state to find the nearest professional certified installer(s).
Q. How much does it cost to have Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film installed on my vehicle?
A. This is a question for your professional certified installer. There are many makes and models of cars, trucks, RVs and boats. On personal vehicles Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film is most often used to cover the front portion of the hood. 3M film is also commonly applied to painted bumpers, mirror backs, truck bed rails, door handle inserts, door edges, rocker panels, mirror backs, wheel openings, etc. Any painted surface of a car, truck, van, SUV, RV, boat or motorcycle that is susceptible to bug damage and rock chips can be covered with paint protection film. Since the amount of film required and difficulty of application will vary by vehicle model, 3M suggests you contact professional certified installers near you for their recommendations and price quotes.
Q. Can I install Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film myself?
A. 3M strongly recommends that Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film be installed by a fully trained and certified, professional certified installer. These are skilled certified installers in applying the film around compound curves, challenging grillwork, wheel openings, bumpers and all other areas on today's vehicles.
Q. How can I get additional information about Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film?
A. Many professional certified installers have extensive experience and can answer your questions or browse this website for information on Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film and a listing of professional certified installers.
Back to the Top of Page

Maintenance and Removal
Q. Will Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film harm the painted surface if the film is removed?
A. If the film is properly applied to a fully cured painted vehicle, it can be removed, usually in one piece, without damaging paint surfaces beneath the film.
Q. Can Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film be applied over a vehicle that has had the paint touched up?
A. 3M recommends that any repainted surfaces on your vehicle be professionally painted and fully cured before applying paint protection film. If you have touched up scratches or chips with a tube of "touch-up" paint and then apply paint protection film over it, the film will protect that area until it is removed. If the paint protection film is removed, it is possible that the area around the non-professional touch-up paint could peel off.
Q. Will the paint smear if Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film is applied over a newly painted vehicle?
A. The paint on a newly painted vehicle must be cured according to manufacturer's recommendations. Your body shop should be able to provide you with this information.
Q. Can you paint or apply a clearcoat over the Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film?
A. No, this is not recommended and is at your own risk. 3M film is supplied with an OEM-approved clearcoat which is not formulated to be over-printed, painted or clearcoated.
Q. Can I cover the whole vehicle with Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film?
A. It is possible, but the application would be difficult and expensive. This product is really intended for the most vulnerable areas of the vehicle.
Q. Can Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film be applied over graphics?
A. The clear film will not interfere with vinyl or painted graphics and is designed to match the gloss levels of today's automotive factory clearcoat paint systems, providing virtually invisible protection. However, if the Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film is removed, damage may occur to the underlying graphic during the removal process.
Q. Can Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film be used on headlights, foglights or windshields?
A. No, the Department of Transportation does not allow any film of any kind to be put on headlights, foglights or windshields.
Q. Does Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film stick to bumpers?
A. Yes.
Q. Does Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film stick to plastic?
A. Yes.
Q. Can Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film be used on boats or other watercraft?
A. Yes. Marine requirements are different than automotive, so it is important to contact 3M's Marine Trades Division for information on these applications. For specific information, please call 3M Marine at 1-877-366-2746 for assistance.
Q. Can Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film be used on aircraft?
A. Aircraft requirements are completely different than automotive, so it is important to contact 3M's Aerospace Division for information on these applications. Please call 1-888-364-3577 for assistance or use the on-line 3M Aerospace Contact Us form.
Q. Can Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film to used for signs?
A. The film would probably stick, but you would need to test any specific application. 3M has no specific testing data for signs, so no warranty can be offered.
Q. Does Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film resist yellowing?
A. Yes, it resists yellowing because the film is constructed of thermoplastic urethane, a tough, conformable material that is covered by a clear coat layer. The film and clear coat layers contain UV protectants to counteract harmful ultraviolet rays that can cause yellowing.
Q. Does Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film come in colors?
A. Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film is available only as a clear film. This feature makes the film virtually invisible while protecting the beauty of your vehicle.
Q. How is Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film maintained?
A. Once applied, refrain from washing the vehicle in an automated car wash for 24 hours. Washing after that time presents no problem, and no special care need be taken for the film.
Q. Can I use wax over Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film?
A. Yes. When waxing the vehicle, some wax may build up along the film edges. This can easily be removed when dry with a soft cloth, such as a 3M™ High Performance Cloth. Do not use any waxes containing dyes or waxes that are not recommended for urethanes. Abrasive polishes and/or rubbing compounds are not to be used.
Q. What products does 3M recommend to best maintain Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film?
A. 3M makes a variety of products to help maintain the beauty of your vehicle. 3M™ Car Wash Soap (3M Part #39000), 3M™ Show Car Paste Wax (3M Part #39526 and 3M™ Perfect-It Show Car Liquid Wax (3M Part #39026). The best surface cloth to use is the 3M™ Perfect-IT™ III Detailing Cloth (3M Part #39016) since others may scratch the surface of the film.
Q. How is Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film removed?
A. If desired, film can be removed at any time by picking up a corner of the film and pulling the film off the vehicle surface at a 90-degree angle. If the film has been present a long time, or if the film and vehicle are cold, a heat gun or hair dryer may be used to soften the adhesive, allowing easier removal. If any adhesive remains on the vehicle after removal of the film, it can be removed by using 3M™ General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner (3M Part #08984), according to the package directions.
Q. If Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film is removed from the vehicle, can it be re-used?
A. Once the film has been applied and set, the adhesive will not stick a second time.
Q. After Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film has been removed, how do I get any excess adhesive off my vehicle?
A. If any adhesive remains on the vehicle after removal of the film, it can be removed by using 3M™ General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner (3M Part #08984), according to the package directions.
Q. What if Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film is installed incorrectly?
A. Contact your Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film professional certified installer immediately.
Back to the Top of Page

Q. What is the Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film warranty?
A. 3M warrants that Scotchgard™ Paint Protection Film, installed after November 1, 2003, will be free of defects in materials and manufacture — including yellowing, bubbling, or cracking — for five (5) years from date of purchase. This warranty does not apply to damage caused by misuse, accident, misapplication, or ordinary wear, nor does it apply to dents caused by physical impact of rocks or road debris.
Q. How do I make a warranty claim?
A. To make a claim under this warranty, simply contact 3M at 1-800-643-0955. 3M will direct you to an certified installer selected by 3M to have your Scotchgard Paint Protection Film inspected and, if your claim is covered by this Warranty, 3M will have the certified installer remove the old and reapply new Scotchgard Paint Protection Film.

Remedies and Limitations: The 3M warranty and limited remedies stated in this document are exclusive and is made in place of all other express or implied warranties, including any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. 3M shall not be liable for any other damages or costs, including incidental or consequential damages, arising out of the use of inability to use Scotchgard paint Protection Film or any vehicle to which it has been applied.
Back to the Top of Page

Automotive Window Film FAQ



3M Automotive Window Films Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do 3M Automotive Window Films Work?
A. 3M Automotive Window films are designed to help reduce the amount of solar heat transmission through a window by increasing the solar absorption through the glass and/or by increasing the solar reflection (not necessarily visible light reflection).
Q. What automotive window films does 3M offer?

3M has five different families of window film: dyed, metalized, hybrid, carbon impregnated, and our latest film family, a multilayer nano-technology.

Typical dyed films work primarily through increased absorption. The color absorbs the solar energy at the glass, thus reducing the direct transmission into the vehicle. Dyed films generally have the lowest heat rejection performance and the dye can fade or change with time. The FX-ST films are simple dyed polyester films.

Reflective films are films that have been precision coated with metals. These metalized films are designed to increase the solar energy reflection of the glass and achieve their high performance numbers mainly via reflection. Metalized films generally have a shiny or mirror-like appearance and do not change with time. Also, metalized films can affect the reception of electronic signals inside the vehicle. The Black Chrome films are metalized polyester films.

A film that is both dyed and metalized is termed a hybrid film. Hybrid films are a balance between dyed and metalized. They reflect solar energy and the dye allows hybrids to have lower visible light reflectivity and a pleasing appearance. However, because of the dye, hybrid films still change with time. The FX-HP films are hybrid polyester films.

Now, our top tier darker colored film family is Color Stable (CS). CS films are actually not dyed, metalized, or hybrid in construction. We use proprietary manufacturing techniques to impregnate carbon nano-particles into the film when the polyester is liquid. So rather than place a dye or metal on top of the film, the color and performance are actually inside CS films. We get the performance of a metalized film without the metal.

The latest innovation from the company that invented window film is 3M Crystalline Automotive Window Films. Superior in quality, these films are innovative, high-technology films that represent a clear breakthrough in automotive solar protection. Developed in our world-leading laboratories, Crystalline films are produced using multilayer optical film combined with precision coated nano-particles. Crystalline films offer high visible light transmission, high heat rejection, and no metals.
Q. How are automotive window films installed?
A. 3M Automotive Window Films are professionally applied by skilled, well-trained authorized 3M Dealer personnel. All of our automotive films are installed onto the inside of the glass. Please go to the applicator selector to find a local dealer near you.
Q. Can I install 3M Automotive Window Films myself?
A. No, 3M Automotive Window Films require professional application. Our 3M authorized dealer/applicators are thoroughly trained and experienced in performing high quality work. In this way, our customers enjoy the benefits of films and have the comfort of the 3M Automotive Window Film warranty.
Q. How long does it take for the film to dry?
A. 3M Automotive Window Films are installed using a soapy water solution. While the majority of this water is removed during installation, some will be left between the glass and film and this water must evaporate out through the film. This water will disappear as the film dries, depending upon the film type and weather conditions, drying may take as long as 3 days.
Q. How do I clean my automotive window film?
A. After the film is completely dry, at least 3 days after installation, you may clean the film using normal household glass cleaning solutions and a soft, lint-free cloth or towel. Abrasive cleaners or towels which could scratch or damage the film should not be used.
Q. How do I remove the old film from my windows?
A. 3M Automotive Window Films are designed to bond the film to the window glass for many years. We highly recommend returning to the 3M Authorized Dealer for film removal as this can be labor intensive, depending upon the age and type of film. Rear windows can be especially troublesome and the rear defroster can be damaged or destroyed if the film is not removed correctly.
Q. Does 3M manufacture the films?
A. This may seem an odd question; however, there are some competitive dealers that wish to confuse our customers with the boldest and strongest of claims. In the forty (40) years since we invented window film, there have been many imitators and imposters. However, there is only one company that has ever made 3M Automotive Window Films and that, or course, is 3M. We offer the genuine article and back it with the genuine warranty.
Q. What is the warranty for 3M Automotive Window Films?
A. 3M Automotive Window Films are warranted to maintain their solar properties without bubbling, peeling, cracking, or crazing and many of our films are warranted against discoloration too. Should the product be proved to be defective, 3M and the authorized dealer will replace the film and provide reapplication free of charge. Please contact one of our dealer/applicators for a copy of the warranties.
Q. How do I find the nearest 3M-authorized Dealer/Applicator? Or, is XYZ Tinting an authorized 3M Dealer/Applicator?
A. The easiest way is to contact 3M directly for the name of the nearest 3M Automotive Window Film Dealer. Call 1-800-480-1704 and we can provide you with an up-to-date listing as well as confirming which businesses are authorized 3M Dealer/Applicators. Additionally, you can click on Find an Applicator to get a local listing.
Back to the Top of Page

Paint Protection Film FAQ



Scotchgard™ Vehicle Protection Package Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Where can I buy the Scotchgard™ Vehicle Protection Package?
A. The Scotchgard Vehicle Protection Package is only sold through select automotive dealerships and applicators. Please use the Find an Applicator selector to find an installation facility in your area.
Q. What is the Scotchgard Vehicle Protection Package?
A. The package includes professionally applied chemicals including Scotchgard Paint Protector, Scotchgard Leather and Vinyl Protector, Scotchgard Carpet Protector, and the Scotchgard Fabric and Vinyl Protector. The products are supported by a guarantee that includes up to 5 years of protection against common interior and exterior blemishes.
Q. What is the difference between the Scotchgard™ Vehicle Protection Package and the products I can buy at retail establishments?
A. The Scotchgard Vehicle Protection products are designed for professional installation with improved durability and adhesion properties. The Scotchgard Paint Protector is a reactive silicon technology that offers superior adhesion and performance for exterior substrates. The interior products are specifically designed to optimize the performance based on various carpet, fabric, and upholstery substrates.
Q. How long does the Scotchgard Vehicle Protection Package last?
A. The products are backed by a guarantee that lasts at least 5 years for new cars or pre-owned new cars. The guarantees vary somewhat by state, so please review the applicable state specific service agreement.
Q. Can I vacuum, wash, or wax over the Scotchgard Vehicle Protection Products?
A. Yes, it is recommended that you continue to maintain your vehicle with the full line of 3M Car Care products.
Q. Is the guarantee transferable?
A. Yes, please review your service agreement for details, but in general the guarantee is transferable for a fee of $25 by calling (800) 813-9926.
Q. What if the product gets on my trim or paneling?
A. The product can be removed by using a clean cloth with warm water.
Q. How do I make a claim?
A. To make a claim, please call (800) 813-9926 and have your customer number handy.
Q. How does 3M track registration and warranty claims?
A. 3M has developed an electronic registration and claims management website to insure customers get proper service and that our applicators meet compliance and registration procedures.
Q. What if I don’t receive a welcome package in the mail?
A. Please call (800) 813-9926. 3M will make sure that your guarantee was registered correctly and send out a welcome package immediately.
Back to the Top of Page

© 3M 2009. All Rights Reserved.