Before you get visions of women’s underwear catalogues, you should understand that a “clear bra” is typically the name for an auto paint protection product made by 3M. This product was actually first developed for military helicopters, but now is in general use as an aftermarket auto add-on. Motor Trend says that after a proper application, it should be almost invisible and you have to really look hard to spot the coating over the paint. While this article refers to the 3M product, there are other manufacturers and types of products that may also be loosely defined as car bras too.
Is A Clear Bra Really Invisible?
While Motor Trend’s reviews are generally favorable, they do suggest getting a professional installation if you do not really have the skill or the time to properly install it properly yourself. Done incorrectly, it can form very visible air bubbles and the edges may come up. These air bubbles may be particularly visible on dark paint. Lighter areas, like silver bumpers, tended to be more forgiving.
The professional review at Motor Trend was interesting, but it is always enlightening to see what real-world users have to say about an auto product. This might include a group of people who buy nice cars to show them at car shows. You know that these guys are picky about their car’s appearance.
Does Car Color Matter With A Clear Bra?
Opinions over at AutoGeekOnline.com were mixed, for example, about installing a clear bra on a new black car. While some forum posters said that he had seen applications that were clearly visible from about ten feet away, others remarked that they would prefer that look to paint chips from road debris.
The general consensus was that it depended upon where the car was driven and how it was used. A show car that is seldom driven on the road would not be the best candidate for this product. On the other hand, if you buy a new car that you intend to drive a lot on roads where there tends to be a lot of gravel and other debris, the slight visibility of the coating would be preferable to the appearance of paint chips in any case. One poster said that another type of car bra that is easy to install and remove, but black leather rather than a transparent coating, might be considered if the owner intended to drive a lot and keep his car in show room shape.
Should You Install A Clear Bra?
This is really a matter of personal preference, the way you drive your vehicle, and how you intend to use it. The coating might be less visible on lighter cars.