Common questions about our products
Paint Protection Film
Can the film be waxed?
While you can wax the film, be sure the product you are using doesn’t contain Naphtha or Kerosene in concentrations over 5%, and also avoid waxes that contain dyes. For best results, we recommend using our TOPS Flawless Finish Paint Protection Film Sealant. This product has been specially formulated for use with polyurethane paint protection films to provide the maximum protection and gloss, while containing no ingredients that would cause discoloration over time.
Can TOPS be installed on signs?
Yes. Paint protection film can be applied to any smooth painted surface.
What is the expected life of TOPS?
Our ULTIMATE PLUS PLUS and STEALTH films are warrantied for 10 years. This warranty covers: yellowing, staining, delaminating, cracking, peeling, bubbling, and more. More information on the warranty can be found on our Warranty Information page
Can I use detailing clay on the film?
Yes. The process is the same as with regular paint: wet the surface with a lubricant such as soapy water and then gently rub the surface with the clay bar. For stubborn insect, bird dropping, or hard water stains, use Simple Green as the lubricant for the detailing clay.
How do I maintain TOPS ULTIMATE PLUS?
No special maintenance is required for TOPS ULTIMATE PLUS. However, the film will last longer and will be easier to clean if treated twice a year with TOPS Flawless Finish Paint Protection Film Sealant.
Can TOPS film be applied to Chrome?
Any of our films can be installed on Chrome, though the finish will look slightly different than if left unprotected. We recommend having your installer apply a small swatch to the desired surface so you can see what it looks like before deciding.
Will TOPS ULTIMATE PLUS yellow over time?
TOPS ULTIMATE PLUS is warrantied for 10 years against a range of issues including yellowing. More information about the warranty can be found on our Warranty Information page
Do you have a colored paint protection?
We are currently working on limited beta versions of our ULTIMATE PLUS film in gloss black, matte black, and gloss white. Please contact customer support at +49 89 24440 7026 for current availability.
How deep of a scratch can film still heal?
The clear coat is the self-healing layer and is approximately 13 microns thick. If that layer is penetrated, the film will not heal.
Do you have a first time buyer discount?
Not at this time.
Can I purchase precut film for my vehicle?
Yes, our pre-cut kits are available for sale on our website, www.TOPS.com, or by calling our customer support team at 1-210-678-3700. However, as installation can be quite difficult without previous experience or formal training, we recommend having installation performed by one of our Factory Trained Installers. To find an installer nearest you please visit our Installer Locator to find an installer near you.
Can TOPS be installed on your windshield?
No. Because of the impact absorbency of paint protection film, the refractive index of the film is too different from that of the windshield. Because of this difference, putting the two together causes a distortion when looking through the glass that would be unacceptable to the vehicle’s occupants.
Can I have TOPS film installed in Germany?
Yes. We have installers available worldwide. Please visit our Installer Locator to find an installer near you.
Will TracWrap stick to a vinyl wrapped car?
Yes, TracWrap can be applied to vinyl.
How much does paint protection film cost?
Because the product is installed by independent installers, cost varies greatly based on location, labor rates, and installer experience. To get an estimate from a local installer nearest you, please visit: TOPS Installer Locator
What if my installation was done incorrectly?
It is always best to contact your TOPS installer first and explain your concerns. We do our best to maintain a network of installers that stand behind their work. If after doing so, your installer cannot or will not address your concerns to your satisfaction, please contact our customer service team for assistance. They will get you in touch with the TOPS Representative for your area who will work to find a solution to the issue.
Can I cover my whole vehicle with TOPS Film?
Yes. Any smooth painted surface can be covered with paint protection film.
Can TOPS be installed on my airplane or aircraft?
Paint protection film can be applied on any smooth painted surface. However, given the tight tolerances on weight, balance and other factors on some aircraft, it is highly recommended to consult with the manufacturer of the airplane for strict guidance.
How can I wax STEALTH without it looking shiny?
While there is no reason to wax STEALTH, if you wish to do so, we recommend using our TOPS Flawless Finish Paint Protection Film Sealant. When applying the sealant, work in small areas thoroughly wiping away all excess before moving on to the next section.
Can I run my car through an automatic car wash?
Yes. But wait 48 hours after installation to allow the film to dry completely.
What happens if you put Acry-solvent on the film?
Acry-solvent, or any other Xylene based solvent, will not harm the film unless left sitting saturated in it for an extended period of time. To use this type of solvent on the film (for removing stains, etc.) wet a microfiber towel with the product and wipe the film for one or two minutes. If the stain remains, allow the solvent to evaporate and then repeat the process.
How thick is TOPS ULTIMATE PLUS paint protection film?
TOPS ULTIMATE PLUS is 8.5 mils (.0085 inches) thick.
Can TOPS be installed on boats and other watercraft?
Yes. TOPS can be installed on marine boats and water craft
Can I use a pressure washer, and how soon after install?
Yes, pressure washers can be used on TOPS paint protection films, provided the film has completely dried after installation (typically 48 hours) and provided the high-pressure water is not pointed directly at the edges of the film.
Can I install TOPS ULTIMATE PLUS Paint Protection Film myself?
Other than the simplest body panels, application of paint protection film is a process which requires a good deal of experience and training to obtain satisfactory results. The compound curves present on most surfaces require the film to be stretched and compressed in a very controlled way to ensure proper adhesion without distorting the adhesive. As such, it is highly recommended that the film is professionally installed.
If I apply a ceramic coating to STEALTH, will it make it shiny?
It depends on the coating. Some may deepen the finish while others may add unwanted gloss. We recommend testing the coating on a swatch of unused film or in an inconspicuous area before coating a protected panel.
Will removing the film harm the vehicles paint, once removed?
It is highly unlikely for paint protection film to harm OEM paint. Paint systems used on modern assembly lines today produce a minimum bond strength of 16 MPa and maximum of 25 MPa between the panel and the paint depending on color, iridescence and the system used. Our film’s bond to the painted surface at normal state (immediately following installation) is .0753 MPa. Even after years of heat and sun, the bond between the film and the paint increases to only 0.17 MPa. What that means is in the absolute worst case scenario, the bond of factory paint to the panel is over 94 times stronger than the bond of our film to the paint. In the best case, the paint is 332 times stronger.
That being said, it is still recommended to have a professional remove the film in accordance with our published guidelines.
Can I have TOPS installed over my Vinyl Wrap or Racing Stripes?
Yes. TOPS film can be applied over a vinyl wrap or graphics. However, if there are any hard edges that film must cross (as in the case of stripes), it could result in some air being trapped along that edge.
Can TOPS be installed on your vehicles headlights and fog lights?
Yes. TOPS can be installed on your cars headlamps and fog lamps
How do I wash the film, can I use a quick detailer or detail spray?
You may use any standard car wash soap, rinse free car wash, or detail spray to clean the film, provided that the product does not contain more than 5% naphtha or kerosene.
Can TOPS be applied over a vehicle that has had paint touch ups?
Yes. Though you can install the film over any quality of touch-up, the best possible appearance will be obtained if the touched up area has been color-sanded smooth and buffed after the application of the paint.
Can TOPS film be installed on the glossy interior panels of my car?
Yes. TOPS ULTIMATE PLUS can be applied to any smooth surface, though care should be taken around any electronics and/or switches so that installation fluids aren’t allowed to get into sensitive areas.
Can TOPS paint protection film be installed on a brand new vehicle?
Yes. Factory paint is fully cured before the car ever leaves the assembly line.
What can I use to clean the film with if the Film Cleaner isn’t working?
TOPS Film Cleaner is generally designed to remove dirt, grime and oils from paint protection film that lead to yellowing over time. To remove stains from other substances such as insects, bird droppings or other compounds, use acetone or lacquer thinner with a soft microfiber cloth.
If I get a partial front end wrap, will the edge of the film be noticeable?
While the edge of the film can be seen from certain angles, people generally do not notice it unless they are looking for it. However, if the car is dirty and dust and dirt is allowed to collect along the edge of the film, it will be more noticeable. Once the car is cleaned, it will be once again difficult to detect unless looking for it.
A piece of road debris scratched the film on my car. Will this self-heal?
The self-healing clear coat of our ULTIMATE PLUS and STEALTH films is designed to repair itself from swirl marks and light scratches from car washes, etc. If a piece of debris has penetrated all the way through the clear coat on the film, it will not self-heal. The only way to fix this would be to have the piece of film replaced.
How can I remove the excess adhesive after I removed the film myself?
If there is left over adhesive upon removal, you can use a general purpose adhesive remover, often found at your local auto parts or home improvement store.
Does the 10-year warranty on ULTIMATE PLUS transfer to another owner if car is sold?
The TOPS ULTIMATE PLUS, STEALTH, and XTREME warranty is transferable to another owner with proof of purchase.
Once the film has been removed from my vehicle, can I re-use it on another vehicle?
No, the film once applied and removed cannot be reused.
Can I install TOPS paint protection film on aluminum or brushed metal accents on the car?
Any of our paint protection films can be installed on aluminum or brushed metal, though they may change the appearance to some degree depending on the film you choose. We recommend having your installer apply a small swatch of the film to the surface in question to determine the appearance prior to full installation.
What is the best polish to put on your car after you have had it wrapped with TOPS ULTIMATE PLUS?
We recommend using our TOPS Flawless Finish Paint Protection Film Sealant. This product has been specially formulated for use with polyurethane paint protection films to provide the maximum protection and gloss, while containing no ingredients that would cause discoloration over time.
My car dealer applied a paint sealant to my vehicle, can I have TOPS installed over this protectant?
Waxes, sealants and protectants are typically designed to reduce the surface energy of the paint, making them easier to clean etc. A reduction in surface energy will reduce the film’s ability to adhere to the paint and could cause long term adhesion issues. Because of this, we generally recommend removing these types of products before installation. If these types of coatings are to be used, we recommend applying them AFTER installation of our paint protection film.
Can I apply a ceramic coating on top of the film and how does it affect the self-healing feature of TOPS?
Yes, Coatings can be applied to the films. Adding a coating does not stop the film from self-healing. Coatings can add a protective layer over the film, which depending on the coating can provide different properties (Please contact your installer or coating company for more information). That additional coating layer, depending on the coating applied, may or may not self-heal. Once the coating wears down and deteriorates, the self-healing qualities of TOPS ULTIMATE PLUS and STEALTH will still remain.
How do you remove the material and what kind of residue or marks does it leave on clear coat type paint?
Please see the diagram in the link below and be sure to use a steamer or heat gun to soften and warm the adhesive. This will yield the best possible results and will leave little if any adhesive behind. Any traces of residue left behind can be removed with any commercially available adhesive remover that is safe for automotive paint.
What would be the best way to protect the rocker panels on my truck from getting damaged from rocks and road debris?
We offer pre-cut rocker panel coverage for most trucks and SUVs that can be professionally installed by our independent dealer network. Visit our Installer Locator for an installer near you for a quote.
We also make a rocker panel DIY kit to help protect your rocker panels. This product is available in our TOPS ULTIMATE PLUS film or our TOPS ARMOR film. ULTIMATE PLUS is our clear self-healing paint protection film, while ARMOR is a rugged 30 mil film that is black and has texture similar to a spray in bed liner.
Can you wrap a whole car in the same way you can Color Change a vehicle (dismantling first) from bulk pieces of Paint Protection Film?
Yes. Assuming you and the installer are both comfortable with the risk, there is nothing about the film that would prevent this from being done. We also have designs for most body panels on nearly every vehicle, which would allow installation without dismantling the vehicle.
Can I install a vinyl stripe on top of TOPS paint protection film and will I be able to remove the stripe without damaging the clear protection?
Yes, you can install a vinyl on top of the film. We recommend waiting 48 hours after installation before doing so. You may also remove the stripe without damaging the film, if removed properly.
Do you make a clear film that could be used to protect a windshield without distorting one’s view, or breaking the glass due to expansion/contraction?
No. We do not currently offer a windshield protection film.
When I wear Polarized Sunglasses, my Paint Protection Film appears to have blemishes and distortions, why is that?
This is a very common occurrence with Paint Protection Film of all brands. It has to do with the difference in refractive index between the layer of film and the paint on the car. It is most noticeable on compound-curved surfaces because the film must be stretched over these areas to allow it to be installed without wrinkles. When the film is stretched, it becomes slightly thinner in those areas which causes the phenomenon seen through polarized glasses.
It can also occur on flat surfaces when the installer needs to use a drying solution (as opposed to a slip solution) such as alcohol and water to get the needed bond to the paint. This is due to the difference in viscosity of the fluids and their effect on the adhesive’s properties.
Polarized glasses have this effect on a number of different multi-layer surfaces (not just paint protection film) made of glass or plastic.
Headlight Protection Film
Can TOPS be installed on your vehicles headlights and fog lights?
Yes. TOPS can be installed on your cars headlamps and fog lamps
I have installed the kit on my headlights and they looked fine, but now they look foggy. Did I do something wrong?
When using the wet application technique, this is normal. The fog is the result of the alcohol/water solution evaporating from beneath the plastic. The water vapor that is produced results in a hazy appearance for several days. The haze will clear as the vapor dissipates.
Is it best to apply your light protection kit to the lenses wet or dry?
We have found that the wet installation yields the best-looking installation with the least amount of difficulty in most cases. On larger headlamp pieces, bubbles and improper alignment of the material are far less likely using the wet installation method. However, on smaller pieces, such as fog lamps, the dry installation method is sometimes easier. This is especially the case if the lamp is spherical in shape.
I have the headlamp kit almost completely applied using the wet application method, but I can’t seem to get the edges to completely stick down. What am I doing wrong?
It is absolutely imperative that a hairdryer or heat gun is used in this area to seal the edges. The heat serves two purposes. First, it helps evaporate the remaining alcohol/water solution from under the edges, and second it makes the plastic more pliable so that it can contour to the shape of the light. Be careful if you are using a heat gun to warm the plastic. It takes only a small amount of heat to apply the material. If you apply too much heat you can damage the surface of the plastic.
What if I want to remove the headlamp shields at a later date?
The removal process is just a matter of warming the plastic, and peeling them off. They will require some muscle to get them off, but they normally peel off without any residue left on the lens. If any adhesive at all remains behind, it may be removed by simply rubbing it with your thumb. The adhesive will then ball up and roll off.
What is the warranty period for your window films?
We offer a transferable lifetime warranty on both the CS, HP and XR series. The warranty covers against cracking, peeling, bubbling, delamination, fading and color change for the life of the film. The warranty is transferable and will continue with the car even in the event the ownership change.
What sizes of Window Films are available?
We have a full range of product sizes available. 18”, 20”, 24”, 30”, 36”, 40”, 60” and 72”
Do you offer residential/commercial window films?
Since TOPS is a leader in automotive products our first concentration has been helping our dealer base expand in the automotive business. There are plans in the works to ultimately offer a full lineup of products including architectural and security films.
When removing the film does the adhesive stay on glass or on film?
Our window film is designed to with a very strong adhesive for durability, upon removal of the window film the adhesive will not fully transfer to the film and will remain on the glass.