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Old 12-13-2014, 06:33 PM
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How do car hood protectors work? And how well?

I keep seeing these around and I just today found out that they were meant to protect the hood.

http://toyota-4runner.org/attach..._protector.jpg

How in the world do these things protect the hood? Protect the hood from what? And even if they protect the hood from something, how well do they protect the hood? It seems like these thin little strips of plastic are useless.
Old 12-13-2014, 06:46 PM
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They help prevent insects from splattering on the hood, thus protecting it.

In my experience they do what they are intended to do. Personally Id rather wash my car more often than install one.
Old 12-13-2014, 06:51 PM
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Yeah, what he said. And they get dirty, too, so they have to be cleaned. Might as well wash the bugs off of the front of your hood. When they get old, they get hazy and aren't as shiny.

They do, however, offer some protection from stone chips.
Old 12-13-2014, 06:57 PM
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Stone chips, I'd rather replace a cheap strip of plastic than pay for the bonnet to be repainted.
Old 12-13-2014, 07:25 PM
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You can use touch-up paint to cover up the small chips. You don't have to paint the entire bonnet.
Old 12-13-2014, 08:07 PM
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They're also theoretically supposed to act as a spoiler to deflect rocks and road grime away from the windshield. I don't know how well they actually work at that though.
Old 12-13-2014, 08:55 PM
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they protect your hood from bullets.
Old 12-13-2014, 09:02 PM
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I put one on a car once. it made a huge reduction in how many bugs hit the windshield.

I never thought of them as hood protectors. And yes, you had to wash just as many bugs off the shield as you'd otherwise have to wash off the front of the hood. The whole point was it altered the airflow over the hood enough that bugs either hit the shield or were deflected over the car's roof, thereby avoiding the windshield.
Old 12-13-2014, 10:42 PM
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They used to be called "bras", for your searching pleasure.

The one knock I heard (I lived near the coast) was that sand would get under them and turn them into sheets of medium-grit emery cloth.
Old 12-14-2014, 12:21 AM
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These are different than bras. Look at the link in the OP.
I had a bra on my Accord and it seemed to do more harm than good trapping moisture under it.
I have a hood protector on my FJ and it does keep knicks and bugs off the hood however I have not been able to avoid 3 windshield chips in 5 years due to the almost vertical windshield.
Old 12-14-2014, 05:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
I put one on a car once. it made a huge reduction in how many bugs hit the windshield.

I never thought of them as hood protectors. And yes, you had to wash just as many bugs off the shield as you'd otherwise have to wash off the front of the hood. The whole point was it altered the airflow over the hood enough that bugs either hit the shield or were deflected over the car's roof, thereby avoiding the windshield.
I had a car come with one. That car replaced an almost identical car that got totaled in an accident. It did seem to make a huge difference in the amount of bugs that got smashed by my windscreen.

A bra is a different animal altogether. The complaints for a bra are well founded.
Old 12-14-2014, 08:30 AM
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Bras aren't perfect, and you shouldn't leave them on for long periods of time, but they do work well and they protect the front of the car from stone chips. I had one for my very first car, a small sports car, and it was excellent. That car (with bra) served well for 80,000+ miles before it was sold.

I have one now for an old classic car (again a small sports car), and I use it for long trips.

You cannot leave them on for several days or weeks at a stretch because they will trap dirt and moisture, and with dirt they will abrade the paint. But they do work very well at protecting the front end.
Old 12-14-2014, 08:45 AM
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They're called bug deflectors because they deflect air (and bugs) upward. My Jeep had one when I bought it and while driving in the snow, no snow would hit the windshield, it went up and over the Jeep. I never needed my wipers while it was snowing. I took it off and snow now hits the windshield.
Old 12-14-2014, 09:13 AM
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To keep snow off the windshield while driving, especially the heavy wet snow that gets packed and builds up by the windshield wipers, Rain-X works great. The snow just slides off of the windshield, and it doesn't build up. During heavy, wet snowfall where the flakes are huge, other cars had to drive very slowly with windshield wipers on high speed, while I didn't have my wipers on at all, and I was able to see much better than the others out there.

Not meant to be a thread hijack. Am addressing Fubaya's last comment.
Old 12-15-2014, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Bullitt View Post
To keep snow off the windshield while driving, especially the heavy wet snow that gets packed and builds up by the windshield wipers, Rain-X works great. The snow just slides off of the windshield, and it doesn't build up. During heavy, wet snowfall where the flakes are huge, other cars had to drive very slowly with windshield wipers on high speed, while I didn't have my wipers on at all, and I was able to see much better than the others out there.

Not meant to be a thread hijack. Am addressing Fubaya's last comment.
This may work on regular sedans, but on Willys, Jeeps, Scouts, Range Rovers, & other rigs with windscreens that are almost verticle, it does not work. The snow just packs in good & tight. My brother's Peterbuilt has a bug deflecter for bugs, rain, & snow. It works well.

Around here, the above rigs are often used to plow driveways & paking lots. This work is done at too slow of a speed for Rain-X type of product to have any effect.

To recap, Rain-X will not solve Fubaya's problem with snow on his Jeep windscreen. While a bug deflector may.
Old 12-15-2014, 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by 48Willys View Post
This may work on regular sedans, but on Willys, Jeeps, Scouts, Range Rovers, & other rigs with windscreens that are almost verticle, it does not work. The snow just packs in good & tight. My brother's Peterbuilt has a bug deflecter for bugs, rain, & snow. It works well.

Around here, the above rigs are often used to plow driveways & paking lots. This work is done at too slow of a speed for Rain-X type of product to have any effect.

To recap, Rain-X will not solve Fubaya's problem with snow on his Jeep windscreen. While a bug deflector may.
At slow speeds, not even a bug deflector will do what you say. There's no wind from the vehicle's speed, unless it is always pointed into a headwind.

My Rain-X and snow experience was on rig with a near-vertical windshield, not on a sedan. The Rain-X worked excellently.

YMMV.

To recap, Rain-X may help in Fubaya's situation. So might a bug deflector. Again, YMMV.
Old 12-15-2014, 08:18 AM
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As noted elsewhere, the traditional bra can indeed turn into sandpaper. If chip protection is the priority, several manufacturers (most notable 3M) make a clear plastic material that is pretty close to ideal. A search on "clear bras" Should provide several sources.
Old 12-15-2014, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by SanDiegoTim View Post
As noted elsewhere, the traditional bra can indeed turn into sandpaper. If chip protection is the priority, several manufacturers (most notable 3M) make a clear plastic material that is pretty close to ideal. A search on "clear bras" Should provide several sources.
I saw this 3M film on an exotic car at a Pebble Beach show this past summer. It looked great and you could just barely tell it was there - detected only by feel. It looked impressive, and it was on a customer's car and not at a vendor booth demo. That customer raved about it.

Have you used it, SanDiegoTim, or anyone else?


ETA: I can't remember if it was at the Pebble Beach Concours that I saw it, or at this year's Porsche Parade, but it was on one of the cars on display and being judged. Now that I think more about it, I think it was at the Porsche Parade.

Last edited by Bullitt; 12-15-2014 at 08:30 AM.
Old 12-15-2014, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullitt View Post
I saw this 3M film on an exotic car at a Pebble Beach show this past summer. It looked great and you could just barely tell it was there - detected only by feel. It looked impressive, and it was on a customer's car and not at a vendor booth demo. That customer raved about it.

Have you used it, SanDiegoTim, or anyone else?
3M XPel. Yes, I've used it on 3 out of 4 of my MINIs. The one I didn't get it on had a rock chip in the first few weeks, but I've never had an issue with any of my XPel covered ones. It's expensive, but worth it IMO.

ETA: Apparently, XPel is not 3M, though I swear it used to be...

Last edited by Orionizer; 12-15-2014 at 10:04 AM.
Old 12-15-2014, 11:24 AM
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Used it on several vehicles. Highly recommend. Installing yourself on flat surfaces is no big deal. However, installing on surfaces with compound curves might be best left to those with experience. Good info here: http://invisiblemask.com/

Last edited by SanDiegoTim; 12-15-2014 at 11:25 AM.
Old 12-15-2014, 07:15 PM
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My previous post was about half done when I hit submit. I didn't mean to imply that I had a problem with snow hitting the windshield, I meant to say that snow is a good visible indicator of how well the deflectors work. You can't actually see bugs flying at you then flying up and over the vehicle, but you can see snow doing exactly that.

Also, I used to install the clear paint protection film from time to time and 3M Scotchgard is the absolute best. I've seen tests like this of the major brands and 3M blew all the rest away by a mile. Ventureshield is also made by 3M, but the way that happened, at least according to what I've heard, is that 3M invented the stuff and Ventureshield came later and was their only competitor so 3M bought them out. Other competitors popped up afterward, but 3M Scotchgard is the original and, in my opinion, the best. It's also probably the most expensive.

And SanDiegoTim is right, flat surfaces are ok, but get a pro to do the rest. Not only can it be difficult, that stuff is expensive as well.
Old 12-16-2014, 02:47 AM
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Bugs. Is it just me, but I have never had a bug problem with regard to my windshield?
Old 12-16-2014, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by InfiniteJest View Post
Bugs. Is it just me, but I have never had a bug problem with regard to my windshield?
Depends massively on where you live. In some parts of the US, bugs are rare to nonexistent. In other parts you can't go 2 miles in springtime without 20 of them freshly stuck on your windshield.
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