I'm looking at adding a paint protection film (aka clear bra) and come to realize the areas that requires coverage may depend from car to car (e.g.: Mazda CX-5 vs. Tesla). Different aerodynamics, shape, height, etc.

So in the course of normal on paved road driving, which areas of the car are most susceptible to get rock chips that would damage the paint?

The answer will drive the minimum coverage needed with a Paint Protection Film (PPF).

From other forums the top picks in order are:

  • Full front bumper
  • Hood (partial or full?)
  • Front fenders (partial or full?)
  • Headlights (although not paint...)
  • Wing mirrors
  • "A" pillars / front of roof
  • Rockers
  • Area in front of rear wheel well

The question is also where to put money where it matters most? There are reports where stone chips goes above the partial hood cover. What about the fenders?

1 Answer 1


When looking at the car (and I think you have most of it already covered in your question):

  • The leading edges are the most susceptible ... this would include any part of the front fascia
  • The A-pillar and maybe the leading edge of the roof
  • Any part of the side which when looking at it, dips in, then comes back out ... the part which comes back out is going to take more hits
  • The rocker panels (below and between the tires)
  • Fender just behind the tires
  • Mirrors
  • Front edge of the door and leading edge just beyond the doors

I don't think I would worry too much about the headlights. Most modern headlights are made out of Lexan, which is very stout stuff. They will take a lot of abuse before they will chip or break.

I'm sure there are more places where you could place the stuff. It is nearly invisible, so I would have no fear with throwing it on there. I also don't think I'd worry about covering only the leading edges and not the full part (like the hood or fenders). The reason I say this is, due to its near invisibility, you have to be right on top of the film in order to see it. Stand back 5 feet and it all but disappears.

Another thing of note is, the people who do the installation can tell you where it really needs to go. If you do it yourself, more power to you. I'm sure you can get some precut pieces which will cover the main areas of the paint.

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