Hi folks. I'm back this week to talk about car bras. On just about every road in the world, there exist many hazards. None can be as damaging to your paint as the gravel, rocks and other debris kicked up by cars in front of you. A lot of people don't realize the amount of paint damage that can occur until it's too late.
It's best to protect your car from damage while it is still in good condition. Doing so will help the car hold its resale value. Without a doubt, the most effective method of protection is to use a front cover, comically named a 'car bra.'
Many people feel that the look of the car bra detracts from the overall lines of the car. However, there really isn't much else available to protect the front surface of your car. Even if you don't like the look of them, you should have one to use on long trips (where no one is looking at your car) so that your paint will not be chipped. Most of the bras are made out of a stretchy type of black vinyl that has a leathery feel to it. The bra is attached to the front of the car and protects the bumper, hood, and sides of the fenders from rocks and gravel. The bottom side of the bra is lined with a felt-like material. Not only does the bra protect your car from scratches, but it can also reduce the amount of damage inflicted from flying rocks. Expensive and damaging paint chips can be minimized by the use of a front mounted bra.
|There are basically two types of bras for most cars… |
|- There's the one-piece unit that covers the entire front of the car. This one doesn't allow you to open the hood without removing the bra. |
|- The other type is a two-piece unit that separately covers the fenders and the hood. This type allows you to open the hood when the bra is attached. All the bras must be ordered specifically for your cars model year. |
Most bras typically have openings for US fog lamps and can be specially tailored towards your specific car. For example, you can eliminate the license plate opening, front bumper guard openings, fog lamp openings, or add holes for the headlamp washers. Either way, it's smart to get a bra that fits your car well. You can also order what is called a 'Sport-Bra’, which is only the part that covers the front hood.
Without a doubt, bras can be unwieldy and cumbersome, and it's wise to follow a few rules of thumb when using one.
|1) The first rule is to never leave the bra on the car when it's wet. This will create an environment for condensation and steam to build up underneath the bra. This resulting water vapor can seriously damage the paint underneath, either by cracking the clear coat, or altering the shade of the paint. It's a good idea to get in the habit of removing the bra immediately from the car whenever it gets wet. You would hate to have to put the bra on the car just to cover up damage that it was supposed to prevent!|
|2) When installing the bra on your car, make sure that it is tight and properly attached. Poorly installed bras can do more damage than the risks from rocks on the road. Also watch the seams of the bra. I recommend that you use soft felt squares on any point where there is a seam touching metal. Use a minimum of six of these squares - one for each of the headlight openings, one each for the top of the fenders and two side by side on the hood. Body flex during routine driving may cause the chassis to flex enough to cause substantial rubbing damage, especially on the hood. Adding these felt squares reduces the likelihood of damage.|
|3) Finally, the most important thing to do is to keep the bra clean. It won't help your car if there is dirt trapped between the bra and the paint. Routine driving with a dirty bra will result in scratches to your paint. It's generally not a wise idea to purchase a used bra for use on your car, because it will probably be too dirty to amply protect your car from damage.|
Well, that's it for this week. Next week Tom and myself (owners of
DriveWerks) are heading to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, where we hope to find many new, exciting products, and hope to take a whole bunch of interesting photos. Keep watching for details!