If you own a UTV or 4WD, you cannot help but go off-road. Whether hiking, hunting, or camping, having a Jeep, SUV, or truck will come in handy. However, before you take your car off-road, it is important to ensure that your car has the necessary protection to protect it from wear and tear. This is where off-road paint protection comes into play.
Although your four-wheel drive (4WD) can go off-road, the rougher conditions can sometimes lead to wear and tear. That said, it is imperative to understand the type of damage that you may encounter by going off-road.
For example, if you are driving through a terrain that is difficult to navigate, your entire vehicle is likely to get scratches, meaning you need to get something to protect your car.
Besides, modern off-road vehicles are quite expensive, and the thought of seeing the machine destroyed can be overwhelming for many. However, that does not mean that you should cancel your driving adventure altogether. With the necessary aftermarket upgrades, you can take your beast off-road without worry.
What Causes Off-road Scratches?
Flying debris bumps and dents are common problems you encounter if you take your 4×4 car off-road from time to time. While you may promise yourself that you will not drive your vehicle past the branches and other things that can cause scratches to your car, it is not always the case.
Sometimes (if not all occasions), it is not possible to get out of the car to move the branches so you can drive through. Even if you do, it is impossible to avoid 4×4 scratches completely.
One of the common causes of 4WD scratches is pinstripes—the tiny scratches that your 4WD gets when you drive through vegetation.
However, it does not feel great to come from your road trip with ruined 4WD paint. That said, you need to derive ways to protect your beast if you drive in forested areas.
Benefits of Paint Protection for Your 4×4
The first cut on your car is always the deepest. Scratches from debris and dents from rocks can reduce the overall 4×4 vehicle value. Off-roading and rambling are some of the terms used when driving your 4WD vehicle down some trails instead of the normal paved roads.
As you can expect, these trails can be super minimal or rugged, meaning your vehicle is going to get some scratches when you drive through them.
That said, here are the benefits of having paint protection for your 4WD vehicle:
- Protection against damage: As stated, rocks and road debris can damage your 4×4 vehicle when off-road. Paint protection will protect your 4WD from scratches to ensure it does not damage your car.
- It makes your car look newer for longer: Waxing your 4WD vehicle gives it a beautiful luster that will last for many months. You may even opt for permanent protection that will provide your vehicle a lifetime of luster.
- Increase your 4WD’s resale value: When you finally decide to sell your off-road vehicle, you want it to fetch a fair price. Since most buyers will look at your vehicle’s exterior before deciding to buy it, ensuring that your car paint does not appear faded will help increase your car’s resale value. In this case, having some form of paint protection will come in handy.
- Cost-effective: Paint protection reduces damages to your 4×4 exterior, making managing your car less costly
Rough Textured Automotive Paint for Jeep and Off-road Vehicles
If you drive your Jeep in areas with lots of debris, you may want to consider coating the exterior of your 4WD off-road vehicle with a bedliner style coating.
This trend gained popularity a few ago because it is durable and pocket-friendly. The only issue with this type of coating is that it is thick. That means you may experience gravity issues when applying wet coating on your vehicle, making achieving an attractive finish a bit challenging.
Another challenge is that most bedliners do not have enough UV protection; it is prone to fading after some time.
That said, bedliners are extremely durable and can protect your off-road paint from scratches caused by branches, rocks chips, or when washing your Jeep after driving through the mud.
Nothing beats the rough textured off-road paint when it comes to durability. The best part is that this paint is UV stable, meaning it won’t fade over time. When applied well, this coating offers a consistent look and will provide much-needed protection when off-roading.
Popular Options for Paint Protection
4WDs and UTVs are expensive. As such, you need to take the right measures to protect your investment to maintain its nice appearance.
Your car paint is the first thing people see when they look at your vehicle. However, if you don’t protect your car paint, it will fade or even rust. This is why you should consider paint protection for your off-road vehicle.
That said, with the different types of car paint protection available, choosing the best for your 4WD can be challenging. The following are some popular options for paint protection to consider:
If you are looking to protect your car paint from dirt and grim, applying a coat of wax will come in handy.
Wax adds shine to your car and adds a protective barrier to your car paint. More specifically, wax protects your car paint from UV rays, debris, and water spots that could otherwise stain the paint.
Depending on the amount of time you expose your car to these external elements, how frequently you wash your car, and the type of wax you use, the coat of wax may deliver results for several months.
Wax is available in different forms, including spray, liquid, and paste. Unfortunately, wax is not the best option if you need protection against scratches, chemicals, and scuff marks.
This is a synthetic product that can protect your car paint and improve its appearance. Paint sealants offer better protection than wax coatings.
A sealant may be ideal if you want to protect your vehicle paint against chemicals, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, and sap. Sealants can last for several months depending on the quality of sealant used, how often you wash your vehicle, etc.
Ceramic coating is a liquid polymer applied to a vehicle’s interior. This type of paint protection offers more protection than sealants and wax. However, much care is needed during application to get the most out of it.
Unlike sealants and wax coating, ceramic coating can protect your vehicle from light scratches. Of course, the ceramic coating will not protect your vehicle from deep off-road scratches. Ceramic coatings may last up to 4 years, depending on the quality and how it is applied.
Paint Protection Film
Paint protection film (PPF) is your best bet if you are looking for paint protection against scratches, rock chips, road debris, and other road wear and tear that would otherwise cause permanent damages to your vehicle’s exterior.
You have the option to choose between sprayable paint protection film and paint protection film sheet when it comes to PPF.
As the name suggests, you need a spray can to apply sprayable paint protection to your car. The catch is to ensure that the vehicle is clean before spraying it on your vehicle’s surface.
On the other hand, paint protection film sheets come in rolls or sheets and are common among PPF installers and shops. Again, the vehicle needs to be sparkling clean before applying PPF sheets using squeegees.
Ways You Can Protect Your Off-Road Vehicle from Scratches
As earlier stated, there is a higher chance of potential damage when rambling in rugged environments. From your vehicle’s surface getting scratched by a stray branch to getting scrapped on a large obstacle—there is much that puts your Jeep at risk when off-road. That said, here are ways you can protect your off-road car from scratches:
Clear Coat Paint Protection
Clear coat spray paint is among the popular ways to protect your 4×4 from off-road scratches. Ideally, clear coat spray protection involves adding a second layer of paint on existing paint with no coloring. The best part is that the product may contain protective properties like UV protection to preserve the pigmented automotive paint beneath.
Many 4WD and off-road vehicles have two layers of paint: A base with color and a clear coat on top. Having a clear coat of spray paint will add an extra protective layer to help ward off scratches. You can also apply paint sealant on top of clear coat spray paint to amp your vehicle’s look.
Consider Film Paint Protection
Another popular way to protect your 4WD from scratches is using film paint protection. Paint protection film involves applying thicker barriers on your 4×4 to prevent scratches.
The film is cut into the exact shape of the vehicle and then applied to cover the vehicle’s surface to protect it against flying debris, sand, grit, chemicals, and other elements that can destroy the paint.
Of course, more emphasis should be given to high-impact areas such as the bonnet, leading edges of the wheels, exterior mirrors, headlights (the film will not interfere with the clarity of the beams), and other areas likely to come into contact with flying debris.
That said, it is imperative to remember that the film will not improve the appearance of the car paint. As such, if your vehicle’s paint is damaged, it will show through the surface.
Paint alone is not enough to protect your off-road car from scratches. Some areas of the vehicle, like door edges, are more vulnerable to scratches from chips, nicks, and dings. Having door edge guards will help protect the metal beneath and ensure it remains pristine.
Use a Vinyl Wrap
Although it may not protect against deep dents, vinyl wraps are great options for protecting your 4WD from minor scratches. You have two options when choosing vinyl wraps: color or clear. You can decide to apply the vinyl wrap to your entire 4×4 (comprehensive coat) or apply it only on selected areas.
Vinyl wrap is an ideal option if you want to give your 4WD a completely new and refreshed look as it is available in different colors. The best part is that you can easily remove and repair vinyl wrap when it gets damaged.
Reusable 4WD Body Armor
Another excellent way to protect your SUV or Jeep is to invest in reusable body armor. This type of protection involves reusable magnetic paintwork body armor attached to your vehicle’s vulnerable parts, including rear corners and taillights.
Ideally, these products protect your paintwork, meaning you don’t need to backtrack when off-roading.
You can also use magnetic sheets to protect flat panels on your vehicle like doors. The best part is that they are easy to apply and remove and allow the option to color-code them.
These magnetic sheets provide protection when driving down rough terrain to ensure your car does not get significant scratches. The catch is to ensure to wash your 4WD before applying the magnetic protection panel to remove dirt, debris, and dust that could cause damage to your paintwork.
Brush Guard, Sidesteps, and Flares
Side steps are heavy-duty steel or aluminum mounted to the underbody of your 4WD just under the sill to provide easy access to the vehicle. Besides, these brush bars provide essential protection against off-road damage.
More specifically, brush guards, sidesteps, and flares help ensure that your vehicle is not in direct contact with the vegetation. As such, they protect your car paint from scratches and ultimately avoid body repainting costs.
Avoid Car Wash Using Automatic Spinning Brushes
Let’s face it, cleaning your 4×4 by hand after a rough ride in the wilderness is not a fun thing to do. Like most people, you probably head to the nearest automatic car wash after your adventurous road trip to clean your UTV.
While there is nothing wrong with this, sometimes the carwash will do more than just clean your 4WD. We are talking about the effects those automatic spinning brushes might have on your Jeep or SUV. As it turns out, these brushes might damage your 4×4 paint, and you may need another paint job sooner than you think.
Of all the tips listed above, this is the cheapest and most effective—your driving behavior.
While you cannot avoid going off-road if you own a 4WD or UTV, you can minimize the damages by slowing down when driving through branches and other rough environments or driving past other vehicles. This way, you will minimize paint damages from flying debris, dust, and rock chips.
Kevlar Paint for Jeep
A Kevlar paint job is on the rage right now but is it right for your Jeep?
A Kevlar paint job looks awesome and durable, providing extra protection for your Jeep when you go off-roading.
If you have just bought your Jeep or are planning to buy one, you probably are thinking about getting a Kevlar covering for your ride. Before applying this covering to your vehicle, it is imperative to know the pros and cons of a Kevlar paint Jeep. After all, this is not a small investment and will be the face of your truck for its entire life.
Ideally, Kevlar paint refers to the DuPont product used in spray-on liner applications due to its durability and attractive finish.
Is Kevlar paint bulletproof?
While Kevlar paint is meant to stop bullets, an increased number of truck owners are adding thin coatings of Kevlar to their vehicles to protect themselves against hail.
Kevlar is a synthetic polymer discovered many years ago and developed in the 60s to have fiber to reinforce tires. When in the liquid state, Kevlar is stronger than nylon and is and is five times stronger than steel. Kevlar is obtained by adding phenylene-diamine and terephthaloyl.
Pros and Cons of Kevlar Paint for 4WD
Here are the Kevlar paint pros and cons:
- Amazing style: A Kevlar auto paint is neither too thick nor too thin, giving your Jeep an amazing finish style
- Rough-textured: A Kevlar is extremely durable. It can withstand almost everything and requires no maintenance
- Keeps your car looking new: Your car’s look says a lot about it. This paint allows the option to paint your 4×4 in any color you want.
- All-round protection: Kevlar paint offers protection from rust, mold, is non-flammable and can stop bullets too
- Not UV stable: Kevlar is destroyed by UV rays, causing them to diminish in density and lose its strength
- Permanent: Since Kevlar covering is permanent, you cannot go back and change its style easily
Are Scorpion Off-road Coatings a Good Option for 4WD?
If you are looking for a universal automotive solution for your 4WD, Scorpion off-road coatings may come in handy. Scorpion coatings work best for any shape surface.
More specifically, Scorpion off-road coatings protect your 4×4’s undercarriage against corrosion and your exterior surface against scratches and scrapes. It has been shown to offer significant protection against high winds, hail storms, and debris in the fields. As such, it may be an ideal choice if you are looking for proper protection against significant off-road damage.
Off-Road Paint Protection – Do it Yourself or Hire a Professional?
While you can opt to do an off-road paint job yourself, it is best to hire a professional. Getting this job right requires the correct tools and specialized skills, so having a professional do the job will save the day.
These professionals will not only help do the paint job but will also help choose the best paint for your 4WD. So, unless you know exactly what you need and can assess the damage, don’t apply the paint protection to your 4WD yourself.
Scorpion Off-road Coatings are the Best Protective Coating option for UTV’s and 4WD
Whether you own a Jeep, SUV, or any other off-road machine, the need to protect it from scratches, UV exposure, harmful chemicals, and road grime cannot be overstated.
When you take this proactive and smart decision to protect your UTV or 4WD against off-road damage, it is only fair to ensure that you choose the right product. Scorpion offers the best auto body protection film to protect your 4WD from UV rays and scratches caused by vegetation, rock chips, and other external aggressions.
More specifically, Scorpion has partnered with HEXIS to develop the new BODYFENCE range, including wrap vinyl and paint protection kits making it the best paint protection option for your SUV or Jeep.