FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What does Gearhead Graphics do?
We are a one-stop-shop for graphic design & branding, large format printing & signage, commercial, racing and color-change wraps, clear bra, and pretty much any other vehicle graphics you or your business may need.
- Why do a wrap instead of paint?
Quality wraps are removable and therefore do not affect the resale value of your vehicle like repainting it would do, and does not require a change to your vehicle's registration if the wrap color is not the color stated on your registration. Wraps are also a great way to enhance your vehicle's looks, while at the same time protecting your paint from fading, scratches, and other minor damage that unprotected paint will not have.
There is no better way to advertise your company than a well designed and professionally installed commercial wrap. People see your vehicle sitting in traffic, at the job sites, while you're at lunch, etc. It is literally an eye-catching, full time ad in your area(s) of operation that work better than any online ad. Another huge benefit to you is that most commercial vehicles are rarely in pristine condition. A quality commercial wrap can add years to the life of an otherwise spent commercial vehicle. Do you think a dirty old work truck or a "new" wrapped truck will push business to your door?
- What do you mean by "quality wraps?"
There are plenty of scammers out there who will happily give you a "deal" on wraps. By "deal"they mean they will charge you half as much as a reputable company, use cheap Chinese vinyl that will fail in a matter of weeks, cut your paint with their knives, and get the vinyl to stick just long enough for you to get the remainder of your money. Once the wrap starts peeling, your calls to them will go unanswered. We see it over and over again. We try our best to educate folks about these scam artists who never bother to learn how to do a good wrap, but we get calls all the time to "fix" these "deals" that end up costing the victims much more in both time and money than our wrap would have been in the first place. A good way to lose a bunch of your time/money is to answer that Facebook or Instagram ad shilling a job done for the cost of material by a kid working out of his mom's garage. If a person does not have the experience to value their labor, ask yourself why.
Another huge part of quality is the choice of materials. Yes, you CAN find Chinese material for a fraction of the cost of quality, proven materials. But again, you should ask yourself why it is so cheap. We use materials from reputable manufacturers in the U.S. and Europe that are well-proven in the market. We have bought vinyl from some of the vendors who sell these inexpensive vinyls, stuck them on our dumpster out back with a date on them. Not one lasted longer than 6 months. That is an unacceptable result. This is our business. Not our hobby. We take it seriously and stake our reputations on our work. The very last thing we want is to have a pissed off customer out there and we work hard to make sure the end result is one you are bragging about, not ragging about.
- How much should a wrap cost?
Wrap costs can vary greatly depending on a vast number of variables such as complexity, disassembly, size of the vehicle, which materials are used, etc. That is kind of like asking how much a car costs costs. A good example is that a new Mercedes is not going to cost the same as a used Kia.
Wraps can vary in costs from $1500 up to "sky's the limit" depending on the desired end result (i.e. basic color change wrap on a Jeep (flat panels in small numbers) versus a fully designed, printed and laminated reflective wrap on a Lamborghini (large curved and angular panels). A box truck, with its flat sides is a much easier install than a curvy sports car, even though more materials may be used on the box truck.
Vinyl costs are as varied as the vehicles that they are stuck to. Vinyls such as chromes, reflective, textured, over laminates and color changing, have different price points, as well. We encourage anyone thinking about a wrap to stop by and discuss your particular job and see the vast number of cool materials available so we can give you an accurate quote and you can be an educated consumer.
- How can I save money on a wrap?
Saving us time on your wrap is the single most effective way to save money on your wrap. Cleaning the vehicle, removing any old vinyl, clay barring the paint, and even disassembly of the various elements of the vehicle can all result in discounts as those are typically the biggest allotments of time on an install.
People often think they can get a better deal on material than we can. Being an established business with a relationship with the distributors of the various brands, we get price breaks on materials and do not mark them up, so we actually pass our savings on to you.
- How long should a wrap last?
Wraps should typically last 5 years, although extremely hot climates like the desert (Arizona & Southern California) or the tropics (South Florida) can break the materials down much faster since UV tends to be the big killer of vinyl. Longer if they are well cared for and the vehicles are garaged.
- How do I care for a wrap?
Keep your car clean. When it looks dirty, it is time to wash! Bug guts, bird droppings, and other pollutants WILL mar your wrap (AND your paint!) if left on the surface too long. When washing, do not wash into the edges of the wrap (or stripes/graphics). This can drive dirt and debris under the edges and cause the edges to start lifting. Same goes for pressure washing (see below).
Use the 2-Bucket Method (https://www.lenosgarage.com/blogs/news/twobucketwashmethod) with grit guards in buckets to wash your car, along with a super soft mitt and drying towel. Only use high quality, soft, clean, microfiber towels to wipe your vehicle. Be careful about scrubbing too hard or using paper towels.
We highly discourage using commercial brushed car washes as those felt brushes are full of debris and sand that will scratch the surface of the vinyl (and paint for that matter). They are just not a good idea for any car.
Wipe off fuel spills immediately, then hand wash the affected area. Letting the spill stay on the wrap too long will degrade the vinyl. Wiping the affected area with a wet paper towel at a gas station will work decently enough until you can get home to do a more thorough job.
Avoid wiping the wrap when hot as it increases the chance of lifting/moving/wrinkling the vinyl.
Although hand washing is the preferred cleaning method, pressure washing may be used under these conditions:
• Ensure the water pressure is kept below 2000 psi (14 MPa).
• Keep water temperature below 80°C (180°F).
• Use a spray nozzle with a 40 degree wide angle spray pattern.
• Keep the nozzle at least 1 foot (300 mm) away from and perpendicular (at 90 degrees) to the graphic.
Never, EVER use any of the following products on your wrap:
• Oil based cleaners
• Kitchen & Bathroom Cleaners
• Oven cleaner
• Orange Oil
• Engine Degreaser
Excessive exposure to the sun or other outdoor/extreme elements (rain, smog, debris and road pollutants from passing
cars) can degrade the wrap on horizontal surfaces. These areas are susceptible to pollutants, which are intensified by UV ray exposure. If you must park outside for prolonged periods, look for shaded parking areas or perhaps invest in a car cover.
NOTICE: If your graphics start to discolor or turn brown (which is caused by acidic pollution), immediately remove the graphics from the vehicle to avoid staining the underlying paint.
Matte/Satin/Textured Wrap Care
It is best to not use tire shine products. Especially any oily, silicone based products that will fling off onto the wrap and make greasy spots which will be difficult, if not impossible, to remove. If you must use a tire shine product use one that is dry and not oily to the touch.
Only use waxes specifically made for matte/satin/textured finishes. Do not use any car wash products that contain waxes or silicones. There are numerous products made for the care of matte/satin/textured finishes such as matte detail spray from Chemical Guys (http://www.chemicalguys.com/). Swissvax (http:/www.swissvax.us/) also makes special products for matte finishes. Nanolex, Dr. Beasleys, BMW, Ratwax, etc also make lines of matte care products.
ALWAYS test any products in an inconspicuous area first.
Again, do not go near automatic car washes!
- What is clear bra?
Clear bra, also known as Paint Protection Film (or PPF), is a thick, clear protective vinyl that is all but invisible once applied, has self-healing qualities in the modern iterations, and helps to keep your paint as pristine as the day you bought it. It is typically applied to the front-facing surfaces on vehicles (although it can be applied to the whole car if feasible) and protects against rock/salt chips, debris, scratches, and pollutant paint damage. It helps maintain the value in your vehicle as the paint will typically be in much better condition that other cars the same age who do not have the PPF advantage.