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My RAV got its first big paint chip and dimple on a road trip a while back, right on the front leading edge of the hood. I am thinking about installing one of those acrylic hood protectors to protect the hood in the future. Does anyone have any comments on these things? The one from Brandsport looks very nice I think as it sits just above the front grille and doesn't extend all the way across the top of the headlights. Are they easy to install and do they actually do any good? It would match well with the acrylic side visors I have that I like the look of.
 
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I had protectors on my previous Hilux 4x4. They saved my headlamps, and they saved my bonnet from damage. The protectors got cracked, my spotlights got cracked, but the bonnet and headlamps were perfect. Thumbs up! Want some for my RAV. The only problem I had is that they're a bastard to try and clean behind.

What I've got on the RAV is a clear sticky film over the leading edge of the bonnet, but there's a fairly obvious line where the film ends. Would far rather have the rigid protection of the acrylic to prevent denting, and I'm sure the acrylic protectors would look better too. But how would I go about removing that film? Benzine will get rid of the stickyness, but will that damage the paintwork?
 
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Hood protector

I installed a protector. It is a BugFlectorII. I'm happy with it.
dj
 
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ken b said:
My RAV got its first big paint chip and dimple on a road trip a while back, right on the front leading edge of the hood. I am thinking about installing one of those acrylic hood protectors to protect the hood in the future. Does anyone have any comments on these things? The one from Brandsport looks very nice I think as it sits just above the front grille and doesn't extend all the way across the top of the headlights. Are they easy to install and do they actually do any good? It would match well with the acrylic side visors I have that I like the look of.
I installed a genuine Toyota hood deflector in October. I'm pretty satisfied with it. The only hangup I have about it is that I have to remove it whenver I wash the car. :? However, it looks pretty cool.

I just realized that the front end of my RAV4 is riddled with chips, mostly on the bumper, and one right below the grille. I'm sure that the hood deflector has saved the hood from chips. 8)
 
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Re: Hood protector

dhaslbeck said:
I installed a protector. It is a BugFlectorII. I'm happy with it.
dj

Bugflector II goes on with a sticky on the hood. It does more damage in my opinion.

I bought my RAV used with that Bugflector... I took flector off and it had caused front to go bad because of water accumulation under the stickies and the dust particles getting underneath.

I don't know. Every weekend I inspect the hood and touch up any chips to avoid rust.
 

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Re: Hood protector

"Bugflector II goes on with a sticky on the hood. It does more damage in my opinion.

I bought my RAV used with that Bugflector... I took flector off and it had caused front to go bad because of water accumulation under the stickies and the dust particles getting underneath.

I don't know. Every weekend I inspect the hood and touch up any chips to avoid rust."


Agree.

I put a "tailor-made" clear Bugflector II on a Maxima.

It's supposed to be mounted with small, clear, "invisible" velcro pads for easy removal for washing (For permanance, use screws under lip of leading edge of hood.) as there is little/no clearance between bugflector and hood surface.

It was a real "leaf trap" when parked. Also not much to grab when closing the hood.

The big problem was that wind causes the Bugflector to "flex" back against hood surface - within weeks; paint abrasion from contact between hood and Bugflector.

IMHO and in hindsight, shoulda never used it - or at least considered adding some of those little clear "rubber bumpers" between hood and bugflector to make it "stand off" further from hood surface.

JMHO
Steve
 

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ser02rav4 said:
not agree. I have used the same deflector for year, after I took it off I used stain remover spray and my hood was looking like brand new after that.
By the way, I replaced the stock sticky tape with wider double side tape I bought from home deport. :roll:
Mine used pairs of clear velcro pads. One pad on the back (hood-side) of the bugflector, other pad stuck to the hood.

This allowed quick removal of bugflector from hood for washing, waxing, etc.

The issue wasn't the "sticky" left behind from the piece of pad on the hood surface - - it was the way the wind pushed the bugflector back against the hood surface.
This effectively abraided the paint surface where it was pushed back against the hood. Not easily "touched" up or rubbed out.

End of bugflector use on my cars, but YMMV.
 

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If you'd like....

you can take a look at my ride at cardomain.com to see exactly how it would look with the vent visors and the deflector together. The deflector is very simple to install. It's held by some very delicate clips however. Careful not to break 'em. I've been told (by the instructions) that the acrylic deflector along with all other plastic parts on the car should not be scrubbed with soap b/c it could eat up the material. I don't think that's anything to worry about though.

Does the deflector work?...errr, well....sorta. It's more for looks (although some people hate it), but i'm sure with the shape of it, the wind does get flown into a steeper direction and less stuff gets onto the hood and windshield.
 
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I removed my stock hood deflector when I washed my car a few weeks ago. I realized at that point how bad a dirt trap it was. The leading edge of the hood was the dirtiest part because the deflector does not do a good job of allowing rainwater and dirt to drain.

Hmmm... maybe next time I remove the deflector I should drill some holes on the bottom, where it meets with the leading edge of the hood, so that water can drain a little more properly than now. Otherwise, I predict that the deflector could eventually induce some premature corrosion, although road salt is barely used around here (since our climate is a lot milder than other most parts of Canada and the USA during the winter).

On the same note, I also removed my spare tire to clean behind it for the first time. I guess, with the RAV4 (compared to my old car, a Tercel), there is a lot more work involved in cleaning the vehicle, such as removal of little things (hood deflector, spare tire, etc.) when washing it. :roll:
 
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Answering a bit late in the thread here (don't often get on the site these days), but I have been having Stongard put on my cars for years now and the stuff is fantastic. It's that super thin film like saran wrap (I think 3M makes it) and you can hardly see it unless you come up to the hood and look for the line. It really matters who puts it on. I am lucky in that I live near the owner's main offices and they do it. The owner Tim started doing this on Porsches and other expensive cars that were being raced. Then I asked him to put it on my Ducati motorcycle. I've had him do several bikes and several cars and will continue to do so. If you live in B.C., then you could make an appointment and take a trip down. Their website is www.stongard.com and if you're looking for a phone number, they are in Kirkland, WA.

Kathy
 

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Protecting paint, plastic and polymer front ends can be a chore.

But, I can't say that I care for the hard plastic type hood/bonnet protectors. I can see by the posts above that they are popular with several RAV4 owners. I had a name brand one on a pick-up truck and did care for the experience. I don't think it protected much if anything, it made washing/waxing the vehicle difficult, and perhaps most of all...it looked ugly.

The vinyl covers are worse as they can actually damage the paint.

Frankly, it is my opinion that one needs to accept the fact that there will be some front paint damage over time. I do believe this can be reduced based on where and how you drive. Gravel roads are killers and driving too close to the vehicle in front of you is a invitation for flying debris. I buy the factor color touch up paint but only have to use it rarely. My 97 Camaro only has one very small chip that is hardly noticable.

My recommendation is to skip the front covers.
 

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Naturally there will be damage to the front end over time no matter what you do. However, the amount of damage you're willing to accept determines whether you feel it's worthwhile to try and protect the front end.

I'm not crazy about the plastic hood deflectors either--they're not necessarily ugly but they certainly don't improve the looks, and they can be a pain in the butt when it comes to cleaning. But they do keep rocks off the front part of the hood.

Like Kathy I now much prefer the paint protection film (made by 3M or Avery and sometimes advertised under brand names like Stonguard or Rockblocker). I have this on the hood & bumper of my Subaru and after two years on the road the front end of the car still looks excellent.
 

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bmorton said:
Like Kathy I now much prefer the paint protection film (made by 3M or Avery and sometimes advertised under brand names like Stonguard or Rockblocker). I have this on the hood & bumper of my Subaru and after two years on the road the front end of the car still looks excellent.
I would tend to agree the best solution are those films. I haven't had any on my vehicles, but I have seen them on others. Some are almost invisible. So they offer protection without the look of 17th century body armor.

The Mini Coopers have that film as an option and it looks pretty good.
 

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If you don't mind me asking, since i didn't see a price on that website, how much did you pay for that. It looks sweet! I have a stick-on thing and if my budget allows me, i want to change it to one of these.
 

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I bought mine in the Philippines, it cost me around $45. There are no adhesives, although you are provided stickers to apply to the hood, where there are clips that you have to put on the hood. Installation should take you less than 15 minutes, because there are already holes in the hood.

http://www.egrauto.com/ENG/html/IDARGP0B.html

I'm not aware of a retailer that sells EGR products in the states, but you can contact EGR via the link.
 
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