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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure if there is any difference in the exterior portion across models but we are going for a 2016 RAV4 Hybrid Limited. For now, I'm definitely considering these areas:

-hood (not sure what portion, perhaps 1/4 of it because the vehicle sits relatively tall compared to sedans/coupes)
-upper bumper (sections facing front of the vehicle)

Please see photo with delineation here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B49jnI2SkaiTWkhUS0Roa2MwX1k/view?usp=sharing


Not considering at the moment unless many of you think it's a good idea:
headlights > LED light might be partially dispersed and distorted


Any other areas to consider, it seems around the fenders, there's already the black plastic encircling the arc so placing the protective film around the fender may not be strategic? If recommended what would be the placing around the fender like when most of the dirt kicked off the tires are dispersed to the rear? This vehicle will not be used off road.

Many thanks in advance.
 

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I would put some on the headlights if you plan to keep the car for awhile. I also installed some on the door sills, the front vertical section of the rear doors, and the dog leg. Top of the windshield and mirrors wouldn't hurt either.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would put some on the headlights if you plan to keep the car for awhile. I also installed some on the door sills, the front vertical section of the rear doors, and the dog leg. Top of the windshield and mirrors wouldn't hurt either.
Thanks Kinjero. It will be a keeper for sure.

I'm likely going to insist on using the latest 3M professional protective film and not accept any substitutes then.

To be honest, I haven't checked out the RAV4 at the showroom and maybe I should.

What is the purpose of installing on the front vertical section of the rear door? Is there usually an accumulation of grime there? I ask because my 4-door Civic is so beat up I only bother washing the underside in the spring after salt accumulation in the winter and our other car is a 2-door.

For the dog leg, is that the upper portion of the rear bumper?

Thanks again for your time and help.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would do these areas, plus what you're planning, plus inner door sills.

Might be overkill, but that's how I roll.
Nice. Thanks again. So based on the image you shared, the vertical portions you mentioned earlier are actually the rear portions of the front and rear doors?

We opted for Blizzard Pearl so the clear film will show but I don't mind and I doubt my wife will either.
 

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half hood, bumper and headlight,

the door and edges I would not do, but I would add proper mud flaps that go a bit wide and lower than the oem ones, 99% of damage you will get on the sides is "self inflicted".
 
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internalaudit ~

In the link to your picture I would also do the lower front section that's painted blue along with the painted portions of the mirrors.
 

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Nice. Thanks again. So based on the image you shared, the vertical portions you mentioned earlier are actually the rear portions of the front and rear doors?

We opted for Blizzard Pearl so the clear film will show but I don't mind and I doubt my wife will either.
Eventually the film will yellow and look cloudy so it will need to be replaced anyways.

No, it's the front vertical section of the rear door, and the front of the quarter panel, just above the dog leg. These are the areas that are more prone to being damaged by a rock flying out from the front tires. The front edge of the roof, where it meets the windshield, would mostly be damaged from following traffic on the highway similar to the hood.

Octane is correct that a bigger, better quality mudguard, will help reduce damage to that area. I did the film there on my Camry because I didn't want to run a bigger mudguard. I did not do it to my RAV though, because I installed Rally Armour mudguards and positioned them lower and wider. I'm usually very careful getting in and out of my car, but you never know what your passengers are capable of, that's why I did the door sills.
 

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I've had my RAV4 Limited Hybrid for 2 weeks now, and thought about getting the protective film after hearing a small rock hit my windshield the other day. Considering how my old car got a chip in the hood within days of having the a new hood put on it, I figure I'd better do something soon, especially because there are always gravel trucks on our roads dropping and kicking up rocks.

Edited to add: The 3M site doesn't seem to recommend applying the film to headlamps. Perhaps due to the heat they produce? Anyone have long-term experience with it?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You have a Limited I think. The LED headlights produce very little heat. So, you don't have to worry about that.
Is 3M going to be cheaper than the Weathertech? I know we are all at the penny pinching stage after having purchased (or soon will) at close to MSRP.

I've going to have the film professional installed but maybe the job on the headlight isn't going to be too difficult as it's pre-cut.
 
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