Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
7/26/21 6:38 a.m.

Looking like im buying a newer van for the wife. 

Im NOT a detailer or even prone to washing the dds annually. 

I have heard about ceramicoat, and how its like fresh wax for a few years, adds scratch resistant, etc. 

I think I want to try it on her new van, then do my truck in the fall. 

Looking at YouTube and other forums, im quite baffled. Lots of conflicting information. 

So i figured I'd ask here. Whos done it? How, and with what? Hows it hold up? Long term feedback? In short,  learn me....

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
7/26/21 7:53 a.m.

Its a great  marketing thing and the dealers make a crap ton of profit off of them. Beyond that I know nothing positive. 

02Pilot
02Pilot UltraDork
7/26/21 8:01 a.m.

I used a relatively cheap consumer version on a couple of cars. So far it's pretty good for water repellency after a little less than a year. I did two coats a day apart. What I like compared to traditional paste wax is that it's much easier and less time-consuming to apply. I'll probably throw another coat on before winter.

For this class of product (versus commercial stuff), Project Farm did a comparison test that might be useful.

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/26/21 8:30 a.m.

I just did my E28 with the non-spray bottle version of the Meguiar's hybrid ceramic wax after going over it with compound and polish (it really needed it), I was really impressed with how easy it went on in the shade. I just wiped over all the panels, let it sit up for a few minutes and then very easily polished off the excess. It noted on the container that it was safe for chrome and plastic as well so I went back over all of that stuff. I also did my two sets of style 5 (BBS RS style) track wheels so the brake dust off my track pads will be the real test. I'm planning on picking up their hybrid ceramic quick detailer as well to keep the finish up over time. It was easy enough I've been eyeing up the other cars out there that I've never cared to wash in the past.

I'm glad I watched that project farm video posted above though as I definitely would have used my wheel cleaner on the track wheels and likely would have stripped off the meguiar's after the first use, hopefully just normal car wash plus the protection makes those wheels easy to clean (relatively speaking if you've ever had wheels like those). I'll try the Hybrid Solutions next time I am buying though as the results in the video were very impressive.

 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
7/26/21 9:31 a.m.

When I had my 135i, I had it done by a friend who details on the side. 

Wash car, clay bar, put on ceramic coating, let cure. My buddy uses R1Coatings. I think the kit is around $200. But the real cost in having a pro do it is in the labor. 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/26/21 9:44 a.m.

There are a couple of different styles out there - the spray-on coatings that are relatively cheap and the "good stuff" that comes in small, relatively expensive bottles. When people talk about ceramic coating they mainly seem to refer to the latter, and those have better durability than the spray on stuff.

I've used the spray-on stuff (both Turtle Wax and Meguiars) on multiple cars and it does work, but it's more of a synthetic paint sealer from a durability perspective. It still seems to last longer than the usual wax, and i think the application is similar if not easier. The Meguiars does work pretty well if you follow the application instructions to the letter, the Turtle Wax seems to be somewhat less effort though.

I've got the Turtle Wax on the BRZ and it did help a lot clearing up bird poop off the car - even the dried on bird dropppings almost rinse off.

For a car I'd expect to keep for a few years I'd use the "real" - ie, non spray on - coating, mainly for durability.

BTW, ceramic coating is an old hat these days, graphene coating is where it's at .

Look up Chicago Auto Pros on the tubes of you, they are/were running a bunch of durability tests of both the spray on and regular coatings.

pirate
pirate Dork
7/26/21 11:29 a.m.

Was at a car show and they had a Marina Blue Corvette that had been ceramic coated and the paint looked a foot deep. It was a detailing company and the guy explained the car is first clay barred, then compounded and buffed until paint is in excellent condition. Ceramic is apples from a bottle and then car is rebuffed. The guy said the finish will last for five years. Dirt, bugs, etc don't stick as well and washing is very easy. Cost $2000! I guess you could argue that with that much prep any coating would look good. However, I've done numerous cars and boats and never found a wax that lasted for more the six months. I've used ceramic wash and spray products and they don't last either. Might be worth it but not very Grassroots in cost.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/26/21 11:42 a.m.

In reply to pirate :

You can get supposedly pretty good ceramic coating for a fraction of the $2k mentioned. My guess is that the $2k include prep work (or it's a really expensive product). I'd expect the average GRMer should have no problem prepping and applying ceramic coating themselves for a couple of Benjamins or less in materials.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
7/26/21 11:52 a.m.

Used a product called CQuartz on my son's BMW.  The kit was well under 100.  DIY.  It's all in the prep and following instructions.  I think it's a good product.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
7/26/21 12:03 p.m.

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

Hows it holding up? How long has it been on? What is the car treated like? 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
7/26/21 1:30 p.m.
BoxheadTim said:

In reply to pirate :

You can get supposedly pretty good ceramic coating for a fraction of the $2k mentioned. My guess is that the $2k include prep work (or it's a really expensive product). I'd expect the average GRMer should have no problem prepping and applying ceramic coating themselves for a couple of Benjamins or less in materials.

Yep. You can easily spend 10-12 hours in prep and application. 

I figure the next car I buy, I'm just going to have the whole thing wrapped in clear 3M material.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
7/26/21 3:10 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

I'd say it looked really nice for about a year.  The car sits outside in the blazing sun all day, and gets hit with whatever the weather and the birds can drop on it.  We really needed to follow the first coat with a second application after a month or two, but it never happened.  The car needs a wash now, but I'm thinking we're back to square one.

The product produced a beautiful shine and lasted a good long time.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
7/26/21 8:50 p.m.

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

How was application? What process did you use? And what color  is the bmw?

The cquarts 3.0 is in my Amazon cart....

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 UberDork
7/30/21 9:09 p.m.

Just did it to SWMBO's car and my truck. Was easier than I thought but I kinda cheated. Went to the local auto parts store and bought Meguirs clay bar kit and Groits ceramic wax. The clay bar kit came with Meguirs cleaner/detailer to use as lubricant for the clay and micro-fiber towels. Made using the clay bar easy. Needed more micro-fiber towels for the ceramic coating but it applies easily. Takes a few hours for it to harden and become slick. Water just beads off the paint now. Applied a second coat to SWMBOs car about a week later. Drove the car cross country and hit pretty heavy rain. Windshield had more water than the hood did.  Color me impressed. Better than standard car wax. Going to do the ratty autocross Miata because why not. It has clear coat peeling, gone in some areas. My Opel GT will also get it after I get it back together and running again.

Am curious if I have to strip the wax off first though. The Opel has a pretty good coating of wax buffed on it. Will clay bar do that or do I have to do something else? Or is it ok to apply ceramic wax over standard car wax? Can't find where anyone says I can't.

I do realize that the stuff I used will have to be reapplied every so often but it is easy to do. Easier than pulling out the buffer to polish wax. Both vehicles sit outside year around. I washed, clay barred and applied the 1st coat of ceramic wax in a few hours time. 2nd coat took less than an hour. Took a few hours to do my truck the next evening. SWMBO's car is only a year old, my truck is 5 years old so took longer with the clay. Both vehicles are silver. And the Meguirs Clay Bar kit and Groits Ceramic Wax was well under $100, think closer to around $50-$60 for both. So far 2 coats on 1 car, 1 coat on a truck and still half a bottle left of Groits and cleaner/detailer/lubricant.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
7/30/21 9:16 p.m.
Dusterbd13-michael said:

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

How was application? What process did you use? And what color  is the bmw?

The cquarts 3.0 is in my Amazon cart....

Hmm.  It's been a while, and I only participated in the actual application.  I believe the car was thoroughly washed, then clay barred.  The CQuartz is applied a small (24"x 24") area at a time, allowed to haze for a minute or three (IIRC), then buffed off with a microfiber cloth. 

I believe the BMW in question is finished in Black Sapphire Metallic.

Edit:  The only thing to be careful with is to be absolutely sure that you buff all the haze off before if fully dries.  If you miss a spot, when it fully dries you're not going to get it off with a cloth and you'll need to compound it off and reapply in that area.

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