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Question about sealants/ceramics etc? is it voodoo?

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Question about sealants/ceramics etc? is it voodoo?

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Old 04-02-2019, 05:26 AM
mattyb13
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Question about sealants/ceramics etc? is it voodoo?

Garage hack DIY detailer here. Currently have a 2016 Black R60 All4-S so every little nick, scratch and swirl stands out and drives me nuts. I take a lot of pride in my car's appearance. I usually wash every couple weeks, or as needed, hand wax (usually Mothers) a couple to 3 times a year. Use spray detailer after washes between waxes to maintain.
I am seeing and hearing a lot about new 'one-step' sealants and ceramics and coatings that are supposed to obsolete the entire hand waxing process; protect my paint like never before and offer a shine that cant be achieved through traditional methods! Products like Top Coat F11, Meguiars Ceramic wax, etc etc. Seems like there are a lot of 'sealant' /ceramic DIY style paint treatments out there currently, and they are all marketing to me! Can anyone explain these coatings and sealants to me? Is this the way of the future for top notch paint shine and protection? Understand there are lots of opinions out there but I would love to hear what anyone with experience with these products can share. Thank you.
 
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Old 04-02-2019, 12:11 PM
crazy4trains
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I don't have any experience with ceramics but I really like polymer sealants. I started with Zaino and now use Jescar (formerly Menzerna) PowerLok. Lasts about 6 months and is very easy to apply and remove. Supposedly for additional depth of shine etc. you can topcoat the polymer sealants with carnauba wax. I don't bother. The shine is good enough for me and the protection is much better than carnauba.

The next step up is a ceramic coating, but they are more expensive but they do last longer. Some are more difficult to apply correctly. I might give one a try one the prices start coming down.
 
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Old 04-02-2019, 01:48 PM
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In addition to my Chili Red MC40, I have two black cars and I'm a bit OCD myself so I understand your frustration. Your car's surface has to be absolutely pristine prior to using ceramic coatings because the coating itself locks in everything underneath, not to mention the stuff is expensive as (you know). I use Chemical Guys Extreme Slick Polymer Detailer after every wash (between waxings) and that keeps the cars looking pretty nice. +1 on crazy4trains -- I've heard that the ceramic coatings can be very difficult to apply which is the main reason they can run $400+ if you have someone else do it. The advertising for ceramics reminds me of the guys at the state fair that show water completely running off a display hood. Looks great until you realize that guy has waxed that hood about a thousand times and it's never been outside.
 
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Old 04-02-2019, 02:52 PM
RLM
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The reason the ceramics cost so much is because they are semi permanent. this means a full paint correction is required before application. Often the coating can last as long as 7+ years and needs to be wet sanded or polished off. they also often will not allow things such as vinyl to stick to them. a club member has his car done before it left the dealership, then needed to have custom vinyls recut, the ceramic coating sanded off, vinyls applied, then ceramic reapplied, because they did not stick to the coating. They are an awesome alternative to wax/sealant if the car is not often driven and the paint is very good already.

I stick with sealant (chemical guys jetseal) and a wax. then I use a wet apply wax ( chemical guys cherry wet wax) and apply to the damp car about once a month. the wet wax is less aggressive on the paint than a dry apply wax. basically mixes with the water on the car to create a quick wax. this process also helps dry the car to a spot free shine.
 
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Old 04-02-2019, 08:32 PM
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From my research it looks like Gyeon is one of the best coatings available, but as stated, it ain't cheap. I bought a kit on sale from Detail Guys that included a bottle of iron remover, bottle of cleaner, tiny bottle of the sealant, and a bottle of their high temp sealant for wheels. From what I read this stuff is good for years vs months. The wheel sealant is supposed to enable you to just hose the brake dust off. This stuff, plus a few microfiber towels and a bag set me back a tad over two bills. And that was on sale. And as stated above, it takes a LOT of prep work before you use any of these products. And there can be no trace of silicon or grease on the surface or you're screwed. I'm taking my car and this kit to the guy that details my car and will leave it with him for a week. It'll take a couple days to prep and polish and then he'll let it sit in one of his bays for 4-5 days to fully cure. Fingers crossed because this is his first time with this product.
 
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Old 04-03-2019, 08:01 AM
crazy4trains
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Originally Posted by vetsvette View Post
From my research it looks like Gyeon is one of the best coatings available, but as stated, it ain't cheap. I bought a kit on sale from Detail Guys that included a bottle of iron remover, bottle of cleaner, tiny bottle of the sealant, and a bottle of their high temp sealant for wheels. From what I read this stuff is good for years vs months. The wheel sealant is supposed to enable you to just hose the brake dust off. This stuff, plus a few microfiber towels and a bag set me back a tad over two bills. And that was on sale. And as stated above, it takes a LOT of prep work before you use any of these products. And there can be no trace of silicon or grease on the surface or you're screwed. I'm taking my car and this kit to the guy that details my car and will leave it with him for a week. It'll take a couple days to prep and polish and then he'll let it sit in one of his bays for 4-5 days to fully cure. Fingers crossed because this is his first time with this product.
Yep, that's a little too steep for me. My philosophy is this, "better is often the enemy of good enough". For me, the polymer sealants are good enough. My bottle of PowerLock will likely last the rest of my lifetime. No need to buy something much more expensive for me as a DIY'er.
 
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:18 AM
TheBigNewt
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I bought a spray wax sealant product off my phone (Produxa) and used it recently after I clay barred my car. It's really easy to use I'll say that much. I used about 1/2 or a 16 oz bottle ($35) did 2 coats. I'm not sure it's much different than the "Epic" liquid paste wax I've used for 10 years from Detailer's Paradise (RIP).
 
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Old 05-28-2019, 04:09 PM
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I currently have a 2019 Clubman S on order, due to arrive on July 1. My dealer just contacted me today trying to sell me 9H ceramic sealer for the car, for the smooth cost of only $1999.00.

I politely declined. I think I will stick with Griot's Garage products and some Top Coat F11.
 
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Old 06-02-2019, 05:35 AM
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Last weekend I did a full wash-and-clay then applied Prima's Hydro Max polymer sealant spray-on. I am very pleased with the results so far. I don't care a lot about water beading but it does just roll right off as I reach highway speeds. It looks great and feels great. With more traditional waxes, after a week I can feel grit stuck to the paint under my fingertips. So far, it's just not sticking.

The true test is time, of course. But it's so much cheaper than ceramics, and so easy to apply, that I have no hesitation recommending it.

(I was introduced to Prima years back when OctaneGuy was still a regular on NAM. Prima had quite a few fans then, but those fans seem to have gone as those people have moved on to other cars. I really like Prima's products; they work really well and are not gimmicky. Contrast to Chemical Guys, who have great marketing and distribution but very hit-or-miss products.)
 
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:50 PM
dmath
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I had a ceramic coating put on my car last year. It's an extravagance to be sure but not voodoo, in my opinion. After 12 months, including a very harsh Wisconsin winter, the car looks like it was just coated (when clean). Water beads like crazy. Yesterday, I put Reload on it (for the first time) -- helps prolong the life of the coating.
 
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Old 06-15-2019, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by sbreech View Post
I currently have a 2019 Clubman S on order, due to arrive on July 1. My dealer just contacted me today trying to sell me 9H ceramic sealer for the car, for the smooth cost of only $1999.00.

I politely declined. I think I will stick with Griot's Garage products and some Top Coat F11.
I agree....... I would never invest in a ceramic coating because it's a waste of money unless you think your car suddenly transforms to a Bentley or Lambo LOL.

From new, I always used Meguiar's Hydrophobic Ultimate Liquid Wax with outstanding results. It has very high reflectivity and deep shine for dark colors and my car still looks like new after 5 years.

I will concede I am a bit excessive doing the job four times a year but it is so easy to use and it takes no more than an hour each time.
 
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Old 06-15-2019, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by sbreech View Post
I currently have a 2019 Clubman S on order, due to arrive on July 1. My dealer just contacted me today trying to sell me 9H ceramic sealer for the car, for the smooth cost of only $1999.00.

I politely declined. I think I will stick with Griot's Garage products and some Top Coat F11.
I had a local recent HS grad detailer looking for summer work. He washed & polished my car and did a ceramic coating for $350. Is it the equal of many pro jobs, probably not but I have an older F56 and that was a great price for a car that already has its share of blemishes. Dealer $1999 is marked up at least 100% from what they are paying someone to do it for.
 
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Old 06-16-2019, 05:01 AM
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Ceramic coatings are not voodoo. They are a phenomenal advancement in the car detailing world that people seem to dismiss because of the cost involved. Keep in mind, however, that the majority of the cost of application isnít the product and coating application process. Rather, itís the paint correction that goes into the preparation before the coating is applied. Also keep in mind that, if you really are into detailing your car, that same paint correction should happen regardless! I had my MINI coated when it was brand new. Today it still looks brand new, no swirls, the coating is still super hydrophobic (all helped by using Reload every couple months, which takes only about 10 minutes after washing), itís super easy to wash because virtually nothing sticks to it, and I regularly get questions from my fellow MINI club members about how I keep the car so clean all the time. Itís not magic, itís a ceramic coating!
 
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:22 PM
TheBigNewt
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So if one does the ceramic application themselves RIGHT AFTER THEY BUY THE CAR, they shouldn't need to do all the paint prep/orbital buffing/compounds, etc. Especially if the car didn't sit on the dealer's lot for 9 months like mine did lol. How hard is applying the ceramic stuff to do? You shouldn't even need to wax it right? Ever?
 
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:00 PM
dmath
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New cars require some amount of paint prep. At the very least, the paint will need to be decontaminated -- shipping (especially by rail) puts a lot of crap on the paint. There will also likely be swirl marks, particularly if the dealer touches the paint at all.

You don't have to put anything on top of the coating but doing so periodically may help it last longer. For this, sealants with SiO2 are the way to go. Washing regularly also helps them last longer, according to what I've read.

I haven't applied a ceramic coating so I can't comment on that. There are some really good detailing forums full of guys who know a lot more than I do about this stuff.

Oh, and $2K is way too high. My car was 5 years old when I bought it so I had a full paint correction done, a high end ceramic coating applied, and an interior detail for *considerably* less than that.
 
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