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Ceramic coating vs film protection vs paint sealant vs wax

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Ceramic coating vs film protection vs paint sealant vs wax

 
Old 04-03-2019, 10:20 AM
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Ceramic coating vs film protection vs paint sealant vs wax

My brain is awash with the pros and cons the title of this thread. I'm hoping that those of you who have decided on a "paint protection" will offer your experience with any or all of the options. Thank you!
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Old 04-03-2019, 10:46 AM
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I went on the internet, and I found THIS:
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Old 04-03-2019, 12:27 PM
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While I have not done a PPF (wrap) or Ceramic coating, much comes down to cost rather than the tech or pros/cons. The quote I received for a clear wrap of our E63s was $7500. Ceramic coating is between $500 to $2000 if not DYI, depending on the amount of paint correction needed. Obviously everything else is cheaper...
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Old 04-03-2019, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
While I have not done a PPF (wrap) or Ceramic coating, much comes down to cost rather than the tech or pros/cons. The quote I received for a clear wrap of our E63s was $7500. Ceramic coating is between $500 to $2000 if not DYI, depending on the amount of paint correction needed. Obviously everything else is cheaper...
Right you are Wolfman, and that's why I'm going Ceramic this spring.
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Old 04-04-2019, 10:42 AM
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I have had this ceramic coating applied to my last three vehicles, which includes my current '18 SL 550.
https://www.opticoat.com/products/opti-coat-pro-plus/

This was taken one year later:

Last edited by SLclass; 04-04-2019 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 04-04-2019, 11:32 AM
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Wow! That speaks volumes. Absolutely beautiful!
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Old 04-04-2019, 11:54 AM
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This all looks great, but I never used anything but a light polish on my 2004 SL and after 12 years, on the day I sold it, it looked virtually the same as the day I took delivery. That said, it was garaged every night. Damn! I loved that car and never should have sold it.

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Old 04-04-2019, 12:47 PM
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Whatever happened to weekly hand washing the car, and biannual polish(claying), and wax. All it cost is elbow grease. And, it's gratifying. Am I missing something here?
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Old 04-04-2019, 05:27 PM
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SLClass, If you don't mind my asking, what brand of ceramic coating was used and what was the approximate cost of the application?

docsout, I've done the washing, waxing, and other maintenance, on all my cars for many years. At this point in my 73 years, it's just much easier to have most of that work done by others, thereby freeing me up to actually do those things that I really like, rather than doing things that are just chores.
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by SLclass View Post
I love how he can't stop smiling more than a year after getting his SL!
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Old 04-06-2019, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Streamliner View Post
This all looks great, but I never used anything but a light polish on my 2004 SL and after 12 years, on the day I sold it, it looked virtually the same as the day I took delivery. That said, it was garaged every night. Damn! I loved that car and never should have sold it.
Have to agree - I don't drive up the butt of other cars and have never had a problem with stone chips and if I had the car long enough and accumulated enough (of the inevitable) chips to bother me, I'd just get a respray. But in 50 years of driving, never been a problem (maybe I do not keep cars long enough).

The only upside I see with ceramic coating is that (for some colours) it does give a beautiful candy apple gloss. However apparently not so much for white.

I've compared my car (I use Carlack, aka Werkstatt & Klasse) to my son's brand new E53 AMG - ceramic coated when new, and his does not clean / release dirt any better than my car does. I've been amazed at how good Carlack is.

I did not wash my this winter (but used it regularly & pressure washed it 3 or 4 times at the local car wash) and after a pressure wash is is not perfect but still look pretty clean (and no worse that the newly ceramic coated car). The water is still beading on my car and it was last coated with Carlack at least 6 months ago. Cost me about $60-00 for Carlack Shampoo, Carlack 68 (non abrasive polish) and Carlack AIO and it will last me ages (in fact too long as I like trying other products).

Last edited by rorywquin; 04-06-2019 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 04-06-2019, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by PHSWOOD View Post
My brain is awash with the pros and cons the title of this thread. I'm hoping that those of you who have decided on a "paint protection" will offer your experience with any or all of the options. Thank you!
Film and the others products are two very different animals and not substitutes. With all of them, you will still need to wash and polish your car.

The guys that have films will say it is the way to go and the others (me) will be the opposite.

A wrap / film is mainly a mechanical protection (for light stone damage and swirls) and protection from the elements. The other stuff - ceramic, sealant, wax etc are also going to protect your paint from some physical damage but not nearly as much as film. Tons of comparisons on all the products on YouTube.

I looked at film and the down side (for me) is
1) (a) I have never had a problem with stone chips (b) and once your car is a little older you care less and (c) a respray, if needed, would probably cost less
2) they are going to be using blades to trim the film on the car and there are many stories of cut marks visible in paint when the film is removed. Also I have covered more (large) model aeroplanes than I can recall in vinyl (technique is pretty much identical to cars) and I cannot see how they (providers who say they use pre-cut templates) could install vinyl without cutting on the car. My choice would be to find a company that uses knife-less tape and let them do the job if you really want a film.
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Old 04-06-2019, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by rorywquin View Post
Cost me about $60-00 for Carlack Shampoo, Carlack 68 (non abrasive polish) and Carlack AIO and it will last me ages (in fact too long as I like trying other products).
Is that a DIY application? Assuming so, hand-applied or buffer?
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Old 04-06-2019, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by eddieo45 View Post
Is that a DIY application? Assuming so, hand-applied or buffer?
It is hand or machine. I have a DA machine but I do it by hand because it is so easy.
1) Thorough wash (I currently use Carlack Shampoo but like any other mild products as well).
2) Carlack 68 (no abrasives) - applies very easily and comes off just as easily
3) Carlack LongLife - same as above very easy on and I'd say ~20% harder to get off.

The other think I like about it is that it is fine on side glass, rubber, plastic etc.

I bought a DA polisher and tried it once - I find hand application just as easy. Step 2 and 3 need doing about every 6 months depending on your mileage etc and step 3 can be layered.

My only challenge is that my car is white and it is tricky to see where I put the product and getting it off etc.

I plan to do a treatment this week (supposed to be going to a meet up next week) so I will post some before and after shots.

Buy the smallest size because a little goes a long way and I like to try new products from time to time and this stuff seems to last forever (especially as I only use it every 6 months).

Last edited by rorywquin; 04-06-2019 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by rorywquin View Post
Film and the others products are two very different animals and not substitutes. With all of them, you will still need to wash and polish your car.

The guys that have films will say it is the way to go and the others (me) will be the opposite.

A wrap / film is mainly a mechanical protection (for light stone damage and swirls) and protection from the elements. The other stuff - ceramic, sealant, wax etc are also going to protect your paint from some physical damage but not nearly as much as film. Tons of comparisons on all the products on YouTube.

I looked at film and the down side (for me) is
1) (a) I have never had a problem with stone chips (b) and once your car is a little older you care less and (c) a respray, if needed, would probably cost less
2) they are going to be using blades to trim the film on the car and there are many stories of cut marks visible in paint when the film is removed. Also I have covered more (large) model aeroplanes than I can recall in vinyl (technique is pretty much identical to cars) and I cannot see how they (providers who say they use pre-cut templates) could install vinyl without cutting on the car. My choice would be to find a company that uses knife-less tape and let them do the job if you really want a film.
The reason I was thinking of a wrap was plain laziness
Our E63s has the Night Black Magno paint, which is a cool looking matte metallic paint. Black with blue sparkles. Very cool but cant't be driven through a carwash Wax is detrimental to the paint and the can't be buffed polished and touched up. So for my convenience I was thinking of wrapping it so I can drive it through the carwash.

I looked at the wraps but found that the matte clear wraps dull the look of the paint; so we decided to put some money into the garage instead (heating the garage during the winter time. We already had the water hookup and floor drain so I just wash the car in the garage even if it's 30 below outside
It also turns out that the paint is not as delicate as anticipated; these new nano particle paints don't chip as easily as they used to. They can still chip of course but this is primarily our bad weather/winter car.

When the weather is good, it's convertible time! Good love Air scarf...
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Old 04-06-2019, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
The reason I was thinking of a wrap was plain laziness
Our E63s has the Night Black Magno paint, which is a cool looking matte metallic paint. Black with blue sparkles. Very cool but cant't be driven through a carwash Wax is detrimental to the paint and the can't be buffed polished and touched up. So for my convenience I was thinking of wrapping it so I can drive it through the carwash.

I looked at the wraps but found that the matte clear wraps dull the look of the paint; so we decided to put some money into the garage instead (heating the garage during the winter time. We already had the water hookup and floor drain so I just wash the car in the garage even if it's 30 below outside
It also turns out that the paint is not as delicate as anticipated; these new nano particle paints don't chip as easily as they used to. They can still chip of course but this is primarily our bad weather/winter car.

When the weather is good, it's convertible time! Good love Air scarf...
Actually that is a good idea - full wrap and use the carwash but the ones we have here still leave watermarks and use recycled water.

It seems that MB paint is really good (hard).

Mine is getting a good (Carlack) treatment this week. My wife is away in Europe for a few days, weather is warmer, my water (rinse) filter arrives this week and I have a meet up on the following Sunday at an old RAF base.

Our garage is attached to the house and it stays warmer than outside in winter - I do my washing outside and then all the "beauty treatment" inside - I take about a week to do a "full detail" including interior, polish and topcoat but it is only an hour or so each day after I have washed it. I have also purchased a led floodlight as the fluorescents in there don't work too well for polishing etc.

Yep air scarf is good & worth every penny. We have a lot of small sports cars running about here on dry days and I alway have a chuckle when I pass them with their coats, hats, scarves & gloves and I'm in a light jumper.

Enjoy!

Last edited by rorywquin; 04-06-2019 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 04-06-2019, 06:39 PM
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Was wondering the same thing today. Any suggestions regarding DIY ceramic coatings? Price, long lasting etc?
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Old 04-07-2019, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by PFEAMG View Post
Was wondering the same thing today. Any suggestions regarding DIY ceramic coatings? Price, long lasting etc?
They seem pretty good but only last a limited time and most of the products need as much effort and care as the more expensive (longer lasting) product - thorough cleaning and a prep solution rubdown to remove all traces of previous products etc have to be careful to avoid rubber and other trims not too thick as it will be difficult to remove........etc

If you want to go the diy ceramic route there are literally 100s of products available and some can make a real mess but they are fine if correctly applied - I saw a demo of (deliberately) badly applied ceramic and they literally had to sandpaper it off! It is hard.

I've also tried Carpro Hydro2 on my wife's car (spray on, hit with a pressure washer to activate and dry) and it is good but no better than Carlack (but very easy to apply) & not cheap.

At the end of the day you still have to wash the car to keep it clean.

My wife's car is silver and mine is white and I don't think we 'see' the full benefit of ceramic compared to brighter coloured cars.

I think the higher end products (ceramics) will definitely add some sort of (slight physical) protection against swirl marks (if you are not a careful washer or use the car wash) and definitely give a fabulous gloss / wet look to darker colours but is it worth it. - my wife usually puts her car through a car wash and it still looks fine.

I'm not sold on ceramic but horses for courses.
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Old 04-07-2019, 08:01 AM
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Thanks rorywquin! Appreciate your insight. Yes you are right there are literally 100ís of ceramic products out there. Itís a bit overwhelming really. Historically Iíve only used reg car wax on my cars and didnít have any real issues. But I like the Carpro hydro2 idea that just sprays on. Will look into that further.

Also anyone ever heard of or use Xpel Fusion Plus ceramic coating? Just curios... thanks again!
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:16 PM
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So I'm about to pull the trigger on a ceramic job and spent an hour with the owner of the shop where the work will be done. He spent a good deal of time looking over my 2017 SL, because he said that the vast majority of time spent on the project is in cleaning and preparing the paint on the car, and bringing it back to as close to perfection as is possible. He said that they plan on at least 5 hours of cleaning and restoring the paint surface, before they apply the ceramic coating. He noticed quite a few areas of imperfection, which will have to be worked. I was amazed because I thought that I always had kept the car in great condition, paint wise. Anyway, he said that there's a number of options, ie $$$, when it comes to these coatings, and the major difference is that the better quality coating one chooses, the longer and better the warranty. He sells product that will last about a year, with no warranty. On the other end of the spectrum, are products which come with an 8 year full warranty. It includes an annual inspection and reapplication of product, if needed, at no charge. This particular shop will also do a job on the windows and windshield, cleaning them and then applying another ceramic type product to deflect rain, much like RainX. They also take the wheels off the car and prep and coat the rims with the ceramic coating, both front and back. As I said earlier, the price varies with the shop hours spent preping the car and the cost of the coating you choose. This particular shop charges from about $500 up to about $3000. It'll be done this week, taking 3 days for the product to fully harden. Once done, I'll post a few photos.
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Old 04-07-2019, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jetjok View Post
So I'm about to pull the trigger on a ceramic job and spent an hour with the owner of the shop where the work will be done. He spent a good deal of time looking over my 2017 SL, because he said that the vast majority of time spent on the project is in cleaning and preparing the paint on the car, and bringing it back to as close to perfection as is possible. He said that they plan on at least 5 hours of cleaning and restoring the paint surface, before they apply the ceramic coating. He noticed quite a few areas of imperfection, which will have to be worked. I was amazed because I thought that I always had kept the car in great condition, paint wise. Anyway, he said that there's a number of options, ie $$$, when it comes to these coatings, and the major difference is that the better quality coating one chooses, the longer and better the warranty. He sells product that will last about a year, with no warranty. On the other end of the spectrum, are products which come with an 8 year full warranty. It includes an annual inspection and reapplication of product, if needed, at no charge. This particular shop will also do a job on the windows and windshield, cleaning them and then applying another ceramic type product to deflect rain, much like RainX. They also take the wheels off the car and prep and coat the rims with the ceramic coating, both front and back. As I said earlier, the price varies with the shop hours spent preping the car and the cost of the coating you choose. This particular shop charges from about $500 up to about $3000. It'll be done this week, taking 3 days for the product to fully harden. Once done, I'll post a few photos.
Sounds like a plan! BTW, here is the link again for the ceramic coating brand that was applied to my Cardinal Red and also the wheels. All of the car's glass was coated with Opti-Glass Pro.
https://redirect.viglink.com/?format...at-pro-plus%2F

Last edited by SLclass; 04-07-2019 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 04-07-2019, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by eddieo45 View Post
I love how he can't stop smiling more than a year after getting his SL!
My first SL and my dream car! Thank you!
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Old 04-08-2019, 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jetjok View Post
So I'm about to pull the trigger on a ceramic job and spent an hour with the owner of the shop where the work will be done. He spent a good deal of time looking over my 2017 SL, because he said that the vast majority of time spent on the project is in cleaning and preparing the paint on the car, and bringing it back to as close to perfection as is possible. He said that they plan on at least 5 hours of cleaning and restoring the paint surface, before they apply the ceramic coating. He noticed quite a few areas of imperfection, which will have to be worked. I was amazed because I thought that I always had kept the car in great condition, paint wise. Anyway, he said that there's a number of options, ie $$$, when it comes to these coatings, and the major difference is that the better quality coating one chooses, the longer and better the warranty. He sells product that will last about a year, with no warranty. On the other end of the spectrum, are products which come with an 8 year full warranty. It includes an annual inspection and reapplication of product, if needed, at no charge. This particular shop will also do a job on the windows and windshield, cleaning them and then applying another ceramic type product to deflect rain, much like RainX. They also take the wheels off the car and prep and coat the rims with the ceramic coating, both front and back. As I said earlier, the price varies with the shop hours spent preping the car and the cost of the coating you choose. This particular shop charges from about $500 up to about $3000. It'll be done this week, taking 3 days for the product to fully harden. Once done, I'll post a few photos.
So which $$$ option did you select? Would be good to see a (clean) before and after. I do like the idea of getting the wheels off for a thorough clean.

Last edited by rorywquin; 04-08-2019 at 02:53 AM.
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Old 04-08-2019, 12:22 PM
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Some of the cars that I've done PPF on end up getting the ceramic coating on top of the PPF afterwards, but that's usually few and far in between that want to go that far into protecting their car.

However, realistically speaking, the PPF is going to provide most of the effects of what ceramic coating would do as well. PPF just adds a thicker layer of protection than ceramic coating.

I think the biggest difference is going to be in pricing in doing one or the other. PPF may very well cost twice as much, if you're trying to do the whole car in it versus just the typical front end areas.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:10 PM
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Does the curing process dull until done?
I had mine done today with ceramic pro 9h and it is not as glossy as when I dropped it off.
i’m a little concerned he dulled it during the buffing(its a month old c63s).
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