I'm talking myself out of both PPF and ceramic coating

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garsh

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#1
I was originally thinking that I would get both ceramic coating and PPF for my new Model 3. But lately, I've become a bit disillusioned by both products. I'm now thinking that I won't bother.

PPF
The bumper on my Leaf is pock-marked from six years of highway driving. I was thinking that I'd get PPF to help prevent that. But now I learn that PPF's self-healing abilities don't really apply to this sort of damage. It can heal itself from scratches if they're not too deep. But not little divots. And driving around with film with divots isn't really any better than driving around with paint with divots. So I think I'll save the money and maybe consider getting the bumper repainted in 3-5 years if I'm really planning on keeping the car for a long time.

Ceramic Coating
When I heard about a coating that can replace regular waxing and keep your car looking shiny and make it easy to clean, I was intrigued! I actually went ahead and got it put on my wife's new Hyundai - kind of a "test run" for my Tesla. And that's when I found out that it actually requires you to get an annual "maintenance" application. So, instead of waxing a vehicle myself twice a year, I have to set aside time to drop off my car somewhere once a year, and pay for that privilege. That doesn't seem nearly as convenient as I was originally thinking. And now that I have a car with ceramic coating, it doesn't seem to be any easier to clean. I tried a "touchless" wash, and the results were actually quite bad. I guess I'm a bit disappointed in the results.

So I think I'm not going to do either one. Instead, I'm planning to try the one-bucket version of @SoFlaModel3's Optimum No-Rinse washing method, with a regular application of their "Wash & Wax" product as well. We'll see how it goes.
 

Gavyne

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#2
PPF and ceramic coating aren't for everybody. It just depends on how much you want your car to look shiny and new. The values of PPF & ceramic coating are different for everyone.

With PPF, it's important you get it installed by a shop that'll honor the warranty, and make sure you get it in writing. This way for things that don't self-heal, you take the car in and they'll run a heat gun through it and make everything looking new again. Or if they can't fix it, they'll replace the film, because that's part of the warranty. Just don't take verbal "ok yes we'll cover the warranty", get it in writing and PPF can be well worth the price. My SunTek Ultra PPF comes with 10-year warranty that my detail shop covers.

Ceramic coating, this is kinda where people will see different values in it. For me living in Socal near the beach, we get wind and lots of dust. Within 1-2 days my car would have a visible layer of dust on it. With ceramic coating, I drive off and most of that dust is blown away because they don't stick to the car as easily due to the coating. You can spot clean anything much easier than a car without the coating. If you live somewhere with bad weather, and your car gets pretty dirty and abused, and you don't like to wash your car often, then ceramic coating won't do anything for you. Ceramic coating requires care and you should wash your car and take care of it, rather than the opposite. If you leave your car dirty, then the coating doesn't do anything for you.

Most automated touchless wash aren't that good, you are best sticking with the two/one bucket method. Ceramic coating, especially professional grade applied by an experienced shop, offers much better protection and last longer than wax. That's not a question or debate. The question is are you going to take care of your car or not. I didn't used to care with my old cars, but with this one, it's just too s3xy and I want to wash and care for it. That's why I chose to get the coating done.
 

Defjukie

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#3
Do what I did and apply CQuartz ceramic yourself. Probably not as good as a professional job, but good enough to at least make washing easier. I plan to simply reapply it every 2-3 years.
 

NJturtlePower

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#4
I was originally thinking that I would get both ceramic coating and PPF for my new Model 3. But lately, I've become a bit disillusioned by both products. I'm now thinking that I won't bother.

PPF
And driving around with film with divots isn't really any better than driving around with paint with divots.
Sure it is, because the film is your sacrificial layer rather than your paint. You can remove the film after 5-years and still have a brand new bumper.

But agree, it makes little sense cost wise IF you aren't going to keep the car long as you won't get any real value out of it during resale.

Ceramic coating I don't think I should or could judge yet.... Had my car Opti-coat Pro coated (on top of the full front end in SunTek Ultra PPF) only 10-days ago and my detailer claims it will last a good 2-3 years with little to no maintenance.

But he did say he's seen coatings trashed in 6-months when the owners gave up and started running it through the car wash.

My plan is to wash twice a month with the ONR and OID (Instant Detailer & Gloss Enhancer) combo and only time will tell I guess on how the ceramic holds up...fingers crossed. :cool:

This can be used as a drying aid and or instant detailer at it's proper dilution.
Amazon product
 
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GDN

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#5
I'd second the vote to a do-it-yourself coating. I'm not buying the "make the paint harder" stories, but after applying the mine, I am a believer that at least the car is much easier to wash and clean. Maybe not through an automated wash, but definitely by hand. I used Gyeon Mohs. It doesn't get a lot of attention around here and I can't compare it to others. There are a couple threads here and I think I really chose this one because of threads over on TMC. Their marketing material make it sound and work just as good as the other high end coatings. You can also use a wax on top of this one and they have a wash that has a tiny bit of it in it. So every time you wash you are renewing the coat.

I'm not into any of the protections for the thousands, but so far like the results of this for what it is.

If you want to seriously just go wax and research Collinite 845. Most swear it is one of the best. I'm thinking a light coat of this on top of my Gyeon would be the best solution. I have a bottle but have not put it on yet. Too dang hot.
 

Reef Club

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#6
I'd second the vote to a do-it-yourself coating. I'm not buying the "make the paint harder" stories, but after applying the mine, I am a believer that at least the car is much easier to wash and clean. Maybe not through an automated wash, but definitely by hand. I used Gyeon Mohs. It doesn't get a lot of attention around here and I can't compare it to others. There are a couple threads here and I think I really chose this one because of threads over on TMC. Their marketing material make it sound and work just as good as the other high end coatings. You can also use a wax on top of this one and they have a wash that has a tiny bit of it in it. So every time you wash you are renewing the coat.

I'm not into any of the protections for the thousands, but so far like the results of this for what it is.

If you want to seriously just go wax and research Collinite 845. Most swear it is one of the best. I'm thinking a light coat of this on top of my Gyeon would be the best solution. I have a bottle but have not put it on yet. Too dang hot.
I went the Sealant (Jescar Powerlock +) and wax (Collinite 845) route. Here in Central Florida we get lots of heavy rain storms. Water beads up and slides off. Car drys quickly and looks great. I simply keep Car Detailer with me to clean any bugs and touch up between washes.
 

garsh

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#8
Sure it is, because the film is your sacrificial layer rather than your paint. You can remove the film after 5-years and still have a brand new bumper.
If PPF was cheaper than getting the bumper repainted, I may consider it. But from what I've seen, the costs are comparable. So I'm less sure of the value proposition.
 

pyrotech6

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#10
Hey Garsh, like you, I talked myself out of both as well.

I was going to do a full front PPF wrap and ceramic coating. After A LOT of research, I realized you have to wrap the whole car or nothing. If you wrap just the front half, in 10 years the front will look fantastic if you take the wrap off, but everyone I talked with said the paint will not match the rear half of the car.

At that point, I quickly realized 5 thousand bucks for a full wrap was just not gonna happen.

Like SoFlaModel3, I will enjoy washing the car every week or two. I bought a bunch of car wash supplies from Chemical Guys.

PS...Foam Cannons are AWESOME!
 

garsh

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#11
PS...Foam Cannons are AWESOME!
So, that's another thing....

I was trying to decide how I was going to wash this thing. I obtained a good power washer and bought a foam cannon for it. I had a lot of fun the first couple of times trying it out. But eventually, I found it to be a hassle to connect/disconnect the power washer to the hose, connect/disconnect the foam cannon to the washer, etc. I reverted back to just using the hose because it was easier and faster.

And so now I'm going to give the Optimum No-Rinse a try. It sounds like it might be a bit quicker, and It sounds easier to perform inside a garage than using a hose.
 

Love

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#12
So, that's another thing....

I was trying to decide how I was going to wash this thing. I obtained a good power washer and bought a foam cannon for it. I had a lot of fun the first couple of times trying it out. But eventually, I found it to be a hassle to connect/disconnect the power washer to the hose, connect/disconnect the foam cannon to the washer, etc. I reverted back to just using the hose because it was easier and faster.

And so now I'm going to give the Optimum No-Rinse a try. It sounds like it might be a bit quicker, and It sounds easier to perform inside a garage than using a hose.
I got a quick disconnect kit from Lowe’s for like $30 I think? Came with a bunch of different attachments I tell myself I’ll eventually use to clean the house but...heh heh...
https://teslaownersonline.com/threads/my-model-3-heav3n.5943/page-6#post-90024
 

KarenRei

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#13
One thing I was thinking about today... with PFF, it's basically just a transparent wrap for likely debris strike zones, right?

So could one do a transparent wrap with some extra non-transparent graphics in there for basically the same labour costs, and yielding the same protection value? With the only difference being the cost of having your film printed? Wondering how much extra that might be.
 

Love

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#14
One thing I was thinking about today... with PFF, it's basically just a transparent wrap for likely debris strike zones, right?

So could one do a transparent wrap with some extra non-transparent graphics in there for basically the same labour costs, and yielding the same protection value? With the only difference being the cost of having your film printed? Wondering how much extra that might be.
Oooo! More things to do with this picture I’m gonna get of this lady!

https://teslaownersonline.com/threads/tesla-time™-stories.6031/page-14#post-128304
 
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garsh

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So could one do a transparent wrap with some extra non-transparent graphics in there for basically the same labour costs, and yielding the same protection value? With the only difference being the cost of having your film printed? Wondering how much extra that might be.
That's exactly how graphics on business vehicles and buses are done nowadays. And it's actually a lot cheaper than either a clear wrap or an automotive-quality finish wrap. The quality isn't as good up close though.


 

KarenRei

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#16
How would the quality of a transparent wrap that's been printed on not be as good as a non-transparent wrap that's been printed on? I'd think that the printing technology would be the same for both.

My understanding is that commercial wraps are usually cheaper than non-commercial wraps because they don't wrap all of the small trim details - they just care about the big surface areas.
 

Gavyne

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#17
Vinyl wraps are for cosmetic, people use it to change their car's color, or put printed graphics on them. They are not nearly as thick, and they don't have self-healing capabilities. They aren't designed for it.

Where as paint protection film, like XPEL, SunTek, 3M PPF's are designed for paint protection. They're thicker, they heal with heat, and are more scratch resistant.

Vinyl wraps also don't last as long, 2-3 years tops. Where as a good quality PPF could last up to 10 years or more.
 

NJturtlePower

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#18
@NJturtlePower do you have pictures of what PPF looks like after 5 years? That’s what I’m always curious about.
I don't since the 3 is the first car I've bought in the past 8-years, the others have been leases that didn't warrant PPF.

But on the bright side most good films like Xpel and Suntek are warrantied at 10-year for peeling, yellowing or otherwise failing so it will really come down to your trusted installer as to how it's life plays out. I'll keep you posted ;)
 

John

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#20
Yup, there's only one thing worse than chipping your paint.

And that's chipping your paint AND your PPF AND your ceramic coating.

I did not coat or film my black Model 3. I do, however, own the $55 touch up paint.

And I'd second the "one bucket" method.

My equipment for cleaning the outside (buy everything on Amazon, not car care sites, save a lot of money):
  1. Bucket (with grit guard inside to separate dirt)
  2. Spray bottle with pressure pumper
  3. Microfiber mitt (one or two)
  4. Microfiber hand towels (get a bunch, they are handy)
  5. Microfiber fluffy drying towels (big ones, get at least 2)
  6. RainX Spot Free wash
  7. Optimum No Rinse Wash & Wax
Do when cool.
  1. Spray the car off with high pressure water so it's pretty clean
  2. Mitt scrub all over with the RainX wash from your bucket (just an ounce or two in a half bucket of water, flipping the mitt every panel and rinsing it off a few times in the bucket, doing very bottom panels last, then wheels
  3. Rinse off (now it's really clean)
  4. Spray the wash & wax on to each surface with your hand sprayer
  5. Rub around everywhere with a clean hand towel to spread it out thoroughly everywhere and get the last little stubborn stuck on stuff
  6. Then buff dry with your big fluffy microfiber towel.
Mwah. Booteeful.

Start to finish, maybe 20 minutes. Mirror shine. Do it one morning each weekend. Nice zen activity. Throw your towels in the washing machine with just a little detergent or Woolite, and dry WITHOUT fabric softener. Fold up for next weekend. Replace the microfiber towel in your center console.
 
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