The first thing that's going to happen when I take delivery is to get the car Opticoated and a film barrier installed on the hood and fascia.
I'll also be transferring my BlackVue dashcam from the Lincoln over to the 3 which I will video for those wanting to install the same.
I have done some research on this subject. I DO NOT HAVE ANY FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE. Everything I share here is a distillation from the Internet from people who have used various products. So feel free to disagree or debate what is posted, I want to learn too.
First some definitions:
- Ceramic Polymer Coatings (CPC) is a liquid that is applied to the paint surface. Example product names are Opti-Coat and Cquartz
- Paint Protection Film (PPF) is a clear film applied to the paint surface. Examples are Xpel and 3M products
Cost considerations - the general consensus is that if you plan to keep a car 3 years or less, CPC and/or PPF is not cost effective. If you plan to keep a car longer than 3 years and then sell to a private party then CPC and/or PPF is cost effective. If you plan to keep the car longer than 3 years and then trade in to the dealer, it depends.
Comparison CPC to PPF:
- less expensive than PPF
- generally brighter shine than PPF
- longer lasting than CPC
- more resistant to birds droppings, bug splatter, acid rain, road salt, and sand than CPC
- resistant to rock chips, CPC does not protect against chips
- more resistant to swirl marks than CPC
Comparison of Opti-coat to Cquartz
Opti-Coat Pro pros:
- much longer lasting than Cquartz
- tougher coating than Cquartz
- less expensive than Opti-coat
- brighter shine than Opti-Coat
Opti-Coat Pro Plus:
- the most expensive
- all the benefits of OC Pro and Cquartz (except cost)
- Opti-Coat is more popular because vendors seem to be more reliable. Cquartz applications vary widely and there have been some unhappy customers. Opti-Coat customers are generally very satisfied.
- Opti-Coat you get what you pay for, Cost for OP Pro is about $1K to $1.5K depending on location. It is possible to find a vendor for less than $1K but it is probably not a certified installer and it is buyer beware since a poor application is equivalent to no protection.
- CPC will not protect against rock chips!
- CPC does cut down on the need to wax the car
- some car owners go full Cadillac and apply both CPC and PPF. These tend to be cars with value over $100K.
- if applying both CPC and PPF, the PPF obviously goes on first with the CPC applied over the top of PPF.
I am undecided at this point what I am going to do. If I take an early model 3, I may lease it for 3 years and then purchase a later model with all the options I want. Therefore I would not pay for CPC. If I can get the car I want in a year or so, I will wait and then purchase the car and keep it for a long time and probably apply PPF to the front fascia, frunk lid, and rocker panels and then apply a CPC over the whole car.
And that's the way it is until I change my mind.