the Opti-Coat thread

  • SUPPORT THE SITE AND ENJOY A PREMIUM EXPERIENCE!
    Welcome to Tesla Owners Online, four years young! For a low subscription fee, you will receive access to an ad-free version of TOO. We now offer yearly memberships! You can subscribe via this direct link:
    https://teslaownersonline.com/account/upgrades

    SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL!
    Did you know we have a YouTube channel that's all about Tesla? Lots of Tesla information, fun, vlogs, product reviews, and a weekly Tesla Owners Online Podcast as well!

  • A statement from the Founder of Tesla Owners Online:

    TOO is, and remains, strongly committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and we see no place for hatred and discrimination in our communities.

ModFather

old CARmudgeon
Joined
Apr 3, 2016
Messages
853
Location
SoCal Inland Empire
Country
Country
#1
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:
CPC pros:
- less expensive than PPF
- generally brighter shine than PPF
PPF pros:
- 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
Cquartz pros:
- 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)

General consensus:
- 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. ;)
 
Last edited:

SoFlaModel3

Moderator
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2017
Messages
10,192
Location
Florida
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#2
I still need to read more about it. I enjoy washing/waxing my car, so if all that adds is "extra tough wax" then it's probably not for me. I am however completely ignorant to it...
 

ModFather

old CARmudgeon
Joined
Apr 3, 2016
Messages
853
Location
SoCal Inland Empire
Country
Country
#3
I still need to read more about it. I enjoy washing/waxing my car, so if all that adds is "extra tough wax" then it's probably not for me. I am however completely ignorant to it...
I agree with your logic. However, if you want your car to maintain that showroom look with a bright shine you will need to pay an expert to detail your car about once a year with claybar, etc. Wax alone won't do that and who wants to wax their car twice a month? Oh, wait, maybe someone in South Florida? o_O
 

ElectrifiedSoul

New Member
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2016
Messages
3
Location
Atlanta, GA
#4
I'll throw out something that is neither Ceramic or Film.

I was originally going to go Opti-Coat but now I'm considering using Feynlab Self-Healing coating.

Relatively new and not a ton of info out there- but a couple of people have mentioned it in the other forums and have been very happy. I've google'd around like crazy and not a lot of info, but the info out there is all positive.

Seems to offer all the benefits of Opti-Coat with the extra added benefit of being able to heal small scratches... so that should make it a heck of a lot easier to wash without worrying about all the swirl marks.

In my mind, a full film is too $$$ for a $35k base car and I wouldn't want the loss in shine.

I would be curious to hear if anyone else has experience with this stuff or any opinions...
 

SoFlaModel3

Moderator
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2017
Messages
10,192
Location
Florida
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#5
I agree with your logic. However, if you want your car to maintain that showroom look with a bright shine you will need to pay an expert to detail your car about once a year with claybar, etc. Wax alone won't do that and who wants to wax their car twice a month? Oh, wait, maybe someone in South Florida? o_O
I used to do full details ... wash, clay, wash, wax ... but alas those days are long gone even with the excitement of the Tesla.

I just bought (it's coming Friday, so I'll test it out this weekend) the Optimum No Rinse kit. Apparently with this kit you don't even hose your car down and it gives you the wash, clay, and wax in a single application. Sounds too good to be true, but I've read a lot about it and watched videos on it. It seems legit, so we'll see....
 

ModFather

old CARmudgeon
Joined
Apr 3, 2016
Messages
853
Location
SoCal Inland Empire
Country
Country
#6
I used to do full details ... wash, clay, wash, wax ...
The house next door to me is vacant, would you like to move to California and be my new best friend? :hearteyes:

I just bought (it's coming Friday, so I'll test it out this weekend) the Optimum No Rinse kit. Apparently with this kit you don't even hose your car down and it gives you the wash, clay, and wax in a single application. Sounds too good to be true, but I've read a lot about it and watched videos on it. It seems legit, so we'll see....
Yes, I would like some feedback on that product. "Washing" a car without water scares the frunk out of me! Water is used to float the fine debris off a surface to avoid scratching the paint. You know more about this than I do because of your experience, so please post the results of your test on this thread!
 
Last edited:

Gary Moore

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2016
Messages
225
Location
Mountain House, CA
Country
Country
#7
I would be curious to hear if anyone else has experience with this stuff or any opinions...
Never ask if anyone has any opinions. :rolleyes: Travis Tritt might claim it's six feet tall and bullet proof. (My daughter still lives in Metro Atlanta.)

Nanotechnology is great. Who could resist summoning your Model 3 into the Georgia sun and having the finish just mend the paint swirls? Sure beats waxing.

Allegedly, at 60 degrees Celsius/140 degrees Fahrenheit (or the swelter of a car set in the sun), the superfluid magnetic split ends of the Feynlab Self Heal's ceramic chains vibrate enough to reconnect. :) Enough to inspire one to sit on the porch and rightfully claim that you're polishing your car.

Personally, I like the videos you have noted with Self Heal-coated green Jaguars where they caress them with tire brushes and then heal them in seconds with a heat gun.:nomouth: Sort of leaves you speechless.
 
Joined
May 2, 2016
Messages
180
Location
Tucson AZ
Country
Country
#8
On my MS, I bought a bottle of CQuartz for $50. I washed the car, clay bared, alcohol wiped and spent 4+ hours getting the base ready. I applied the Cquartz myself and it took about 30 min from a clean start. Since then, I wash about weekly using a foam cannon - and just love the way water still beads up after a year in the desert sun.

I was prepared to wash/wax using techniques I grew up with. CQuartz has saved me from this task.

I interviewed several detail shops about PPF - and was impressed with the effort those detailers bragged about. I looked at some with half-hood wraps and judged that look to be awful. I looked at some rides with year old wraps and looked at the edges coming loose. I pictured what a Landau roof must have looked like when new, and what those balding relics look like now. Choose to no go that route - partly for the initial cost, but mostly for the medium/long term look.

I know that the cost of paint treatment is not included in resale estimates, so choose just the type I would like to live with - in initial exuberance and monthly maintenance. I am still happy with my selection.
 

Akilae

Active member
Joined
Jan 16, 2017
Messages
192
Location
Vienna
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model S
#9
I will definatly take my car to a detailer after taking delivery. But I'am not sure yet what exactly I will get. Björn Nyland posted some good videos on YouTube which I unluckily can't link because it is blocked at work. He gets a PPF from I think 3M for his Optimus Prime and documents the whole process.

It's actually quite hard in Austria to find someone who is using Opti-Coat.
 

SoFlaModel3

Moderator
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2017
Messages
10,192
Location
Florida
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#10
The house next door to me is vacant, would you like to move to California and be my new best friend? :hearteyes:
I think I'll stick it out in Florida. The real estate is a bit more reasonable ;)

Yes, I would like some feedback on that product. "Washing" a car without water scares the frunk out of me! Water is used to float the fine debris off a surface to avoid scratching the paint. You know more about this than I do because of your experience, so please post the results of your test on this thread!
That was / is my biggest and certainly why I'll be testing on my current Hyundai ;)

From my reading, the chemical compound lifts away the dirt from the surface and the clay ensures no swirls all in the same motion. It's pretty smart and remarkable. I can't wait to try it!

Probably the best part is that I get to stay in my garage and not bake in the sun while doing this!!
 

Demetre

Active member
Joined
Apr 11, 2016
Messages
57
Location
Bradenton FL
Country
Country
#11
I posted an opinion on the 3M product a couple of months ago on a different thread but will share my experience again. I purchased an MDX and an Optima in 2012. Most of my driving is on the highway so I chose to apply the PPF to the front of both vehicles. It cost me approximately $700 for each vehicle. After a total of 200k miles later, I do not have one chip on either car. The problem with this product is that it is far from maintenance free. It is susceptible to etching if you do not remove the dead bugs on a daily basis. Also, after about 3-4 years, the film lost it's luster on both vehicles and is now fading. I garage both vehicles so they are not baking in the Florida sun. In their defense, 3M does warn about the potential for etching and recommends the application of a silicon product to protect the finish. So if you are considering a PPF, it requires constant maintenance and even if you do, I doubt that it won't fade eventually, at least the 3M product. I just feel that it is more work than it is worth and I will be removing it from both vehicles at some point and will not consider it for my M3.
 

SoFlaModel3

Moderator
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2017
Messages
10,192
Location
Florida
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#14
I'm going to plead to being a science denier in this particular case. I don't buy the marketing hype on this one. o_O How much did it cost? I have to see this to believe it.
Well...

The product itself is cheap at $15.99 for a 32oz bottle (goood for 32 washes), but ... I also bought some high quality microfiber towels, 2 larger buckets, grit guards for the buckets and so me being the sucker turned it into $100.

Of course I already have buckets and microfiber towels, but I decided to start fresh and give this the best possible chance at success.
 

garsh

Dis Member
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Messages
13,109
Location
Pittsburgh PA
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#15
Of course I already have buckets and microfiber towels, but I decided to start fresh and give this the best possible chance at success.
Since you're now the resident car detailing expert... ;)

I've seen various instructions & YouTube videos describing how to detail a car. And that's fine & dandy. But the one thing they never cover is: how do you clean your cleaning tools?
  • Do you just chuck your microfiber towels into the washing machine? How many times do you re-use them?
  • Same question about washing mitts, sponges, etc.
 

ModFather

old CARmudgeon
Joined
Apr 3, 2016
Messages
853
Location
SoCal Inland Empire
Country
Country
#16
So if you are considering a PPF, it requires constant maintenance and even if you do, I doubt that it won't fade eventually, at least the 3M product. I just feel that it is more work than it is worth and I will be removing it from both vehicles at some point and will not consider it for my M3.
Thanks for your first hand review. I have not completed my research on PPFs yet but a lot of users seem to share your experience. The one exception is Xpel which is VERY expensive. I don't know yet how much money I want to put into a $35K car.

Anyone tried Liquid Glass? I hear lots of show cars use this from car brands I worked for.
Yes, Liquid Glass gets very high reviews. One 16oz. can (around $22) will be enough to put 4 coats on a car like the model 3. It is necessary to apply several thin coats than one thick coat for the product to work - important to follow instructions! Apply several coats the first year and then reapply annually thereafter.

Here is the problem, it is a hazardous material and causes ozone depletion. It is very toxic and can cause lung damage if not used in well ventilated area. The product is banned for sale in California ( a leader in environmental protection, thank you Governor Brown). So I will probably pass on this product.
 

Gizmo

Active member
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
105
Location
Kent
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Reservation
#18
I had my current car detailed and Gtechniq Crystal Serum applied from new, as a keen DIY detailer I can say that I am very impressed with the results, and the car still beads water nicely a year and a half later (not added anything over the top of the Crystal Serum).

It cost just over £1,000 (UK) to be applied and needs to be done by a pro as the only way it can be removed is by wet sanding!

Would I do it again?... YES at the drop of a hat
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2017
Messages
17
Location
Ontario
Country
Country
#19
Probably the single best thing you can do to your new car is wash it by hand (2 bucket method) and keep it far far away from any automatic car wash. Even one automatic car wash will leave swirl marks in your paint. Look at Trevor's video at the 36 second mark....swirl city!
 

SoFlaModel3

Moderator
Moderator
TOO Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2017
Messages
10,192
Location
Florida
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
#20
Since you're now the resident car detailing expert... ;)

I've seen various instructions & YouTube videos describing how to detail a car. And that's fine & dandy. But the one thing they never cover is: how do you clean your cleaning tools?
  • Do you just chuck your microfiber towels into the washing machine? How many times do you re-use them?
  • Same question about washing mitts, sponges, etc.
I would not come close to calling myself an expert. I used to be anal retentive with my cars, but that was a time before having a wife and kids.

Anyway, I always did my best to rinse away debris sticking to my microfiber towels/mitts and then I would wash them on the gentle cycle.

I never had a set amount of time that I would keep them beyond simply watching how long they held up. As I started washing/detailing less frequently they of course lasted longer.

With this new wash method and the frequency I will have with the Model 3, I'm sure the towels will be replaced often.