opti-coat -- what needs to be corrected before application? Even on a new car?

opti-coat -- what needs to be corrected before application? Even on a new car?

HI all -- strongly thinking of getting the Opti-coat pro treatment (although I could use some more independent opinions on the reasons it's worth it / long term experienced benefits seen by others), but I have a question first:

The shop says that even on a new vehicle (within days of delivery) needs to have various things corrected about the paint itself -- you probably cannot just put the coating on straight, without any prep work.

Is it possible to tell if the car finish is in good enough shape that significant prep work isn't required? What signs / defects would I look for?


Andercam | 24 September, 2013

I had my car Opti-Coat(ed) this past weekend. I thought the same thing you are thinking... How bad could a new cars paint be??

He showed me before and after pictures (before he applied the Opti-Coat) and the difference is huge.

soma | 24 September, 2013

Thanks for the info! Can I ask, what convinced you to get the coating versus just keeping the factory finish? What do you expect the Opticoat to do for you over time?

howardb33 | 24 September, 2013

had my car opti coated and wrapped

check out the picks it says it all

howard p85+

David Trushin | 24 September, 2013

Kevin in Barrington said that you need to take off all the wax. He said he observed an issue with the darker colors of perhaps flaws in the paint job that were corrected by hand in the factory and that the hand buffing left swirls. He said that the whites had very few problems like that.

GDH | 24 September, 2013


holy crap your S looks amazing!

teslagma | 24 September, 2013


So you had Opti-coat Pro first and then the clear wrap applied? Does the wrap protect against stone chips and such? I know Opti-coat is not thick enough to do that so I was also thinking about doing the wrap.

FranknWC | 24 September, 2013

Had mine done in Manheim, PA where Barry Theal and staff made our baby sparkle. I have a black MS 85 kWh with Tech Package and Air Suspension. The car looks fantastic! I literally have a lump in my throat.

They first detailed it and then applied Opti Coat Pro to the body, windows, and wheels. What hit me right off is how the whole car looked so unified. It's hard to describe but it looks like a a huge jewel. When you get close you almost forget that it is painted because you think you are looking into a mirror. That's the the detailing part of the process.

Then the Opti Coat is applied to seal and protect all that hard work. I will update you on my experience with this wonderful product every month or so. In the mean time if you really want your Tesla to shine contact:

Barry Theal - 717.875.8686 (or visit him at his new location)
164 South Hazel Street
Manheim,PA 17545

Thanks Again Barry! You're a real car guy. You understand my passion for this great car.

nolancn | 24 September, 2013

Unfortunately Tesla sands the clear coat to achieve a smooth surface but does not polish the paint to remove the sanding scratches (at least on earlier builds). On dark cars this leaves swirls that are very objectionable. I have had my car opti-coated after full paint correction. The result is breathtaking on a black vehicle. Also the opti-coat should decrease the likelihood of adding swirls to the car with proper
washing practices. My car also has the body armor and the opti-coat indeed unified the appearance of the car and made the body amor less apparent. I agree with FranknWC. Go for it, but get a reputable and experienced detailer. Also not cheap but IMO worth it.

howardb33 | 24 September, 2013

bought tesla paint armour but not enough of front hood was covered so had that removed only from hood

then car first detailed then xpel utimate applied to hood and front fenders and left on the rest of the tesla paint armour

last step was opti coat pro

then pictures and many compliments

howard p85+ plug n go

soma | 24 September, 2013

Thanks, nolancn --

How about driving the car for a while, and when / if the finish gets noticeably duller, then having the Opti-coat done?

Or is it better just to get it done up front, if you're going to do it eventually anyway?

nolancn | 25 September, 2013

No one is exactly sure how long it will hold up. Opti-coat makes a "registered" product for application on a new vehicle which comes with a lifetime warranty. It carries with it an added cost. Ask an authorized detailer/installer about it. I would have it done sooner than later as it adds an extra layer of protection to your paint.

tcoyle | 25 September, 2013

Just picked up my MS this week. What have you guys been paying for the prep and Opti-Coat? Thinking of getting it done.

Andercam | 25 September, 2013

I was told Opti-Coat just raised their prices (not sure what the cost is now). The cost varies a lot for the prep depending on the color, and how good/bad of a job was done on the pre-delivery wash.
I would say a safe range would be in the $500-$750 range.

manish25 | 25 September, 2013

I just paid $650 for prep, polish and Opticoat Pro on my brand new MS. I thought it was pricey but went with it due to all of the great reccomendations.

JPPTM | 25 September, 2013

My detailer in the SF Bay Area just wished that TM would take the cars fresh out of paint/clear coat and let him do the finish work. He says that they do a not great job on final polish and wax, and that even 'factory fresh' Model S need careful polishing and correcting before encasing them in any kind of protective system (wrap/film/OptiCoat etc.). I take very good care of my cars (hand wash, Griot's Garage products, clean towels, etc) and yet even after babying the car (clay the paint, best wax, etc) he and I could see swills and scratches. I paid about $350 for a full prep/detail (took a full day) including deinstalling the wheels for full prep and cleaning, and $300 (now up to $350) for full OptiCoat Pro, including the wheels (front & back), the glass, and the plastic/lenses. It is fabulous! Car looks pristine. No worries about fine scratches. Car cleans up easily--including rims. Water just runs off. Glad I did it-and not interested in any kind of film/wrap (TM or aftermarket). YMMV.

BTW, local expert has now done over 90 (yes, ninety) Model S.

Joe at Orinda Auto Detail

plpham123 | 25 September, 2013

Here are a few photos after opti- pro application. Had light buffing done prior.

LV2SF99999 | 26 September, 2013

Would love to see your pics but your account is private.

kakeuter | 26 September, 2013

It's hard to believe, but vehicles don't always come from factory in the best condition they can be. Nonetheless, almost EVERY dealership will conduct what they call a "New Car Prep" as soon as the new vehicle arrives. This process (typically) entails an amateur in-house detailer going around the vehicle with a rotary polisher, dirty pad and a glaze. The glaze they (typically) use just fills in defects (swirls/scratches/buffer trails) and makes the car appear shiny. After all the glaze is stripped off (typically after a couple washes) the car will show its true condition.

When having Opti-Coat Pro applied to a vehicle, all the wax/fillers/glazes have to be stripped from the vehicle, if the vehicle is swirl-free (good chance it won't be) the coating can be applied. Detailers who are authorized installers of Opti-Coat Pro (like me) will almost always have to polish the vehicle and remove any factory/dealership defects to ensure the car is in the best shape possible before applying the coating. Remember, this stuff can't just be washed off like a wax/sealant, so if your vehicle has swirls when the coating is applied then you are simply locking in those defects under the coating.

And yes, Optimum Polymer Technology did just raise the price of OC Pro. Depending on the state of the vehicle, customers can expect a price point anywhere between $500 and $1500. It may sound like a lot of money, but there is no better surface protection product available on the market, no matter what any dealership may or may not promise you.

It's comforting to see so many car owners recognizing the benefit of this product, protect your investment!


soma | 26 September, 2013


Can you explain how the coating protects the paint against physical scratches, etc.? (which is what is claimed)

Looking at videos of how this is applied (or at least the 2.0 product), it is an organic compound (maybe silicate related) that you can see almost evaporates after a few seconds. Just based on this, it's hard to envision how it creates a physical protection to the paint against scratches. I would expect that you'd need a coating of a polymer of something like 0.5mm to do that.

I buy that it keeps the shine on a car for a long time, although I have yet to hear from someone who has had the coating for 5 years to see if it worked. What I can't understand is how it protects against a rock chip, for example.


JPPTM | 27 September, 2013

Kody--thanks for chiming in. I am just the owner/customer, but am really happy with the end result. Funny, it is like the old phrase that says 'anyone can paint a house'--it's not the painting, it's the prep. Probably somewhat similar for a protective auto finish--anyone can slap on something like OptiCoat (consumer edition) but do they have the expertise to 'perfect' the paint/clear coat and not screw it up?

kakeuter | 29 September, 2013

@soma - Saying that any coating (CQ Finest or Opti-Coat Pro) will eliminate all future scratches is simply a pipe dream. The coatings, however, do provide a surface that is harder than your standard clear coat, which makes wash-induced swirls and scratches LESS LIKELY. These coatings also have hydrophobic properties that enables the car to stay cleaner for longer because dirt/grime have a hard time sticking to them. So the increased "hardness" of the coating coupled with it's ability to repel dirt and grime allows for the owner (or detailer) to safely wash the vehicle without causing scratches. You are correct in assuming that it doesn't protect from rock chips, only clear film can provide that level of protection.

Pay in mind - the vehicle must be maintained PROPERLY for it to stay scratch-free, this applies to cars that are wrapped and/or coated. Taking your vehicle to the local scratch and swirl $3 car wash is going to bring you nothing but headaches when you have to pay a professional detailer to fix it. This also pertains to having your vehicle "detailed" at the dealership, as the employee (typically) gets paid minimum wage and their only concern is getting as many vehicles in and out as they possibly can. When you pay for a quality vehicle, like a Tesla, you deserve to have the vehicle protected from the elements from a quality detailer.

@JPPTM - you are completely correct. Having done many vehicles with both the consumer and Pro coating, I can honestly say that it takes a lot of work to not only prep the surface correctly but apply the coating in a manner that provides full coverage without high spots.

This all falls into the old saying of "you get what you pay for." Having a $100,000 (or even a $20,000) vehicle "detailed" for $20 won't pay dividends in the future.


advanceddetaili... | 28 October, 2015

I had an inquiry today that send me the link to this thread. They found it on Google and had a few questions out of what he read here. Well I figured Id answer it here so that the next person that stumbles upon this gets a bit more from this thread.

One thing id like to ask those who posted here back in 2013 or so. How are your opticoats holding up? What has been your method of maintenance and how often? Ive seen cars go up to 10 years and still bead up as per Ivan our Canadian installer. This year Optimum turns 10 years and its a big deal. Specially since a lot "new" brands have come out. They seem similar yet they behave different.

Opti-Coat is SiC which is silicone carbide. It bonds into your clear coat and becomes the top layer of your clear coat. Other brands are Silicone Dioxide (SiO2) which hardens and cures over your Clear Coat. This means it is not part of your clear coat. It does not last as long as SiC and needs multiple layers in order to protect properly.

With that in mind, it is easy to see why it is almost crucial to remove as many defects as possible from the top layer of your paint before sealing it with a coating like Opti Coat Pro or Pro Plus

JPPTM | 29 October, 2015

advance--my OptiCoat from 2-1/2 years ago is still great on a May 2013 multi-coat Red S85. Note that I did bring my car back to my detailing pro at 2 years for him to look at. He did some minor tune-ups and applied OptiGloss (which I did not get/have 2 years ago) to make the car even shinier. Really happy with the product and durability. Would do it again in a heartbeat.

sdelucia | 29 October, 2015

Which is better...OptiCoat or a Wrap? Full Wrap is around $2500 - 3K

rjt65 | 29 October, 2015

I did Xpel on 65% all front, front pillars to pano roof, all bumpers , back, all except top 2/3 of doors, opticoat 100% including wheels