B'day treat for my Model 3 (ceramic coating and splash guards)

B'day treat for my Model 3 (ceramic coating and splash guards)

My one year with the car is coming up soon and I gave it a little well deserved treat couple weeks ago. My car was built 10/2018 and I picked it up early November. I wanted to do the ceramic coating right from the beginning, but one being in NJ it was starting to get really cold, and two I didn't want the car sitting for days prepping and waiting for the ceramic coating to cure, just wanted to drive :D The paint has held up very well in my ~19k ownership, very little rock chips which is a lot more than I can say with many other cars I've owned. I handwashed it myself exclusively and there was no swirl marks on it at all. The areas behind the front wheels took quite a lot of elbow grease to clean up. It shouldn't be a problems now since I installed the splash guards which IMO looks great.

I used all CarPro products (except the car wash soap which I used Chemical Guys Clean Slate) to prep the car and the coating itself. Used in this order: Chemical Guys car wash (first with foam cannon, then with the bucket), CarPro Iron X iron remover, Mother's clay bar and lubricant, CarPro Essence polish, CarPro Eraser (the alcohol wipe down before coating), and finally two coats of CarPro CQuartz UK 3.0 (50ml, it was just enough to coat my other car), and CarPro Reload. The entire process probably took me 12 hours combined spread over the weekend starting Friday. I couldn't believe the difference it made. It really made the midnight silver pop, if a gray color can ever "pop". It's been raining a lot in the past week here and the car still pretty much looks like the after picture even after driving it in the rain for a week. It is supposed to last 18-24 months. From how it looks after driving it in the rain, I'd say it was worth the effort.

All the products were purchased from Amazon. It was about $220. The splash guards was $30 also from Amazon (search for TOPlight if you're interested). The front required drilling a single hole onto the plastic fender lining which I felt is not very secure, so I used some strong 3M outdoor double sided tape on the top edge. The plastics of the splash guards feels just like a set of Lexus OEM I bought for $100. It's firm yet flexible so I think it's going to hold up well.

Before (right after just the wash):


rchau28 | 2019年10月23日

OMG bro..I am going to ceramic coat my car this weekend and doing almost everything you mentioned. Down to the supplies you used.

1. Foam wash (Chemical Guys Pink)
2. ONR contact wash
3. CarPro Iron X
4. Mother's Clay Bar
5. Polish Car with Griots G9 using Griots Complete Polish
6. CarPro Eraser
7. CarPro CQuartz 3.0 50 ml (2 coats)
8. CarPro Reload

How long after did you applied the 2nd ceramic coat? And after the 2nd coat, when did you applied the Reload?
And any tips or advice?

h2ev | 2019年10月24日

I waited a full day before applying the second coat. Per the instructions, if you missed the one hour window for the second coat, wait until the next day. After going through the entire car with the second coat, I immediately applied the Reload which made the surface feel much slicker than just the coating itself.

#1 is that you absolutely positively must be sure that you got every last drop of water out of all crevices. Even after going through the car with my leaf blower, hours later there were still drips of water coming out of the door handles and such. After that, I went through it again with my air compressor and blow nozzle.

#2 is you must have good lighting to ensure that you've buffed off all residue from each section before moving on to the next. Without good lighting it is very easy to miss all the residue. Prior to starting, I was curious what the coating looks like dried up, so I put a tiny little bit on a glass surface. See that smudge above the tempered glass label? That's the coating and it does not come off even scratching with my finger nail.

#3 I used two micro fiber cloths to wipe off the coating while working each section. First one to remove the excess, then second one to buff. When the first one gets saturated (after flipping and folding using up all sides), I toss it and use the second for excess removal, and take out a new one to buff. Between doing 2 coats on 2 cars, I used up almost the entire 36-pack micro fiber cloths. Be careful when slinging around the saturated cloth. I had some smudges on the on the base of the windshield which I imagine came from the towel while I buffed the area.

#4 I watched many videos but no one mentioned dust, but the OCD in me was worried that if dust lands on the surface while it's drying it may not come off, so I blew out dust as much as I could in the garage and applied the coating with the doors closed to ensure no dust is blown around from outside. Probably wasn't necessary but couldn't hurt.

#5 if you don't have a roller seat, it's definitely worth the $20 or so (Harbor Freight) to buy one. I bought one just for the occasion and I'm so glad I did. I actually jacked up the car while doing the sides of the car, otherwise it's still a back breaker with the roller seat while doing the bottom sections of the car.

Enjoy! Post some before and after shots if you can.

rchau28 | 2019年10月28日

@h2ev, thanks for the tips. So the whole process took me 10 hrs on Sat & 2 hrs on Sun.
Good tip on the roller seat. That really saved my back lol.
Here are the before and after shots.

Luckily after my first coat, I drove my car out of the garage and with better lighting noticed some high spots.
I panicked when I was not able to remove the blemishes with a microfiber cloth. The coat had 2 hrs of cure time. So I sprayed some Reload on the high spots and was able to remove it that way. All in all, it was a laborious job but like you said, the end results were worth it. Just glad that it'll be another 2 years before I have re-coat the car :)

jebinc | 2019年10月28日

Both look great! I did something similar when I took delivery of my MSM LR AWD in June, except I used four coats of CarPro cQuartz (not UK version, original). I did this over the course of three days to allow for curing. Instead of Reload, I used (use) BeadMaker (can be had on Amazon for cheap). Same effect as Reload, but less expensive.