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Ceramic Pro - Very disappointed with performance and results

I think part of the discussion is do you want to detail your car or do you want someone else to detail your car. No wrong answer here, it is your money to spend as you wish.

Before dropping $1K+ for someone who calls himself a professional detailer, try the Turtle Wax Hybrid Ceramic solution. You need 2 coats, so apply the first (base coat), then wait 24 hrs to wash and apply the 2nd coat. I did this 2 months ago, and the water beading and shine is beautiful, can’t see it being any better. Now at best it will last 6 months, I understand that. But a big difference in price. Give it a try before dropping big bucks.
 
Sorry to hear about these protective finishes which appear to be often no more than a good waxing. We keep our Chichi in a garage under two soft blankets, front and rear. When these are removed the car's top portion is freshly polished and almost always looks amazing. Dust below the window line is less obvious unless it turns to mud, in which case we wash it off with copious water and chamois dry as we do the top portion after rain.
We long ago decided not to be too fussy because our RR and later our Bentley were big beasts to care for. Chichi, our used M3LR from Japan, is a treasure but still only a workhorse.
 
Hey sorry about all this bs. I greatly appreciate you sharing this.. I was strongly considering Ceramic Pro for my Model 3 coming in a week.

Hugely disappointing to see how the company has treated you. And worse, thag the product failed to protect your car from the most basic of conditions every car faces. Water drops and swirls from washings. No matter how much you baby your car swirl marks are just inevitable unless you've got a sacrificial layer like PPF or ceramic coating. Given the subtlety of the application, it's almost impossible to tell if your installation was even on the car, much less a good one.

Anyway you helped me dodge a bullet. No way in he'll I'll take my business to Ceramic Pro.
 
I have had good success with Turtle Wax hybrid wax and ceramic and more recently tried the Meguilar wax and silicone spray that you spray on while the car is still wet. This is a fraction of the cost of these so called professional ceramic coating. If you are detailing your own car, you can spray on the Meduilar spray and rinse it off, it looks great and the water beads like crazy. I don’t know how long it will last and skeptical about a 6 month statement from the manufacturer, but you can apply the spray each time you wash your car and if you live in beautiful weather all year like LA, it was just made to order.
 
How do you like the Meguiar vs Turtle wax (I assume you mean the ceramic wet wax version).

I am using Griots but you have to dry first so am looking for something a bit simpler. I may still use Griots as a second coating the following day since it seems to do better in durability than the turtle wax.
 
How do you like the Meguiar vs Turtle wax (I assume you mean the ceramic wet wax version).

I am using Griots but you have to dry first so am looking for something a bit simpler. I may still use Griots as a second coating the following day since it seems to do better in durability than the turtle wax.
I do like the Regular ceramic wet wax product. Was very easy to use, just spray it on when the car is wet. I was a little skeptical at first, but it leaves a nice glossy look and when you run your hand over it and more slippery feel than Turtle wax product. One interesting thing I noticed is that when I went to dry the car with my micro fibre towel, it picked the water up and more completely than the Turtle wax stuff, I guess their is a drying agent in the formula. The directions say to rub in the spray the first time for a base coat, I did not do that, and thought the results were really good. How long will it last is the question.
 
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I do like the Regular ceramic wet wax product. Was very easy to use, just spray it on when the car is wet. I was a little skeptical at first, but it leaves a nice glossy look and when you run your hand over it and more slippery feel than Turtle wax product. One interesting thing I noticed is that when I went to dry the car with my micro fibre towel, it picked the water up and more completely than the Turtle wax stuff, I guess their is a drying agent in the formula. The directions say to rub in the spray the first time for a base coat, I did not do that, and thought the results were really good. How long will it last is the question.

than is unlikely - the most slippery detail product which exists (and that includes everything inc. ceramic coatings) is Turtle Waxes Seal and Shine. At last for the first 24h....
 

joebruin77

Active Member
Dec 23, 2018
1,324
1,286
Encino, CA
How do you like the Meguiar vs Turtle wax (I assume you mean the ceramic wet wax version).

I am using Griots but you have to dry first so am looking for something a bit simpler. I may still use Griots as a second coating the following day since it seems to do better in durability than the turtle wax.

If have used Griots Ceramic 3-in-1 Spray Wax and it is a great sealant. But if you are looking for something that can be applied to a wet, freshly washed car, check out Xtreme Solutions Poly Seal. Here is a video from Brian with Apex Detail in which he compares Poly Seal to Meguiars Ceramic Wax. Poly Seal offered a bit more chemical resistance and gloss:

 
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Hello!

I've been in the market for a new car these past couple months and have been doing my research on what I'd like next and narrowed it down between the new Audi S3 and the Tesla Model 3. Coming from a 2015 Audi S3, I walked away extremely impressed with the Tesla Model 3 LR after test driving it twice; once by myself and a second time with my skeptical brother, whose opinion of the car completely changed once he sat in the passenger seat. Needless to say, it's on top of my car list right now, but I do have a few questions I'm hoping to get answers to!

Phantom braking - Does this only occur when either TACC, Autopilot, or FDS is turned on? The Internet is riddled with posts, articles, and videos of this scary behavior with both radar and Tesla Vision. A common remedy I see people suggest is to keep your foot by the accelerator, hence my question. I rarely use the adaptive cruise control on my Audi S3; only on long trips. Basically, I'm wondering if this behavior will occur in regular stop-n-go driving, which is 90% of my driving. It's not an option for me to turn off the Automatic Emergency Braking feature, and would likely be a deal breaker for me if this does occur in everyday driving situations.

Noise/comfort variance in builds - I noticed that there's various opinions on the noise and comfort levels of the 2021s compared to previous model years. Is this truly the case or a question of how everyone interprets noise and comfort? I test drove two different 2021 Model 3s and, in both occasions, I found the car to be very quiet, even on the highway going at 120 km/h. My brother also found it quieter than my Audi, although it was noticeable that the sound system was lacking ANC, but not a big deal.

Winter - Anything in particular I should know about the car in winter? The forums seem to tell a positive tale of the car in the winter, and I saw the 2021s have a heat pump that helps reduce the range impact in colder weather.

Suspension longevity - I live in Montreal where the roads can be god awful to drive on, but I found the Model 3's suspension to be good compared to my Audi S3 with adaptive dampers. Nonetheless, I've read that these cars can be a mixed bag with the suspension and wondering if it's something I should be concerned with.

White interior - Both cars I drove had the white interior, which I found to be amazing. Anything long term I should know before committing myself to a white interior?

Service Center Experience - Now, I'll admit that it's a very large concern how long it can take the car to get some attention by the service center, when my experience with Audi is typically within the week, but I'd like to know if it's that much of a concern? If I can still drive the car for the duration until the appointment, I'm fine with it, and I haven't found any common major issues that would prevent me from driving the car on this forum, suspension control arms aside.

I'd likely wait for the 2022s to be released before ordering, even knowing that Tesla takes an iterative update approach to their cars. I'd imagine there's no major change that would happen between 2021 and 2022, since 2021 was the refresh year, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my thread!

If have used Griots Ceramic 3-in-1 Spray Wax and it is a great sealant. But if you are looking for something that can be applied to a wet, freshly washed car, check out Xtreme Solutions Poly Seal. Here is a video from Brian with Apex Detail in which he compares Poly Seal to Meguiars Ceramic Wax. Poly Seal offered a bit more chemical resistance and gloss:

I could not find a link to purchase the Xtreme Solutions Poly Sea. I checked Amazon, could not find it.
The video was interesting but not real world, would not be dumping that harsh stuff on my car.
Curious to see the price difference of the 2 products.
 

joebruin77

Active Member
Dec 23, 2018
1,324
1,286
Encino, CA
I could not find a link to purchase the Xtreme Solutions Poly Sea. I checked Amazon, could not find it.
The video was interesting but not real world, would not be dumping that harsh stuff on my car.
Curious to see the price difference of the 2 products.

I buy it directly from the manufacturer, Xtreme Solutions:


A pint of Poly Seal costs $16.98 and a quart is $24.98

I recently bought some more Poly Seal and used this coupon code to get 10% off: PAPASMURF10
 
This is a cautionary tale about purchasing a Ceramic Pro coating for your car. I won’t go so far as to say that Ceramic Pro is a scam, but in my case it has been a total waste of $2K. I am sure others have had better experiences, but this is my story.

I am not good about keeping my cars washed and waxed, so a low maintenance way to protect my car for the long-term seemed like a reasonable investment. I paid for a gold package on my red Tesla Model 3 in May 2018 right after I received the car. I had it done at a shop I found on the Ceramic Pro website and they kept the car for several days in order to apply 4 layers of 9H and 2 layers of Pro Light. They applied one coat of each to the wheels as well.

The gold package comes with a “lifetime” warranty. Be warned that to maintain your warranty you must take the car to the installer (or another Ceramic Pro shop) every year for an “inspection”. The inspection requires a wash, so expect to pay a minimum of $60-$80 per year, but in reality they will suggest you get additional layers of coatings installed each year. That will likely result in a charge of $200-$400 per year to maintain your “lifetime” warranty.

I had the inspection done in May 2019 by the original installer, but in May 2020 we were in the heat of COVID and I didn’t want anyone working on my car. I delayed until early 2021 when I contacted my installer to do the inspection. After several weeks of trying to contact him with no return calls I gave up and contacted a different installer on the Ceramic Pro website and scheduled my inspection for March 17th, 2021. The original installer maintains a website and active phone number, but does not seem to be operating the business anymore.

Here is what the new installer wrote after the inspection:

After wetting the vehicle we noticed very low or no coating characteristics. We proceeded with our wash & decontamination process to see if it would change the coating behavior at all. Throughout washing zero difference was noticed. The coating was then re-foamed and clay barred with a synthetic mitt. Zero difference in coating behavior was still noticed. The vehicle was then dried and rewashed with Dawn Dish Soap & warm water to see If any waxes or polymers were clogging the coating. During the second washing zero difference in coating behavior was noticed. We finished washing the entire vehicle and dried It a second time. Following that we wiped half the hood (passenger side) with "Americana" stripper and retested water behavior. Zero difference was observed. We dried the area again and updated both our customer and Ceramic Pro Rep about the situation. The customer decided they would like to submit a warranty claim as they believe the coating Is failing or has failed.

Water spots, scratches, swirls, and bird drop etching can be observed on the vehicle. The chrome trim surrounding the windows Is also very spotted up and appears oxidized.

The owner of the vehicle states its only hand washed and they use a microfiber wash mitt with ·Optimum No Rinse Wash &Shine solution. Last Maintenance completed before us was May 18th, 2019. Vehicle left with no paint protection on It besides what may be there from Its original CP Install.


I submitted the warranty claim on March 18th. It is interesting to note that the options to describe the problems you can check off include:

I have water spots, I have scratches or swirls, I have rock chips, I have high spots or streaks due to poor installation, Water doesn't seem to bead, I got in an accident and need to reapply the coating, I have stains on my Kavaca PPF, I have lifted edges on my Kavaca PPF, I'd like to verify my warranty, Other.

Based on the report from the Ceramic Pro installer I checked off Scratches and Swirls and Water Doesn’t Seem to Bead. I also attached photos and the write-up from the Ceramic Pro installer detailing his findings. Perhaps they didn’t read his report, because I got the following response from Ceramic Pro:

Unfortunately, our warranty does not cover water spots. Ceramic Pro is a glass coating or silica dioxide. A sunroof of a car or windshield still gets water spots and Ceramic Pro is susceptible to them as well. Water spots can still happen over any coated surface, no matter how good the coating. This is going to depend on the hardness of the water causing the water spots in the first place. This is also affected by the amount of contamination in the air as well as the type of contamination.

The great thing is that because your car is coated removing those water spots is a lot easier. Not only that, but water spots can often etch and damage paint/gelcoat. But on a coated car/boat, the water spots are superficial. This means that you could more easily remove them than if your vehicle was uncoated. If you are unsure on how to do this, please refer to your installer. Your installer will be able to recommend the best removal procedure for water spots. Many times, a mixture of 50/50 distilled water and white vinegar can remove mineral deposits from the coating.

Ceramic Pro is a great protection for your vehicle, but not bulletproof. It is a very thin layer of protection that prevent water and environmental contaminants from getting into the pores of the substrate. This thin layer will reduce or resist some swirls and marring but can the surface can still be scratched. We do not warranty Swirls and Scratches.

Did you get paint correction before the coating was applied? How long did you let the coating cure after the car was delivered to you?

Additionally, how are you washing your vehicle?

One of the best parts of Ceramic Pro is that it is a sacrificial layer for your car/boat/plane/etc. Many times, the damage that happens to the coating through abrasion is only superficial and can be removed/repaired through a simple polish by a professional. This ensures you are not sanding away the clear coat every time you have a scratch or swirls as it can be repaired in the Ceramic Pro coating.

At corporate level we do not cover scratches and swirls. We cover product failure. Swirls and scratches are not product failure. Please contact your installer for further assistance.

I would recommend you go back to your installer and have him do a solvent bath (probably car was washed with soap that contained wax), your coating must be contaminated. Please make sure you wash your car with a soap that does not contain wax.


It seems to me that they have a canned response that says their warranty does not cover the items which you can check off when you submit the claim. So, what do they cover? Only “product failures” but what exactly is that? I seem to have a clear-cut case of a “product failure” but they still haven’t acknowledged it. I responded that they should read the info I attached and that I have a “product failure”. Two weeks go by and I get the following response:

Unfortunately, at corporate level we do not cover scratches and swirls. We cover product failure. Swirls and scratches are not product failure. Please contact your installer for further assistance.

I would recommend you go back to your installer and have him do a solvent bath (probably car was washed with soap that contained wax), your coating must be contaminated. Please make sure you wash your car with a soap that does not contain wax.


My car has never been waxed or washed with a soap containing wax. I have only used the Optimum No Rinse Wash and Shine on it.

I have been calling Ceramic Pro every couple of days for the last couple of weeks. I have been told that my case has been sent to the CEO for review. Then I was told it was sent by the CEO to David Dicks who was following up with my installer. Yesterday I was told that they did not know why it was sent to David Dicks because he doesn’t handle warranty claims, but that the person would talk to a manager there and get back to me by the end of the day. In the month since I have submitted my warranty claim I have never received a phone call from anyone, and the occasional emails are not responsive to the claim information I have submitted.

It is possible that my original installer did not do the job properly. It is also possible that the product was installed properly but does not last. Either way, Ceramic Pro should stand behind their product and installer to make things right. Maybe others have had better results. Just be aware that at a minimum this is an ongoing investment and if things don’t go well the company will blame you for improper washing or maintenance and will not honor the warranty. My goal in getting this in the first place was to protect the paint and minimize the maintenance. I would not recommend dealing with Ceramic Pro.
Excellent write up. You just saved me $2k. Thank you :)
 
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joebruin77

Active Member
Dec 23, 2018
1,324
1,286
Encino, CA
I'm sorry you were disappointed in your experience with Ceramic Pro. I think your situation speaks to the fact that professionals who sell ceramic coatings need to:

1) Do a better job of accurately describing what a ceramic coating will and will not do. A ceramic coating will make it much easier and faster to wash a car, but ceramic coatings will not prevent water spots. Coatings can still be scratched and swirled and bird bombs can still etch themselves. Coatings offer no protection from rock chips.

2) Do a better job of letting the consumer know what the consumer needs to do on their end to maintain a ceramic coating and extend the life of the coating. You still need to wash the car once every week or two. You need to decontaminate every 2-3 months. And you need to apply a ceramic booster spray every 4-6 months.

I don't know what the OP did or did not do to take care of his car. But if the car was neglected and none of the maintenance procedures above were done, then that likely contributed to the coating failing prematurely. The installer should have given the OP info on how to properly maintain the car's new coating.
 
I have been using Mequires Ceramic detailer for a number of months and just picked up their Ceramic Wax, but haven't used it yet.
So the story is, I am retired in Eugene, Oregon and live in a typical hood, not industrial or commercial. The thing is, and I have time..I wipe the Model 3 down just about every time we come home. ( no woodworking shop, so I have time.)Every time I do, the rag looks like this>no matter if it's a 2 mile drive or any amount. I wipe down the car before using the Ceramic detailer. No complaints about the detailer, and this is probably off topic, but with no construction in the area, no dirt or gravel roads, etc., can this really be JUST the pollution that is in the air?? and this particular rag did not wipe the rear of the car, which is always worse. At least it's easy to wipe off of the slick surface..No damage is being done to the paint..not granular, just a fine fine powder...wonder what my lungs look like..
20220216_134124.jpg
 
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SteelClouds

Member
Supporting Member
Nov 12, 2021
451
596
CA
I happen to be a fan of ceramic coatings but with certain caveats. First, there is not any such thing as a "life time" ceramic coating. They wear off. Period. Cheap stuff may effectively last less than 6 months. Good stuff that you and I can buy off the shelf may last upwards of a year or two provided it's taken care ( more on that shortly).. commercial stuff may last upwards of 4 years IF taken care of.. and the reputable vendors say as much in their notes about the product. TO get a good installation, you have to prep the car correctly. This stuff does not "fix" paint.. doesn't fill in swirls or scratches and so on. The cleaner and better the paint is prepared, the better the products will work.

One of the hardest things for an enthusiast to get over is DO NOT WAX or DETAIL the paint after it's been coated. All that does is give a sticky surface for the crap to stick to and ruins the hydroscopic properties of the coating. My first time with ceramics, I didnt know this and caused myself some issues with detail spray. Good news is detail spray doesn't last very long or have much wax in it. So I was able to recover from my mistake without too much issue.

Taking care of your ceramic is pretty easy. PH balanced wash like discussed here with the Optimum No Rinse of which I'm a recent fan of. I've had very good results with it and a one bucket method of using it. If the dirt, dust is thick, I will still pre rinse the car but thats just me.

I have two different versions of ceramic coatings in play right now.. one is a commercial aviation grade applied professionally by the dealer on my M3 - Long story about that but I did not pay anywhere near the price they wanted :D But it has a 5 year warranty in writing but has some of these same comments as to care. I also have a DIY application on my Hybrid from AvalonKing which I applied myself. I did a wash, rinse, clay bar and fast polish before I did the app. Went on easy. took one bottle.. you have 48 hours to use the bottle after opening and I did this over two afternoons.

Both cars look really good. Both are about 6 months into it now and work well for repelling water and dust. Both work very well with the no rinse washing for upkeep. Cost difference was thousands.. the dealer wanted 2500 for the "paint protection" package.. again, not near what I ended up paying them when I bought the M3. I paid 150 for two bottles of DIY.

I take the view if I get a year out of the DIY, I'm calling it good. 100 bucks for a coating that seems to protect my paint for 365 days here in SoCal is worth it.

I tried the TurtleWax hybrid on my Audi with dark blue paint.. very disappointing.. left dark spots for some days.. even after a second coating as suggested by TW. I threw out the remainder.

Now I need to do something with all my waxes and detail sprays..
 

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