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What should I use on my new Tesla? A Wax, a Paint Sealant or a Permanent Coating?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by First Impression, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. First Impression

    First Impression Local Vendor - Florida

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    Nowadays we find ourselves wondering on what kind of protection we should apply on our new or existing vehicle. Yes there are many choices, but which one is best for me? Well,it all comes down to 3 categories. Waxes, paint sealants and permanent coatings. Below is an explanation of such products and their actual time of protection.


    Waxes -
    Generally defined as any product that contains a natural or synthetic waxy ingredients that are intended to protect and add beauty to the paint. These types traditional waxes will wear off under repeated washings and exposure to the environment.
    1-3 months of protection


    Paint Sealants - Generally defined as any protection product that contains man-made or synthetic ingredients that are intended to protect and add beauty to the paint. These traditional sealants will wear off under repeated washings and exposure to the environment.
    5-8 months of protection


    Coatings - Generally defined as any paint protection product that contains man-made or synthetic protection ingredients that are intended to permanently bond to the paint to both provide a barrier/coating of protection as well as create a high gloss finish. The products are considered permanent coatings because like your car's paint, they cannot be removed unless you purposefully remove them or neglect them.
    2-10 years of protection and high gloss. Many offered with warranty.

    Hope this helps on choosing the right protection for your new or existing Tesla.
     
  2. jordanthompson

    jordanthompson 2010 2.0 Sport, VIN 0683

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    I use the Griot's product line on my Roadster. I wax the car once or twice a year, then use their spray-on wax every time I wash it - the water sheets off immediately, making drying a breeze. Between washes (our car is yellow and gets dirty easily) I use their speed shine product. It takes me 5 minutes to wipe down the car and it looks like it has just been waxed. Some of the Griot's line is available at Advanced Auto Parts, but I usually look for a sale and buy with a friend to take advantage of their price breaks.

    I am sure that there are other similar products from other companies that are equivalent.
     
  3. Brit4864

    Brit4864 Member

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    I just used some ICE Premium Care spray on wax after washing mine the other day. It seems to work well and is easy to apply and remove. They say to use micro-fiber cloth to apply with. The one area you really want to wax each time after washing are the headlight units. Apparently it helps prevent aging (yellowing) of the headlights. Better still keep them out of direct sunlight as much as possible.
     
  4. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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  5. robballan

    robballan Member

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    #5 robballan, Jul 28, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
    There have been several threads on this: see here, here, and here, for example. You can search for, say, "sealant" or "wax" in the search field above and get a number of others.

    But the definitive thread is by artsci, who tested several aluminum panels by applying different sealants on them (no waxes), exposing them to weather, and measuring their gloss with a meter at various points in time to determine endurance. In short, his conclusion was that Glare Polish Pro outlasted and outshined the competitive sealants.

    Note that sealants are easier to apply and last longer than waxes. Note that paste waxes last longer than liquid waxes. For years the wax of choice was carnauba, which is what I have always used on my BMWs and Porsches. But I am sufficiently impressed by artsci's experiment to switch to Glare.
     
  6. spaghetti

    spaghetti Member

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    Based on artsci's thread referenced above, I decided to go with Glare Polish Pro on my black Model S. it was extremely easy to apply - I have posted my experience here: Pro Honda Glare Professional - Page 2
     
  7. robballan

    robballan Member

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    @spaghetti, when I first looked at your post, I was completely baffled by what you had put on your hood -- until I realized your hood was mirroring the ceiling in your garage. Snap! Perfect reflection. Nice job.
     
  8. spaghetti

    spaghetti Member

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    @robballan - thanks. I am really happy with the results. I am finding I can do touch-ups very easily in between full washes. Glare lives up to its name in that it is easy to get a mirror-like finish on the paint.
     
  9. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Did you guys do any paint correction or clay bar before applying the Glare product? And did you do it by hand or using an orbital buffer or any kind?
     
  10. spaghetti

    spaghetti Member

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    I did not use any clay bar or paint correction - my car was only 2 weeks old (new?:)) when i applied Glare. I did check my paint carefully and did not find the need for paint correction. I applied by hand even though I have a Porter Cable orbital buffer.
     
  11. First Impression

    First Impression Local Vendor - Florida

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    A paint correction should only be done when necessary. Best way to see if your car needs to be polished or corrected is by putting the car in a dark garage and inspect the paint with a flashlight, it will show you a lot of the scratches you don't normally see.

    Just because your paint looks clean, it doesn't mean it is. You should clay your vehicle so that the new coat of wax adhere to the paint as it should and gives you the time of protection that is supposed to.

    Wax can be applied by hand but for best results a dual action polisher such as Porter Cable or Griots Garage is highly recommended.

    *Note- claying a vehicle can leave behind light marring that can be safely removed by using a paint cleaner or light polish.
     
  12. robballan

    robballan Member

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    So I washed a quarter panel of my 9-month-old Model S with Dawn last night to remove the JUST APPLIED carnauba wax, chamoised it dry, let it sit for a few minutes, and hand-applied two coats of Pro Honda Glare with several microfiber towels. (No doubt some purists will be appalled.)

    Result: quarter panel looks identical to the waxed panels adjacent to it in terms of gloss and "depth". But the surface is noticeably slicker to the touch (as I would expect from a hard finish product like Glare).

    Now the question is duration of protection vs. the waxed panels.
     
  13. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Mod Note: This is a good "care" thread so moving it to the main Model S section.
     
  14. First Impression

    First Impression Local Vendor - Florida

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    Time will give you the answer you're looking for. :)
     
  15. bareyb

    bareyb Active Member

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    What no Zaino recommendations? That used to be the "go to" Brand for high end cars.
     
  16. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    I used them for a long time, but gave up with all of the mixing, etc you had to do.

    Have been using Chemical Guys for the past two years with amazing results, and easy on and off.
     
  17. bareyb

    bareyb Active Member

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    I found them on Amazon. Which product specifically? I'm open to trying something new.
     
  18. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    I use the Black Light (which is good for any darker color--like your grey) polish http://www.chemicalguys.com/Hybrid_V7_Black_Light_Car_Kit_p/hol_151.htm (easy on and off), then apply wax, I use this for my black car http://www.chemicalguys.com/BLACK_CAR_WAX_FOR_BLACK_CARS_p/wac_307_1.htm (which will work with grey as well) or you could use this http://www.chemicalguys.com/Lava_Luminous_Glow_Infusion_Epic_Shine_Formula_p/wac_310.htm . Use the V7 (in the first kit) as everyday cleaner with micro fiber, or between washes.

    My cars shine like no tomorrow with these products. Use to use Zaino and gave up on them.
     
  19. bareyb

    bareyb Active Member

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    Cool. Thanks! Off to research.... :)
     
  20. First Impression

    First Impression Local Vendor - Florida

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    Chemical guys Black light is a pretty good all-in-one product (paint cleaner/sealant) good for dark colors.

    My favorite go to product is GTechniq C2v3 Liquid Crystal
     

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