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XPel, Opticoat etc. alternative for cheapos

Discussion in 'Model S' started by kuttakamina, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    #1 kuttakamina, Jun 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2015
    Yep I'm a cheapo, I'll skip both xpel and opticoat.
    I just cannot justify the price, and while I feel xpel offers great protection, it does have some downsides too.

    So, my feeling is, if you want xpel - you have to go with a professional installer.
    Opticoat and similar, I think you can do yourself. I've done a lot of DIY research, and will post my results here as I go through this 'experiment'.

    My goal is to not recreate xpel - you can't, unless you get a condom on your car. That condom offers best protection, but we all know its not as much fun.
    And only xpel or similar will protect from rock chips. Y'know, take a walk outside, look at older cars, and see how many rock chips they really have.
    Its not THAT much of an issue (unless you have black paint or drive around trucks a lot). And fine, I'll use touch up paint if necessary.

    But I think with some work and patience, you can recreate the equivalent of opticoat.

    Short term - get a glass like coating on the car.
    Long term - hand wash at home.

    So here is the shopping list for your new Tesla and Tesla care. I've put in a lot of research into specific products, which are linked as below,

    1. Liquid Glass LG-100. I plan on doing 4 coats of this on my brand new Tesla, and another 2 coats before winter sets in. Beyond that, every year I will do 1 coat every 3 or 6 months (depending upon how well it beads). Or I may switch to wax later. There are other similar alternatives to this product, but I went with this based on reviews.
    2. Armor All wheel protectant. Search youtube for Brian Greenstone - he uses this on his Aston Martin. I used it on my Acura, with fantastic results. I think #1 + this = shiny wheels.
    3. Clay Bar.
    4. Leaf Blower.

    Ongoing maint + first time wash -

    1. Wash mitt.
    2. 2 bucket wash kit (I already have 1 bucket).
    3. California car duster.
    4. Applicator Pads.
    5. Low pressure pressure washer.
    6. Compatible foam cannon.
    7. Microfiber cloth.

    So here is the deal.
    When you get the car from the dealer, (or your existing car).

    #1 - hand wash it well (that doesn't mean lots of strength, but get all the dirt off). Proper washing, is a technique. But here is the short version - do it fast so the water doesn't have a chance to dry up on surface (foam cannon + pressure washer are your friends), and use the 2 bucket wash method. Lots of youtube videos for self education.
    #2 - Dry it with #7 water magnet.
    #3 - Get rest of the water out with the leaf blower (#4).
    #4. Then, move the car into the garage (optional but recommended).
    #5. Clay the surface (takes time, watch some youtube videos, probably not necessary on a brand new car)
    #6. Then apply #1 - very important, do so in straight motion, not swirls. Apply it to the whole car, and then buff it off. Apply using #4 in the list above, and buff it off with a very clean and soft old tshirt or microfiber cloth.
    #7. Leave the car in the sun to bake (4 hours or so).
    #8. Repeat steps #6 and #7 for 4 coats.

    And wash regularly (I'm thinking every 2 weeks to 4 weeks depending upon season/how dirty etc.) using the pressure washer and foam cannon.
    With the pressure washer and foam cannon, the whole wash process will be around 15-30 mins - so not a lot of work I feel.

    Yeah initially its gonna take some time and effort. But its good exercise (I need it), and your Tesla needs it, and I'll be $2k richer at the end of all this.
    Plus I'll have decent equipment to maintain the car long term.

    So ... thats what I'm gonna do. I'll post pictures and updates of my 'experiment' as it goes along :) .. getting my car, most probably next week.
     
  2. Ingineer

    Ingineer Electrical Engineer

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  3. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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  4. AllenWong

    AllenWong Member

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    I used to care a lot about how my exotic cars were. I'd handwash them often like you plan on doing. I'd clear bra them and wrap them. And as I got older and approached my late 20s, I just stopped caring. I just leave it out and let the rain wash my car for me. That's the most "green" thing to do. Sure, there are a lot of bird poop on my car, and at least one rock chip. But I have better things to do with my time than to wash a car that ends up getting dirty again anyway. I guess I'm a "cheapo" when it comes to my time.
     
  5. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    #5 ArtInCT, Jun 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
    Kudos to you for your determination and thinking this out.
    In discussions with some professional detailers regarding washing, many that I talked to use a wet spray wax after rinsing off the car.
    In fact the Tesla SC near me uses a commercial grade wax & dry product in their new car prep.
    There are many brands of spray on wet and dry waxes.
    The least expensive that I have used is Turtle Wax Wax & Dry. However there are many others and I have not tested them out.
    You wash your car and rinse it. While the car is still wet you shake the bottle of Wax & Dry and spray it on the wet car.
    You then dry the car with a clean micro-fibre cloth or soft cotton towel.
    Afterwards, you can use a blower to dry out the channels and inter-panel grooves and wheels.

    Can you elaborate on your choice of coating being the Liquid Glass?
    Why that specific product and what other products did you consider or are you considering?

    Lastly, I have a Bucket Buddy two bucket wagon. Really nice product. Amazon does carry it. Very well made and will not break the bank.
    I use the plush micro-fibre towels designed for that purpose. They are machine washed after each use.
    I tend to use Griots products for washing... and auto cleaning. They have a new product for coating cars that could be a possible alternative to Liquid Glass.
     
  6. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    Wax is not as strong/hardy as the liquid glass like coatings.
    There are many products out there similar to liquid glass.
    The ones I considered were Liquid glass, Rejex, Opticoat (non pro), Kamikaze Miyabi.

    I saw these in person, cars that had been maintained with these over time, 10K mile, 20K miles, even cars that were 10-15 years old.
    People who have diligently put liquid glass, 2 coats to start, and 1 coat every 6 months, their cars looked BRAND NEW after 10-15 years.
    I've waxed my current car, its an Acura, probably doesn't have water paint I am guessing. But it looks new after 8 years.
    I think with liquid glass, the Tesla will look just fine in 8-10 years.

    I believe the other products are probably ok too. But Liquid Glass seems to have been around for 20ish years, and has a lot of people vouching for it.

    Thanks for telling me about the Tesla commercial grade wax bit. I'll ask them not to wax mine :).
    The thing is, before you put any of these glass coatings on, you have to first remove the wax.
    Removing the wax = more work.

    - - - Updated - - -

    See, thats the difference! I'm only 12 years old.
     
  7. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    I have Liquid Glass on my Cobra. Yes it has been around quite a long time. It works well but will not stop a rock or pebble ding or paint chip. I have a few of those up front on my Cobra.
    As far as removal of wax.... two strong washes back to back with DAWN dish detergent will do the deed.
     
  8. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    Awesome! :) I'll try the dawn idea.
    Yes the liquid glass will not protect from rock chips. Neither will opticoat.

    So, would you say you are happy with liquid glass on your Cobra? How often do you apply it, do you wax over it? How many coats? Anything you can share :)

    I think the title I should have choosen for this thread should have been, "alternative for opticoat".
    XPEL/Suntek is the ONLY way to protect from rock chips - and even those don't protect 100%.
    The only 100% way to protect from rock chips, IMO is to not drive the car :)
     
  9. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    the cobra is used about 2k miles per year
    i use Zaino gloss detailer on it prior and after use
    The paint is midnight blue metallic so it is near black
    i reapply glass once every two years now
    to wash it I use a spritzer and micro fibre
    tuff areas are just behind the side exhausts and tires where black dust accumulates

    i will have my S front end film wrapped including the front fenders and doors when it arrives
     
  10. mmccord

    mmccord Member

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    Do you not have kids? I think the most dangerous place my car goes is in the garage. :scared:
     
  11. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker Beta Tester

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    Sounds like me. My current car is far from exotic...but I probably haven't washed it in 10 years and it doesn't look any worse than if it had only been a couple weeks since the last wash. I let Mother Nature take care of things for the most part. I probably will get XPEL once I get a Tesla though.
     
  12. No2DinosaurFuel

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    I think the Xpel is the better option if you can afford it. Sure you like to wash your own car, but after a while it will become a chore. I rather drive mine than wash it. I am planning to get the Partial Xpel with the coat and wash like once a year or so at a car wash. I would love to get the full body Xpel and never have to worry about waxing or what not but it can get expensive.
     
  13. Zarwin

    Zarwin Member

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    I agree!

    7 yo: "I'm getting something out of the garage"
    Me: "NOOOOOOO...I'LL GET IT!!!!"
     
  14. kuttakamina

    kuttakamina Member

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    SCARY!! :scared:
     
  15. Anthony7

    Anthony7 Member

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    I'm getting opticoat next week, full car incl glass and rims. This is after my photosync tint. I was quoted a clear bra for the front but I'm just going to skip it. All these up front costs is killing me. $600 for a console, $1000 for wall charger, tint, etc.. I just can't do without the tint when it's now in the 100's everyday and the opticoat. 3 days now and my car is dirty from dust esp the rims
     
  16. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    You can still buy opticoat 2.0:

    Optimum Paint Coating

    10 cc for $60. When I bought it, it was 20 cc for $80 but 10 cc is still enough to do your MS twice over. It's easy to apply if you watch the vidoes and get the dual pro applicator:

    Amazon.com: Optimum Opti Dual Pro Applicator: Automotive

    Takes about an hour to do the entire car. Even if you screw it up and cause a few high spots, you can clear coat polish, like 3m rubbing compound or Maquires #1 to rub out the high spots and re-apply. My entire car beads like it's allergic to water when I wash it.

    I've had the same product on my Lexus for 2 years and it still beads the same as the day after I applied it.
     
  17. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    That was unintentionally the funniest thing I've read on TMC today (said the Tesla owner who is approaching 60 and hand washes his car every week or two).
     
  18. Bonlaw

    Bonlaw Member

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    @texasEV

    HaHa! I thought the same thing. I am 65 year old female and I too still often hand wash my car.
     
  19. Luclyluciano

    Luclyluciano Member

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    Guys and Gals....do yourself a favour. Skip the Liquid Glass, Turtle Wax. Meguires, Zaino stuff. Take a look at Wolfgang Paint Sealant 3.0.....do your DD, (I've done mine)....then buy it...SOOOO easy to apply and buff off. Beads beautifully, paint pops, colour is so nice and deep & rich. Most importantly, is the easy to apply, the highest quality and fantastic durability.

    I hope leaving your car in the rain with no protection expecting mother nature to wash it for you is a joke.
     
  20. paintpolisher

    paintpolisher Banned

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    Clearly the product you linked is Optimum's GlossCoat, not 2.0. They are different products. 2.0 was (its discontinued) still considered a "permanent" coating. GlossCoat is rated 2 years.

    The easiest way to wash your car is to use ONR (Optimum's No Rinse) plenty of youtube video's on that.

    - - - Updated - - -

    As far as not getting xpel ultimate or Suntek. I have seen more then a few Tesla's with as little as 5k miles that have what I consider excessive chips and road rash on the front. Just think what those Tesla's will look like in 20k, 30k and even 50k miles. If you are doing highway miles, I would not go with out it. Around town you should be ok without it.
     

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