I am back again with the third post of this series which focuses on the topic of paint coatings. And, yes, I am introspective enough to realize this topic may be rapidly approaching diminishing returns and absolute boredom for the reader. At the same time, I feel coating products are presented in the professional detailing marketplace with an excess of hype and general disinformation. To simply move on and turn the page would be a disservice to my local customers and readers from various locations.
At no point in this series should the audience take my written words as gospel. I encourage any interested consumers to do their own research and arrive at their own conclusions about the best products to protect their vehicle(s). I have attempted to temper my own opinions and observations with those of several coating industry representatives for the benefit of my audience.
To restate what has transpired in brevity…
In the first post of this series I laid bare my personal and professional take on why a consumer should care or care less about these products.
A few weeks ago, Chun Chieh Keong, CEO and founder of IGL Coatings, joined the conversation providing his thoughts on paint coatings and how IGL products are differentiated in the car care marketplace.
Today, Corey Carruth, owner of Sky’s the Limit Car Care and lead distributor of CarPro products in the United States, is going to be sharing his insights about CQuartz coatings and their value propositions. Corey enjoys a unique vantage point of which to speak about his experiences with these products as he operates a professional detailing business and serves as a distributor, product representative, technical support, and customer service for CarPro US.
Disclosure: Dellinger’s Detailing & Paint Care, LLC, is an authorized installer of CarPro/ CQuartz Coatings and uses said products in their day-to-day operations.
Corey, I want to thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to add your perspective to my post. My ultimate goal when creating this series on paint coatings was to render a clear and accurate picture of what the average consumer should expect when selecting such a product. I believe you have reviewed the first part of this series where I added my professional thoughts on the products. Do you see any statements with which you don’t fully agree?
Hi Gabe, thank you so much for the invitation to read your recent blog and also for asking my opinions! To answer you, I agree with every statement you made in your blog post! I couldn’t be more excited with it as I was reading through it. It is like the paper I wish someone had posted in the past six years but I have never seen. Many of your points I state to people in a similar manner nearly every day! Although perhaps not quite so eloquently as you did.
Let me back up on one tiny point… In general I agree with you stated about chemicals not being able to remove a true coating but at the risk of muddying the waters, I will say that they can (some more than others) be stripped with REALLY nasty chemicals. BUT your point is well spoken. Of the chemicals that would ever be exposed to a vehicles paint system they will not strip a true coating. So for the purposes of your post and those reading it and what they are imagining as they read your blog, I agree with you.
Are there any points where you heartily or absolutely agree?
Yes! I wholeheartedly agree with each! I particularly appreciate your points on the hydrophobics of an abused coating being diminished if not cared for and the facts of coatings being over hyped by many! They are an incredible means of protection so there is no need to exaggerate it! If every detailer and manufacturer would come at it in the exact manner you have here then I wouldn’t have the gray hair that sprouted the past few years… Unfortunately some companies care far more about money than anything else and they will literally make claims that their coating is rock chip proof, steel wool proof, etc etc. Its so ugly… Its fraud isn’t it?
How long has Car Pro offered CQuartz products in the US?
About 6 years… CarPro was one of the first 2 car care companies to come out with coatings for the automotive detailing industry in the USA and the Western world in general. Interestingly CarPro and the other products arrived both within the same year but with significantly different tech. Since that time there are literally HUNDREDS of companies that have done their best to follow in CarPro’s footsteps (at least on the surface). A few of them offer very good products, the vast majority are re-labeled products with a ton of money pumped into marketing their product to be something special or different or rated for this or tested for that, etc, etc. Most of those are actually manufactured at the same companies in Southeast Asia.
Where are CarPro/ CQuartz products manufactured?
The majority of the CarPro CQuartz coatings and the entire line of CarPro chemicals are designed and manufactured at CarPro chemicals in South Korea. The following exceptions apply – two of the CQuartz coatings are manufactured at a private lab in Japan. The “accessories” – pads, towels, and tape are not manufactured by CarPro although most of the pads were designed by CarPro. The tape is manufactured by a large tape manufacturer and was made to CarPro spec after multiple trials and test.
Why did you begin the CarPro US distributorship and business?
In short- I LOVE making cars look perfect and that led me to find that I had a gift for helping with R&D of detailing products and helping detailers use them to their full potential. I did that sort of thing for free, as a hobby alongside the detailing I performed at the time. Long story short, CarPro contacted me as they thought I would be a great candidate to run their professional program in the USA and help with R&D testing. Essentially, I was making sure their customers had great support.
You are well aware of the ‘lifetime’ paint protection that car dealers offer. I know these are usually polymer sealants that need to be applied every 3- 4 months at minimum. Technically speaking, how are coatings different from traditional paint protection products such as waxes or sealants?
Yes, I am very aware… I have a hard time not laughing out loud when someone tells me about the “coating” their dealership offered them. I am not a chemist so perhaps I should have KT (chemist at CarPro) speak on this subject. In the meantime I will offer the following:
A wax is much more similar to an oil than it is to a ceramic coating. Wax beads up and looks wet for a few weeks but doesn’t last. A few washes or a detergent will remove it.
‘Polymer sealant’- a very wide ranging term that spans a variety of possibilities. I would note the following differences between what I refer to as a “traditional sealant” and a “ceramic coating” A traditional sealant sits on top of the paint and while it cross links with itself it does not offer more than a temporary bond with the paint beneath. Additionally it is not very chemical resistant although it IS much more so than a “traditional wax”. A ceramic coating on the other hand will generally bond to the paint on a far more semi-permanent basis. Additionally a CQuartz coating is about 100 times thicker than wax. Please note this is still INCREDIBLY thin but it is all relative… Compared to a wax or sealant, CQuartz is very thick. Compared to the clearcoat paint or even to a PPF (Paint Protection Film- clear bra) a ceramic coating is thin. The way water and dirt interacts with a ceramic coating is also far different then how it reacts with a sealant.
Thank you for entrusting Dellinger’s Detailing with the exclusivity of installing Car Pro’s professional coating – CQuartz Finest. Specifically, what separates Finest from other professional coatings in the marketplace?
It is our pleasure Gabe! We are honored to work with you and each of the Finest installers which we have approved. CQuartz Finest offers a few advantages over the other options out there. Some of those other “professional coatings” have some serious yellowing problems over time, which adds a yellow tint and discoloration to the paint. We believe Finest is the best possible combination of protection, clarity, gloss, durability and resistance to stains. A dirty “secret” of ceramic coatings throughout the world is they generally are not so great at resisting water spots and this is where Finest is superior to other coatings. Additionally nothing offers the combination of gloss and clarity that Finest does. Finally we truly believe that it is YOU that are one of our greatest advantages. We approve only 1 out of every 200+ applications we receive from detailers and take it VERY seriously. Our dream, goal, and mission for Finest focuses on a group of detailers that are incredibly talented, professional, intelligent, honest, and focused on perfecting (spending many hours and usually days polishing) the surface of any vehicle they plan to apply Finest too.
Why should a prospective customer request CQuartz Finest from their local authorized detailer versus other options in CarPro’s paint coating line? What are they gaining with the increased price of Finest?
#1 for most people it is not intelligent to attempt to do it yourself. You would need many thousands of dollars in equipment and products for starters and you would need hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of time before you would be as capable as a Finest installer who would complete the task right the first time. As far as why it is Finest they should have applied…. For some clients Finest is not necessarily needed and we would even (and do) advise our installers to steer them towards CQuartz Original or UK instead of Finest. Even CQuartz Original, itself,is an industry leading coating and has been tested against a variety of competitors and come out on top in many categories. So… why would they pay more for Finest? For those that really want the very best, truly care about that extra level of gloss, and truly desire perfection then Finest is the answer no doubt.
Cquartz Finest comes with a written warranty from Car Pro. What does this protect the customer from?
Warranties in general are a bit silly when it comes to coatings… The actual paper and print of EVERY other ceramic coating on the market is chock full of fine print that lets them get out of any liability. And honestly that’s probably for good reason. It is impossible for anyone to know how someone truly treats their vehicle. Back to your question… Our Finest warranty is short and clear. It provides that there will be no chipping, cracking, yellowing, or peeling, and no more than 20% loss of gloss over 2 years. Honestly… the 20% is WAYYYY conservative. If cared for reasonably well the paint coating will NOT lose more than 5% of its gloss in my experience but again everyone has to protect themselves I suppose.
I would like to add something… Something I probably should not say but it’s my honest opinion and I feel compelled to state it… as they say “the truth will set you free” in my personal opinion a warranty is a gimmick. If you look at the fine print on the pro warranties they could deny you for any reason. WE have only had literally a handful of claims in the past 5 years and EVERY one of them could have been denied as they were clearly not covered by what is stated on that piece of paper. However, we did NOT deny ANY of them! CarPro, CQuartz the brand and our network of authorized installers- we are the warranty… the real warranty! We are the one that fix things instead of pointing to fine print. We stand by what we offer and if something isn’t right, whether it be on paper or not we make things right, within reason, and within our responsibility at the very least.
Most other coating companies are looking to turn our industry into one more similar to that of dealerships where they make a fortune selling a piece of paper that makes customers feel good but is honestly pretty useless. They know that most cars are traded in within a few years and that an estimated 98% of customers either forget they have a warranty, lose it, don’t have time to come in for the annual visit that most of them require within a 30 day pre-designated window or will lose eligibility for one of the many fine print items.
In short… The warranty is only as good as the integrity of the company and detailer involved. In our case we believe integrity is our clear and obvious advantage over our competitors.
Let’s turn the attention other CQuartz coatings- CQuartz Original & CQuartz UK. If it is not proprietary, can you speak about the technical differences between the products?
CQuartz UK was developed for colder climates. It “Flashes” and cures faster so in cold temperatures it is easy to apply and “gets strong” faster. CQuartz UK CAN be used in hot temperatures but some people have trouble applying it when it gets too hot out.
CQuartz was developed for warmer climates. Similar to above – CQuartz works fine in both warm and cold temperatures. We simply prefer not to apply it below 50F as it begins to flash and cure slower in colder temperatures.
NOTE: This does NOT necessarily mean that you will prefer the application of the one that sounds like it was designed for your climate. Regardless of climate some may prefer one or the other
CQuartz UK contains a higher volume of Sio2 (Quartz) than other coatings including CQuartz.
CQuartz contains Sio2 and Tio2 (titanium) and other materials as well.
Durability: Both will last approximately 2 years on average.
Appearance: This may vary according to color as well but generally speaking, the best way I can describe is as follows.
CQuartz UK provides more depth
CQuartz provides a more reflective gloss
In your mind, what is the number one reason one should choose a paint coating versus a traditional wax or sealant?
Want their vehicle to be easier to clean
Want their vehicle to stay glossier
Don’t want to have to clay, polish, and wax the vehicle every couple months to keep it looking good
Conversely, what is the number one reason one should choose a traditional wax or sealant versus a paint coating?
When I retire some day (maybe J) and have lots of time I will probably wax my car regularly because I enjoy doing that… functionally I can’t think of many reason to wax instead of coat other than its fun to wax (for some). One caveat… in a select few environments with certain minerals in the water, or certain types of plants and animals a wax may provide better stain resistance than a ceramic coating.
On a slightly different note… The real question is WHAT is the purpose of my coating? If you are purchasing the product to make your car remain in a perfect-like condition then it might not be the right decision. It helps but the technique and products used to maintain will keep it looking good better than anything (AFTER you polish it to perfection of course.) If the reason for purchasing is to protect the clear coat beneath then the coating is a no brainer.
Excluding the incredible longevity and appearance that paint coatings add to paint, do the products actually protect ‘better’ than traditional waxes and sealants? For example, do coatings actually prevent a large percentage of UVA/ UVB rays from reaching the clear coat?
Honestly… It would take me a very long time to prove this one way or the other when it comes to UV. There are SO many waxes on the market that anyone telling you they are positive their coating contains more UV protection than every wax out there is probably lying. Some coatings do not actually have any UV protection in them at all. CarPro does have protection from UV in their CQuartz coatings and when this is properly achieved through proper application and curing, the CQuartz coating it is superior to a wax or sealant in this regard. Because it is 100x thicker than “traditional” paint protection products, the capability is there to offer much more UV protection, given you can provide UV protection throughout the entire thickness of the coating.
The process to prepare a paint system for a coating is pretty rigid in the fact that an enthusiast or professional detailer has to wash, decontaminate, polish, remove oils, apply the coating, and wait for it to cure. Optimal bonding and longevity of the coating are determined by the effectiveness of each subsequent step. If a consumer purchased one of the a CQuartz coating product, what advice would you give them prior to application?
Oh…. Man that would fill many pages. I would say to reach out for more tips/info and #1 do ONLY one panel (maybe a fender) from start to finish. Then move forward with the rest of the car a few weeks later after you are confident you did everything right.
I have posted my thoughts in regards to the benefits a paint coating can offer in a previous post. There have been instances where similar products have been ‘hyped’ to levels that simply don’t reflect reality. Do you want to address any areas of possible misconception concerning coating products?
No, I think we have covered it all well throughout previous comments and questions.
I am of the belief that no wash process is 100% ‘safe’ from inflicting marring. Many will argue with that and that is fine. Along the same line, I have noticed that coatings can help minimize wash induced damage to a degree. Is this true and to what extent if it is?
Yes it is true… To what extent… IF you applied CQuartz to 50% of the vehicle right down the middle of the hood, roof, etc with a tape line down the middle. Then removed the tape and went about your life you would find after a few months that the side with the CQuartz on it would have less swirls then the other half. This is due in part to the hardness but also to the sliding properties of CQuartz and the fact dirt and grit fail to “dig in” as easily with proper maintenance.
On the other hand… IF you coated an entire car with no tape line / non-coated area for comparison, and it was extremely soft paint you may not notice a difference in swirl resistance.
Let’s say a customer purchased a detail that featured CQuartz Original for paint protection. On paper, CQuartz Original’s functional lifespan should approach approximately 24 months depending on a number of factors. Hypothetically, two years have elapsed since application. How can the driver of the coated vehicle know, with confidence, the coating has expired?
He really can’t unless he polishes a little section with a compound… when he polishes through the CQuartz he would find it change shade slightly and look a bit “lighter” where he had just removed the coating.
Besides the CQuartz line of coating systems, name one CarPro product that you believe is essential in caring for the appearance of any vehicle?
Any vehicle? Iron X!
Product innovation seems to be a driving force behind the overall success of Car Pro products in the US. Two products that come to mind that really represent this notion for me are HydrO2 and Essence. Are there any new Car Pro products currently in the pipeline for 2016?
OHHHHH YES! We have a handful of projects in testing at any one time! I wish I could say more… Hmmmm I will give a hint about ONE of the current handful that nobody will ever figure out “Band-Aid”
Again, I want to thank Corey Carruth for speaking with me today and encourage the interested audience to visit his storefront @ www.carpro-us.com to find premium products that will absolutely deliver efficiency to your detailing regimen and stunning results!
Should readers want more information on CQuartz coatings and which specific coating product is the best fit for your auto or lifestyle, please contact Dellinger’s Detailing today for a courtesy consultation and quote!