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Don’t Use a Quick Detail Product on a Vehicle With a Ceramic Coating

You got a ceramic coating on your vehicle and the installer recommended using a quick detail spray to keep it looking great. Stop! Don’t do that until you read this article because you can do more harm than good.

car show

I recently attended a local Sunday morning car show and one of the exhibitors had a nice looking black BMW convertible coupe that had a ceramic coating on it. A local ceramic coating shop did the install, and they sold him a quick detail product (QDP) to use for aftercare. The owner lamented that he had used the quick detail product on the trunk and hood and was disappointed that there were streaks on them. While inspecting the damage, I noticed a major high spot on the driver’s door – a huge oversight by the technician and whomever inspected the car before delivering it to the customer.

ceramic coating high spot

After I asked a few questions, it was clear what happened.

  1. The car was not properly cleaned before applying the QDP.
  2. It was applied in sunlight.
  3. He was likely not educated by the installer about how to use a QDP.

I assured him that it could be fixed with a simple polish, and that the shop that installed the coating should be able to remove the streaks, and, that I could do so as well. But the question still remains: Should you use a QDP on a vehicle with a ceramic coating?

streaks in a ceramic coating

The Problem With Quick Detail Products

There is no inherent problem with QDP’s. We use them in our shop. But there’s a right way and a wrong way in their usage.

First, you must have the proper type of QDP. The owner of the BMW said that he used the QDP recommended by the shop that installed the coating. Unfortunately the owner did not have the QDP with him, nor did he recall the brand he used; therefore, I cannot say whether or not is should be used on a vehicle with a ceramic coating.

So, what is a proper QDP for a ceramic coated vehicle?

One designed for use on a coated vehicle that does not contain wax. Here’s a few that we recommend:

  1. Gtehcniq QD (Quick Detailer)
  2. Griot’s Garage Ceramic Speed Shine
  3. Koch-Chemie QS (Quick & Shine) Allround Finish Spray

How to Use Quick Detail Products

Before you use a QDP, you should clean the vehicle first. Whether it is a two bucket wash or a no-rinse wash, removing dirt and dust before applying a QDP is recommended for a better result. Also, the panels should not be hot when applying a QDP.

For best results, we recommend this process:

  1. Use two microfiber towels with a gsm (grams per square meter) of 300 or higher.
  2. Remove any tags before use.
  3. One towel is for applying the QDP and the other is for buffing after application.
  4. Fold the microfiber towels twice into 4 squares, and use a clean side on each panel. Why is this important? Clean towels prevent streaking.

folding a microfiber towel

5. Do this indoors, or, early in the morning, or early in the evening, but never in direct sunlight.

6. Spray a few spritzes on the application towel and apply in a cross-hatch manner – left to right, and up and down.

7. Immediately buff the panel with the other microfiber cloth.

Summary

Cleaning a vehicle with a ceramic coating is simple; however, there is a right way and a wrong way to do so. Follow our recommendations and you will not only enjoy the way your vehicle looks, you will preserve the life of the coating.

About the Author

Ken Chance is the owner of Dripping Auto Pros in Dripping Springs, Texas. Ken is a Certified Detailer by the International Detailing Association. He is accredited by three ceramic coating companies: Gtehcniq, SystemX and IGL Coatings. He can be reached at ken@drippingautopros.com.

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