You can spends days getting a car up to a high standard of finish that will surpass what it was like new, but all of that work to get the paint perfect can be reversed by poor valet technique, tree sap, bird droppings, road salt and even sunshine. The freshly prepared paint needs some protection, which has traditionally been with a carnauba wax. Protection has always been troublesome, as it has to be maintained, you have super sealants such as Supagard, which promises five years protection but I have found it will give you a couple of months before needing topping up.
Surface protection is not just a problem for cars though; it covers many industries such as planes, yachts even buildings that bring me on to nano composites, which are usually quartz based coatings. These have been used in these industries for a number of years but have now progressed on to being used on cars. Examples of these are Aquartz ceramic paint protection, GTechniq’s C1 Crystal lacquer and Nanolex Paint sealant. I find this very exciting as they have been proven to be extremely hard wearing and abrasion resistant, so reducing the amount of regular maintenance the vehicle should need.
I have been working with GTechniq who have a range of protectants for both the interior and exterior of cars.
For this review I am looking at the C1 crystal Lacquer, C5 Alloy Wheels Amour and G1 Clearvision Max Durability Glass coat, which I have used on several cars.
C1 is a professional use only product, the reason being is if the residue is not removed quickly it will cure and harden only being removable by machine polishing. So with a little tuition from G Techniq and an army of MF towels I started on my first project, a Jaguar XKR that had just been resprayed.
This I thoroughly cleaned, decontaminated, claybared, cleaned and then blowdried, no polishing was done on this car.
I then wipe the paint surface with some Isopropyl alcohol and applied the lacquer on the car, working a panel at a time. Once applied any excess was taken off immediately using a MF towel. The used towels were then put straight into water to prevent any C1 crystals forming in the towels fibres.
The difficulty I had applying this was that you had to be consistent in how you covered the paintwork not trying to overlap each wipe but at the same time making sure none was missed. Also within just a few applications of C1 the pads started to grip to the paint as the product was curing in the pads. This I was warned of hence a large packet of applicator pads to replace the used pads. This meant you would be wasting some product in the pads so 30 to 50 ml of product would be needed to cover one car.
I was quite pleased it had brought out the depth and gloss in the paintwork which you would expect with a qulity carnauba based wax but without the issues of whiting on any plastic trim that may have been touched or in the corners where the wax may build up.
The next project was a Bentley Continental GTC
this involved decontamination and then paint correction so I could get the paintwork on this car perfect before applying product.
Also due to the type of wheels I applied C5 wheel amour onto the wheels, the principle of application was the same as with C1 and it had similar characteristics in terms of curing.
This time with the C1 after having applied and the buffed I applied a coat of Zymol Vintage carnauba wax before the C1 had had time to cure fully. This was a trick mentioned by Robin at G Technique for adding further clarity to the finish, but it has to be applied within four hours else the wax will not bond to the lacquer.
I finished off with applying G1 onto the windscreen, side windows and mirrors. For this you apply a coat, leave for fifteen minutes and then apply another coat. For the windscreen you do this up to three times. Once properly cured you buff off using some of the residue remover product.
The final test was applying these to my van, difference being this is a workhorse that’s used and abused on a daily basis and is kept outside. This would give me a good idea of how these product perform and are for regular valet.
All of the products were easy to apply although there was little room for error and apart from the G1 had to be buffed off almost immediately. None of these products must get wet whilst curing which takes around 4 hours, so you will have to work within a sheltered area. Three weeks have passed since applying to these vehicles each one being washed regularly by myself. The results are positive; they stay cleaner and are easier, the Bentley feeling very slippery when wet. On the van although I had tight beading at first it has started to mellow off. I have been told that this is normal for sealants and will not affect its protective properties. This can be topped up by using some C2 though as a detailing spray, although this should not be needed more than every couple of months.
I am very pleased with this product range both in application and result, so much so I have decided to make them an integral part of my range of services replacing my regular waxing with C2 and having C1 as a longer term option.
There are also plans with G Techniq for serialization and certification of these products with guarantee. I am pushing them to progress on this although I doubt we will have anything firm till early in the year.