GTECHNIQ CRYSTAL SERUM ULTRA VS OPTICOAT

How to protect the appearance of your new car? How can you keep it looking like it did the day you bought it.

Here’s part of the answer to that question: Apply 

Ceramic Coating is a liquid polymer that is applied by hand to a vehicle’s exterior. After application, the coating creates a permanent or semi-permanent bond with the vehicle’s factory paint, creating a layer of protection. A premium coating will add value to your vehicle and help protect its appearance.

But even if you decide to apply a Ceramic Coating, there’s another question you have to answer: Which one?

There are dozens of coatings on the market, each with its own claims to greatness. Which one should you choose? In this article, we’ll help answer that question. We won’t be giving an exhaustive review of every Ceramic Coating on the market (nor would you ever findtime to read such a thing). Instead, we’ll be comparing two of the top Ceramic Coatings: Ceramic Pro and Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra. First, we’ll talk about the similarities between between to two coatings. Then we’ll go over some differences. We’ll conclude with some thoughts on how to make the right decision for you and your vehicle.

(Full disclosure: Adelaide Paint Protection is a factory trained and authorized installer of Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra)

SIMILARITIES BETWEEN OPTICOAT AND GTECHNIQ CRYSTAL SERUM ULTRA

Both Opticoat and Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra have gained excellent reputations among Professional installers. Here are some similarities between the two products.

FIRST, BOTH COATINGS PROVIDE HIGH-PERFORMANCE PROTECTION FROM ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS AND UV DAMAGE.

If you go with either one of these coatings, you can be confident you’ll get some of the best protection available in the Ceramic Coating category (keep reading for some of the protection limitations of Ceramic Coatings. Both coatings are efficient at protecting a vehicle’s factory paint from things like chemical stains and etching, or oxidation caused by UV exposure.

SECOND, BOTH COATINGS WILL IMPROVE GLOSS.

Both Opticoat and Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra are top-of-the-line aesthetically. Both coatings will enhance the depth and clarity of your car’s paint, as long as proper paint correction was performed before application.

THIRD, BOTH COATINGS WILL MAKE YOUR CAR EASIER TO CLEAN.

Because both coatings create a hydrophobic and chemically resistant surface, they make cleaning your vehicle much easier. Dirt and grime will have a harder time bonding with paint coated by Opticoat or Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra. And any contaminants that do bond with your paint will be easier to remove.

FOURTH, NEITHER COATING IS A SUBSTITUTE FOR PAINT PROTECTION FILM WHEN IT COMES TO STOPPING ROCK CHIPS.

Despite any marketing claim by either company, neither Opticoat nor Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra can properly defend against things like rock chips and scratches. Even though both Paint Protection Film and Ceramic Coatings are quality paint protection products with some overlapping features, they are not interchangeable. If you’d like to learn more about the similarities and differences between Paint Protection Film and Ceramic Coatings, drop into our Studio and we can demonstrate the differences.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN OPTICOAT AND GTECHNIQ CRYSTAL SERUM ULTRA
FIRST, GTECHNIQ CRYSTAL SERUM ULTRA IS HARDER THAN OPTICOAT.

The Mohs Hardness Scale is used to compare the relative scratch resistance of various minerals. Minerals are measured from 1H to 10H, with 1H being the least scratch resistant, and 10H being the most. For example, graphite is 1H-2H, while diamond is 10H.

Opticoat has long boasted of their Mohs Hardness rating of 9H. Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra, however, is rated at 10H.

SECOND, GTECHNIQ CRYSTAL SERUM ULTRA LET’S YOU CHOOSE BETWEEN A HYDROPHOBIC SURFACE THAT BEADS OR SHEETS.

Hydrophobic Ceramic Coatings are built to repel water, but different coatings do so in different ways. Some coatings cause the water to bead, while others cause the water to sheet off. Beading is certainly visually pleasing to watch, and it helps you know you have protection on your factory paint. But the downside is that, if allowed to dry on the paint, water droplets can leave harmful mineral deposits that can damage the coating and shorten its lifespan. Sheeting, on the other hand, leaves less water on the surface, thus minimizing the chance of water damage.

Car enthusiasts have long debated the merits of beading vs sheeting, and ultimately its a matter that comes down to personal preference.

One nice thing about Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra is that you get to decide whether you want a coating that beads or sheets. Standard Crystal Serum Ultra will sheet water off its surface. But if you add an optional layer of Gtechniq EXO (a hydrophobic topper), you’ll see the beading effect. This option is referred to as Crystal Serum Ultra Black.

 
THIRD, OPTICOAT OFFERS A LIFETIME WARRANTY AT THEIR HIGHEST LEVEL APPLICATION.

Opticoat offers a lifetime warranty, provided you maintain the coating according to their standards and have it inspected annually by an authorized installer.

Gtechniq does not offer a lifetime warranty, but Crystal Serum Ultra does come with a 9 year guarantee.

FOURTH, OPTICOAT HAS BEEN AROUND LONGER AND HAS A LARGER FOLLOWING.

If you’ve done some reading on forums you’ve probably head Opticoat thrown around more than Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra. That’s because Opticoat was an earlier player in top-of-the-line automotive Ceramic Coating market. Gtechniq released Crystal Serum Ultra a couple years ago. It has been well received by auto enthusiasts, and is gaining a larger following. But Opticoat certainly has a more established reputation at this point.

WHAT IS THE BEST CERAMIC COATING FOR CARS?
OPTICOAT VS. GTECHNIQ CRYSTAL SERUM ULTRA: WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR CAR?

Now that we’ve covered some similarities and differences, it’s time to make a decision on what’s best for your car. Here are some thoughts on how you can go about making the right decision.

AS FAR AS COATINGS GO, YOU WON’T GO WRONG WITH EITHER OF THESE PRODUCTS.

I hope the content we’ve covered so far has made it evident that both of these coatings are premium products, and both will perform at a very high level. If you have an expert apply either one of these coatings, you won’t be disappointed.

f a lifetime warranty is very important to you, you may want to go with Opticoat, however there are conditions to go with this. If you want the hardest possible coating or if you want a coating the sheets instead of beads, you may want to go with Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra. But when it comes down to it, there’s one other factor looming in the background that is really the most important part of this discussion.

WHAT’S MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE QUESTION OF WHICH COATING IS THE QUESTION OF WHO’S PUTTING IT ON.

That’s right. You could swap out these two coatings, or any of the top coating brands, and almost anyone on the planet would not be able to tell the difference. However, anyone can spot the difference between an expert coating application and a flawed coating application. Because these two products are permanent, the application process is meticulous, and there are a lot of opportunities for an amateur to make mistakes.

If you do some reading on the forums you’ll see experienced auto enthusiasts come back to this point again and again. Any protective product, be it a sealant, coating, or film, is only as good as the professional who applies it. If you have an inexperienced installer who improperly preps the paint and unevenly install the product, even the best coating product in the world will look terrible and perform poorly.

Do your research on coating installers in your area. Find someone who has been in the business for a long time. Read reviews on their service and reputation. Then ask that installer which coating he or she prefers. If it’s Opticoat, go with Opticoat. If it’s Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra, go with Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra. If it’s one of the other premium coatings like CQuartz Finest Reserve or Modesta, go with that one. And if you’ve picked the right installer, you won’t be disappointed.

We’ve heard all the common car detailing myths and we’ve seen first hand what the friendly detailing tip your neighbor gives you really does to your car (hint: it’s not pretty). Let’s get right into debunking a few of the most common car detailing myths.

10 Common Car Detailing Myths

1) It’s okay to use dish detergent to wash your car : This is one of the most pervasive car detailing myths. Detergent may create soap suds but that doesn’t mean it’s effective at cleaning your car. Dish detergent was not designed for automotive paint and should not be used on it in any scenario.

car-wash-sponge
10 COMMON CAR DETAILING MYTHS

2) A shiny car is a clean car : There are many ways you can make a car shine without actually cleaning it, so just because your car is still shiny doesn’t mean you aren’t due for a wash.

3) It doesn’t matter what you use to wipe down your car : Many people use old towels or shirts to wipe down their cars but the fibers in towels and t-shirts are often rough and can scratch up your car’s clear coat and leave behind dirtIt’s best to use a drying towel designed for the job. The best choice is RAPID DRY TOWELS.

4) You can wait until your car is filthy before you wash it  : The longer something sits on your car, the more likely it is to cause permanent damage. Biological contaminants like bug splatter, tar, and bird droppings are especially harmful to your car’s paint. If you spot anything at all that needs to be cleaned you should wash your car right away.

5) Wax lasts for years : Wax is a temporary solution. Under ideal circumstances, it only provides a few months worth of protection. If you want long-term protection you need a ceramic paint coating.

6) Air fresheners remove bad odors : Air fresheners simply mask bad odors. If you want to remove bad odors you’ll have to get down and dirty with some interior detailing.

7) There’s nothing you can do about water spots : Water spots are difficult, but not impossible, to remove. For a few tips on removing water spots check out this post. We have water spot removal products for purchase ($33.00) from our studio.

8) Polishing and waxing are the same thing : The terminology can get confusing but in general, polishing is something you do that removes minor imperfections while waxing is something that provides protection. Don’t assume that the detailer polishing your car also provides protection.

9) You should let your car air dry : Allowing your car to air dry is a great way to get some nasty water spots, which kind of defeats the purpose of washing it in the first place. It’s best to dry your car with a RAPID DRY TOWELS.

10) Machine polishing can damage paint : Don’t let this car detailing myth fool you, the polishing tools used by professionals are perfectly safe for your car. That’s what they were designed for, after all!

Please contact us today at Adelaide Paint Protection to learn more about our prestige car detailing and paint protection services for your car’s interior and exterior. We are certified installers of Gtechniq and IGL Coatings KENZO, providing the ultimate in paint protection for auto enthusiasts throughout Adelaide.

So you’ve decided to get a ceramic coating for your brand new car. It’s a smart step towards providing the most modern and effective method of paint protection for your vehicle that the market has to offer. But what should your next step be?

If you were thinking of letting the dealership give your car a courtesy detail service before you pick it up, then think again. The best option is to make arrangements to have your new car delivered to your ceramic coating installer directly after purchase. Here’s why:

new-car-buyer-adelaide-paint-protection-choices
Dealerships Can Damage the Paint

Don’t expect the dealership to treat your new vehicle with kid gloves. Lack of precaution on the dealer’s side can leave your new car’s paint with scratches.

The Dealership Might Wash the Car 

That “detail service” that dealerships provide may be nothing more than a quick wash and wax using methods and equipment that can potentially ruin your paint. Ever see the swirling patterns that are left on a car’s surface after it has been washed using only the circular motion of cleaning? You don’t want that! Many dealerships lack the technical know-how to properly wash a vehicle, and may very well leave marks on your car that would then have to be corrected by the detailer prior to applying a ceramic coating.

Avoid the Unnecessary Waxing

You don’t need a wax job on your car if you’re getting a ceramic coating. The dealership’s impulse will be to apply a courtesy layer of wax on your vehicle. This is another opportunity to introduce marring and scratching due to improper methods. It is best to avoid this step.

The Plastic Wrapping Should Stay Intact

The first impulse of the dealership will be to tear away the plastic wrapping from your car to prep your new car before you pick it up. However, all of the above problems can be avoided if you have the car delivered to your detailer or you pick up the car yourself with the wrapping intact. It’s best to keep the wrapping intact until the car is ready to have the ceramic coat installed, ensuring the exterior finish is in pristine condition.

As you can see, there are many ways in which the dealership can actually end up harming your new car’s paint rather than protecting it. That is why the best strategy is to have your car delivered to the ceramic coating installer directly so that the ceramic coating can be applied on the car’s unspoiled surface.

Give us a call at Adelaide Paint Protection. We are certified to install both Gtechniq and CQUARTZ Finest Reserve. We can work with you to make arrangements to have your new car delivered directly to us prior to your ceramic coating installation.

When it comes to cars, nothing can outclass a Mercedes Benz. Mercedes cars are easily distinguishable by their luxurious interiors and striking designs that re-imagine classic car aesthetics. They also, as you know, don’t come cheap.You want to maintain that luxurious appearance and retain the value of your car, so how do you go about protecting your new Mercedes? One way is to apply a ceramic coating. So what exactly is so great about a ceramic coating?

Why Does Your Mercedes Need a Ceramic Coating?

Ceramic coatings offer superior protection

Ceramic coatings utilise the latest in advanced nanotechnology. Ceramic coatings work by filling in the pores in the paint of your car, creating a permanent, hard surface that will resist minor scratches and keep corrosive contaminants from causing damage. Ceramic coatings from companies such as GTechniq have 3 – 4 times the hardness of a regular clear coat. Your factory paint job will be protected and preserved.

Ceramic coatings keep your car looking great

In addition to providing unparalleled protection, ceramic coatings will give your new car a sleek, mirror-like shine that will last for years to come. You can easily maintain this freshly waxed look without ever having to wax your car. GTechniq is 100 times thicker than a typical wax coating and will not wash away or break down over time.

Ceramic coatings require less maintenance

Ceramic coatings form a permanent bond with the paint of your car, unlike other products that require frequent reapplications. In addition, the sleek surface created by the ceramic coating will prevent dirt, dust, and other particles from sticking to the paint, which means car washes will be easier and won’t need to be done as frequently.

Ceramic coatings are extremely hydrophobic

The hydrophobic nature of a ceramic coating will cause water to bead up and roll off of your car instead of sitting on the paint and causing corrosion. Hydrophobicity is key to protecting your car’s paint, and you simply won’t find this level of water resistance in most other paint protection products.

A ceramic coating provides a superior protective layer that is chemical resistant, harder than factory clear coating, hydrophobic and permanent – all in one product.

Mercedes-Benz-X-Class-Adelaide-Paint-Protection-Ceramic-Coating

At Adelaide Paint Protection we carry several of the top brands of ceramic coatings. You’ll have the peace of mind that the work will be done by an expert technician who stands by their work. You can visit us at our Flinders Park location or contact us today for more information on applying a ceramic coating to your new car.

2005 HSV GTO Build #442

Paint Correction & Ceramic Paint Protection Coatings

We were asked to return this GTO to its former glory. A self confessed user of the dreaded brushes at the pay car washes, the before video demonstrates the damage incurred.

From the outset the task was to be a lengthy process:

Endless hours of wet sanding

Heavy Water stain removal

Swirl marks

Scratches

Paint touch-ups

Wheels & brake calipers cleaned, which we then coated in a high temperature ceramic coating.

Comment from the owner, “I didn’t hold out any hope that you could repair it. Instead it is better than new”

Check out the video to see the transformation.

Its our pleasure –

Vini & Anna Ferrari

Adelaide Paint Protection

A collection of interesting photos of vehicles we have had the pleasure of applying Paint Protection Coatings. Enjoy….

2008 Porsche Cayman S

Paint Correction & Ceramic Paint Protection Coatings

We had the privilege of treating this stunning little Porsche to an Intensive Correction followed by the installation of our Signature Multi-Layer Ceramic Coating. ‘The Black Series’.

From the outset the task was to be a lengthy process:

Heavy Water stain removal

Swirl marks

Scratches

Paint touch-ups

We also wanted to give the owner a gift in the form of decontaminated & cleaned wheels & brake calipers, which we then coated in a high temperature ceramic coating.

Comment from the owner, “I’m not sure how you did that, but I am blown away. Thank you”

Check out the video to see the transformation.

Its our pleasure –

Vini & Anna Ferrari

Adelaide Paint Protection

Every car owner must protect their investment from the elements. Your car must endure daily bombardment from UV Rays, industrial fallout, Bird Mess, as well as Bug squash which can affect its external surfaces. This constant assault will cause severe damage and deterioration to your vehicle’s factory-standard clear coat. As this coat is slowly being stripped by the elements, your car also becomes more vulnerable to paint damage.

By applying a quality Ceramic coating from Adelaide Paint Protection, you are going for “prevention” which is always better than cure. Once damage starts to appear, its already too late and the reality of an expensive re-spray will begin to dawn, as will the nagging thoughts.

Perhaps the better question would be: “Can you afford not to”?

SO YOU’RE BUYING A NEW CAR…

Congratulations! Doubtless you’ve spent hours comparing different makes and models, reading articles and reviews. Now you’re making the purchase, and you’re anticipating the excitement of laying eyes on your new or new-to-you auto-mobile for the first time.

What if that excitement didn’t go away? What if years later your car could look as good or better than it did the day you bought it? That’s not easy. Over the life of your vehicle rocks, sand, salt, sap, birds, bugs, rain, sunshine, and more will pose an unrelenting threat to your car’s glossy finish. So what’s a new car-owner to do? Here are five steps you can take today to make your car more resilient against the dangers of the road, and keep it looking like-new for years to come.

DECONTAMINATE

Believe it or not, the first thing your car needs after it rolls off the dealer’s lot is a thorough decontamination and wash. Here’s the truth: Dealership cars are dirty. Upon purchase, a car has often been sitting in a dealer lot for several months. During that time, the vehicle has most likely been stored outside and exposed to a host of environmental contaminants. If the car has been shipped any distance by train, rail dust has most likely bonded with the paint. If contaminants like metal filings or acidic deposits are not properly removed from the vehicle, they will end up causing permanent damage to the clear coat and factory paint.

Decontaminate
Hard water spots on a car straight from the dealer's lot.

POLISH

Buying A New Car
Swirl marks on a brand new vehicle. The left side is polished while the right is not.

Dealerships are infamous for improper washing techniques. You can understand why. A dealership must wash many cars in a short amount of time. If they gave each car the time required for a proper wash, there would never be any time to sell. What does that mean for your car’s paint? In short, swirl-marks. Swirl-marks are a collection of very fine scratches in a vehicle’s clear coat caused by improper washing techniques, specifically when a dirty rag is wiped across a panel, or an inappropriate rag is used for drying. The good news is that a professional polish or paint correction process can remove swirl-marks and restore the glossy finish of your factory paint.

APPLY WINDOW TINT

Once the exterior is decontaminated and polished, it’s time to start adding layers of protection. The first layer of protection to add is not just for your car, but for its passengers. Did you know that car drivers in Australia are more likely to get skin cancer on their right side? If you will be spending any amount of time in your new vehicle, you should protect its interior with a premium window film (that is, unless you plan on applying sunscreen every time you get in the car). In addition to protecting your skin, a good window film will keep your upholstery from being faded by the sun. It will also block heat from the sun, making your interior not only safer, but cooler.

 
vehicle-window-tinting-adelaide
Window film is heat formed and then applied to the glass.

APPLY PAINT PROTECTION

Buying A New Car
Paint Protection Film must be professionally applied for a seamless finish.

Now that your new vehicle is cleaned, polished, and tinted, what are we going to do about the rocks, sand, salt, sap, birds, bugs, rain, sunshine, and other threats mentioned above? What can you do today to keep your shiny car shiny, despite the dangers it will face? Here’s the number one answer: Apply a premium Paint Protection Film. An automotive Paint Protection Film (sometimes called a Clear Bra) is urethane covering that is applied to a vehicle’s exterior surfaces to preserve the quality of its factory paint. Paint Protection Film is most famous for its ability to stop rock chips, and is commonly applied on high-risk panels like the front bumper, hood, and fenders. However, it can also be applied to all exterior painted surface to provide protection from all kinds of hazards. When a bird poops on your car, acid in the dropping quickly starts eating into the paint’s clear coat. If not removed in a timely and professional manner, the bird dropping can cause visible, permanent damage. The same is true for tree sap, bug splatter, acid rain, and other contaminants. A layer of protective film makes your vehicle more resilient to whatever may threaten your paint.

 

APPLY CERAMIC COATING

If you’ve been careful to care for and maintain your previous vehicles, you know the benefit of a good wax: It adds a small layer of protection and makes your car easier to clean. You also know its limitations: The protection is minimal, and it requires repeated application. A Ceramic Coating is kind of like a good wax on steroids. It is a liquid polymer that is applied by hand to the exterior of a vehicle. Upon application, the coating creates a permanent or semi-permanent chemical bond with the vehicle’s factory paint, meaning that it does not wash away or break down and does not require repeated application every few months (leading brands have manufacturer warranties of up to 10 years). When covered by a Ceramic Coating, a vehicle is more resistant to oxidation caused by the sun and chemical stains caused by naturally acidic contaminants. A Ceramic Coating also creates a hydrophobic (that is, water-repelling) surface, making your car easier to clean. Mud and grime have a more difficult time bonding with coated paint, and when you wash your car, contaminants can be removed with less effort.

 

 

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Ceramic Coatings are applied by hand to the whole vehicle.

DRIVE AWAY WIT PEACE OF MIND

When the process of buying a new car reaches its summit and you are driving away in your new auto-mobile, you will be excited. Don’t let that excitement get suffocated by the discovery of swirl-marks left by the dealership, or collection of fresh rock chips, or a damaging bug splatter, or a careless parking lot driver. It’s true that nothing will make your car bullet proof. None of the steps outlined above will provide 100 % protection from anything your car could face. Moreover, none of the steps above make ongoing maintenance obsolete. Nonetheless, each step will add significant value to your vehicle, give you peace-of-mind, and help preserve your car’s appearance over the long-term, so that years from now you can be just as excited to sit in your beautiful vehicle as you were the day you bought it.