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Ceramic paint (and interior) protection

T6 CFO

T6 CFO

Mike
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3,802
Location
Bristol
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Had mine done from new nearly 4 years ago. Researched local detailers and after meeting the guy who did mine and visiting his workshop had it done with the GtechNiq trade products.
All I’ve ever done since is wash it and dry it and it looks like it’s come out of the showroom.

If you get it done from new don’t let the dealership touch it as all they are likely to do is make it worse.

As for dealership products I wouldn’t bother. Products may be ok but it’s all in the prep and application.

In general and I accept there may be exceptions dealers sell vehicles and have little or no expertise with detailing.

I would not hesitate in getting it done again.

The rule with mine is if I haven’t got time to wash it properly myself it doesn’t get done. Because I’ve been so busy I left it for a year without washing and after a wash the other day it came up like new with little effort.




Mike
 
66tim99

66tim99

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
34
Location
London
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
Had mine ceramic coated, interior protection, glass coating and wheel protection done about three years ago. Cost £1,000, so not cheap but they had the van three days and they use the trade use only GTechNiq products (there are consumer GTechNiq products as well, but not the same as the trade stuff). The guy is based in Stevenage and normally works on Mclarens, Ferraris etc. It had a mirror finish when it left the workshop.

View attachment 67902


After three years of use and storage outside in the elements, I'd say the following:

- Body Protection. Still incredibly easy to clean and get a beautiful finish. The paint doesn't bead as much nowadays, but it's overdue a top up. No scratches or chips.
- Wheel Protection. This is one of the best bits. Just hit with a jet wash and there is hardly any brake dust residue engrained in the wheels. It would probably be zero residue if I'd cleaned them a bit more frequently.
- Seat Fabric Protection (plus carpets). Excellent. I have the alcantara interior and they are still spotless. We are only two adults (no kids or dogs) so probably not been abused as much as others, but still very impressed. Any dirt just comes straight off.
- Glass protection. I had this exterior coating to the windscreen. Initially fantastic, no need for wipers even when raining (quite surreal). However, one stone later, shattered screen and now it's gone. Not worth it for this reason.
- PPF Film on the boot lip. Invisible to see and prevented all scratches from putting stuff in / out of the boot. I should have got it fitted to the bonnet too for added peace of mind (even though it's fine)

Also, check the warranty. The GTechNiq products are the top end products with a 9 year warranty against swirl marks and scratches, BUT they say you need a yearly check up to keep the warranty. The dealer himself said this was a bit of a way to get people to have the occasional top up work done, so I've not bothered with it. Instead I rely on the quality of the product and their confidence to offer 9 years warranty in the first place that it will be good enough.

So, the big question.....do I think it's worth it? Well, yes. Being a black/silver van, keeping it clean is always going to be a bit of work. This makes it much easier. I had a black T5.1 before this one and I tried to detail that one myself....really took care and tried my best, but the difference in finish is night and day. Also, it didn't last even 4 months before needing to be re-done.

My son got his new car AutoGym treated by the dealer at roughly the same time I got my van done. It cost him £300, maybe £350 (bodywork only). It lasted a year, but has significantly diminished in comparison to my coating, to the point where you can't really tell it's been done now.

All in all, the question of value is subjective. Many people will think I'm crazy for spending a grand on this, but it's my money and I don't regret spending it. I never have a need to do anything but a standard wash and leather down...takes less than an hour. I do use a foam gun when it's particularly dirty to dislodge the grit first, but that's just fun to do!!
Had mine done from new nearly 4 years ago. Researched local detailers and after meeting the guy who did mine and visiting his workshop had it done with the GtechNiq trade products.
All I’ve ever done since is wash it and dry it and it looks like it’s come out of the showroom.

If you get it done from new don’t let the dealership touch it as all they are likely to do is make it worse.

As for dealership products I wouldn’t bother. Products may be ok but it’s all in the prep and application.

In general and I accept there may be exceptions dealers sell vehicles and have little or no expertise with detailing.

I would not hesitate in getting it done again.

The rule with mine is if I haven’t got time to wash it properly myself it doesn’t get done. Because I’ve been so busy I left it for a year without washing and after a wash the other day it came up like new with little effort.




Mike
More grist to the mill Mike. You don't miss the cash when its gone, but you do appreciate the easy gleam :)
 
Big Ted

Big Ted

Messages
162
Location
Bristol
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
I can support the love for the Gtechniq products.
In the last few years I’ve machine polished and coated my vehicles.
Cali was done earlier this year and isn’t looking to shabby for 2008 plate.
24DD4581-C664-40CE-9A1E-0FE58E2B53E3.jpeg
Washing it now is a breeze, and the wheels take no effort.

It can be done as a DIY job, but understand getting the pro’s in too.
Go for it, you’ll even smile when you go out to the Cali in the rain, the hydrophobic nature of the finish is fab.
 
willwander

willwander

VIP Member
Messages
868
Location
Yorkshire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
...
If you get it done from new don’t let the dealership touch it as all they are likely to do is make it worse.
...
Mike
THIS !
Don’t even let them wash it.

Ceramic wise Gtechniq seem to get good reviews. Most detailers charge quite a bit, because they usually do a full machine polish and paint correction before applying it.

Also, ceramic won’t protect it as much as you might imagine, you should still learn how to wash it properly.
 
Wogga

Wogga

VIP Member
Messages
233
Location
Lancashire
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
Spent weeks considering this and I will do it myself, most dealers will offer Autoglym Lifeshine for £399. Unfortunately twice I have not had it applied! and had to complain and get a very realistic discount. Lifeshine chemicals are available on eBay for £30 probably the ones that don't get applied! It is good stuff and the fabric protector is just a spray on.

Just retired so I have had a lot of time researching. Most detailers will use a five step process, Wash, clay, de-iron, machine polish, then ceramic. This process is for used cars. Not too sure if a new car needs claying or de-iron.

I have got my ceramic after lots of research and the winner here and across the pond is CarPro Cquartz 3.0UK. Testing shows peeps are getting 2 years protection with a maintenance coat every 6 months. I bought a large 50ml kit for £56 and it is widely available in the UK.

As for your original question yes get it done, Lifeshine used to work well for me... if applied!
Cost yes expensive but if the detailer is good there is a lot of work involved, obviously you have London premium as well.
Why am I doing it myself, my daughter's partner is a severe petrolhead and I have access to a network of quality car nuts who would be willing to do the work for the cost of a takeaway or two.

Post some pictures once done.



as well.carpro-cquk-3-50ml-cquartz-uk-edition-w-reload-50ml-kit-cquk-457x594.jpg
 
Moakesy

Moakesy

Moakesy
VIP Member
Messages
497
Location
Hertfordshire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Spent weeks considering this and I will do it myself, most dealers will offer Autoglym Lifeshine for £399. Unfortunately twice I have not had it applied! and had to complain and get a very realistic discount. Lifeshine chemicals are available on eBay for £30 probably the ones that don't get applied! It is good stuff and the fabric protector is just a spray on.

Just retired so I have had a lot of time researching. Most detailers will use a five step process, Wash, clay, de-iron, machine polish, then ceramic. This process is for used cars. Not too sure if a new car needs claying or de-iron.

I have got my ceramic after lots of research and the winner here and across the pond is CarPro Cquartz 3.0UK. Testing shows peeps are getting 2 years protection with a maintenance coat every 6 months. I bought a large 50ml kit for £56 and it is widely available in the UK.

As for your original question yes get it done, Lifeshine used to work well for me... if applied!
Cost yes expensive but if the detailer is good there is a lot of work involved, obviously you have London premium as well.
Why am I doing it myself, my daughter's partner is a severe petrolhead and I have access to a network of quality car nuts who would be willing to do the work for the cost of a takeaway or two.

Post some pictures once done.



as well.View attachment 67913
I think this is key.....you need someone passionate about it and who has the skills and techniques to do it well. When I tried it myself, I only met one of those two criteria!!

One for the petrol heads, the guy I used posted this yesterday...

 
Wogga

Wogga

VIP Member
Messages
233
Location
Lancashire
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
Dealer should go down to £299 for treating both inside and outside in my experience.
Twice I have paid for Lifeshine GG and they didn't apply it! Resulting in a kick off and a very substantial discount. Lifeshine is good if applied. You can pick the kits up on eBay for £30 obviously off dealer "detailers" who trouser it. Ceramic coating seems to get rave reviews and a network petrolhead I know rate it. Yes it does need top up coats but they are just like washing the car.

GG You are correct do not pay the asking price :D
 
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Wogga

Wogga

VIP Member
Messages
233
Location
Lancashire
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
Just a final note, a proper detailer applying a ceramic coat will take a minimum of one day and may a second because of the steps they do. A dealer lifeshine in my experience will be applied in an hour!

Another point, yes there are some rash claims, a stone will still chip an ASDA trolley will still scratch however on a daily basis a lot of daily grime is repelled and even with a simple shampoo and dry to jet wash you will be amazed at how it looks.

@Moakesy how long did your coating take, can you remember?
 
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Adamvanman

Adamvanman

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Messages
247
My mate does ceramic coating for a living, the mark up is unbelievable, vastly overpriced.
 
Moakesy

Moakesy

Moakesy
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Messages
497
Location
Hertfordshire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Just a final note, a proper detailer applying a ceramic coat will take a minimum of one day and may a second because of the steps they do. A dealer lifeshine in my experience will be applied in an hour!

Another point, yes there are some rash claims, a stone will still chip an ASDA trolley will still scratch however on a daily basis a lot of daily grime is repelled and even with a simple shampoo and dry to jet wash you will be amazed at how it looks.

@Moakesy how long did your coating take, can you remember?
they had it three days in total. Found details of the work done, this froma discussion prior to me booking it in:

“Thanks for getting in touch - it’s very much appreciated.

The process we typically follow for detailing and protection is as follows:

Multi-stage deep clean and decontamination of paint and glass to remove embedded iron and tar deposits.

Two stage machine polish - firstly to gently compound the clear coat to remove surface micro scratches and swirls. Second stage to refine the clear coat to a very high gloss.

Once we are happy that the paint is as flawless as possible, we apply Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra Ceramic coating. This is a professional only application product and comes with a manufacturer’s guarantee of 9 years - effectively locking in the gloss and making ongoing maintenance very easy. This coating is a 10h harness and is the industry benchmark - only available through Gtechniq Accredited detailers.

We then apply 2 coats of Gtechniq EXOv3 which is a super slick and glossy top coat - giving lasting hydrophobic properties to bead away rain etc.

The wheels and calipers (if painted) undergo the same decontamination process as the paint and glass (including chemical softening of tar spots then physical clay bar). We then coat them with Gtechniq C5 Wheel Armour, which provides a high temperature tolerant protective barrier against brake dust, iron deposits and tar for ongoing ease of maintenance.

Interior leather is deep cleaned and protected with Gtechniq L1 leather guard. This helps protect against dye transfer on light coloured leather and helps prevent dark leather turning shiny.
Fabrics (inc carpets and mats) are protected with Gtechniq I1 Fabric Guard.

The engine bay is cleaned and dressed and the external trim and tyres are dressed for final presentation.

The price we charge for this complete service for a large vehicle is £895 and we would need the car for three days. VW paint tends to be quite hard. Which means we can get very sharp reflections once refined. This means you should see a significant improvement in gloss and sharpness.

If you wanted us to carry out the paint correction and refinement work but didn’t want a ceramic coating or the other services, we can do this for you and would charge £575. We would need the campervan for two full days to do this work and we would apply a nice quality Swissvax carnauba wax.

If you take a look at the Gtechniq pricing guide below, you’ll get a good idea of the various products and their benefits.

I hope this is of interest and please just ask if you have any questions or require clarification on any of the above.

Thanks again for the enquiry and I hope that we can help. “
 
GrumpyGranddad

GrumpyGranddad

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
426
Location
Wendover
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 199
they had it three days in total. Found details of the work done, this froma discussion prior to me booking it in:

“Thanks for getting in touch - it’s very much appreciated.

The process we typically follow for detailing and protection is as follows:

Multi-stage deep clean and decontamination of paint and glass to remove embedded iron and tar deposits.

Two stage machine polish - firstly to gently compound the clear coat to remove surface micro scratches and swirls. Second stage to refine the clear coat to a very high gloss.

Once we are happy that the paint is as flawless as possible, we apply Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra Ceramic coating. This is a professional only application product and comes with a manufacturer’s guarantee of 9 years - effectively locking in the gloss and making ongoing maintenance very easy. This coating is a 10h harness and is the industry benchmark - only available through Gtechniq Accredited detailers.

We then apply 2 coats of Gtechniq EXOv3 which is a super slick and glossy top coat - giving lasting hydrophobic properties to bead away rain etc.

The wheels and calipers (if painted) undergo the same decontamination process as the paint and glass (including chemical softening of tar spots then physical clay bar). We then coat them with Gtechniq C5 Wheel Armour, which provides a high temperature tolerant protective barrier against brake dust, iron deposits and tar for ongoing ease of maintenance.

Interior leather is deep cleaned and protected with Gtechniq L1 leather guard. This helps protect against dye transfer on light coloured leather and helps prevent dark leather turning shiny.
Fabrics (inc carpets and mats) are protected with Gtechniq I1 Fabric Guard.

The engine bay is cleaned and dressed and the external trim and tyres are dressed for final presentation.

The price we charge for this complete service for a large vehicle is £895 and we would need the car for three days. VW paint tends to be quite hard. Which means we can get very sharp reflections once refined. This means you should see a significant improvement in gloss and sharpness.

If you wanted us to carry out the paint correction and refinement work but didn’t want a ceramic coating or the other services, we can do this for you and would charge £575. We would need the campervan for two full days to do this work and we would apply a nice quality Swissvax carnauba wax.

If you take a look at the Gtechniq pricing guide below, you’ll get a good idea of the various products and their benefits.

I hope this is of interest and please just ask if you have any questions or require clarification on any of the above.

Thanks again for the enquiry and I hope that we can help. “
The finish certainly looks great but I wonder, do very upmarket marques such as Rolls Royce, Bugatti, etc, etc, apply this to their vehicles as standard? If not why not?
 
Borris

Borris

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Messages
4,330
Location
Canterbury
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
they had it three days in total. Found details of the work done, this froma discussion prior to me booking it in:

“Thanks for getting in touch - it’s very much appreciated.

The process we typically follow for detailing and protection is as follows:

Multi-stage deep clean and decontamination of paint and glass to remove embedded iron and tar deposits.

Two stage machine polish - firstly to gently compound the clear coat to remove surface micro scratches and swirls. Second stage to refine the clear coat to a very high gloss.

Once we are happy that the paint is as flawless as possible, we apply Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra Ceramic coating. This is a professional only application product and comes with a manufacturer’s guarantee of 9 years - effectively locking in the gloss and making ongoing maintenance very easy. This coating is a 10h harness and is the industry benchmark - only available through Gtechniq Accredited detailers.

We then apply 2 coats of Gtechniq EXOv3 which is a super slick and glossy top coat - giving lasting hydrophobic properties to bead away rain etc.

The wheels and calipers (if painted) undergo the same decontamination process as the paint and glass (including chemical softening of tar spots then physical clay bar). We then coat them with Gtechniq C5 Wheel Armour, which provides a high temperature tolerant protective barrier against brake dust, iron deposits and tar for ongoing ease of maintenance.

Interior leather is deep cleaned and protected with Gtechniq L1 leather guard. This helps protect against dye transfer on light coloured leather and helps prevent dark leather turning shiny.
Fabrics (inc carpets and mats) are protected with Gtechniq I1 Fabric Guard.

The engine bay is cleaned and dressed and the external trim and tyres are dressed for final presentation.

The price we charge for this complete service for a large vehicle is £895 and we would need the car for three days. VW paint tends to be quite hard. Which means we can get very sharp reflections once refined. This means you should see a significant improvement in gloss and sharpness.

If you wanted us to carry out the paint correction and refinement work but didn’t want a ceramic coating or the other services, we can do this for you and would charge £575. We would need the campervan for two full days to do this work and we would apply a nice quality Swissvax carnauba wax.

If you take a look at the Gtechniq pricing guide below, you’ll get a good idea of the various products and their benefits.

I hope this is of interest and please just ask if you have any questions or require clarification on any of the above.

Thanks again for the enquiry and I hope that we can help. “
:shocked
At £895 it sounds like a bargain!
 
Borris

Borris

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Messages
4,330
Location
Canterbury
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
It's a van at the end of the day, I would rather spend that £895 on on nights away! I wash mine once a fortnight and looks in showroom condition afterwards each time
Ours gets a wash only when it's raining and only then when I'm in the mood. On those rare occasions I do a thorough two bucket wash with snow foam, jet wash etc. I don't usually towel it down but just let the rain water rinse it off. If I haven't got the time to do it properly it just doesn't get done. My philosophy is that apart from removing bird lime, the best policy is to not go near the paint work unless you can do a full sympathetic detailed clean.

As for spending that much on ceramic treatment, I can think of about a million other things I'd rather spend that sort of money on. I usually use a clay bar and use a good quality car wax once or twice a year.
 
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Blue Yonder

Blue Yonder

VIP Member
Messages
142
Location
England
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Vastly over sold and over priced IMO.
I would prefer to colour change wrap the lower half of van and re-wrap it every 6 years. Put paint protection film on front bumper wing mirrors headlights and down side of van below chrome strip. That way every 6 years the van body work will look as good as new again, and you could change its colour too. Will a "ceramic" coating do that? I also bought 8 cans of scotchgaurd and sprayed every piece of fabric in the van from new. I respray the seats every few years following a deep clean/shampoo. Oh and don't forget to wax the bonnet regularly and around the windows regularly. As for the roof wax twice a year and forget as no one looks at the roof. If you routinly park under trees you could consider paint protection film for the van roof too.
 
AndyWT

AndyWT

Messages
132
Location
Italy
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
It's a van at the end of the day, I would rather spend that £895 on on nights away! I wash mine once a fortnight and looks in showroom condition afterwards each time
Bling! Bling! Lookin good is one thing but short term, think I’d rather look underneath and take it to Dinitrol for a secondary rustproof saying all vans are rot boxes if you use it all year.

Haven’t washed my Cali since I bought, it would rather get out there... although with Covid we have only been able to travel for 7 weeks, which as we don’t use campsites often and did 8,000 km, £ 900 would have funded easily, that’s € 1,000 which is 10,000 km of diesel, WTF know which I would be doing.
 
Tony Crawford

Tony Crawford

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Messages
41
Location
Kent
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
We had ours paint protection filmed on all front facing areas plus rear bumper and then the whole vehicle ceramic coated in wheels - was well worth it! 18 months old and not a mark on it and wash, sponge and dry and comes up as new. ‘Top up’ the ceramic coat with Maguires instant detailed and looks showroom condition. Was t cheap but did it from new and so glad we did! Scotch guarded the interior and that has stayed spotless too! Have t yet needed to take seat covers off to wash in 18 months of hard use - 2 careful adults though with no kids which helps!
 
66tim99

66tim99

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
34
Location
London
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
Bling! Bling! Lookin good is one thing but short term, think I’d rather look underneath and take it to Dinitrol for a secondary rustproof saying all vans are rot boxes if you use it all year.

Haven’t washed my Cali since I bought, it would rather get out there... although with Covid we have only been able to travel for 7 weeks, which as we don’t use campsites often and did 8,000 km, £ 900 would have funded easily, that’s € 1,000 which is 10,000 km of diesel, WTF know which I would be doing.
The diesel is a given sadly (had there been and electric option, I’d have bought it...next time there’s bound to be one now there’s an electric transporter). But Im justifying this expense I think by seeing the cost of options on these new calis ... £800 for metallic or £2800 for split colour. Makes £700 for ceramic sound palatable. It’s not bling (can’t understand the chrome pack for example, which is about the same price as ceramic) it’s perfecting an imperfection from the factory and also protecting a massive investment from the elements.
I want to get out in it too...be interested to hear more about experiences of rust/rot and the need for Dinitrol...how much does that cost?
 
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haydnw2

haydnw2

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Messages
162
Location
Loughborough
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
protecting a massive investment from the elements
This was our primary motivation for Gtechniq ceramic application by a professional. The sheer hydrophobicity of the ceramic surface will make you giggle like a child when it rains and everything just sloughs right off, and it's undoubtedly both easier to wash generally, and easier to get a really good finish back on it. But for me it was an investment in maintaining an asset that I need to depreciate as little as possible. It also gives me the peace of mind that I don't need to treat it with kid gloves whilst I'm out-and-about - the van is there to be used, so I use it well but am confident it can be tarted up again when I've finished splashing around fields and dirt tracks.
 
AndyWT

AndyWT

Messages
132
Location
Italy
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
The diesel is a given sadly (had there been and electric option, I’d have bought it...next time there’s bound to be one now there’s an errand Porter). But Im justifying this expense I think by seeing the cost of options on these new calis ... £800 for metallic or £2800 for split colour. Makes £700 for ceramic sound palatable. It’s not bling (can’t understand the chrome pack for example, which is about the same price as ceramic) it’s perfecting an imperfection from the factory and also protecting a massive investment from the elements.
I want to get out in it too...be interested to hear more about experiences of rust/rot and the need for Dinitrol...how much does that cost?
This is probably going to raise a lot of discussion on which corrosion treatment is best.

How much does it cost I don’t know as I have always done my own or applied it at dealer.

But is it necessary? It depends on if the the van is only used in good weather or not, winter & salt is the enemy and also how long you intend keeping the van.

The California is just a van, built to a cost with an expected life of 5 years regardless of how much it costs to buy.

My T4 Cali built in 99 was fortunate to have secondary rust proofing by VW sometime in its early life, it’s had a hard life, when I imported it to Italy I was the 4th owner but the only corrosion is where the secondary rust proofing missed, my son-in-law has a 2011 conversion that has more rust.

Factory corrosion treatment is variable, some years production are really bad and the transporter is no exception, you couldn’t give me a mid year T4 around 96-98, some T5 production years, T6 is unproven.

Here’s a link to Dinitrol treatments.



Ceramic coating, body shops love it... plain colors are more prone to fading, metallics less so, I can only refer to my own Cali, techno blue, it’s had a bottom half respray 3 years ago, top half is original and is indistinguishable to the bottom half apart from a few scrapes.
Ceramic as it’s quite hard may be useful in fending off undergrowth etc, although you are unlikely to abuse your nice shiny Cali as we do, 30 years at the heavy end of the VW empire and a truck guy if the mirrors fit the rest will follow, I’m retired and will keep it going until I’m incapable of driving.

But paintwork is variable from all manufacturers, some years good some years not so good.

Probably too much info, but you asked...
 

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