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  1. #1
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    How to tell if ceramic coating is failing (regular toppers)

    Hi all

    I am about to do my first ceramic coating and wondering how you tell if your coating is failing if you regularly use toppers?

    Planning on using CarPro Elixir with most (if not all) washes as a drying aid to also assist with lubrication.

    If you always have an additional layer of protection on top of your coating - how do you tell if it is failing or not?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rsurfer's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if ceramic coating is failing (regular toppers)

    Quote Originally Posted by rover137 View Post
    Hi all

    I am about to do my first ceramic coating and wondering how you tell if your coating is failing if you regularly use toppers?

    Planning on using CarPro Elixir with most (if not all) washes as a drying aid to also assist with lubrication.

    If you always have an additional layer of protection on top of your coating - how do you tell if it is failing or not?

    If you really want to know if your base coating is failing, don't top it.

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    Senior Member acuRAS82's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if ceramic coating is failing (regular toppers)

    And you may still see beading change when the coating is failing a lot. The toppers may bead differently when the base coating is no longer being a good anchor. But only people who stare at water beads often may notice this type of difference.

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    Re: How to tell if ceramic coating is failing (regular toppers)

    Yeah, i was thinking basically what you have both suggested - either don't top, or pay very close attention to the water beading.

    I would think most people would top/maintain with some sort of product?

    I guess you could also stop topping towards the end of a coatings suggested life cycle and monitor for water beading?

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    Senior Member acuRAS82's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if ceramic coating is failing (regular toppers)

    Quote Originally Posted by rover137 View Post
    Yeah, i was thinking basically what you have both suggested - either don't top, or pay very close attention to the water beading.

    I would think most people would top/maintain with some sort of product?

    I guess you could also stop topping towards the end of a coatings suggested life cycle and monitor for water beading?
    Some top, some don’t. Some want the coating so that dont have to touch the car or so they can enjoy the coating stand-alone. Others can’t stop touching the car or want to play with new products. It’s a preference really, the car is protected either way.

    I think if you want to top regularly but want to monitor the coating life, your idea about slowing down and/or ending the toppers near the end of the life cycle is the most efficient way to have the best of both worlds. And you can use a soap like Reset or even a coating prep wash near the end of the lifecycle to help remove remnants of the topper and bring the coating to it’s natural state to see where it’s really at.

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    Re: How to tell if ceramic coating is failing (regular toppers)

    Quote Originally Posted by acuRAS82 View Post
    But only people who stare at water beads often may notice this type of difference.
    Hahaha


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #7
    Senior Member Desertnate's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if ceramic coating is failing (regular toppers)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rsurfer View Post
    If you really want to know if your base coating is failing, don't top it.
    This is really the only answer.

    When I used CanCoat I topped it about every 4~6 weeks with Cure. 12 Months later it was still going strong from a water beading/sheeting perspective; that's TWICE the normal manufacturer listed lifespan of CanCoat. I'm pretty sure I could have gone much longer if I kept applying Cure.

    Many of the toppers are pretty durable in their own right. If they are applied at regular intervals before they start to fail, you could theoretically go forever before the coating really started to fail. Same theory applies for any LSP. If you keep topping with a highly durable product, the LSP under it will probably degrade at a much slower rate.
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    Re: How to tell if ceramic coating is failing (regular toppers)

    Quote Originally Posted by Desertnate View Post
    This is really the only answer.

    When I used CanCoat I topped it about every 4~6 weeks with Cure. 12 Months later it was still going strong from a water beading/sheeting perspective; that's TWICE the normal manufacturer listed lifespan of CanCoat. I'm pretty sure I could have gone much longer if I kept applying Cure.

    Many of the toppers are pretty durable in their own right. If they are applied at regular intervals before they start to fail, you could theoretically go forever before the coating really started to fail. Same theory applies for any LSP. If you keep topping with a highly durable product, the LSP under it will probably degrade at a much slower rate.


    Did you use anything in-between CanCoat as a drying aid? Yeah, that is the thing i am trying to understand. I have done a lot of research and everyone comments on the durability and beading of a coating, but i'm wondering how does someone actually know the coating is either holding up, or producing the beads if they top if often.

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    Re: How to tell if ceramic coating is failing (regular toppers)

    Quote Originally Posted by acuRAS82 View Post
    Some top, some don’t. Some want the coating so that dont have to touch the car or so they can enjoy the coating stand-alone. Others can’t stop touching the car or want to play with new products. It’s a preference really, the car is protected either way.

    I think if you want to top regularly but want to monitor the coating life, your idea about slowing down and/or ending the toppers near the end of the life cycle is the most efficient way to have the best of both worlds. And you can use a soap like Reset or even a coating prep wash near the end of the lifecycle to help remove remnants of the topper and bring the coating to it’s natural state to see where it’s really at.

    I think i am one of those people who likes to play with their paint. For me, topping is more about adding slickness, gloss as well as having a drying aid to increase lubrication.

    I might stop topping at the end of the suggested life cycle of the coating, give it a good wash and see what the coating is doing. It is either that or don't top i guess.

  12. #10
    Senior Member Desertnate's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell if ceramic coating is failing (regular toppers)

    Quote Originally Posted by rover137 View Post
    Did you use anything in-between CanCoat as a drying aid? Yeah, that is the thing i am trying to understand. I have done a lot of research and everyone comments on the durability and beading of a coating, but i'm wondering how does someone actually know the coating is either holding up, or producing the beads if they top if often.
    I use Ech2O after each wash to catch any water spots I might have missed while drying. Since it's a waterless wash which can work as a QD spray (like I use it) I really don't think it has much in the way of protective products and if it does, I really doubt it would last more than a few days/week. I used it on every coating I've tried, to include CanCoat. Cure was really my first experience using any type of topper.

    If you are consistently using a durable topper I don't think you'd ever really know if the behavior you see is the topper or the coating. The best bet would be to stop using the topper for a couple months and see how things look/behave.
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