Get your CQ.UK 3.0 Ceramic Coating Kit on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2ZXUgfF
Just to clarify - we are not sponsored by CarPro or any other manufacturer of Paint Protection products, and we will test and review the product as it is in real-world conditions. We will follow the manufacturer's instructions during the application process and we will prepare the surface to ensure the best finish and best adhesion possible. We are leaving an affiliate link to all our review products but in case the product turns out to be of low quality or not as all as advertised we leave a warning to all our readers and the quality of the product will always be reflected in the grade we assign to it at the end of every review. So if you do not want to sit through all of this text, you can scroll down to the Average Grade and read our Final Thoughts to get a general idea of what the product is all about.
If you haven't heard of the CarPro CQuartz products yet, you are in luck! In the automotive exterior detailing industry Ceramic Coatings are in high demand, labeled as premium products, what they indeed are.
And CarPro delivers some of the best out there on the market.
Now, it is costly! But is it worth it?
Every cent! It of course depends on the product you buy, since you could get a cheap knock-off on eBay, but that is why you have people like us. We do the research, the testing and find the best product offered and also the most affordable to get the most bang out of your buck.
The CarPro CQuartz UK 3.0 Kit /w Reload includes:
1x 50ml bottle of CQuartz UK 3.0
1x 100ml bottle of CarPro Reload Silica Spray
1x 16" Microfiber Suede Towel
1x CarPro Foam Applicator Block
4x 4" MF Suede applicators
The 50ml bottle of CQuartz UK 3.0 will last you roughly for 6 uses on average-sized cars. It is recommended, and we do as well, that you use 2 coats per car. After the first coat has been applied wait an hour and then apply the second coat for best results.
Once properly applied, the coating should last up to 2 years. It all depends on the climate and weather conditions in the region where you live as well as what methods and products you use to wash the car. For more information, you can check the Education tab to learn how to best treat your vehicle before and after using Ceramic Coatings.
The 100ml bottle of CarPro Reload Silica Spray that is included in the Kit is a step forward in the Ceramic Coating Technology as it was developed to prolong the quality of the Ceramic Coating applied and to keep the toughness and all its hydrophobic qualities high for as long as possible. With it, you can much more easily reach those desired 2 years regardless if you live in an area with harsh weather conditions such as constant high-temperature sun, subzero temperatures with snow and lots of salt on the roads, etc.
When to apply Ceramic Coating? Prepare the surface first!
Well, the ideal conditions to apply the coating would be in a closed garage heated between 60 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit ( or 15.6 and 37.8 degrees Celsius for our metric friends ). The area should be well ventilated to avoid dust or any small particles floating in the air that could stick to the prepared paint or the coating itself while curing.
The whole car should be thoroughly washed to remove all large contaminants from the body of the vehicle. Ideally use car shampoo with a pH value as close to 7 after it has been mixed with water as per the manufacturer's instructions as this is considered balanced and will not damage the car paint or the ceramic coating in future washes. If you would like to learn more about why the pH value of a car shampoo is important and what pH-neutral car shampoos are you can read this article.
Strong car shampoos, mainly cheap ones, are more acidic and will eat up the coating little by little. The effect can be balanced out by using the 100ml bottle of CarPro Reload Silica Spray to "heal it" so to say. Cheap car shampoos usually use Hydrofluoric Acid as one of their components as it is very aggressive in removing dirt and is cheap. So even if you might fight pH neutral car Shampoos more expensive, long term you will find them as a great and ultimately cheaper way to keep your car clean and protected for a long time.
After you have washed your car it is time to clay bar it! Why clay bar? Well with time, through different ways contaminants tend to lodge into your clearcoat and just a simple wash will not get rid of them. Think of a thorn in your skin - you have to pluck it out, a wash will simply not do the job. A clay bar does just that.
On how to use a clay bar effectively, visit the Education section and learn the best way to use the clay bar to minimize clay bar wear and avoid damaging your car paint while maximizing its effectiveness in clearing all those small to microparticles from the clear coat.
After the clay bar has been used it is a good idea to give the car another wash and after it has been dried you should degrease the car with isopropyl alcohol diluted with some distilled water in a 1:1 ratio. Distilled water is amazing here as it will leave no smudge marks or particles when dried. As for isopropyl alcohol, it evaporates quickly and also leaves no residue or marks on the car paint. Alcohol also decreases the area from any oils, waxes, and such that may have been left on the car.
We are doing all this to prepare the car for paint correction, polishing, and finally coating the car with the CarPro CQuartz Ceramic Coating product at hand. If you have any scratches or paint chips on your car, now is the time to correct them because the ceramic coating will 'eternalize' the car's condition as it is for the next year or two. If you have any damage and don't want to look at it, you will have to remove them now as you will not be able to do so without removing the ceramic coat from the damaged area in the future.
Also after the paint correction has been done you will want to compound the vehicle and polish it to a glass finish before coating it. Again, if you think that that will not be needed, skip to coating it straight away. The result might not be as advertised if you skip those steps though so just keep that in mind. The Ceramic Coating, while it does give some gloss, is not a 'beauty product for cars, it is more of a waterproof bulletproof vest that has extremely high hydrophobic properties, provides scratch resistance, and protects the car's pain from outside elements.
Now if you ceramic coat a potato, you will have a protected potato. Still a potato, but protected. If you take a few extra steps to make that potato look like something, you will have a beautiful potato for the next year or two. Think of those few steps as a type of semi-permanent makeup that will not wash away under harsh weather conditions, outside elements, or by simply washing it.
For a full, very comprehensive guide to how to prepare the surface of your car for Ceramic Coating, you can click here.
Now that all that has been done it's finally time to apply the Ceramic Coating. Note that this would also be the time to apply wax if you were to use that. But keep in mind that wax is a sealant and it does protect the car's paint, ceramic coating does it better, much longer, and will not wash out that easily.
How to apply Ceramic Coating the right way?
Now that you have a fully prepared surface to work with we can begin with the final act. Take the 50ml bottle of CQuartz UK 3.0 that came with the kit, the CarPro Foam Applicator Block, and one of the four 4" MF Suede applicators. Wrap the applicator around the block, tighten it and hold the applicator with your middle finger, index finger on one side of the block, and your thumb on the other side of the block. You should be holding the block on its longer side to ensure maximum coverage while working with it. Make sure the applicator is tight so you avoid uneven application. You might feel more confident to add your ring finger alongside your index and middle fingers to get a firmer hold of the block, whichever way makes you feel more secure, go for it.
Once ready you have your holding technique mastered, should not take more than a minute, but hey, you never know. Open the 50ml bottle of CQuartz UK 3.0 and apply the liquid from one end to the other on the longer side of the applicator. It should require only a few to a dozen drops to ensure full-length coverage of the applicator.
Now what you should do is pick a panel, or if the panel is huge just section it off into two or four parts and start there. Apply the coat in vertical lines on the full length of the panel you are currently working on and then the same with horizontal lines. After the specified area has been covered in full you need to let that ceramic coat cure for about 5 minutes.
Once it becomes a bit oily looking is time to buff it out hard. You want to buff the whole area well to perfect shine using the 16" Microfiber Suede Towel that came with the kit or any dry and clean microfiber towel that you might have. Because if you don't and you let any residue crystalize and harden, you will need to polish that out potentially burning through the coat.
Also, keep in mind that all the residue that you collect on the microfiber towel while buffing the ceramic coating will eventually harden and render that particular tower unusable. So keep that in mind before you start not to ruin any favorites you might have. And that was also the reason I mentioned microfiber towels even though this kit provides ways to buff the coating off. If it takes you a long time to coat the vehicle or it is a particularly large car you might go for those towels instead of potentially damaging your car's paint.
You can also apply this coating on all plastic and glass surfaces of your car. I would tape off all rubber surfaces because the coating might come out looking like a white haze on them once cured. So let's avoid that. Once you have covered the whole exterior of the car, wait for about 1 hour and apply the second coat using the same technique. The applicator or applicators you've used for the 1st coat are now useless and should not be used for the second application.
After you have successfully applied the second coat it is time to wait for a full day for the coat to fully cure and bond with the car's paint. Please avoid using the vehicle during those crucial 24 hours as any debris, rain, bugs, really anything that comes in contact with the car might ruin the affected area.
For more detailed information regarding what Ceramic Coating is and how Ceramic Coating affects your car paint, click here.
That is it!
Your car is now happy and protected! Enjoy your happy new vehicle, go splash it with mud, dirty water, dust, and look in awe at how it falls off, or even if it sticks, how easy it is washed down with a hose and some water.
Let us see how we have decided to grade this product:
product lifetime when applied: A
resistance to elements: A
resistance to damage: B
resistance to chemicals: A
application difficulty: C
hydrophobic properties: A
gloss / shine: B
Average grade: B
Cost: 47.33$ / 1 fl oz
1.60$ / 1 ml
What do we think about CQuartz UK 3.0?
CQ.UK 3.0 Ceramic Coating is one of the best Ceramic Coatings we have ever used. We highly recommend it. The great thing about this kit is that you get the Reload along with it. While the Reload on its own had a mediocre performance, it is still a handy way to strengthen the CQ.UK 3.0 coating from time to time, when the car has been washed because of its easy and quick application process.
It will definitely refresh the main coating and prolong its maximum lifetime before it has to be reapplied. Great value for the price you pay.
You can check our Top Lists section to see how it compares to other coatings in its category.
Get your CQ.UK 3.0 Ceramic Coating Kit on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2ZXUgfF