Today we are giving Gtechniq Crystal Serum Light a go, and we are excited to see how it will perform on all the testing we usually do. Stay tuned to see how we go about the application process for Gtehniq CLS, how this product performs, the grade we will assign to its name, and our overall thoughts on this product when compared to its competition.
Just to clarify - we are not sponsored by Gtechniq 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.
Get your Gtechniq CSL on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/3bBaP7L
Ok, so let's see what this Ceramic Coating is all about:
best swirl mark resistance
best chemical resistance
extreme levels of gloss
considered the thickest, most durable ceramic coating
lasts up to 5 years
We have seen similar claims on other Ceramic Coating products before, so nothing too crazy.
But it does claim to be the thickest and most durable Ceramic Coating in the industry and you would be able to remove it only using 1500 grit sandpaper or something more aggressive. We can test that with our standard scratch test.
The up to 5 years test is realistic as we know for sure that some Ceramic Coatings, with proper maintenance and care, can achieve such longevity.
The first thing to do before applying any type of paint protection is to wash the car properly and prepare the surface so that the coating has the best chance to bond with the clearcoat, and ensure the best results. To learn how to prepare the paint of your car for paint protection, click here.
Once the car is ready to be Ceramic Coated we will read the instructions that came with the product to familiarize us with the details. While most Ceramic Coatings will have a similar application process, it is imperative to read the instructions and inform yourself before using the product because even the slightest deviation might result in unfavorable results.
Gtechniq Crystal Serum Light Ceramic Coating application process
When Ceramic Coating your care, you need to be aware of where you are performing the procedure, what the temperature is, and if you are doing it in a garage or outside. Always make sure you are not using the product in direct sunlight, no matter what the manufacturer claims the product can or cannot do. The reason for that is that in direct sunlight you will have a much higher car surface temperature and the Ceramic Coatings flashing point will be reached more quickly.
Also, the curing procedure might not be finished correctly due to UV radiation. If you are coating your car outside, then we recommend you do it in the shade. Again, if under a tree, also keep in mind that you do not want any foreign objects to fall onto the paint or coating before it has hardened after the initial 24 hours after it has been applied.
Take the Gtechniq Crystal Serum Light and a microfiber applicator pad. Shake the bottle, open it and get a few drops of the ceramic solution onto the applicator and start working on one panel, covering the whole panel using a criss-cross pattern to ensure full coverage.
You want to make sure you have covered everything at this point because it can be a bother to have to reapply Ceramic Coatings after you have realized a mistake has been made. Better to do it right the first time. So we suggest applying the coating one panel at a time until the whole car has been coated.
Once you coat a panel it is advised to wait for about one minute so the solution can settle on the worked area. After that, you want to buff the whole area to a glossy shine. You do not want to let the coating sit for too long because it might be increasingly difficult the more you wait.
If you buff an area too late or forget to buff it, you will likely have to compound or polish the defective area, degrease it, and coat again for safe measure instead of potentially leaving an ugly, noticeable spot on an otherwise great-looking vehicle. When finished, you want the car to look amazing because the way it will look then will be how it will likely look for the next five years, if that is indeed the lifetime of this Ceramic Coating.
Once we have coated the entire car, we have let it overnight inside the garage so it can have its first 24 hours to harden. Since the coating will cure for the next 1 week, we will wait until that period has passed to get real-world results. We are eager to find us as much as you are!
Ok, so after a week we are ready to start doing some testing. So for the next 2 weeks, we will drive the vehicle daily with a bit of dirt driving every day to get those stone chips, dust, and dirt going.
At the time of testing, it was sunny, but pretty cold outside, without rain. So we will simulate rain droplets with a pressure washer extension ( you can also use a water hose extension as well ). We will wash the car at the end of almost every day up to a maximum of 10 washes using regular, non-pH-neutral car shampoo. So the common shampoo anyone is probably using at home or in those self-service car washes since they usually go by what is the cheapest and most effective way. So sometimes you will have them use even hydrofluoric acid as one of the ingredients.
Effective, but dangerous and damaging for both you and your car. Especially the Ceramic Coating, since that is the only layer of sacrificial protection that is keeping your car's paint from starting to decay.
How did Gtechniq CSL Ceramic Coating perform?
Before the first wash, you could clearly see that the coating is handling the dirt really well. There was barely any there. We washed the car first and rinsed the shampoo off with water using the pressure washer. Then we dried it to get the best results. We simulated rain using an extension on the water hose that gives multiple modes of water distribution and were pleased to see the water sheeting really well and fast and leaving an almost dry surface with only very few water beads here and there. We blew those away with a leafblower and only after a couple of minutes we had the car in the same condition as it was after it was initially coated. Really impressive.
We inspected the coating further using a flashlight to check for those hard-to-see swirl marks, especially in the bottom parts of the car where most of the dirt and grime would hit the paint. The surface was scratch-free and slick as expected. We then performed a scratch test using the abrasive part of a dishwashing sponge and light pressure. We've rinsed the area with water, dried it, inspected it under a flashlight, and - surprisingly it seemed intact. Very good results so far!
After the 2 weeks of driving, washing, and checking we found Gtechniq Crystal Serum Light Ceramic Coating didn't lose any effectiveness after those ten washes with a bit rougher car shampoo, if you may. It was still sheeting almost at the same rate regarding speed and effectiveness and leaving only a very small amount of water beads on the surface, definitely indicating that it hasn't lost almost any of its hydrophobic properties and most importantly slickness.
The slickness is very important so it doesn't leave the full vehicle covered in water beads because if those are not removed soon after contact and are left to evaporate on the car's paint, they will leave all those minerals, that the water droplets contained, embedded into the coating or worse.
Our verdict on this product:
product life time when applied: A
resistance to elements: A
resistance to damage: B
resistance to chemicals: A
application difficulty: C
hydrophobic properties: A
gloss / shine: C
Average grade: B
Cost: 65.06$ / 1 fl oz
2.20$ / 1 ml
Our final thoughts on Gtechniq Crystal Serum Light Ceramic Coating?
Gtechniq Crystal Serum Light Ceramic Coating has certainly proven itself as a very good Ceramic Coating product and bumped up Gtechniq as a company in our eyes. Among so many new products coming from all over the globe, it is certainly challenging to know which product you can trust because all of them are promoting themselves as the best, the most durable, the product with the best longevity, etc.
Well, Gtechniq CSL Ceramic Coating has held up really well thanks to its own marketing.
We wouldn't say it has an extreme effect on the paint - enhancing, deepening, or gloss specifically. But it did have a visible effect which, most importantly, it held for the duration of the torture test.
Also, we didn't find it the most durable or hardest Ceramic Coating among those we have used so far, but it is up there with the best. Unlike most Ceramic Coatings, even those with amazing hydrophobic properties, this one has amazing sheeting properties when getting rid of water. That is an amazing property to have on your paint protection because if you are not there to get rid of all the water beads, it will certainly help keep your car water spot-free and that is a very good feature to have, and one that you will not find in many high-end Ceramic Coatings.
Certainly a recommendation and Gtechniq Crystal Serum Light Ceramic Coating handles itself well among the top brands on the market.
Get your Gtechniq CSL, on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/3bBaP7L