Today we are looking at CarPro Lite Ceramic Coating. Is it any good? How did it perform during testing? Read on and find out!
Get your CarPro CQUARTZ Lite Kit on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/3KulijK
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.
So, CarPro Lite?
It is no secret that we have been massive Carpro fans since the early days, and their CarPro CQuartz UK 3.0 Ceramic Coating is still our top favorite out of all the consumer-grade Ceramic Coatings we have used in our career.
We have the exciting task to test out and do a proper review on another Carpro product. Naturally, we are stoked and can't wait to see how it performs. On our hands, we have CarPro Cquartz Lite Ceramic Coating, the 150ml Kit Version.
Just to clarify, Lite is based on the 3.0 formula, but it is in no way a successor to that product. CarPro Lite Ceramic Coating is a toned-down version of the 3.0 formula that sacrifices longevity and durability for ease of use and price reduction.
Is that a worth-vile sacrifice to make?
We will see soon enough.
Why use CarPro CQuartz Lite?
With a life of 6+ months, it provides the same resistance to UV, stains, grime, and pollutants. Because of its self-cleaning qualities, it is simple to maintain. Use it as a stand-alone ceramic coating or as a topper for an existing CQUARTZ coating. CQUARTZ Lite is perfect as a gateway ceramic coating as it is created for people who aren't ready to dive into the industry-leading strength of our professional strength coatings. Excellent choice for expert detailers, DIYers, and weekend warriors that are into cars in general.
It is also handy to know that you can use this product pretty much on any surface of your car's exterior except the windshield.
What did we get with the Kit?
The CarPro CQUARTZ Lite 150ml Kit includes the following:
CQUARTZ Lite 150ml Bottle x1
Microfiber Applicator x2
CARPRO 2Face No Lint Towel x1
3M Face Mask x1
User Manual x1
The 150ml bottle of CQuartz Lite will last you around 15 uses in a medium-sized vehicle. It is suggested, and we agree, that you apply two coatings to each car. For optimal results, wait an hour after applying the first coat before applying the second coat.
The coating should last up to 6 months if properly applied. It all relies on the temperature and weather conditions in your area, as well as the methods and chemicals you use to clean your automobile.
For more details, read this article to understand how to best care for your vehicle after applying Ceramic Coatings and how to keep them as long as possible.
How to apply CarPro CQUARTZ Lite?
You are given a handy User Manual with clear instructions along with the product. We first need to prepare the surface of the car properly so that the coating can cure on top of the paint. Otherwise, if we skipped this step, you would have uneven coverage or very little, at least. Here you can read our step-by-step guide on how to fully prepare a car for ceramic coating like a professional. Once the car has been prepared, we are instructed to apply 10-12 drops on top of the applicator and to apply the product onto the pain while working one section at a time. This way, you are ensuring complete coverage and are making sure you have no streaks.
The microfiber applicators are super handy, in our opinion, as you can slide three or even four fingers into them to make sure you do not squish them while applying or that your hand doesn't slide off them in the application process, which can be annoying. We are all large-sized dudes, and we can easily stick three fingers into them. We are hopeful that that crucial information helped some of you, haha. You should be careful, however, when using them because they have one huge drawback. While the fingers inside the applicator thing are super handy for control, it also gives you a false sense of security, and what can happen is that the finger or fingers that are not inside the applicator accidentally touch the car surface.
Now, our advice is - always use latex gloves when working with cars.
But if, for whatever reason, you aren't using gloves, then be mindful of those fingers outside. You see, fingers have oils on them that are excreted naturally by our bodies. You might also have dirt or grease on them from touching things. All those things need to be fully removed from the paint of a car before applying a ceramic coating. We are sure you can see how this can potentially ruin a job. Or at least be a huge annoyance. Anyway, we suggest using gloves. They are inexpensive, and they can be worth gold just for preventing things that you wouldn't even think of during a car detailing job.
If you get your fingers on top of it, then clean and degrease that area. Dry it and then redo it. Do not leave anything to chance because you do not want the customer to leave unhappy, even if that customer is you!
Ok, now what is very different than traditional ceramic coatings is that you do not need to apply the product onto the paint first and then wait for the flash-point of the coating, but instead apply it and buff it off immediately. Make sure to use a clean and dry microfiber towel for buffing, and also make sure to remove all possible high spots that might be present.
Now, should you use the applicator that is given with the package for application, or should you use the traditional block plus suede combo?
That is really up to you. But we feel like you will get a better result sticking to the traditional and tested technique. That doesn't mean that you will have a botched job if you go for the applicator. That is most likely a personal preference. You know what? We will test both and see how they turn out. Two layers are recommended, so once you finish your first pass you have to wait one hour and then can start applying the second layer. Once you are done, you do not have to wait one or two days, or in some cases, a week, for the coating to cure, but instead, only about 4 hours. That surely is quick. It is further recommended that if your car is not garaged for the next 48 hours and protected from possible rain or water, 1 hour after the 1st layer has been applied, you apply one final layer of CarPro Reload to protect the coating from possible water spots. Anyone who has anything to do with the car detailing industry knows what a nuisance those can be. So if you do not have the car garaged for the next 2 days, we suggest either trusting the weather forecast or using CarPro Reload.
So, how did CarPro Lite perform?
First of all, we will note that we tried applying this ceramic coating with the given applicator and with the suede block method, and the latter method, the traditional one, won by a landslide. It left a much deeper shine, and the overall finish was much better compared to the panel that was done with the applicator that came with the kit. The applicator didn't do badly, but when examining it with a lamp, you could clearly see the difference.
Second, the product performed very, very well. We might just say that we were impressed because from the start, we knew that CarPro tried creating this hybrid between a traditional ceramic coating and a ceramic spray coating, and, well, we weren't sure how we felt about that. Well, we have no problem admitting when we are wrong, and, well, this one truly exceeded our expectations.
It was a bit tacky upon application in the buffing process, but that is normal, considering it contains around 45% solids, and that number is extremely high when compared to ceramic sprays.
We didn't struggle but we can see someone new to ceramic coatings might. So while we didn't have any problems, if you are a novice, please look out for those high spots and streaks and deal with them accordingly.
This article covers advice on how to deal with both streaks and high spots.
The way it enhanced the color of the car was really something. You could clearly see the difference between before and after with your naked eye. It was obvious. Cquartz Lite is extremely hydrophobic, and water runs for its life when introduced.
Even after dozen washes, the coating still had all of its hydrophobicity when applied, proving its promised durability and its 3.0 formula origins.
Let us see how we have decided to grade this product:
product lifetime when applied: C
resistance to elements: B
resistance to damage: D
resistance to chemicals: B
application difficulty: B
hydrophobic properties: A
gloss / shine: B
Average grade: B
Cost: 12.42$ / 1 fl oz
0.42$ / 1 ml
What do we think about CarPro CQUARTZ Lite?
Considering how much you get and how much you pay for it, and how it ultimately performed - this surely is one of the top coatings out there - at least from an economic standpoint.
In our opinion, the lifetime of 6+ months is its biggest flaw. Low resistance to damage is to be expected from this type of coating, but the lifetime simply is not very good. Even though it is bottled, for a moment, we even considered ranking this product in the ceramic spray category. Numerous Ceramic Coatings are better, and heck, it is not even a traditional Ceramic Coating when it comes to it. So no, it will never be the best. But it has its place, even among professionals. Because it is so easy to work with and easy to apply, it is perfect for newcomers that want to try Ceramic Coating a car but aren't sure about themselves. It is the perfect teaching tool and will still give you all the protection of a traditional ceramic coating - at least to some degree.
If you buy it, you will not regret it, and a great thing about it is that it will last you a while! We are happy to stake our reputation behind this product and recommend it to everyone out there looking to use paint protection on their vehicle or any other vehicle for that matter.
If you want a better ceramic coating, then you will need to accept the increased price, likely double the amount. You will also suffer the much-increased application difficulty that also comes with a very small error margin that this product simply doesn't have. If you are experienced and are looking for the best, then CQuartz Lite is likely not for you, unless you want a topper or something that you can apply quickly for whatever reason - perhaps a cheaper package for personal use, or even a training product. Suppose you are new to car detailing, paint protection, or ceramic coatings in general. Or if you have never ceramic-coated a car before, then this is probably the best product that you can buy.
Get your CarPro CQUARTZ Lite Kit on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/3KulijK