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      09-06-2017, 04:41 PM   #1
DrtyJrze
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GTechniq crystal Serum Light + Exo Application Review

Hey Everyone,

I had heard of protection films (car already has Xpel Ultimate) but did not know much about ceramic coatings. After doing some research, I decided to try GTechniq Crystal Serum Light + EXOv3 on my 2017 San Marino Blue M3.

My car was ceramic coated over Labor Day weekend. The application was done by a local shop, South Jersey Automotive Coatings. Below is my experience of the process, with a few pics.

First let me say, I was a little nervous about getting my individual color car coated. The paint was in great condition and I was worried about if things went bad. But the advantages (easier cleaning, enhanced paint protection, etc.) were too good to pass on.

My apprehension about getting the coating was significantly reduced after meeting with John (SJAC owner). We were introduced through an associate who had previously done work on my Silverstone II M3. After exchanging texts for a couple of days I stopped by his shop. We talked for about 45 minutes as he took me step by step through the coating process, explaining in detail his methods of preparation and coating application.

What he did not know is that I do all my research beforehand and knew the answer to almost every question I asked (Yes, I'm that guy). He did a great job of describing everything, and didn't try to oversell the product with ridiculous claims. He also asked upfront if he could take pictures of my car and told me exactly how much mileage I would expect on the odometer when picked up (less than half a mile). I really appreciated him asking, and had no problem granting permission.

After I felt comfortable with his game plan for treating my vehicle I agreed to have him perform the work.

Preparation

It was raining when I dropped the car off (late Saturday), so they waited until the next day to give the car a "decontamination bath". The hose was right outside of the shop bay.

The car was then clayed (as needed) and machine polished to remove light imperfections and bring out a high gloss. John did an excellent job on this step. How do I know? I prepped for that as well...
Prior to dropping my car off I had already fully inspected the car with a proper light to locate paint blemishes that were not detectable under regular lighting conditions. I did not tell him I did this, and used reference scratches/swirls in various spots around the car to help me determine the quality of his work. Upon inspection at completion ALL spot imperfections were corrected. I was pleasantly surprised by his attention to detail.

GTechniq Application

After the paint was cleaned and prepped it was time for the main event: coating application. The Crystal Serum Light (CSL) was applied with a hand applicator one small section at a time (ex: a fender was two sections). He worked his way around the vehicle being careful to fully buff off excess product before moving on. After this two coats of EXO top layer were added, as recommended by manufacturer.

The wheels were also removed and coated with C1 Crystal Lacquer and another double coating of EXO. Calipers were treated as well.

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Lastly, the freshly coated car was left to cure in his shop overnight (security cameras were on the property, so I slept well).

Project Complete!

I arrived the next day for pick up. It looked great! Here are some of the pics he took:


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Overall the experience was superb and John was excellent to work with. I would definitely recommend him to anyone in the NJ/NY/PA area. Let me know if you have any questions. I'll try to add more pics.


Thanks for taking the time to read. Hope this was informative!



Selfish plug- I just started and IG page featuring this car and my life shenanigans:

Car_Pe_DM


Please follow, I will follow back!
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      09-06-2017, 04:56 PM   #2
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Looks beautiful! How much does one of these ceramic coating jobs run? A range is fine, you do not need to tell us exactly what you paid if you feel uncomfortable doing so.
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      09-06-2017, 05:09 PM   #3
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Good Read! I'm dropping my car off to be coated with GTechniq on Tuesday of next week. The place I'm taking it to recommended GTechniq over Ceramic Pro despite GTechnic coming in slightly cheaper.
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      09-06-2017, 10:23 PM   #4
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Very good looking M3
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      09-09-2017, 05:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thescout13 View Post
Looks beautiful! How much does one of these ceramic coating jobs run? A range is fine, you do not need to tell us exactly what you paid if you feel uncomfortable doing so.
Thank you!

The price depends on a few factors. The biggest being the amount of paint correction a vehicle made need. If your paint is in good condition, obviously the price will be lower.

The other factors are what product you choose and if you decide to get the wheels treated.

Expect to spend around $1,000+ for a coating installed by a professional.
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      09-09-2017, 08:08 AM   #6
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Wow, great write up and beautiful car!!
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      09-09-2017, 08:20 AM   #7
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Sounds like you had a great Detailer complete the work for you. Kudo's on getting your wheels and calipers done too - I find that coating helps the wheels and calipers to "pop". Also, cleaning your wheels from here on out will be easier to do. The 666 wheel is a PITA to clean, just be sure to use a gentle wheel cleaner post coating. Great looking car BTW!
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      09-09-2017, 08:59 AM   #8
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Great write up and great looking car! Thanks for sharing.
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      09-09-2017, 11:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrtyJrze View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thescout13 View Post
Looks beautiful! How much does one of these ceramic coating jobs run? A range is fine, you do not need to tell us exactly what you paid if you feel uncomfortable doing so.
Thank you!

The price depends on a few factors. The biggest being the amount of paint correction a vehicle made need. If your paint is in good condition, obviously the price will be lower.

The other factors are what product you choose and if you decide to get the wheels treated.

Expect to spend around $1,000+ for a coating installed by a professional.
That is not bad. What were your top three reasons for getting it coated? This seems like a great option, especially for such a cool color.
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      09-09-2017, 03:17 PM   #10
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Pretty funny I just saw this on your detailer's IG.

San Marino is gorgeous.
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      09-09-2017, 06:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thescout13 View Post
That is not bad. What were your top three reasons for getting it coated? This seems like a great option, especially for such a cool color.
1) Easier Maintenance- I HATE cleaning cars. If this will make my life easier it's already 100% worth it. That doesn't mean I don't do it, but I derive zero pleasure from it. Washing is definitely a chore and not a bonding experience for me, lol.

2) My Kids (and careless adults)- My car is a DD. I pick up/drop off the kids, go to the store/gym, etc. I've lost count of the number of times I've seen them scrape and rub up against the doors with their buttons, zippers, book bags, etc. At the end of the day it's a car, and I'm not gonna yell at my kids over something that in the grand scheme of life is trivial.

Adults are just as bad. If you haven't learned yet, the "M" stands for Magnet that draws people (and their objects) to your car. Again, not gonna kick an old lady down the mall escalator because her bedazzled purse touched my trunk. The coating adds a little piece of mind.

3) Makes the paint "Pop"- The coating makes the paint look glossy, almost wet, especially in sunlight. I went for my weekend run at the park today and every time I passed it I was amazed at the look. IMO, it takes the paint to the next level.
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      09-09-2017, 06:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwhands View Post
Pretty funny I just saw this on your detailer's IG.

San Marino is gorgeous.
Thank you. Yea, he had a couple more pics I didn't see. I might ask him to send them to me to post.

There was a carmine red M3 dropped off the day after mine. I know he took a couple of pics of them together, but I don't think the carmine was coated yet.
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      09-12-2017, 06:11 PM   #13
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You can do the CSL and EXO V3 yourself for about $150. I've done my last 3 cars myself and the coating was still shedding water and dirt after 3 years on the car. This stuff is extremely easy to use with great results.

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      09-12-2017, 07:24 PM   #14
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Yes, you absolutely can do it yourself for much cheaper.

Personally I had no desire to learn how to prep and paint correct. Not to mention I didn't have any of the tools or materials to do so. For me the time saved was more valuable than the money spent. I wasn't willing to invest hundreds of dollars and at a minimum a full day to learn something I MIGHT only do every couple of years.

But for those that are into detailing and car maintenance there are plenty of YouTube vids out there of DIY clear coating.
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      09-25-2017, 09:40 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrtyJrze View Post
Yes, you absolutely can do it yourself for much cheaper.

Personally I had no desire to learn how to prep and paint correct. Not to mention I didn't have any of the tools or materials to do so. For me the time saved was more valuable than the money spent. I wasn't willing to invest hundreds of dollars and at a minimum a full day to learn something I MIGHT only do every couple of years.

But for those that are into detailing and car maintenance there are plenty of YouTube vids out there of DIY clear coating.
Very well said!

We hear it all the time..."just do it yourself". Unless you have all the tools, knowledge, experience to do something, it will not come out as good as someone who does it day in and day out.

For instance, I want to get some videos produced of the daily activities in the shop. Sure, I have a camera and can take video, but I have ZERO film experience to get the good shots, or do the editing, or know how to process the footage and come up with a direction for the film to go. I'd rather focus on what I am good at and let someone else do the filming. There are many parts to building a car, the body guys do the body, the mechanics work on the motor. Sure, the mechanic can hold a spray gun and get paint on the body, but it wont be as good as a body guy and vice versa.
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