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Thread: Help looking for info on coating toppers, very confused

  1. #1
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    Help looking for info on coating toppers, very confused

    I'm looking into finally getting a coating since I'm starting to change my products to the CarPro line fully, Cquartz UK 3.0 to be specific, but I am completely lost and confused about what products to use afterwards for like maintenance/topper.
    There is:
    Gliss
    Reload
    Elixir
    Hydro2/Hydro2 lite

    While I understand they all do something a bit different, can someone confirm if just using Elixir is good enough because of how often I would use it? In the summer spring and fall seasons, I usually weekly/biweekly wash my car and would use Elixir as a drying aid (currently use beadmaker to top my jescar powerlock). Since I do it often, is that enough paired with Cquartz? In the winter, if some days hit above freezing I could do a waterless wash (currently use ONR but I read that "clogs" the coating) and then dry again with Elixir.

    Also I'm not 100% sure the difference between Elixir and Hydro2, or any of these for a matter of fact. Is the product to use here depending on how you plan to maintain your car? For example, someone who would wash once a month would use Reload only while someone who washes every 4-5 months Gliss?

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    I can understand your confusion on toppers. CarPro don't give a lot of guidance, and toppers are really misunderstood things. Firstly Cquartz UK 3.0 does not need a topper at all. Once it is cured it is more hydrophobic than almost anything you put over top of it, beads beautifully and will easily last 18-24 months in maintained properly with a PH neutral soap (Reset) and have the occasional decontamination with an iron fallout remover (IronX) and Tar and Glue remover (TarX). Do this, and you really don't have to put anything over the coating.

    There's a few reasons people use toppers:

    Shine: A topper can add extra depth and gloss

    To protect the coating: If you are using alkaline soaps, they will degrade coatings and toppers over time. Better to degrade the topper than the coating, but unnecessary if you use PH neutral soap

    To improve hydrophobics: When a ceramic stops beading well many people start applying toppers to bring back the performance. The reality is the coating is as likely to be clogged as it is to be worn out and a proper decontamination often brings back the performance, where a topper just masks it

    For fun: Some just like to spray and wipe something every few washes for fun. Reality is the less you touch your paint the better off it will be. Contact is what causes markings scratches and hazing.

    Now on to CarPros products you asked about:

    Gliss: This is a fluorine based coating that can last 6-12 months. What this does is add another layover the base ceramic that adds slickness which ceramics do not generally have, and more gloss, and slightly faster water shedding. You apply this one like a coating. There is NO reason at all to put a topper over gliss as it will just mask this products own features. When it wears off you still have the base ceramic you can then re-apply gloss, or leave it alone, or go to a spray if you desire.

    Reload: This was CarPro's original topper. It was designed to help prevent water spots during the curing process of the 1st few days after application, and to apply every few months as a topper if you wish. It does add a little gloss, but its not very nice to work with, can streak quite badly if not applied carefully, does not perform as well as the base coating, and does not last very long. It can also sheet water when it is nearly worn off, and give the impression the base coating has failed. I feel this product should be retired, it is unimpressive and unnecessary (in my opinion).

    Elixir: This is a spray detailer and quite a nice product to work with (IMO). It certainly adds gloss, works brilliantly as a drying aid if you feel you need one and doesn't seem to mask the performance of the base ceramic like reload does. It's designed to use every few washes, but it does actually last many weeks. It's not a spray sealier like reload, or a long life topper. It's something you can use as frequently as you desire to add some gloss, easy drying and just add a bit of pop to the final stage of the wash. Not a necessary product, but one you can use for fun if you wish.

    Hydro2/lite: AMAZING product. Add this to any car, rinse well, and stand back and look at the beading and gloss. Lasts months, and nothing is easier to apply. I'm astounded by this product and it is so fun to use. Only caveat is don't let it dry on the car! Spray and rinse with a good blast form a pressure washer. Hose pipes are not enough. I use this to maintain my non-ceramic coated cars and truly they beed as well as my coated ones. There are times when I wonder why I bothered with ceramic coat given the performance of this stuff, but I keep telling myself cermaic gives some scratch protection and adds a hard layer... but for visual performance, hydro2 is downright impressive. In my opinion there is no reason to add this to a coated car (unless the coating no longer performs after a decontamination. It is a stand alone product, and a damn good one.

    If you insist on a topper for your coating and since you wondered how long they would need to be reapplied:

    Gliss: Around 4-6 months
    Reload: Around 1-2 months
    Elixir: As often as you want but lasts a month or more
    Hydro2: Not really needed over a ceramic coating, but will last stand alone for 3 or more months

    Hope that helps

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  4. #3
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    This describes Gliss in detail




    If it were me, I would use Elixir as often as you like as a drying aid or on dry paint whether you have just CQUK 3.0 or if you top it with Gliss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyRS3 View Post
    I can understand your confusion on toppers. CarPro don't give a lot of guidance, and toppers are really misunderstood things. Firstly Cquartz UK 3.0 does not need a topper at all. Once it is cured it is more hydrophobic than almost anything you put over top of it, beads beautifully and will easily last 18-24 months in maintained properly with a PH neutral soap (Reset) and have the occasional decontamination with an iron fallout remover (IronX) and Tar and Glue remover (TarX). Do this, and you really don't have to put anything over the coating.

    There's a few reasons people use toppers:

    Shine: A topper can add extra depth and gloss

    To protect the coating: If you are using alkaline soaps, they will degrade coatings and toppers over time. Better to degrade the topper than the coating, but unnecessary if you use PH neutral soap

    To improve hydrophobics: When a ceramic stops beading well many people start applying toppers to bring back the performance. The reality is the coating is as likely to be clogged as it is to be worn out and a proper decontamination often brings back the performance, where a topper just masks it

    For fun: Some just like to spray and wipe something every few washes for fun. Reality is the less you touch your paint the better off it will be. Contact is what causes markings scratches and hazing.

    Now on to CarPros products you asked about:

    Gliss: This is a fluorine based coating that can last 6-12 months. What this does is add another layover the base ceramic that adds slickness which ceramics do not generally have, and more gloss, and slightly faster water shedding. You apply this one like a coating. There is NO reason at all to put a topper over gliss as it will just mask this products own features. When it wears off you still have the base ceramic you can then re-apply gloss, or leave it alone, or go to a spray if you desire.

    Reload: This was CarPro's original topper. It was designed to help prevent water spots during the curing process of the 1st few days after application, and to apply every few months as a topper if you wish. It does add a little gloss, but its not very nice to work with, can streak quite badly if not applied carefully, does not perform as well as the base coating, and does not last very long. It can also sheet water when it is nearly worn off, and give the impression the base coating has failed. I feel this product should be retired, it is unimpressive and unnecessary (in my opinion).

    Elixir: This is a spray detailer and quite a nice product to work with (IMO). It certainly adds gloss, works brilliantly as a drying aid if you feel you need one and doesn't seem to mask the performance of the base ceramic like reload does. It's designed to use every few washes, but it does actually last many weeks. It's not a spray sealier like reload, or a long life topper. It's something you can use as frequently as you desire to add some gloss, easy drying and just add a bit of pop to the final stage of the wash. Not a necessary product, but one you can use for fun if you wish.

    Hydro2/lite: AMAZING product. Add this to any car, rinse well, and stand back and look at the beading and gloss. Lasts months, and nothing is easier to apply. I'm astounded by this product and it is so fun to use. Only caveat is don't let it dry on the car! Spray and rinse with a good blast form a pressure washer. Hose pipes are not enough. I use this to maintain my non-ceramic coated cars and truly they beed as well as my coated ones. There are times when I wonder why I bothered with ceramic coat given the performance of this stuff, but I keep telling myself cermaic gives some scratch protection and adds a hard layer... but for visual performance, hydro2 is downright impressive. In my opinion there is no reason to add this to a coated car (unless the coating no longer performs after a decontamination. It is a stand alone product, and a damn good one.

    If you insist on a topper for your coating and since you wondered how long they would need to be reapplied:

    Gliss: Around 4-6 months
    Reload: Around 1-2 months
    Elixir: As often as you want but lasts a month or more
    Hydro2: Not really needed over a ceramic coating, but will last stand alone for 3 or more months

    Hope that helps
    Wow I couldn't have asked for better post this is perfect! Thank you so much.

    Considering I wash my car a lot (which will be with Reset), I'd say my goal for a "topper" could be something bring more gloss if possible, like the most I can. From your reply I assume Elixir should do the job well but it seems also Hydro2 lite which I didn't expect. It's application is definitely also really interesting. Is Hydro2Lite more glossy than Elixir?

    Elixir would be the same way I use my beadmaker so my flow is like the same. But just spraying and rinsing is also interesting for a lot of added protection I guess.

    Anyways this certainly helps my shopping list and now I know what to look for. Thanks

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMidnightNarwhal View Post
    Wow I couldn't have asked for better post this is perfect! Thank you so much.

    Considering I wash my car a lot (which will be with Reset), I'd say my goal for a "topper" could be something bring more gloss if possible, like the most I can. From your reply I assume Elixir should do the job well but it seems also Hydro2 lite which I didn't expect. It's application is definitely also really interesting. Is Hydro2Lite more glossy than Elixir?

    Elixir would be the same way I use my beadmaker so my flow is like the same. But just spraying and rinsing is also interesting for a lot of added protection I guess.

    Anyways this certainly helps my shopping list and now I know what to look for. Thanks
    Elixir is the one you want. Hydro2 I really think would be more worthwhile on an uncoated car.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyRS3 View Post
    Elixir is the one you want. Hydro2 I really think would be more worthwhile on an uncoated car.
    Alright sounds good I'll start shopping. I assume you can you use Elixir on a car with nothing and still get a good gloss and very short term protection (like a week or 2?).

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