Machine polish, Ceramic Coating & Detailing

Mik B

Registered User
Hi!

My 3-year old black S1 has some tiny spots on the bonnet and a local bodywork guy has said that a machine polish could improve the overall appearance. He also mentioned a ceramic coating for protection and detailing to bring it back to its best. Has anyone had these things done? I am looking to keep my car as tidy as possible but don’t want to splash the cash if I don’t have to!


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Phazer

Registered User
I ceramic coated my TTS - best thing I ever did. Will be doing the S1 when I get chance. Both cars were delivered without the dealers doing anything, even had yellow writing still on the windscreen etc etc to make sure there were no marks added.

It's really really worth ceramic coating BUT only if you're willing and able to commit to a decent wash routine - 2 bucket wash, decent drying towel and do what you can to minimise swirls - no car wash places, no dealer washes etc.

It does help with swirls and light marks but it's not magic and if you do mar the coating it'll still look terrible.
 

Mik B

Registered User
Hi Phazer,

Thanks for the advice - I know what you mean about swirls. I’ll 100% be hand washing and have been recommended to use a wax that dries clear - Meguiar’s is good apparently? Will get some quotes for the ceramic coating. How long does it last?


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Phazer

Registered User
Hi Phazer,

Thanks for the advice - I know what you mean about swirls. I’ll 100% be hand washing and have been recommended to use a wax that dries clear - Meguiar’s is good apparently? Will get some quotes for the ceramic coating. How long does it last?


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No worries. You shouldn't use anything on top of a ceramic coating - there are shampoos and quick detailers that do work with it. Anything like a wax will cause it to stop repelling water/dirt.

Longevity depends on the product but some are a year, most around 2 years if you maintain properly. There are some certified products that last 3 -7 years but you're required to visit the detailer each year for a "service" which I imagine is like a top up.

You do need to ensure the paint is a good as can be before application otherwise you're just sealing marks in - a decent ceramic will need a full machine polish to remove. It's not cheap to have someone do it for you though, be prepared for quotes around £700 from someone competent.

I did mine myself but I have all the gear to prep the paint. I sold the TTS after 18 months and it looked as good when it went as the day I applied the ceramic which was a few days after delivery from Audi.

If you want more info check out the detailing section here and then check out Detailing World.
 

JFH

Registered User
Hi!

My 3-year old black S1 has some tiny spots on the bonnet and a local bodywork guy has said that a machine polish could improve the overall appearance. He also mentioned a ceramic coating for protection and detailing to bring it back to its best. Has anyone had these things done? I am looking to keep my car as tidy as possible but don’t want to splash the cash if I don’t have to!


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One of the first things I did when I bought my S1 was spending a good 3 days in the garage machine polishing and then ceramic coating the car. In terms of how easy to wash the car, it is so worth it. People claim ceramic coatings are some unscratchable coating that is indestructible and will last x amount of years. They will only last if you keep a good wash schedule every week/every other week. Ceramic coatings get water spots really easy, so do be aware of that. But, they are so much easier to clean and dry so that almost defeats that downside, as long as you are meticulous. I used Gtechniq CSL and then two coats of EXO V4 along with wheel coatings and trim coatings by them too, with a glass coating by CarPro (don't use Gtehcniq G1, you will get wiper judder). I would highly recommend their coatings and ceramic coatings in general, especially on a black car
 

ecsk

Registered User
I went for other route - clear wrap. 2 reasons: - it last longer than ceramic coating, it's self repaired. Especially dark colour car, I'm sick and tire of keeping it swirl mark free. One downside of clear wrap is that it attract dust easily, however when I wash and dry it I don't need to worry about using what kind of clothes, even my wife kitchen rough towel won't hurt :)
 
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JFH

Registered User
I went for other route - clear wrap. 2 reasons: - it last longer than ceramic coating, it's self repaired. Especially dark colour car, I'm sick and tire of keeping it swirl mark free. One downside of clear wrap is that it attract dust easily, however when I wash and dry it I don't need to worry about using what kind of clothes, even my wife kitchen rough towel won't hurt :)
If I could, I would've gone down that route, but it costs so much!
 
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