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The Case Against Sealants: Part 3 of 4

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This is the third part of a four part article series by Marc Harris and Jacob Bunyan of Auto Lavish. In this series they will make a case against coatings, sealants, and waxes, to help you find out what form of protection is best for your needs! To view all of the articles in this series click here.

If you use a sealant for durability, people with Opti-Coat will laugh at you. If you use a sealant for the look or the pleasure of using it, the people with good carnauba waxes will laugh at you. If you use a sealant for protection, I hope you never find a bird-bomb on your finish, as bird excrement that has sat for any amount of time (despite your sealant) will etch in your finish. This is the jack of all trades / master of none. Sealants are a cop-out.

Many car care enthusiast will like the prospect of applying sealants with a machine. This application method will allow you to put down a more even layer of sealant in a shorter amount of time. The downside of applying with a machine? Static electricity generated. Nothing says “freshly detailed” like “already covered in dust” right black car owners?

You’ll find that people who use sealant like their cars, but don’t love their cars. As proof consider yourself in the following scenario:

Let’s say you have two vehicles in your garage that need a fresh layer of protection; a high miles per gallon yet reliable vehicle and a classic sports car. You have to choose one car to wax and one car to apply sealant to. Which car gets what? Exactly my point.

If sealants were tires, they’d be performance all-seasons. They’re not bad; it’s just that there are better alternatives for those willing to be more selective. It’s the product no one dreams about one day buying or getting to use. In many ways, it’s like the reliable daily driver car you appreciate having, but would never put a poster of it on your wall of. It’s the ultimate compromise. It’s a two and a half car garage rather than a three car garage. Sealants give you the same feeling you get when you buy a pack of 8 hot dogs but the buns come in a pack of 10.  Far from now, when you’re reflecting on your time here on earth and getting ready to journey to the next life, you’re going to ask yourself why you wasted so much time with such a boring and unexciting product on your favorite automobile.

It’d be one thing if sealants weren’t as attractive to use but were super functional. However, if you’re looking for that, you obviously choose a coating like Optimum’s Opti-Coat. At least a coating will give you a truly permanent solution that will better stand up to anything you throw at it. Unlike sealants, Opti-Coat isn’t going to wash away if you accidentally use the wrong soap. Let’s not forget that a coating is something you can actually be proud to have on your baby as well. As a bonus, other parts of your car see a real benefit from the coating, as Chad of Rasky’s Auto Detailing from Minnesota shows below.

Opti-Coat applied to wheel by Rasky

Marc Harris and Jacob Bunyan
Auto Lavish
Rochester, MI
http://www.autolavish.com

10 comments on The Case Against Sealants: Part 3 of 4

  1. Bob B says:

    Interesting, in your web site you offer Light Exterior Polishing which include Polish and Sealant.

  2. Griffith Hawk says:

    I’m really loving these articles. It’s nice to see someone play devil’s advocate, and do what most detailers won’t: Admit that there is never a perfect and easy solution to every vehicle.

    Once again great article!

    Griffith

    • Thank you Griffith and I’m glad you fully understand our intention here. In a world in which everyone is trying to sell you something or has financial interest in what you use, it’s important to remember the pros and cons of each decision and figure what works best for you.

  3. Brian Guy says:

    At the end of the day it will always be on “the consumers budget.” The cost of one product to the next and the significant differences of application and work time is adjusted to fit the detail center’s services.

    Just like not all vehicles are the same… Not all consumers are the same. (as said about the 2 cars in the garage)

    Each product mentioned in this 4 part article certainly has it’s place. Does the customer understand what is being applied? and Mostly, were they pleased with the work done?

    I look forward to hearing the final part to this segment.

  4. Mike C. says:

    Question – Can you apply a wax (or even a sealant) over a coating like OptiCoat or 22PLE? May be a silly question, but will I get enhanced gloss and maybe some added protection? I love detailing my car and I can’t imagine not sealing or waxing for a year or two. I have a 2014 BMW 328i, Black Sapphire Metallic, and I really want people to be afraid to touch it because it looks like glass.

  5. Andy says:

    I wouldn’t use OptiCoat for a coating as it’s not scratch resistant, at least not on the cars I have coated with it. Maybe the author of this post is using a low quality sealant. I have found wax to last a maximum of 3 months, and had sealants last a year or more.

  6. Ken Wilson says:

    Great series of articles guys. It’s nice to see someone offer up the pros and cons of each without the arrogance usually associated with said opinions.

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