In November of 2019, I wrote a review of 22ple’s newest coating called Insanity (article here). Approximately 1-year later, our Acura MDX has been exposed to everything the Midwest can throw at it including rain, snow, salt, high heat, and oh so many bugs. The MDX currently has just under 160,000 miles on it which means we have accumulated just over 20,000 miles in the last year, far above the reported 13,500 average reported by the FHWA. All of this amounts to one thing – a great test vehicle.
In my initial review of 22ple Insanity, I discussed how easy the application process was for this coating. This was essential to me, and I believe most others who maintain their own vehicles would agree. In addition to the ease of application, I expect easier maintenance washing for quite a while. This is generally a result of the coating’s ability to easily release dirt and grime from the surface. Many coatings excel at this and once you’re used to having an easy to clean vehicle, there is no going back.
Myself and many others have discussed the recipe for success when it comes to getting the best performance out of your coating. Proper preparation and application are critical, of course, but many people overlook the maintenance. If you’re like me, it is downright impossible to live up to the maintenance practices outlined on various detailing groups or forums, so I just keep it simple. I attempt to wash my vehicle whenever I have the time. I aim for weekly washes, but that is not always possible. I try not to go more than a few weeks between washes, but let’s face it, sometimes life happens and time gets away from us and it might be a month or more between proper washes. It really depends, but hey, this is the life of many daily driven vehicles, mine included.
With my vehicle freshly coated, I was motivated to keep it looking pristine for as long as possible. I was doing great with my weekly wash routine. The vehicle still looked amazing, and as expected, the coatings were performing like new.
Then mother nature had other plans. This photo was taken at a gas station halfway through a trip to central Illinois.
When I returned home that evening, the few hundred-mile journey through snowy roads that were undoubtedly covered in salt and chemicals had turned my car an entirely different color. With freezing temperatures hanging around, there was no choice but to leave the car in this condition for a few days. If you live in an area that uses various preventative measures to attempt to keep the roads from freezing you can relate to the anxiety I had in leaving the salty buildup on the car for even a few minutes.
A combination of traditional washing, rinseless washing, and touchless washes have been used to keep the car clean over the past year. I spend a fair amount of time driving for work and keep a travel kit of detailing products and towels with me at all time. Whether I am washing my car at home or stopping off at a coin-op pressure wash station on the road, I always use a quick detail spray as a drying aid. Many of these products will have their own hydrophobic and protective properties, so you might feel like this nullifies my testing, but I’ve made some pretty cool observations. If you read my initial review of 22ple Insanity, you may recall that I only applied the coating to the right half of my car. I also opted to leave the exterior area above the windows bare (ie the a, b, c pillar areas and along the roof) as a sort of control area.
After 1 year, the water behavior on the coated areas is still outstanding. Since I have been using spray-on products that also claim be hydrophobic, I was hoping for a noticeable difference in performance between the coated areas and the uncoated control areas to determine that the quick detail spray was not drastically altering the performance of the coated areas and providing me with a false sense of durability. I have observed a clear distinguished line at the transition from uncoated paint to coated paint from the first wash until the present day. The water behavior is considerably better in the coated areas. Keep in mind, the lower portions of the vehicle are coated and only the upper area, that is not exposed to the same levels of dirt and grime through normal use, were uncoated. I would expect that if the spray-on products were providing any durable benefits, the uncoated areas and the coated areas would behave very similarly, but they do not. This indicates that the coated areas are still performing as I would have hoped with regard to water behavior.
22ple Insanity has put the past 12-months and 20,000 miles of use behind it with ease. I’ve enjoyed using all of the 22ple coatings as they have always proven to perform as expected while being some of the most user-friendly coatings on the market. I’ve recently purchased another vehicle, but the MDX remains in the family under my wife’s care… that means the next 12 months are going to be a lot tougher!