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Maintain Your Coated Car Like a Pro!


Nano Paint Coatings have revolutionized the way we protect and maintain our vehicles. There are MANY options out there in terms of what brand/system is best for you and your vehicle. The best way to find the one that fits you is to do your research, although they do all seem to offer similar performance each has their own unique twist. Some of my client’s favorite are Gtechniq and CQuartz.

Now, your car has been coated because you followed my step by step process here. What is next? How do I maintain the coating I spent hours and hours, hundreds or even thousands of dollars to have installed on my vehicle? What if I mess it up?

The most common question I receive from my clients and DIYer’s alike is how to maintain their coated cars. Surprisingly there isn’t a ton of straight forward information on the best way to do this. The point of this post is to go over the recommend ways to best maintain a coated vehicle’s finish.

Wash, maintain, rejuvenate. Coating maintenance can be broken down into these three simple categories. Although coatings do offer tremendous performance, they aren’t bulletproof or a “set it and forget it” solution. They require maintenance and DO NOT reward neglect.

Routine washing is recommended every week if possible. Since once a coating is applied, it is not recommended to polish or refinish the surface, it is imperative to keep the coated surface as contaminate and defect free as possible. This means not allowing the car to sit dirty for extended periods of time, and to clean or remove any potentially damaging substances like bird droppings or water spots.

Don’t wait until your car looks like the photo below to maintain your coated vehicle.


Washing: Whether using a standard two bucket method, or waterless wash system, the objective is simple. Remove debris as safely and efficiently as possible without instilling damage or adding any polymers or fillers that could affect performance of the coating.

I recommend sticking with the line of maintenance products that the brand of coating recommends. Coating manufacturers do tend to formulate their maintenance line to work synergistically with their coating.

Maintenance: This is the every couple washes process where the goal is to get the vehicle clean and apply a slight bit of spray on protection. Once again I do recommend sticking with the coating manufacturers line but a couple of my favorites are (Gtechniq C2 V3 or CarPro Reload). These detail sprays have special polymers and protectants in them that will increase the protection to the coating itself. Using this after a wash process every 2-3 months is a great way to ensure you see the optimal performance out of your coating of choice!

Rejuvenation: I recommend this type of service every 4-6 months. As with any surface overtime debris and fallout can adhere itself, on a coating this may result in decreased hydrophobic properties or slight roughness to the touch. The goal with this service is to remove any fallout or contaminants and “rejuvenate” the coating surface. After this is done adding protection in the form of a detail spray designed to work with a coating will provide you with a “like new” coating surface.


Because using a clay bar or polishing your coating can damage the coating itself, the best way to go about this is using a chemical fallout remover. I like using Sonax Fallout Remover to gently exfoliate the vehicles surface.

If you have any questions on how to maintain your coated vehicle, please leave them below!

Tim Coats
Tim Coats
Adonis Detail
Southern California

13 comments on Maintain Your Coated Car Like a Pro!

  1. Brandon Hephner says:

    Know of a good pre-wash solution to spray on the dirty lower panels of a coated car to break down the dirt so it can be removed before washing? Not snow foam, more like Citrus Power(auto finesse) but available in the US?

  2. Artie says:

    It seems to me that paint coatings are nothing more than an attempt by the manufacturers of these coatings to get consumers away from more traditional forms of paint protection like sealants and waxes when the benefits of these coatings over a paint sealant are marginal at best. They are promoted by car dealers and detail shops as some magic coating that will make your car impervious to the elements,scratch and swirl resistant and decrease the amount of effort it takes to keeping your paint looking like new. None of it is true. They sell you a two stage polish and some magic beans.

    • Mark Wetty says:

      The nature of the coating is maximum protection, i have been using a few different brands for two years and have found the cars to stay cleaner and clean up easier. If you are not doing regular maintenance on the finish , i do not recommend a coating. If you have a true interest in the car, it helps.

    • KF says:

      IMHO, the best part of a coating is the self-cleaning abilities. If you can point me to a sealant or a wax that will last as long as a coating, shed water like a coating and stay as clean as a coated car does, I’m all in.

      I’ve got 3 coated cars, 2 of them black and a rain storm in the summer is as good (appearance wise) as a car wash. Add in coated wheels & tires (i.e. Gyeon Rim & Tuf Shine Tire Clearcoat) and I have no need for tire dressings or wheel cleaners any longer; cleaning my wheels is a matter of hosing them off.

      Had some time this winter to compound/polish some of our work vans and used a somewhat traditional wax on 2 of them (Collinite 915) and coated the others with:

      Gtechniq Crystal Serum Light
      Gyeon Mohs
      Pearl Nano
      The Gloss Shop Ceramic Coating
      22ple HPC

      The vehicles are now out in the field, driven daily and generally treated like red-headed step children; the consistently better appearance of the coated vehicles vs. the ‘waxed’ vehicles pretty much assures me that coatings are far from ‘magic beans’. Less washing = less touching the paint = less chance for instilling swirls.

      Now no coating is really gonna prevent scratches and swirls but it will diminish the chance for light marring; my personal black vehicles, while maintained in a somewhat OCD-ish manner, have remained essentially in the same condition, defect-wise, as they were after polishing and coating…aside from general road usage instilled chips.

      Magic Beans? Respectfully not true in my experience…unless a coating is sold as a 5 year, no damage claim. Throw a rock at a car and no coating in existence is gonna protect it from damage.

    • PDQGP says:

      The main benefit to coatings isn’t just marginal. They do greatly reduce dust and pollen build up. As the owner of a Pure Black Car I see this first-hand after washing my car and running a set of errands locally. The dust build up is a fraction of what it is with a traditional sealant or wax. Coatings are also way more forgiving at causing micro-marring that is 100% noticeable on pure black. Zero issues with a coating whereas most sealants won’t help at all. No, they aren’t swirl resistant but they do help greatly reduce the tendency for micro-marring.

    • Frank Basso says:

      Artie you are 100% correct. There isn’t a product out there that can magically penetrate the clear coat or the paint. Sealants are as good as any of this nano hype….as the Junkman would say don’t believe the hype. It’s just good marketing and nothing else…..no better than the traditional.

  3. PDQGP says:

    Nice write-up by the way! I use McKee’s 37 Coating and mix up what I call “blue juice” as a detail spray, CarPro’s ECH20 at 1:20 ratio with distilled water and then add 2-3oz of CarPro Reload. I provide a 12oz bottle of this to all my customers as with regular care and use of this the vehicle will maintain it’s hydrophobic properties, dust resistance and awesome shine.

  4. Richard Manrique says:

    Dear Tim – I have a jet black Nissan Murano and considering either Gloss-Coat, or 22ple VM3 for coating. I would like to use some of my current products…would Sonax Brilliant Shine work as a detailer (love the shine and hydrophobic properties), Opti-Clean or Wolfgang Uber as rinseless washes? I understand that any of my current waxes should not be used over a coating (Sonax Liquid Wax, ChemGuys 50/50, Dodo Juice Blue Velvet, Collinite 915). I live in a high contaminate rural area (work at sawmill, and live in the middle of grass seed fields) so I rinseless wash every other day, and use Poorboy’s Bug Spray daily during spring. Thanks for any guidance.

  5. Alex says:

    Silly question, once a coat is applied, can glazes, sealants and waxes be applied to enhance the coat?

  6. Lee Squires says:

    Hi. My girlfriend has a Gtechniq ceramic on her black suv and just recently noticed most of the car has a paint overspray on it. Can a smooth clay bar be used on it or should maybe an iron/fallout remover work? Any help would be appreciated.

    • Greg says:

      I would probably start with a fine grade clay bar and see if that works. If that is not enough you can progress up to a stronger clay bar (medium grade) or chemical cleaners like the CarPro TarX and Adhesive Remover.

  7. C says:

    Have my car coated with 22ple. Recently found some tar splatter on my side skirts. I was able to soften it up with a QD..but didn’t want to apply too much pressure to get it off. Will the sonax fall out spray listed above help? I also have traditional clay bar items but I was always told not to use it on ceramic coats. Any help in removing the tar without damaging the ceramic coating would be appreciated.

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