Opticoat 2.0 – To Coat or Not to Coat?


Opticoat 2.0 is rapidly becoming a staple in the boutique prosumer detailing market. Many prospective customers have reoccurring questions about the coating. Here are a few personal opinions and outlooks regarding the product.

Why should I Opticoat?

– Opticoat if you lack the time to maintain your vehicle frequently

– Opticoat if you want maximum protection over appearance

How much to Opticoat and what is included?

– Firstly, this is a huge grey area as every detailer prices their work differently. I will throw out a very general number, around $400. Most packages are for new cars, so Wash – Clay – Polish – Opticoat apply. If you need correction of the paint surface, that may add even more to the total. Some Detailers charge $150 simply just for the application of the coating, others can charge up to $400 alone!

– The most important thing is to ASK the Detailer/Installer what they will do and why. Secondly, ask them about coating warranty. OptiGuard installers have the ordeal of dealing with insurance/liability, which would increase the price. Opticoat 2.0 installers generally will throw the coating on and have their own method of customer guarantee.

– Remember you are paying for the preparation to get the best surface possible. That’s why many detailers love doing it for new cars, there are far fewer conditions and problems that can occur.

Difference between OptiGuard versus Opticoat 2.0?

I’ll allow Chris Thomas to expain this:

Opti-Coat Pro is a more concentrated professional version of Opti Coat 2.0. It takes more care to apply and cures faster. If applied correctly, it should provide a thicker coat.. but will vary with application methods and amount used. If the same installer used both in the same manner, Opti-Coat Pro would be thicker. Professionals will prefer OptiGuard because they can give the car back to the customer sooner without concerns about exposure to the elements and it will reach full hardness faster so its ready for real world exposure sooner.

Consumers will prefer Opti Coat 2.0 because it applies like Opti Seal which is very easy. You can easily cover an entire panel before it flashes, you have more time to spread it over the panel before you’d have a problem, and if you do have a high spot that dries you can fix it by hand with Optimum Finish instead of needing a machine and compound. Less experience an effort are needed.

As for the resin, the attributes and performance are the same with both: improved scratch, chemical, and environmental resistance/faster cleaning with less effort/dramatically less chance of etching from leaving contaminants on the surface. It may still stain, but won’t permeate like normal clear coat will even with waxes/sealants applied.

The main difference is cure time and thickness per application. Because you can layer both, there’s no reason for a consumer to favor one over the other, but professionals should use Opti-Coat Pro for the reasons mentioned above.

The big difference is pricing for a professional. Besides pricing, installers must go through a registration and liability process as well.

Can you Opticoat Paint Protection Film?

Yes.

You can OC for more protection underneath the PPF to inhibit UV damage. OC does work with vinyl and no bonding issues should occur. Self healing films and longterm observations are still up in the open for testing. I would recommend perfecting the paint first, installing the PPF, then Opticoating the vehicle for the best of both worlds. 

If I Opticoat will it protect against everything in the world?

No.

Opticoat is simply a coating. It repels dirt and contaminates overtime. It can greatly aid in washing and acid resistance. You get dirt, water, oxidation, rust and other resistance properties.

– Ultimately OC is a permanent as paint.

– You still have to decontaminate and refresh the coating with light waxes/sealants yearly.

– With enough physical force you can remove Opticoat, for example compounding, wetsanding, bashing against objects, etc.

– Please do not take beading and sheeting as the primary property of OC. OC protects and protects, it underwhelms for the initial 6 months.

What if Opticoat fails or underperforms?

Opticoating a vehicle isn’t cheap, so any good installer should back their work. However to do a check, examine the overall dirt retention & water reaction:

If water beads infrequently or there are pools of water on the paint after rain/rinsing:

1) Try using Optimum Car Wax, Quick Interior Detailer, or any Spray Sealant. All 3 of these have personally worked to revive a few vehicles after a snow/salt storm.

2) When was the last detailing procedure? If it has been 6+ months, chance are you need to thoroughly clean the coating with a good paint cleaner or sealant to revive OC.

3) Does the finish look especially horrible? Ultimately ASK your installer.

Do note, OC does not have the shedding properties or GTechniq EXO/22PLE/Cquartz.

Is Opticoat for a DIYer / Hobbyist / Personal Detailer?

Not really.

If you OC your vehicle you lose the ability to test polishes and waxes. It maybe great for vehicles that you do not want to maintain. However the “joy” of experimenting is greatly reduced. Waxes and sealants do not last as long. The finish doesn’t pop after sealing the finish.

What Liquid Finish Recommends & Believes:

– There is a 24 hour no touch period right at application. After 30 days full hardening and levelling of the coating occurs. While many will debate the initial cure time, waiting 24 hours has successfully helped me avoid installation issues.
– Maintenance is Level 1 renew package once a year, the coating does get contaminated. Wash frequently and revive with a QDer/Spray Wax.
– I recommend all prospective clients ask someone who has the coating as an example and to cross reference with their experience.
Wheels: I can only hit the wheel faces due to limited accessibility, for complete work please remove wheels
Jams: A waste of product, really depends on how hard you dirty the area. I prefer regular paint protection
Plastics/Trim: OC protects more than it restores, you’re better off with another trim specific product.
Window: I recommend Aquapel or Optimum’s New Glass system that will be coming out. OC isn’t designed for windows.

Personal Views

Of the many Opticoat installations performed, I love Opticoat. I believe for once it is one of the best wheel protectants on the market. Opticoat is perfect for vehicles you do not want to maintain since clean up is ridiculously easy.

My only issues so far have been salt chemicals reducing the water repellence on a few SUVs, however Optimum’s Quick Detailer has absolutely addressed that issue.

I’ve also noticed quite a few DIYer who believe OC is a complete fad and overrated since their experiences do not correlate to many high end professionals. My view:

1) most failed installations are due to inexperience and lack of complete understanding of the product

– proper installations should really adhere to the 24 hour cure phase and performing a proper wipedown

2) those that find it overpriced by installers believe all you need to do is buy the product and throw it on a vehicle

– you can absolutely buy the product, however the hours of prep work are what makes Opticoat perform correctly.

3) coatings are a simple way to increase revenue and will be outdated in good time since they underperform

– OC has been on the market for 8 years, initially 5 years ago every legitimate detailer believed it was a lame upsell. Today detailers love it for the simple fact that it “protects” against further damage after doing a full correction.

Conclusion

Optimum – made, packaged, and developed in Memphis, Tennessee.

Click for more of our Opticoat Installations

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