Re: Ceramic Coating
I opted to go the DIY route. I chose the CarPro Cquartz UK 3.0 kit available through Amazon for $64. I did not do all the paint correction this service typically comes with from a professional installer. I simply did a clay bar cleaning, regular hand wash and then applied the ceramic coating.
Application from the kit was quite difficult, had to apply with a special suede applicator and then allow the product to "flash" and then buff off. I had a hard time judging flash by the color (the ceramic would turn a rainbow haze) and opted to go by time alone. Product advised between 1 and 5 minutes flash time, I typically waiting 2 minutes between application and buffing off. I also followed the recommended procedure to only do a 3' x 3' area at a time and change applicators often (every 1 to 2 panels). I have enough ceramic product left to do a 2nd application but had to re-order the special suede applicators as the original kit did not supply enough for 2 applications.
So far, 1 month post-application, the coating is holding up well. Water beads up well in the weather, and I have actually had water beads remain on the car overnight in the garage. Still deal with road grime and have washed the car twice with no ill-effects on the coating or the job its doing. So for $64 and a couple hours of my time, I'm pretty happy with the results thus far.