Volvo V90 | Fallout Removal + Ceramic Coating

Volvo V90 | Fallout Removal + Ceramic Coating
Jul
06
2021

This 'nearly new car' came to us to have Fireball Dok Do 7 year ceramic coating, because new car protection is the best kind of protection, it's best to put a ceramic coating on it while the car is still pristine.

The customer was concerned that the car was covered in tree sap, but we assured them that it would be easy to get off, and it usually is. We have to strip off all the wax before applying a ceramic coating anyway, so we will use a strong detergent which makes short work of tree sap.

Unfortunately, in this case, the tree sap had etched its way into the upper surfaces of the paintwork. This isn't unheard of, but it is unusual to say the least. This probably has more to do with the car than what fell on it, new cars tend to have softer paintwork which cures and hardens over time, making it more resilient. So with soft paintwork, throw in some acid rain, ammonia from decaying organic matter, and you can get what you see here, which is a speckled finish... or as James calls it, "spottage". 

We tested our 4-stage polishing system and this made a huge improvement, but showed us we should probably do a 6-stage machine polish, starting with coarser compounds and pads.

A lot of the companies that apply ceramic coatings target high-end supercars and/or cater to the enthusiast market, they make a very big deal out of how much polishing they do and how close to perfection they get. But not everyone has a Ferrari, McLaren and very deep pockets. Sometimes, perfection can be the enemy of the good, especially when it comes to price. We could have wet-sanded the entire car and spent several days polishing it to near perfection, but time is money. It's seldom said in our industry, but 'good enough' is good enough for most people.

Once we had machine polished the car six times, there was a massive improvement, but several panels weren't good enough. So the next step we could take was a technique called wet-sanding. In this case, we were dry sanding. Sometimes it's called block sanding, but because the damage was on a very curved area, we couldn't use a sanding block either. A tiny layer of the clear-coat is sanded off and then re-polished. This did the trick.

By this stage, the car was 95%, which we feel gives the customer value for money. Although further work will get you closer to perfection, there are diminishing returns for the money spent. Unless you are a car enthusiast and perfectionist, practically nobody will ever notice a few blemishes unless they are in blatantly obvious places.

With the paintwork polished, we applied the coats of Fireball Dok Do, a 7-year ceramic coating. We also used a leather nano-coating to protect the leather upholstery. This does give a degree of protection, helps prevent it drying out, and stops solvent-transfer. The dye from your clothes can transfer to the leather, which is less of an obvious problem on dark interiors, but you will often see cream leather picks up a blue hue when people wear jeans. A coating helps keep the leather seats looking fresh.

The ceramic coating will help protect the car in the future from tree sap, metal fallout and paint, making it easier to get off the car.

How do I know if my car has a ceramic coating?

If you have a ceramic or graphene coating on your car, it will repel water. Of course, lots of coatings or even a fresh coat of wax will also do that. But what you will find with a ceramic coating is that when the water beads up, it will look very uniform. You may even find that the droplets form hexagonal patterns on flat surfaces.
Most importantly, it should do this for years. We have had people bring their cars to us who were sold a ceramic coating months before at a dealership, and they don't have confidence they got what they paid for because the car isn't staying clean and water isn't rolling off. 
You really shouldn't have any doubt that your car has a ceramic coating if you buy from a reputable application centre, this is far safer than buying a bottle of 'something' from AliExpress.

This video has been tagged in

#CeramicCoatings #CarPolishing

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