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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Every Gen 1 Volt owner knows that the "Kammback" design is a serious vacuum cleaner sucking every possible bit of dust and debris off the road and pasting it to the rear of the car. So far I've made due with regular rinsing, the occasional clay-bar (but you don't want to overdo that) and good wax but keeping the butt of a Volt looking good has still been a major challenge.

Fast forward to a conversation with a friend of mine who runs a "high end classic car" focused used car lot and his recent experiences with one of the cheap "ceramic" coatings. He says it saves him a TON of time keeping the cars looking good while they sit on the lot because for the most part a good water rinsing and a blow-down with a leaf blower and they are clean again.

Hrmmm... I wonder....

So I ordered one 30ml bottle of "Mr. Fix 9H" from Amazon and proceeded to do a very careful clean up, light buff, and polish of the section of the Volt rear end highlighted below (the tailgate section). I then applied the MF9H to that area following instructions found online (the included translated instructions are incomprehensible) and everything else was left untouched.



It's been just about 8 full days since I did this and so far the vehicle has been through a lot of heat/humidity, and one light rain while it was sitting still. The treated area is (at this time) considerably more hydrophobic with any accumulation of water at all just FALLING off the surface. It's kind of weird to watch in comparison to the bumper. Also all the usual dust/grass/crud is still sucked up and deposited on the treated area, but a light blowing with a leaf blower knocks about 90% of it right off compared to about 40% on the untreated areas and if you rinse the treated area with water pretty much everything just rolls right off the treated area.

So at this point I can venture a few early opinions.

Does this coating keep the Volt butt cleaner?
Maybe a little, but not much. What it does do is make cleanup SUPER-EASY, consisting of a quick rinse with water from a hose and done.

Will this protect my paint from scratches?
I have no idea. I would think that less mechanical cleaning (scrubbing) would contribute to extended paint life.

Was this product easy to use?
Yes... BUT
You MUST do a very careful job of cleaning your paint and detailing the surface. Anything you miss (water spots, swirls, bug guts) will get semi-permanently sealed in by the coating. PREP IS EVERYTHING and you've been fairly warned about it. Also, you must work in small sections (say 2ft by 2ft) because once the product starts to "flash over" you MUST wipe it down quickly or the results will be awful looking. This is a chemical process like working with epoxy, not just wiping on a wax and you have to treat it that way or you'll get terrible results that are damn near impossible to undo.

That sounds a little scary
Yup, you can definitely screw this up. If you don't feel confident, don't do it.
To tell the truth, I practiced on my new riding lawn mower first (which worked fantastically too).

How long will this coating last?
I have absolutely no idea at this time

Can I still wax my car?
Yes, you could, but that would kind of defeat the purpose and I really doubt wax would stick well to the coating. In other words don't bother.
 

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Dutch, please keep us informed on the longevity. I used a different (not terribly expensive, but way, way, way more expensive than that stuff at $1.87/ml) coating on two of my cars. One is 18 months in, the other 6 and it is still acting like I just put it on.

I'll echo that PREP IS EVERYTHING, PREP IS EVERYTHING, PREP IS EVERYTHING when doing this.

If you do want to wax on top of a coating, there are ceramic waxes that won't diminish the hydrophobic properties like a standard wax.
 

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This is off topic for the ceramic coating, but in terms of dirt accumulation, I have been wondering if adding vortex generators to the car (like at the top of the rear window) would improve that. I may give it a try, but it will be hard to do a useful comparison. Anybody ever tried that?
 

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This is off topic for the ceramic coating, but in terms of dirt accumulation, I have been wondering if adding vortex generators to the car (like at the top of the rear window) would improve that. I may give it a try, but it will be hard to do a useful comparison. Anybody ever tried that?
I have and the answer is no it doesn't help.
 

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But I bet they complement the Mad Max knife wheels for bad-assedness.
They looked like black bear claws from the back. I took them off last weekend. It didn't compliment the car and didn't produce any negligible AER improvement since it's hardly ever on the tollway.

They look better on my pickup - like running lights without the lamps.

On the upside, the Jetson's roof antenna is a vortex generator. It was more obvious when I put 3 more VGs on either side of it.

On-topic I've had pretty good results with polymer sealant when it comes to resisting dirt. The coating has to resist both water and dirt to work. Polymer sealant is super slippery once applied. Much more so than wax.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
UPDATE - So far so good.

We've had a lot of dry/dusty weather and then some rainstorms and the treated area on the back has been kind of amazing. I went ahead and also did the spoiler just to have another surface angle to test/compare.

I am leaning towards actually doing the entire car but the prep work that must be done BEFORE coating is super time consuming so I have a feeling this is going to be done very piecemeal because I don't have an enclosed garage to keep things clean while I do the next secton(s).
 

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Subbed, super interested in how this goes. My dirt road is killing me and my ELR.
 

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Sounds like work to me - I'm thinking that a dirt-colored paint job might be the best solution.

The Volt, and many similar efficient cars, depends on a properly-shaped dead zone of still air trailing behind to get low-drag. Hence, the increasing numbers of dirty butt autos on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Two week update

Quick update -

The Pros
  • Back end stays "somewhat" cleaner, and is definitely easier to clean (mostly just rinsing)
  • Bird poop also comes right off
  • Bugs are FAR easier to wash off the nose of the car as well


The Cons
  • The water beads on horizontal surfaces and doesn't always run off on it's own (read "the rear spoiler") and although rainwater isn't an issue, if you get water from a hose/sprinkler system (like happened at work) the water spotting you get is like nothing I've ever seen before. I had to take some white vinegar in a mister and go over it with a microfiber to literally dissolve the water spot minerals.
 

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Sounds like work to me - I'm thinking that a dirt-colored paint job might be the best solution.

The Volt, and many similar efficient cars, depends on a properly-shaped dead zone of still air trailing behind to get low-drag. Hence, the increasing numbers of dirty butt autos on the road.
It's not going to work.

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update: Just over a month

So to have a good comparison I also did the driver's side door shortly after I did the spoiler and I'm glad I did.

On the rest of the car I use meguiars ultimate liquid wax and I still highly recommend it, but over the years I've noticed a definite trend where I had to "re-wax" the sides from the mid point of the doors down to the rocker panels more often as the "scrubbing" action of the tires throwing dust, dirt, rain, et-al would kill the wax in those areas long before the hood, roof, spoiler, or any other part of the car needed waxing.

Initially the front (ceramic) and rear (Meguiars) treated doors behaved nearly identically with the front "dumping" water a little faster. A neat effect but not especially significant. Then, just like many parts of the country, we had a set of huge rainstorms soaking us for weeks. This meant I was driving through all sorts of rain and dirty water at all speeds. In between storms I'd rinse the car off to keep it from looking totally crappy but I just didn't bother actually hand washing as I knew more bad weather was headed our way. What I got was that the drivers door and the treated rear sections wouldn't rinse off clean, but they rinsed off -more- than the "just waxed" parts of the car.

Finally the weather has settled down and I actually got a chance to WASH the car tonight.

The passengers door (regular wax) is in great shape...above the midline. Below that the water sheets and sticks and it obviously wants another coat of wax. The ceramic treated drivers side door is pretty much behaving like I just freshly waxed it as are the treated sections of the rear of the car.

In summary, so far the ceramic coating seems to be more-or-less like a good coat of Meguiars, but the durability is WAY higher especially on the sides of the car where the wheels throw rain and grit.

Where this cheap ceramic still continues to shine is on my riding lawn mower, especially where I treated the mowing deck. Grass, dirt, and mud, just rinse off like nothing I've ever seen before!
 

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Just wondering if "Rain-X" might do the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
No it really wouldn't
 

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So to have a good comparison I also did the driver's side door shortly after I did the spoiler and I'm glad I did.

On the rest of the car I use meguiars ultimate liquid wax and I still highly recommend it, but over the years I've noticed a definite trend where I had to "re-wax" the sides from the mid point of the doors down to the rocker panels more often as the "scrubbing" action of the tires throwing dust, dirt, rain, et-al would kill the wax in those areas long before the hood, roof, spoiler, or any other part of the car needed waxing.

Initially the front (ceramic) and rear (Meguiars) treated doors behaved nearly identically with the front "dumping" water a little faster. A neat effect but not especially significant. Then, just like many parts of the country, we had a set of huge rainstorms soaking us for weeks. This meant I was driving through all sorts of rain and dirty water at all speeds. In between storms I'd rinse the car off to keep it from looking totally crappy but I just didn't bother actually hand washing as I knew more bad weather was headed our way. What I got was that the drivers door and the treated rear sections wouldn't rinse off clean, but they rinsed off -more- than the "just waxed" parts of the car.

Finally the weather has settled down and I actually got a chance to WASH the car tonight.

The passengers door (regular wax) is in great shape...above the midline. Below that the water sheets and sticks and it obviously wants another coat of wax. The ceramic treated drivers side door is pretty much behaving like I just freshly waxed it as are the treated sections of the rear of the car.

In summary, so far the ceramic coating seems to be more-or-less like a good coat of Meguiars, but the durability is WAY higher especially on the sides of the car where the wheels throw rain and grit.

Where this cheap ceramic still continues to shine is on my riding lawn mower, especially where I treated the mowing deck. Grass, dirt, and mud, just rinse off like nothing I've ever seen before!
Wow, even on your mower......want to come to my place and do mine?? :p
 
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