It is just coming up on 9 months since I applied Carpro Cquartz Lite to the paintwork of my TT. This has been a fantastic product and I can’t recommend it enough for people looking for an “entry” level ceramic coating for their car.
Given that this product was as beginner-friendly as ceramic can get, I knew that it wouldn’t be as durable as some of the longer-lasting coatings available, and I was ok with that. The claimed durability of this product is 6-12 months depending on how you look after your paintwork.
I have been treating the coating with the utmost care, with regular applications of Carpro Reload, and making sure I always wash my car with Carpro Reset. When driving in the rain it is absolutely apparent that the coating is still holding up quite well in terms of its protective ability, even 9 months into the application!
However, one thing I did notice was that the gloss levels of the paintwork were not as pronounced as when I first applied the coating and I guess this was to be expected after this length of time.
In Ireland, our winters are pretty rainy and miserable so this got me thinking about doing another application of Cquartz Lite to see me through the winter months and keep my car as protected as possible.
While researching online, I came across an alternative solution to just applying another fresh layer of ceramic coating. It turns out Carpro have a product specifically intended for refreshing and rejuvenating an existing coating, this is called Essence+. This got me very interested and decided I would give it a try.
Let’s take a look at what Essence Plus is all about and how I got on using it on the TT.
What is Carpro Essence Plus?
“CarPro Essence plus is a unique siO2 nano-coating, made from a distinct blend of ceramic coating repair agents, high gloss quartz resins, and hydrophobic nanoparticles, that will lay down protection on uncoated paint and work as a repair agent on already coated paint! This non-abrasive formula will repair fine swirls in a damaged ceramic coating while also increasing the hydrophobic properties and cleaning the surface underneath”
This is exactly what I was after for my car! Although my paintwork is still in pretty good condition there are some very fine marks which are noticeable under specific lighting conditions. They are almost invisible to the untrained eye and they don’t warrant another paint correction, so I was hoping that essence plus would help fill these out and bring back a mirror-like finish to the surface of the paint.
It is important to note that Essence+ is not abrasive and that any “correction” you see in the paintwork is due to a filling effect and not permanent removal of the defects.
Carpro has another product called Essence which does contain abrasives and when paired with a cutting pad, it can permanently remove defects, but will also remove any existing protection/coating you have on the car.
How to Use Carpro Essence Plus
When using Essence plus you have two options of application, either using a machine or by hand. In my case, I used a dual action polisher as I have one available to me and I felt that i would get a better result than if I had just applied by hand. The preparation needed before using this product is the same, so the below steps should work for both methods of application (except for the application itself)
What you will need for the application :
- A good quality shampoo – I recommend Carpro Reset for this specific application
- An Iron removal/decontamination product such as Iron X
- IPA or surface preparation product such as Gyeon Prep
- Dual Action Polisher with a soft finishing pad
- Microfiber Cloths/Towel
Step 1 – Prepping the Car Before Applying Essence Plus
Before applying Essence plus, there are a few steps you need to complete to get the most from your application.
The first thing you should do is carry out a decontamination wash of the vehicle to ensure the paintwork is primed. I suggest you use some quality PH neutral car shampoo ( that does not contain any sort of wax or gloss enhancing additives as they may interfere with the application)
Once the car is washed and rinsed thoroughly you should dry with a good quality microfiber towel.
After drying the vehicle you should wipe the car down using a product such as Gyeon Prep to ensure the surface is oil-free and ready for Essence Plus to be applied on top of it.
Once you have completed the above you are ready to move on to step 2, which is applying Essence Plus to the paint using a dual action polisher.
Here is a shot of the TT prepped and ready for the application, as you can see the paint still looks in fairly good condition but I do feel it was missing that extra “pop” from the paintwork which it had after the initial ceramic coating layer 9 months ago.
Step 2 – Applying Essence Plus
The first items you will need to grab are your soft finishing pad and the bottle of Essence Plus.
You should apply 4 pea-size drops to the pad and attach to the pad to your dual action polisher.
The trick to using Carpro essence plus is to use a low speed on the polisher (1-2 setting on the dial) and apply absolutely no force or pressure on the machine.
You need to let the machine work under its own weight and spin freely at the low-speed setting.
Use multiple overlapping passes on speed 1-2 across 24” x 24” (60cm x 60cm) sections of the paint. As you are not “correcting” the paint there is no need to spend too long in a specific area, just make sure all of the surfaces of the sections you are working on is evenly covered with the product.
One mistake I made (didn’t read the instructions properly!) was to wipe the product off the section after a few minutes. I did this on the hood of the car. Surprisingly enough I could see an immediate improvement to the gloss and shine of that area.
However, It turns out that you should let Essence Plus cure on the paint for a minimum of 30 minutes before wiping off with a microfiber cloth.
Once I realised this, I quickly went back over the same area and proceeded to work my way around the car applying the product one section at a time with no wipe-off. (You may need to clean the pad from time to time if you notice too much product build-up )
It turns out it took roughly 40 minutes to finish with the machine polisher so the car was ready to be wiped down with the cloth as I was finishing.
Step 3 – Wipe off the Product with a Microfiber Cloth/Towel
Using a good quality microfiber cloth or towel you should buff off all the product residue on the surface of the paint.
I found that Essence Plus wiped off really easily so I was able to complete the car fairly quickly after that.
Carpro Essence Plus Appearance Impressions
I was very impressed with how the car looked after the Essence+ application. The level of gloss and shine had been greatly enhanced and I must admit it was very similar and almost on par to the initial Cquartz coating application.
The “pop” that I was after had definitely returned.
It was hard to see under the natural light how much “correction” and filling the product was able to achieve but one immediately apparent thing was the slickness of the paintwork – it felt like glass!
I knew straight away that the promised “increased hydrophobic properties” would definitely be there and I was looking forward to seeing what level of increased protection that the product would bring.
How Long Does Carpro Essence Plus Last
It’s hard to say how long Essence Plus will last as I have not applied it as a standalone product. I have had it on the car about a month so far and the paint still seems as protected and glossy as ever.
If it had to estimate I would say that it has added an extra 3-6 months protection and longevity on top of my existing ceramic coating.
As I am always chasing that glossy look I can see myself doing another round with this product in a month or two, to bring it to yet another level of shine.
Carpro Essence Plus Vs Carpro Reload
I have seen a lot of debate online that using Carpro Reload is just as effective and quicker to apply than Carpro Essence Plus. After using both products I can definitely confirm that Essence Plus leaves a superior level of gloss and shine on the paintwork.
As a standalone product (on a non coated car) Reload is probably a better option for straight-up protection, but for improving the finish on an already coated car I feel that Essence plus wins hands down!
Carpro Essence Plus Final Thoughts
This is certainly a unique and interesting product and I feel that it has given me exactly the result that I was after on the TT. After spending some time driving through bad weather since the application, the increased protection and beading is definitely noticeable.
I am looking forward to giving my car a second application of Essence Plus to see if I can improve on an already awesome finish!
Carpro Essence Plus Where To Buy?
If you want to try CarPro Essence Plus – please consider purchasing it through my Amazon Link HERE
This helps me keep this blog up and running at no extra cost to you.
If you have tried this product already please let me know your thoughts in the comments below or over on the DriveDetailed forum!
Until Next time,
About the Author – Darren O Hara
Darren is the founder of the DriveDetailed blog and is a keen detailing enthusiast living in the rainy south of Ireland. When he is not cleaning his car he is always researching ways he can improve his techniques and enjoys testing out out new products.
Darren currently drives an Audi TTRS and is a big fan of performance cars.
You can follow Darren on Instagram @darrenoharacork