16 months with Gtechniq CSL + EXO


Active Member
Established Member
Jun 8, 2015
Hi Everyone,

16 months ago I decided to swap coatings on my Mustang to try Gtechniq’s “prosumer” offering for ceramic coatings in Crystal Serum Light (CSL) and EXO. The main thing that sparked this change was how pleased I was with Gtechniq’s CSU coating on another one of my cars and I wanted to see what a consumer-friendly application could do. After 16 months of living with Gtechniq’s prosumer pairing I wanted to share my thoughts with the rest of you. If anyone is interested in a high level overview of the prep and install I am happy to post additional info, but until then I wont post in order to help with the post length.

EDIT: Trying to post photos. Keep getting a server error when trying to post.

What is CSL & EXO

IMG_0318 by Sean C, on Flickr

CSL is a robust 9h ceramic coating that gives you 3-5 years of protection. During this time you can expect enhanced protection against minor scratches, ph2-ph12 chemicals as well as enhanced gloss and slickness to the cars body that is very noticeable. In addition to extra protection and gloss you can expect CSL to also make cleaning your car easier than before.

EXO is not a 9h ceramic coating. It is a lighter coating lasting up to 24 months. The main advantage of EXO is twofold. First, it has great hydrophobic properties for water and dirt repellency. When applied correctly water beads up very well and falls down in a hurry. Two, it has impressive gloss and slickness that makes the car look wet. This product requires two coatings to work properly which can be an annoyance for some.

CSL vs CSL with EXO topper


One thing I asked myself was how does CSL do on its own vs being topped with EXO. On its own, CSL is a very capable ceramic coating that makes your car look better, clean easier and has a great life span for a consumer intended product. There is one area though I found lacking compared to something like CQuartz UK and that is CSL’s hydrophobics. CSL does give a good water bead, but I think CQuartz UK does a better job of beading then rolling off the car even though CSL feels slicker to the touch. Still, when used solo CSL looks great, performs great and it gives great longevity.

If you are willing to put in the extra time to do the EXO topper you will be rewarded. For starts, it boosts everything that CSL does well. You can expect your car to be slicker, glossier and wetter looking. To me though this isn’t the magic EXO brings. The main advantage of the EXO topper are its hydrophobics, and boy does it bring them in spades. The water bead is impressive and it rolls off very quickly. EXO is well worth it in my opinion for the boost in performance.



When I first rolled my Mustang out of the garage 16 months ago after CSL + EXO cured, all I could say was “wow.” The results were better than I was expecting. The first thing I noticed was how glossy Mustang had become. The gloss factor looks like someone hit a contrast boost filter on my Mustang. The color really pops as do the lines of the body. Going beyond the pop my car has, it has also become highly reflective in picking up what is around it when clean. Simply put my Mustang has had 3 coatings on it in 7 year’s and this is best it has looked, period. Next, I decided to see how slick things were. This pairing of coatings is EXTREMELY slick. The photos I have with the CSL and EXO boxes were very difficult to take because I had about 2-3 seconds from placement to take the photo before they slid off. If you put a spray bottle like Gtechniq C2 or CarPro Reload it will start sliding immediately in most areas. Even just lightly running my fingers along the body, my mustang felt so smooth and so slick. When I was done inspecting my Mustang looked I came to the conclusion that my car looked like it had a professional only coating on it as opposed to a consumer friendly coating.

IMG_0331 by Sean C, on Flickr
IMG_0302 by Sean C, on Flickr
IMG_0333 by Sean C, on Flickr
IMG_0326 by Sean C, on Flickr

After a couple of weeks of driving, and a few compliments on my Mustangs appearance, I decided to test out how easy it was to clean. First thing I noticed was the water bead and repellency. The water formed little sphere’s then fell off the car with haste. If you recall I stated CSL doesn’t have the hydrophobics of CQuartz UK on its own, well with EXO it bests it. As I began soaping the car, I noticed that all the bug gut and grime I had accumulated were removed with ease. No heavy scrubbing or specific removers were needed for this every day grime.

Fast forward 16 months and I am still in love with this pairing from Gtechniq. I have not seen any signs of wear on the pairing as my Mustang stills looks incredible, easy to clean and EXO does not appear to be wearing away yet. I do expect EXO to start wearing soon though as it is not meant to be as robust as CSL. When I reapply the EXO I will post an update. For those curious reapplying is as easy as washing, Panel Wipe/CarPro Eraser then apply EXO. Only extreme cases require a light polishing. This will also not damage CSL.
IMG_0257 by Sean C, on Flickr
IMG_0327 by Sean C, on Flickr
IMG_0300 by Sean C, on Flickr

Gtechniq really did a bang-up job on both CSL and EXO. It is easy to apply and gives professional like results, whats not to like? IMO, when it comes to the whole package and performance I think CSL + EXO is the best consumer coating option on the market presently and I would highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in coating their car. Hoepfully this write up was able to help some of you that are on the fence, or at least provided an entertaining 10 min time kill lol.


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Active Member
Established Member
Jun 8, 2015
Can an admin/mod move this to the show and shine section. Just saw it and feel it is better served there lol.

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