Okay, so say I go to one of those cheapo automated pay/spray. Those are normally where I keep an eye out for the beading to reduce (the hood scoop area, due to the heat, would be the first to lose the sealant I would guess). I have a hard time gauging gloss, but its not as mirror like as when I first 'sealed' it. The water still beads pretty well though, as if it was sealed.SamXP: Freshly polished paint, with zero LSP (last surface protectant) will bead better than anything. It has more to do with surface tension due to flat geometry than any chemical reason. So if you wash the car four weeks after application of sealant, it won't get glassy?
If not, then either its not really clean (use a detailing spray, my favorite is Duragloss 921 Fast Clean & Shine, which also has a tiny bit of sealant to "top it off" so to speak) or the sealant didn't adhere properly. If the surface has any oils, road tar, previous waxes, etc. they could prevent the sealant from adhering. Best way to promote adhesion is to polish, but you could also use Prepsol to chemically strip everything on the clear coat and prepare for the polymers to bind directly.
Sorry to threadjack, but I can't help myself.
Should the gloss be hand and hand with the beading? Or does one typically wear off before the other?
I don't have a random orbital, but I am debating getting one. My dad and I might split it if I offer to do the other cars in our house.