Ceramic coatings are a popular way to protect cars from the elements and keep them looking shiny and new. They provide a high level of protection against the elements and help maintain your car’s exterior finish with less effort.
But what exactly are ceramic coatings, and are they worth the investment? We’ll dive into everything you need to know.
What is a Ceramic Coating?
Ceramic coatings are a liquid polymer that is applied to exterior or interior surfaces of a car. They are composed mostly of silicon dioxide (silica, Si02), which is sourced from natural materials such as quartz. Carrier solvents are mixed to allow the application of this super hard substance across almost any surface without marring it.
Once these solvents evaporate, the silicon dioxide will begin to harden into a glass-like shell, creating an infinitely harder, more hydrophobic surface. Unlike waxes and traditional sealants, ceramic coatings will form a covalent bond with the surface it’s applied on to ensure it will last years, not months.
It creates a barrier that is much harder than paint alone, and along with it comes many benefits.
Advantages of Ceramic Coatings
- Offers an extra layer of protection from UV rays, harmful chemicals, and surface contaminants
- Makes cleaning your car easier and eliminates the need to wax or seal
- Makes your paint job more durable and lengthens the lifespan of your car’s finish
- Lasts for a minimum of two years
- Cost-effective compared to traditional waxing
Ceramic Coatings Myths
While there are many benefits to having a ceramic coating on your car, there are some widely-believed myths that lead to people having unrealistic expectations. Let’s dive into what’s fact or fiction when it comes to ceramic coatings.
Myth: Your Car Will Be Scratch-Proof and Chip Free
The Truth: Ceramic coatings are great for providing low-maintenance cleaning and protection from UV rays, chemicals, and other contaminants. However, they are not designed to withstand major scratches and chips.
If you’re considering a ceramic coating for your car, it’s important to know that it doesn’t mean your car will be 100% safe from scratching or chipping. While a ceramic coating can make your car more resistant to scratches and chips, it’s not a guarantee that your car will be scratch-free. If you’re looking for something that does provide protection from scratches and chips, paint protection film is your best bet.
Even with a ceramic coating, there are a few things you can do to help protect your car from scratches and chips. Try to avoid parking in areas where there is potential for debris to fall on your car, such as under trees or near construction sites. You should also keep an eye out for any cracks or chips in your vehicle’s paint, as these can eventually lead to more serious damage.
Myth: Ceramic Coatings Eliminate the Need to Clean Your Car
The Truth: The truth: When people say that ceramic coatings are “self cleaning” they don’t literally mean that it will clean itself. Ceramic coatings create a hard outer layer that’s exceptionally smooth and makes removing dirt and grime much easier than wax (or nothing).To maintain the ceramic coating you should wash your car every two weeks.
Myth: Ceramic Coatings Provide Complete Protection from Swirl Marks and Water Spots
The Truth: You can still get swirl marks and water spots if you aren’t washing your car properly.
While a ceramic coating is more resistant to swirl marks and water spots, you still have to be careful when washing your car, even if it has a ceramic coating. If you’re not careful, and give your car an improper wash, you can end up with swirl marks and other surface defects. The good news is, we can polish these issues out of a ceramic coating should they arise.
An improper wash includes the materials used and the way you decide to wash your car. Harsh chemicals or abrasive materials can damage the coating. A proper wash includes using a PH-neutral soap via a foam cannon and the two bucket method. A clean, gentle wash mitt is key to a defect free wash, alternating mitts as needed. When drying, forced air is the best way to simultaneously remove standing water and minimize unnecessary touching. If this isn’t possible, a soft microfiber drying towel is an excellent alternative.
Remember, a ceramic coating is not a chance to neglect taking care of your car’s paint job. You still have to take care of the coat in order for it to last a long time and perform as it should.
Myth: You Can DIY a Ceramic Coating
The Truth: It’s very easy to mess up a DIY ceramic coating installation, and high-quality ceramic coating products are only sold to professionals. In addition to the coating itself, proper prep work is paramount to correctly bonding a ceramic coating to your car’s surfaces. If done incorrectly the coating will fail prematurely or you will lock in unsightly surface defects.
Some people believe that you can apply a ceramic coating on your own. While consumer grade products have improved by leaps and bounds, pro-grade coatings with stronger protection, like CeramicPro, Feynlab, SPS and 22PLE, are only sold to accredited detailers, not to the average person.
In addition to not having access to a professional protective coating, it’s a tricky process to do on your own that can cause permanent damage to your vehicle. It’s best to leave it to the professionals who are certified coating installers. If your ceramic coating is applied incorrectly, your only option for removal may be wet sanding, which can also damage your car’s paint if done incorrectly.
Is a Ceramic Coating for Your Car Worth It?
If easier cleaning and the long-term preservation of your paint job matters to you, the benefits of a ceramic coating outweigh the cost. It offers greater scratch-resistance, a durable layer of protection from UV rays and chemicals, repels dirt and water, and gives your car a high gloss finish that makes it look new with minimal effort!
If you are looking for an easy way to protect your car’s paint and make it look great, then a ceramic coating is worth the investment.