There are a million ways to enhance the aesthetics of your car, including the world-renowned ceramic coating. Many car owners have already invested in this popular method of car coating, and even applied it before car paint correction.
However, some are still undecided and wonder if it is a worthwhile investment.
Is ceramic coating worth the price tag? Does it live up to its acclaimed reputation? Or does it merely give your car a shiny glow?
In this article, we will answer these questions on ceramic coating, discuss its pros and cons, and provide clarity to common confusions about it.
The paint of a brand new car typically lasts 10 to 15 years with proper care, but continuous exposure to sunlight and damaging substances can significantly reduce it.
Ceramic coating, also known as Nano-ceramic coating, is a liquid polymer solution applied to your car’s exterior, adding a protective layer that prevents paint damage.
The typical chemical used for ceramic coating is silicon dioxide, which is usually extracted from sand and quartz – the reason why some call it quartz coating. Depending on the brand, others use a hardening agent such as titanium dioxide.
The major components of a ceramic coating are resin (the polymeric chemical), solvent, and additives. The optimal combination of these three ingredients helps develop strong adhesion to the surface applied.
Ceramic coating is not limited to cars but also applies to marine vessels and infrastructure. The purpose is for convenient maintenance and exceptional safeguard against weathering.
A bright red Mustang passes by and you can't help but drool on its exterior’s smooth texture because of ceramic coating. Before you decide on applying a ceramic coating on your car, you have to weigh in all the factors. We compiled below several advantages and disadvantages of ceramic coating.
Most of us know that the sun emits harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays that can damage human skin, but does it apply to the car? Well, technically yes, but in a different way.
UV rays wreak havoc on your car’s paint by causing the paint’s molecules to disintegrate. The weakened structure eventually causes the paint to break down, and the color to fade off.
The added layer of protection helps your paint to repel water and certain chemical substances that could ruin your car's precious paint or prevent it from developing rust. Ceramic coating prevents unnecessary car paint correction.
Since the primary paint of your car is well-protected, it becomes more durable and lasts longer than usual. Having a powerful shield against harmful physical elements, expect your paint to thrive for many more years.
Scratches may still occur on a paint's surface with ceramic coating, but minimal. Also when on the road, rocks or small objects may hit the paint and scrape it. Ceramic coating increases your paint's protection from these hazards.
A ceramic coating might not eliminate the need for cleaning, but the difference in cleaning effort is night and day. The ceramic coat attached to your paint effectively repels substances, making cleaning easier.
With the highly repellant nature of a ceramic coating, the dust, dirt, and many other substances won’t be able to penetrate the surface, let alone attach to it. No more hard scrubbing to get rid of heavy dirt.
If you're fond of waxing your car, then with ceramic coating, you won't need to anymore. Ceramic coating does what waxing does. Why need to spend hours of buffing and waxing your car when you can apply a one-time ceramic coat that lasts for years?
A newly washed and waxed car is a glorious sight to behold, especially when daylight hits its glistening surface. However, when the rain comes or when you traverse through muddy roads, you'll have to start over again.
Ceramic coating helps your car maintain its new look even after a simple cleaning. Titanium dioxide is the secret ingredient inside the ceramic coating, responsible for reflecting light and giving the paint a luxurious glow.
While ceramic coating is expensive, its long-term benefits outweigh the total paint protection cost. Think about the countless times of washing and waxing your car. When you sum the cost of these activities, you can see the high accumulated expenses.
Since a ceramic coating makes your car durable and provides high protection, it prevents possible damages that can be expensive to repair through auto paint correction.
Ceramic coating is not an overnight job, but requires at least three days to complete the procedure. Take note that the whole coating needs to be dried before you can drive your car.
Ceramic coating is not a simple coating application, but it requires technical skill. DIY kits are available, but to achieve desirable results, you need to hire an expert. Not only is money involved in this investment, but also time.
If your paint needs a retouch, you’ll need someone who can do both paint correction and ceramic coating.
While it does a decent job of protecting your car from minor scratches, it doesn't prevent harsh scratches or cuts. For instance, if you scrape a key on the surface, there will be visible marks.
Many car detailing companies claim that ceramic coating prevents rock chips from occurring, but again, a coat cannot completely protect your vehicle’s paint from solid rocks.
We have discussed earlier that ceramic coating efficiently repels water, but it doesn't mean it removes it. Frustrating as it is, once the water on the car's surface evaporates, it leaves behind minerals or elements that create a water ring or spot on it.
When using hard water, don't do the washing under direct sunlight. After washing, dry the surface thoroughly using a clean and dry microfiber towel.
Your car is not invincible against the weather and pollution, so you still have to clean it from time to time. However, it will not be as time-consuming and burdensome anymore.
Ceramic coating application is expensive compared to traditional paint sealant or other coating alternatives. If you avail of ceramic coating and paint correction together, you'll pay for the whole package.
The type of chemical will matter if you consider paint endurance. Consumer-grade ceramic coating is more affordable, but professional-grade can be very pricey. The higher the grade though, the more robust the coat is.
Once your car gets a fresh coat, you need to be wary of a few things. When cleaning or wiping, never use harsh products or aggressive force. If you need to remove spots from your car, do so in a gentle manner.
Though the coating is near-permanent due to its solid chemical bonding, avoid any physical abrasion like polishing, brush washing, and using inappropriate towels. These will damage the ceramic coating and reduce its efficacy in protecting the original paint.
Now that we know the pros and cons of ceramic coating, let's check how it fares with the other means of car protection we commonly hear of.
Between wax and ceramic coating, the latter provides far greater durability because it can resist UV rays, environmental elements, and some chemicals. The wax simply sits on top of the paint and doesn't create an intrinsic bond with it.
The sealant is also a polymer-based product, but it only affords pain protection for several months. Ceramic coating, on the other hand, can endure many years, offering longer protection for your vehicle.
Both ceramic coating and PPF (Paint Protection Film) have the similar purpose of preserving your car's paint and making it look new. When it comes to rock chips and road debris, PPF might provide greater protection due to its ability to absorb damage, thanks to its urethane film.
However, when you look at the long-term, ceramic coating is a more permanent solution. PPF may provide more protection but the urethane film eventually wears out and develops blisters. Ceramic coating provides decent protection, gives long-term glossing, and allows easy cleaning because of its hydrophobic nature (repels water).
If you’re keeping your budget at a minimum and you’re contented with your car’s glow and durability, then you might not need ceramic coating immediately. However, if you’re willing to spend more to enjoy the long-term benefits of ceramic coating, then it’s worth every penny.
If you’re having your car’s paintwork fixed due to damage, ensure that your coating provider can do paint correction well. The paint correction ceramic coating effectively adheres to is one done properly.
Like any paint or coating job, ceramic coating varies on the type of ceramic coating applied and the package included. Car detailing companies include both paint correction and ceramic coating in one package, including strip washing, snow foam bathing, hand washing, wheel cleaning, and many others.
The whole paint correction and ceramic coating cost vary per supplier, location, and grade of the chemical.
In Huntsville, Alabama, a typical 2-year ceramic coating package costs around $800, while a 4-year coating costs $1200. The higher the package you get, the greater the longevity of your ceramic coating. Nevertheless, the type of ceramic coating paint correction matches with is immaterial.
To put it simply, ceramic coating is a matter of choice. There is no question about its effectiveness and its ability to make your car look fresh and appealing. Nevertheless, before you make the decision, research well on the specific chemicals used in the ceramic coating and find a trusted professional partner with a good reputation.
At the end of the day, we all want to protect the cars that protect us – rain or shine!
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