An Introduction to Ceramic Coatings
You want your vehicle to look as good as it did the day you bought it.
So you carefully wash it on a regular basis and you apply a new coat of wax every few months. But despite your efforts, swirl marks and stains start to populate on your vehicle. What’s more, dirt and grime cling to your car’s paint, making it difficult to wash.
Ceramic Coatings exist to change this narrative.
But before you make a buying decision, it’s important to get the facts straight. If you have read anything online about Ceramic Coatings, you may have come across some competing claims. Let’s spend some time clearing up the issue.
What’s the truth about automotive Ceramic Coatings?
“A Ceramic Coating is a liquid polymer that is applied by hand to a vehicle’s exterior. After application, the coating creates a permanent or semi-permanent bond with the vehicle’s factory paint, creating a layer of protection.”
What is a Ceramic Coating?
A Ceramic Coating is a liquid polymer that is applied by hand to a vehicle’s exterior. After application, the coating creates a permanent or semi-permanent bond with the vehicle’s factory paint, creating a layer of protection.
Ceramic Coatings are different from traditional waxes or sealants in that the protection does not wash away or break down and does not require repeated application every few months.
What are the Benefits of a Ceramic Coating?
In short, a Ceramic Coating adds additional protection to your car’s exterior and helps keep it looking like-new with comparatively minimal maintenance. The coating achieves this result by making your vehicle more resilient and easier to clean. Here are the main benefits.
Keeps vehicle cleaner for longer
A quality Ceramic Coating, like Feynlab Heal Plus or Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra, creates a permanent hydrophobic surface, which makes it more difficult for dirt, mud, and grime to bond with your car’s paint.
Makes vehicle easier to wash
The hydrophobic surface created by a Ceramic Coating also means that when the time does come for a wash, your car will be easier to clean. Water will pick up dust or dirt and sheet off your paint.
Protects from chemical etching
A Ceramic Coating is about 100 times thicker than a traditional wax. That means it provides substantially more protection than a normal sealant. The chemically resistant surface helps mitigate stains and etching caused by environmental contaminants.
Protects from UV Damage
Another potential danger for your paint is oxidation caused by UV exposure. This results in a faded look to your paint. A Ceramic Coating is UV resistant, meaning that it will protect your paint from fading.
The ultra smooth surface that a Ceramic Coating creates enhances the reflective properties of your car’s paint. The result is that your car will really pop with gloss and shine.
A long-term solution
A Ceramic Coating does all of this with just one application! Unlike a traditional wax or sealant, a Ceramic Coating does not wash away or break down and does not require repeated application every few months. After one application, your vehicle experiences all of these benefits for up to 7 years.
What are the Limitations of a Ceramic Coating?
For the reasons listed above, a Ceramic Coating does preserve your vehicle’s exterior and reduce ongoing maintenance needs. Therefore, if you choose to have a Ceramic Coating applied, you will be adding value to your vehicle.
However, despite the claims of some manufacturers and detailers, a Ceramic Coating is not a miracle, super-cure product that will solve any and every problem for your car. Thus, it is important for you to know what a Ceramic Coating does not do.
Eliminate the danger of scratches, swirl-marks, or rock chips
The scratch-resistance of a Ceramic Coating is often exaggerated. Though some small scratches can be repelled, a Ceramic Coating is fundamentally not a scratch solution. Moreover, Ceramic Coatings do not stop rock chips.
A Ceramic Coating is not a substitute for more serious scratch or chip protection (more on that later).
Eliminate the risk of water-spotting
A normal drop of water contains a certain amount of dirt or minerals. When water evaporates on your vehicle’s surface, the minerals are left behind, creating visible spots. A Ceramic Coating does not prevent water-spotting.
Eliminate the need to wash
Notice above we said a Ceramic Coating keeps your car looking like-new with comparatively minimal maintenance, not no maintenance.
Let’s face it, the road is a dirty place. If you are driving your car, it will get dirty. You will still need to wash your car regularly in order to maintain its look.
The benefit of a Ceramic Coating is that the cleaning process will be easier, and you no longer have to wax your vehicle every few months. Thus, a Ceramic Coating does not make your vehicle maintenance-free, but it does mean that with less work you will be able to maintain better results.
Correcting the #1 Myth About Ceramic Coatings
Among all the misconceptions we hear in relation to Ceramic Coatings, there’s one that takes the cake. Let’s correct the myth right now.
A Ceramic Coating is not a substitute for Paint Protection Film.
Yes, both products protect your paint, and there is some overlap in what they do. Nonetheless, they are fundamentally different products that achieve different, complimentary aims.
That means if you want serious automotive paint protection, you need a combination of Paint Protection Film and a Ceramic Coating, not one or the other.
Ceramic Coating Options
Most shops will offer a range of Ceramic Coatings that vary in performance and longevity. At Exclusive Paint Protection, we break it down into a 7-year, 5-year, and 2-year coating. The 7-year provides the highest level of performance.
In the images below, a Ceramic Coating is shown on top of a Paint Protection Film Full Front package. Yellow indicates film coverage. Blue indicates coating coverage.