Ceramic coatings have become extremely popular for protecting the finish of your car. It used to be that a good quality wax was the only way to go. Even the best wax needs to be reapplied every couple of months to be effective. A good ceramic coating that is designed to be applied by your typical DIYer can last for a couple years. Professional grade ceramic coatings that have to be applied by a professional detailer with special equipment can last as much as 10 years. That’s truly amazing. Besides simply lasting longer, ceramic coatings have other benefits. A quality ceramic coating can provide a deep candy gloss like appearance. Also they make keeping your car clean so much easier by making it difficult for dirt and road grime less likely to adhere to your finish and easy to wash off. Unfortunately all is not puppy dogs and rainbows with ceramic coatings. Applying the coating of even the easiest to apply ceramics is more complex and involved than waxing. Protective ceramic coatings bond with the clear coat on your finish and need to be applied properly prior to the coating bonding. If you don’t follow the application process correctly you can end up with a real mess that will require some serious effort to remove and redo. The coating will have to be wet sanded off and this process will almost certainly end up removing a bit of the clear coat with it.
It definitely is worth it. Your car will look stunning, be far easier to clean, and require less effort to maintain the finish for years. It is critical to buy a quality ceramic coating and apply it properly though. Many people opt for having a professional detailer apply it to ensure it is done right and to be able to get a much higher quality ceramic coating that will last orders of magnitude longer than consumer grade ceramic coatings. Having your car or truck ceramic coated by a professional isn’t cheap. Paint correction must be done to prepare it for the coating. The time and materials add up to a hefty sum. Saving money is alluring to many making consumer grade ceramics very attractive for someone willing to do the work themselves. It should be pointed out that paint correction is still a very good idea and the surface needs to be pristine prior to application. The majority of the work is in prepping the surface.
As mentioned earlier, consumer grade coatings can last up to 2 years while professional coatings can last up to 10 years. Consumer coatings are easier to apply. Professional coatings typically can’t be purchased unless you’re a professional detailer and have met requirements by the manufacturer. Professional coatings will generally have higher performance in addition to longevity, including greater hydrophobic properties and better shine.
While ceramic coatings are supposed to protect your paint, you still need to care for the coating. You want to maximize the life of the coating so you’ll need to take precautions to ensure it lasts.
Now that you’ve learned all about ceramic coatings you can make an informed decision about whether you want to coat your car. Sealants are a very user friendly alternative to stepping up to ceramic coatings. If you’re going to go with a ceramic coating you’ll need to get out the clay bar and brush up on paint correction skills to ensure the surface is pristine before applying. Be sure you buy a quality ceramic coating and not one without a proven track record. Carefully follow all instructions for applying. If you know you want to go with a ceramic coating but aren’t up to doing it yourself you can have a professional do it for you. While this won’t be inexpensive, you can get one of the more advanced coatings applied and get as much as 10 years of lifespan out of your ceramic coating if you take care of it.