In an effort to keep your car looking shiny, sharp and new, you may spend time waxing by hand, working hard to remove minor scratches and marks. Perhaps you’ve considered doing away with the work by having a ceramic coating applied, a protective clear coat used in the auto detailing industry.
Ceramic coating, which includes a liquid polymer that binds chemically to the paint on your vehicle, is designed to protect both the interior and exterior surfaces of your car. But the industry has been fraught with conflicting information and plenty of false claims. We’re here to set the record straight.
Here is a list of the ceramic coating pros and cons:
Pro: Top Quality Protection
The best reason to apply ceramic coating to your car is simply for the protection it provides. A quality application from an experienced, trusted provider, can protect your car from most scratches, dirt and environmental hazards over many years.
As the clear finish of ceramic coating is applied directly to your car’s paint, it preserves its original colour and tone.
Con: One Way Trip
Once your vehicle has been treated with ceramic coating, the polymer forms a chemical bond with the factory paint. In essence, once treated, it cannot be undone by chemical means, only abrasion, which risks damage to your vehicle and adds unnecessary cost.
In short, if you decide to go with ceramic coating for your car, make sure you are comfortable with it as a long-term measure.
Pro: Diversity in Protection
When it comes to ceramic coating, there are several grades to choose from. Some include plasma spray coating, thermal spray coating, wet chemical coating and a number of other techniques.
The thickness of the ceramic layer will also vary, depending on your preference and the technique used. This kind of variation allows you to choose between a number of options and price points.
Con: Trusting What You Read
When you start to research ceramic coating options for your vehicle, you will likely find a wide range of opinions and information. Because the industry is not regulated, there are very different claims that you need to sift through and assess.
Keep in mind — no matter what a product or auto detailer claims—ceramic coating can’t avoid all future scratches, nor does it mean you won’t have to wash your car again.
Pro: Reduces Rust
Given that water and oxygen are the primary catalysts to metal corrosion, anything that reduces contact between the elements and your car will help to prevent rust.
Ceramic coating does just this—it forms a protective barrier between your car and mother nature, fending off rust, UV rays and other environmental factors.
While the benefits of a quality ceramic coating application are worthwhile, especially as a way to protect your vehicle as an investment, the treatment comes at a cost.
Ask around for market value but be prepared to do your research. The last thing you want to do is find a detailer who will do the job cheaply, only to find out they’ve ruined your paint job.
Pro: The Little Things
While waxing your own car can rub out small scratches in your car’s paint, the benefits are short-lived. With ceramic coating, nanotechnology is used, through which tiny, invisible particles join together to create a thin, invisible layer that effectively protects your car.
Con: Not All Paint Jobs are Considered Equal
A ceramic coating cannot be applied to all cars equally. First, your vehicle’s paint will need to be assessed long before any work can be done. Existing scratches won’t be fixed or hidden by ceramic coating, so the paint on your car will need to be corrected and perfected before ceramic coating can be done.
Pro: Easy Maintenance
Given that the panels of a car treated with ceramic coating are smooth and free of flaws and abrasions, they are also easier to clean. Simply wipe your coated car with warm water, gentle soap and a soft, clean cloth to restore its original shine and finish.
Con: The Process Takes Time
If you decide to have ceramic coating applied to your car, be prepared to leave it at the detailer for a few days. Some buyers opt to have the car coated before they even take possession from the dealer, but if you are planning to coat a car that’s already in your driveway, you’ll need to make alternate transportation plans while the work is done.
Everyone wants their car to look its best—the thought of applying a simple coating to help preserve its colour and shine is appealing. Only you can decide if ceramic coating is worth the cost. If you are giving it serious consideration, be sure to ask around, do your research and go with a provider who is both experienced and reputable. As you can see, there are plenty of ceramic coating pros and cons—we hope these ideas help as you plan for the protection of your car.