You have to know what you are getting into before you purchase a ceramic coating, while the purpose of a coating is to make your car care easier, and to protect your investment, you still do not want to just purchase the first coating that gets pitched to you, because unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation in the marketplace. Take a look at this write up and let some of your most basic questions be answered.
Ceramic Coating Questions & Answers
What are some of the benefits of a ceramic coating?
• No need to wax or seal the vehicle for the life of the coating. Ceramic coatings create a barrier that is significantly harder, more chemical resistant, and longer lasting than any wax or sealant. Adding any products “on top” of a coating other than maintenance products sold by the coating manufacturer can impede a coating protective abilities.
• Reduce the amount of cleaning needed, makes cleaning the vehicle easier. Dirt releases easier, faster, and the resulting effect is much less time and effort needed to make your vehicle look like it has been freshly detailed.
• Marring resistance. While NOTHING is “scratch proof” some professional grade coatings do make the surface harder than original clear coat, thus greatly reducing the amount of swirl marks accumulated over time vs. a non-ceramic coated vehicle with proper washing and drying techniques.
• Excellent gloss and aesthetic appeal. Clients have told us that even years after having their vehicle ceramic coated, they still get compliments about the car having a “just detailed look” after a simple wash.
• UV and chemical protection. Ceramic coatings provide protection against harmful UV rays and chemicals far beyond any wax or sealant. Most professional grade coatings are very chemical resistant and can only be damaged or removed by extremely high or low PH products.
What are some of the downsides of a ceramic coating?
• Up front cost. While a coating may provide many benefits, the upfront cost is prohibitive to some. However, when calculating a prospective clients time, energy, product expense, or the cost of having a detailer wax or seal a vehicle 2-4x per year, the cost of a ceramic coating can be significantly less over the life of a vehicle.
• Ceramic Coatings, like any other surface on a car, are susceptible to water spotting from hard minerals from many water sources. Only washing the vehicle in the shade, early mornings, or late in the evenings in hot climates helps. Using good quality microfiber towels, a leaf blower or air compressor to help dry the vehicle quickly can help as well. Water spotting can be removed safely from most coatings but are not covered under any known coating warranty or guarantee as they are preventable.
• Ceramic coatings can still be scratched and chipped. While some coatings do provide a measurable degree of hardness vs. factory clear coat, no coating is scratch or chip proof. This is a common misconception that is regularly spread by many dealerships and even some detailers looking to make a quick sale.
How do I take care of a ceramic coating after it is applied?
This simplest answer to this question is to wash it, then dry it completely, follow the detailer advice, and or take it to your detailer as needed for decontamination or maintenance. Maintenance from a detailer may consistent of high PH washing to deep clean the coating, chemical decontamination with iron removal chemicals, clay bar treatment, maintenance products meant to reinvigorate or increase slickness, or even spot polishing and recoating of small sections in case of damage. Ask your detailer if he or she provides maintenance services prior to having them apply a coating for you.
What if I get into a car accident? Will insurance cover the cost of having the coating re-applied?
In our years of experience dealing with these situations we have found that with full coverage insurance the cost of coating re-application is covered under most policies. Make sure to inform your detailer as soon as possible after an accident occur so he or she can provide an estimate for re-coating the damaged sections of vehicle so that you can submit the information to your insurance company.
My car is brand new. Will I still need to have the paint clayed and polished prior to coating application?
Yes. Any quality detailer will see these steps as the foundation necessary for a quality ceramic coating application. Any detailer or dealership that does not follow these steps prior to applying a ceramic coating are likely improperly applying the coating. Even for a brand-new vehicle “off the truck” thorough wash, clay bar treatment, and light polishing are the absolute minimum before coating application. Often times much more polishing and compounding is needed even on a brand-new vehicle to make sure the surface is as flawless as possible before the ceramic coating is applied.
There is a huge variance in pricing from one detailer to the next, or even from the dealership on the cost of a ceramic coating. What gives?
Many factors affect the pricing of a ceramic coating, including but not limited to:
• The experience, knowledge, and skills of the detailer applying the coating.
• The type of coating being applied, all products are different.
• The level of preparation needed prior to applying the coating. Some dealerships or detailers will skip steps altogether in order to offer a lower price.
• The size, colour, and manufacturer of the vehicle can also affect pricing. Some vehicles have much softer clear coats that are harder to prepare for coating application than others.
At Perfection Auto Detailing, we pride ourselves on transparency, openness, and education. At any time should you have questions prior to, or after ceramic coating application, we would love to hear from you. You can contact us: