Ceramic Coating For Cars: What It Is, And What It Is Not

A Technological Layer Of Protection

Ceramic coating for vehicles is essentially a polymer often available either in liquid form or in a form that can be sprayed on the vehicle more evenly than distribution through other means. Different vehicle owners have differing preferences here.

Either way, the ceramic coating is usually based on a particular sort of “ceramic” or silica—silicon carbide. Generally, it will last three to five years if you apply it correctly When you’re able to apply a ceramic coating as intended, acid rain, regular rain, salt, bird droppings, and even some minor denting can be deferred or reduced.

But don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Even with the best coating, you won’t find your vehicle becomes rock chip resistant. Also, though things like acid rain can be curbed, many chemicals will still have some level of impact.

So it’s notable that a good ceramic coat can be ideal for protecting your vehicle, extending its market value, and reducing damage. However, it’s not some sort of catch-all. It’s not your last line of defense. That said, for those who want to get the most out of their vehicle in appearance and longevity, ceramic coatings are wise.

A Common Misconception About Ceramic Coatings

One thing ceramic coatings aren’t is “self-healing”. While it’s true if you apply them correctly, cure them correctly, and wash your vehicle at least twice a week going forward, you’ll see a great improvement in the vehicle’s look, and minor scrapes will be easier to buff out, the ceramic coating is not regenerative.

What a ceramic coating is, is long-lasting. The more high-quality ceramic you put on the vehicle, the longer it’s going to last. Again, though, you’ve got to put it on correctly, cure it properly, and clean the car at least once a week—you’ll do better to wash it twice a week using the two-bucket method.

If you’re unfamiliar with the two-bucket method, it’s pretty straightforward. Essentially, you use one bucket for soap and another bucket for rinsing whatever implement you’re using to wash the vehicle. In this way, you can keep from incidentally reapplying whatever dust or grime was just washed away.

Ceramic Coatings Are Not Fireproof And Don’t Last Forever

Next, keep in mind you will not have a fireproof car no matter how thick you coat it in ceramic. While the coating may increase fire retardant properties, it’s not going to prevent them. But honestly, who puts a ceramic coating on a car then drives it through a fire? (Outside stunt drivers, of course.)

Also, though the proper application can produce three to five years of protection, getting the mix right requires work, and isn’t guaranteed—especially if you’re constantly getting the vehicle dirty owing to work or driving conditions in your locality.

You’ve got to clean the vehicle as robustly and thoroughly as possible in a controlled environment to properly apply the coating. Regular upkeep going forward is additionally necessary for the results you’re after. This is the case with effectively taking care of any vehicle, but it’s especially true once you’ve applied a quality ceramic coating.

Direct Sunlight Application Isn’t Your Friend

Ceramic coating is like the sort of finish you apply to a wood floor in that it takes a while to cure. If you apply a coating and leave the vehicle in the wrong place at the wrong time, how well it cures can be affected. So there are a few advisories you may want to take into consideration before you go ahead here.

For example, if you clean it in direct sunlight, that can make it so the coating doesn’t cure right. As a general rule of thumb, your best bet will be cleaning and curing whatever vehicle you’re maintaining inside a garage. Just be sure you have some sort of water draining option in that garage.

For those that don’t have a garage which will allow them to totally clean their vehicle “indoors”, it may be recommendable to find one of those do-it-yourself car wash facilities and monopolize a bay for a few hours while you get the coating on. Even if you were able to apply a coating in the bay of such a wash, though, driving back will be a problem.

If you put a coating on and drive home without letting it rest 24 to 48 hours, the coating will likely wear off, or be much less effective than intended. This is the case, in terms of cleaning and the “set” period, even if the vehicle you’re applying a ceramic coat to is totally new.

Comprehensive Benefits From Proper Use Of Ceramic Coatings

With all these things in mind, the bottom line is this: applying a ceramic coat can do much to maintain your vehicle’s cleanliness, shine, and value. This is a very cost-effective measure that doesn’t have too many collateral expenses. Additionally, through the work you put in, you’ll have a psychological incentive to treat your vehicle better.

That said, maintenance doesn’t end after you put a ceramic coat onto your vehicle, no matter how well you apply it. Certainly, it’s imperative that you do the job right, wait after you clean and apply the wax, then properly wash the vehicle twice a week. That’s just the beginning, though. Check out the following guide by for more advice on the best auto ceramic coating method.

What you’ll find if you do your homework is that there’s much to recommend a ceramic coat in addition to, or as an alternative to, waxing. Waxing has its own benefits, but it’s not a perfect “fix-all” either, and certain vehicles may be more or less aligned to this kind of approach. The age of the vehicle, its use, and value will call come into play.

Applying a ceramic coat is generally a bit more highbrow than going with waxing alone. The only thing is, you have to follow all the steps properly, then see the job through to completion. If you’ve got the right sort of space to apply a ceramic coat, though, it’s definitely worth it. Essentially, you’re adding one more layer of protection to the vehicle.

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