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What Is A Ceramic Coating? Is It Worth It?

Introduction

You might have heard about this new car paint protection that is far more superior than waxing, ceramic coating. Although it’s not exactly a new product, the topic is still quite foreign to most people.

ceramic coatings for car applied by a car detailer

In this article, we are going to dive deep into ceramic coatings, what they are, and how they can benefit your car.

What Is A Ceramic Coating?

Ceramic coating is a form of semi-permanent paint protection. It was invented back in the 1950s and started being used in the auto detailing community in the 90s. Lately, as the technology advanced, the manufacturers were able to make it easier to apply, hence their popularity increase over the last few years.

To better understand, let's compare it to the two most common products used for paint protection, waxes and sealants.

Sealants are the most basic products used to protect a car’s paintwork. They are synthetic, applied by hand, and super simple to use. Problem is they don’t offer a great deep shine and only last 3-6 months.

Waxes, the most commonly used products to achieve a great shine, are another way of protecting your car from the elements. Although you can achieve a beautiful deep shine, it doesn’t last too long, ranging from 1-2 months.

Ceramic coatings on the other hand, outrank both of these and not by a small margin. They offer an extremely deep reflection, which with proper maintenance, can last anywhere from 2-5 years, with some manufacturers claiming up to 8.

Advantages of Ceramic Coatings

The number 1 reason why our customers come to us for a ceramic coating is the long lasting protection it offers. The quality of this protection is outstanding in every way. Since the product is a silica-based liquid polymer, it creates a hard, glass-like surface, making it hard for any dirt to stick.

Thanks to its hydrophobicity, any future exterior detailing job is much easier and quicker. This effect gives the coating its self-cleaning properties. When it rains, accumulated dirt is able to rinse off on its own as the water simply slides off your car.

Bird droppings, tree sap and road tar are generally known to be quite difficult to remove, but with a ceramic coating, for the most part, they’ll slide right off with a simple rinse. The same applies to dirt, mud and brake dust.

The coating also protects your paint’s clear coat from the damaging UV rays. Normally these would dull your paintwork over time, requiring it to be polished and buffed, to restore the factory look. This is especially beneficial when it comes to increasing the vehicle’s resale value.

Disadvantages of Ceramic Coatings

The main and biggest disadvantage to many is the high initial cost to install the coating compared to products like waxes and sealants. I strongly recommend you don’t attempt to apply the coating yourself because it can be quite difficult and time consuming to fix.

Since it is recommended your paint is in near perfect condition before applying the coating, paint correction is needed to remove scratches and swirl marks. Although not necessary, you wouldn't want to seal in any imperfections with the semi-permanent coating.

JDPower compares it to applying wood stain. "You want to have the surface smooth and defect-free. Once applied, if any mistakes need to be fixed, the surface must once again be “sanded and cleaned”."

Paint Correction

As mentioned above, the removal of scratches and swirls is an important step in order to get the best results out of a ceramic coating. This is achieved by a paint correction service. It’s responsible for the high price-tag associated with a ceramic coating job, as it does take a considerable amount of time to perform.

For a simple “single-stage” paint correction, the price is usually around $600, depending on the vehicle size. This is recommended for cars with a light amount of paint defects, as a single pass with a polisher will do the trick.

If your car has a greater amount of scratches and swirls, a “two-stage” paint correction service would be needed. This removes 80-95% of all paint defects, depending on the depth of the scratches. It involves doing two passes on the paint, first a heavier “cut”, followed by a polish. Such a job is considerably more expensive, usually starting at $1000 and running as high as $3000.

Conclusion

Let’s recap. Ceramic coatings, apart from Paint Protection Film, are the best form of paint protection out there. No, they don’t turn your car into a scratch proof tank, but they ensure your paint stays looking brand new for years to come. Most professional car detailing services will actually apply ceramic coatings on top of paint protection films.

Below is a Pros and Cons list to make the decision easier for you.

Pros:

  • Superior UV Protection
  • Superior Protection from Elements
  • Self-cleaning Properties
  • Head Turning Appearance
  • Hydrophobicity Makes for an Easier Wash
  • Lasts 2-8 Years

Cons:

  • High Price Tag
  • Not DIY Friendly

To apply or not to apply? It can be a hard choice to make. If you’re a car detailing enthusiast, someone who takes pride in their car, or just want to increase the resale value, then I strongly recommend you consider applying a ceramic coating. Professionally installed coatings are sure to last for years to come.

Polaris Auto Detailing

Here at Polaris Auto Detailing , we specialize in all things car detailing, including ceramic coatings. If you’ve decided to proceed with your coatings installation please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will surely provide you with the best price in all of the Greater Toronto Area.

We are a mobile car detailing service company which means we would perform the work right at your doorstep. Proudly servicing cities such as Burlington, Oakville, Milton, Hamilton, Mississauga, Brampton, Etobicoke, Vaughan, and Toronto.

Check out our services and pricing on all mobile car detailing packages .