Ceramic coatings have become quite popular as the ultimate solution for protecting your vehicle from light scratches, harmful UV rays, and environmental damage and keeping it looking brand new. However, with so much hype, it becomes necessary to separate the myths from facts to understand what these coatings can or cannot do for your vehicle’s appearance and value. If you have heard about ceramic coatings but are not sure if it is all fact or fiction, visit Waxman of Tristate Car Detailing Center. The experts explain the real truth about ceramic coatings and provide premier installation services so you can enjoy driving a brand new-looking car for years.
Ceramic coatings are worth the investment for most car owners due to the lasting protection they offer against dirt, chemical contaminants and almost zero side effects on the vehicle’s original paint. However, unfair or biased reviews and unethical marketing pitches on durability, thickness, gloss, and other factors lead to myths that misguide consumers. Some car owners might know some facts about ceramic coatings but most harbor misconceptions that prevent them from making the right decision for their vehicle.
Read on to find out what ceramic coating is and more importantly, what it is not. With correct information, you can have realistic expectations on how it works and performs so you can make the right decision and choose the best ceramic coating for your car.
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Myth # 1 – Ceramic-Coated Vehicles Do Not Require Any Wash or Maintenance
The real truth – As ceramic-coated vehicle repels water and sheds dirt and grime, it stays cleaner for a little longer, but it does not become dirt-resistant and would still need washing and pampering.
Ceramic coating definitely makes it easy to wash the car, and it stays cleaner for a longer period. The car will be less dirty as the slickness of the coating prevents dirt from sticking as quickly onto its surface. It also cuts down on the amount of washing needed and makes the process simple, but does not eliminate the need for it. You have to maintain a ceramic-coated vehicle as you would any other.
Myth # 2 – Ceramic Coatings Are Permanent
The real truth – Ceramic coatings provide exceptional protection and long-term benefits, but they are not permanent and require upkeep.
It is hard to say for sure how long any coating will last. Think of your ceramic coating as a sacrificial barrier of protection. It may last many years or sacrifice itself early to protect your paint. It may offer remarkable protection to your vehicle, but even the best things require some upkeep. You can enjoy its benefits for many years, but it is not a set-it-and-forget-it solution. Check with your detailer about annual maintenance checks to ensure your coating remains in top condition and continues to provide the best protection for your vehicle.
Certain variables, such as the way the vehicle is washed and the climate it lives in, also affect how long ceramic coatings last. It all depends on how well you look after your car. If attacked with an abrasive sponge or some industrial-grade chemical, it may not last more than a few hours.
Myth # 3 – Ceramic Coating Peels Off
The real truth – Ceramic coating will not peel off. It usually degrades and loses some of its strength and other properties as it is exposed to elements and time.
The ceramic coating forms a thin, incredibly strong bond on the top of your clear coat. When it fails, you will not see it peeling. It experiences a chemical breakdown, which simply wears away, and you will see water-beading and dirt-shedding qualities decline over time. You will know it is weakening by noticing a more unsatisfactory performance in its hydrophobic test. However, the entire coating is not likely to wear off at a time. It is best to consult a professional for applying a ceramic coating to ensure you are getting a good quality coating that does not wear off quickly and the job is done right to ensure it continues to look good even after a few years.
Myth # 4 – Ceramic Coating Is Easy to Apply
The real truth – This may be true to an extent, but it is not entirely correct. The project could be easy if you are not serious about the outcome.
Consumer-grade ceramic coating and high-quality DIY kits are widely available, and the application is not too difficult. However, it is not simple either, and if you have not done it before or know how to do it right, it could ruin your car’s appearance.To get a durable, effective, and professional-grade finish, you need to make sure the vehicle is free of swirl marks, scratches, and other blemishes. It involves buffing, drying, and washing the car, which could take some time and effort.
Paint correction or polishing is also crucial before applying ceramic coating as it adds a layer over your vehicle’s paint. Skipping the entire prep process can result in a loss of shine, and the ceramic coating will lock in your paint defects for a long time. Also, the longevity that cosmetic coating promises will not manifest due to improper application.
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Myth #5 – All Ceramic Coatings Are the Same
The real truth – While they may seem to be the same to an untrained eye, all ceramic coatings are definitely not the same. Each of them has something unique. Ceramic coatings vary in thickness, slickness, durability, longevity, and gloss. People looking for ceramic coatings get confused about the two distinguished types, consumer and professional grade ceramic coatings.
Professional ceramic coatings are thick and super glue-like and often include multiple steps to cure it into a hard, thick layer and provide the best durability and looks. These coatings require a professionally trained and reputable installer, a clean room, and infrared curing lamps for better results. Consumer-grade ceramic coatings can be purchased online and are a single-level application. They are easier to apply but don’t cure as hard or give a deep shine and durability associated with professional-grade ceramic coatings. Consumer coatings meant for single-level applications are not as thick as professional coatings and require multiple steps to deliver expected results.
In most cases, the time and money spent on a coating job is the labor to prepare the paint for ceramic coating. Also, professional-grade ceramic coatings can take three to four days to install, while consumer-grade ceramic coatings can be installed in two to three days.
Myth # 6 – Ceramic Coating Is Scratch Proof
The real truth – Ceramic coatings can protect your vehicle from light scratches, but they are certainly not scratch-proof.
Scratch-proof means that it cannot be scratched. This is false and the biggest myth about ceramic coatings. Ceramic coatings can protect against shallow scratches from driving, washing, or drying the car, but are not impervious to damage. Some coatings form a highly durable protective layer that prevents marring and swirl marks and helps to heal light scratches and swirls, but they are not scratch-resistant. This protection layer is designed to counter light surface scratches rather than major impacts and rock chips.
As long as the toughness and hardness rating of the coating is higher than the toughness or hardness rating of the object affecting the paint, the ceramic coating will protect the paint. Proper maintenance and good washing techniques are vital to keeping your coat in good condition. It works as a sacrificial layer that can be removed and reapplied when necessary to protect the car paint underneath.
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While the advantages of ceramic coatings are truly great, making efforts to resolve the myths, knowing the facts, and understanding how to take care of your vehicle can help keep your vehicle in top shape for years. Call Waxman of Tristate Car Detailing Center today and set up an appointment to find out if ceramic coatings will or will not work for your vehicle and what you need to do to ensure the longevity of your car paint and its aesthetics.