What is a ceramic car coating?
While there are several ways to sauce up your daily drivers, such as paint correction or self-cleaning efforts, many consumers are looking into the power of ceramic coating as a viable option.
It’s certainly all over the internet these days with countless videos across social media showing mud being thrown over a hood and sheeting off instantly leaving barely a dirty mark.
For many viewers, this is the first time they’ve even heard of the terms “Ceramic Coating” or “Nano Coating”. Others are skeptical – have the videos been staged in some way? Will the coating ruin my car? And why do they seem so expensive when the bottles are so tiny?
In today’s post, we’re going to look at the realities of ceramic coating your car, whether they do what they claim and help you decide whether it’s for you or not. Although the protection these coatings offer is unrivaled, they do have some potential downsides depending on what you’re after.
Let’s spend some time clearing the facts from the fiction. This is what we’ll be covering today:
Background; Why does your car need a ceramic coat?
You want your car to look as amazing as it did the day you drove it off the dealer’s lot. But despite your efforts maintaining and washing, the scratches, chips, and stains start to spread across your car’s exterior and the paint begins to dull & fade from the sun, which spurns many consumers to find ways of providing UV protection.
Anything and everything is constantly attacking your car’s surface. Mud, dust, dirty rain, water spots, unsightly brake dust, grime start sticking to your car almost immediately after cleaning it. And let’s face it, having to wash your car is boring, monotonous and time-consuming. Snow, ice, salted roads, tree gum, bird shit doesn’t help either.
Automatic car washes scratch and mars your paint, while the chemicals used are terrible for the surface. Not to mention daily life scratches from kids, shopping carts, bikes, and scooters.
Wax adds a good level of shine and gloss, and a small amount of protection, but lasts a few months at best. But it certainly doesn’t act as a quality glass coating product.
Here’s where auto Ceramic Coatings come in.
What is Ceramic Coating for Cars?
What is a 9H ceramic coating? The easiest way is to understand Ceramics Coatings are to think of them as a second layer of skin, or a sacrificial layer of protection over your car’s clearcoat.
They utilize nanotechnology, which are essentially tiny particles that form a very fine, thin layer completely invisible to the eye. Because these particles are so small, when applied to a surface, they seal all the pores making the surface hydrophobic (water-repellent), but also resistant to UV, scratches, chemicals, extreme heat and even anti-graffiti. This 9H ceramic layer is completely transparent.
The nano ceramic coating forms a semi-permanent bond with a vehicle’s surface, resulting in a ‘sacrificial’ layer that will not wash away under cleaning or rain, or break down over a short period of time. In fact, usually, it lasts years.
They repel dirt and water like nothing else, which makes them easier to clean. Their hardness helps to prevent swirl marks and marring from washing.
What Does a 9H Ceramic Coating NOT Do?
A lot of misconceptions about what the protection does not cover. Some of it might be logical, but never the less, let’s start off by saying this. Even the best ceramic coating does not make your car bulletproof. And they’re not some magic all-encompassing product that will solve all potential hazards your surface is exposed to. The truth is not every vehicle will benefit from it.
They do not stop rock chips, they do not prevent water spots, they do not replace proper care or maintenance, they do not prevent dings or dents, and they do not last forever.
Just because your vehicle has undergone the ceramic paint process or treatment it doesn’t mean you no longer need to dust, wash or remove bird droppings. You still do. The difference is that maintaining your paint will require less elbow grease and less time.
Ceramic Coating Myths
We thought we’d round up a few of the myths we most often hear about, so you can get your facts from a reliable source in case you’re wondering.
Myth 1: Ceramic Car Coatings Are Scratch Proof
A lot of detailers and suppliers exaggerate the scratch resistance of 9H Ceramic Coatings for cars, even going so far as to call them scratch-proof or resistant to rock chips which is completely false.
Small scratches can definitely be resisted by a Nano Ceramic Coating and the sacrificial layer the car coating forms will certainly help against minor incidents that would otherwise mar your surface. For examples, driving through brush, small little knocks from bikes, kids playing, or animals jumping excitedly against the car
Most newer coatings for cars are typically rated 9H on the pencil scale. This is the highest possible scratch resistance, however… 9H Ceramic coatings for cars are not thick or flexible enough to absorb the impact of a rock hitting your paint at highway speed or to resist against someone purposely trying to scratch your car.
Myth 2: Nano Coatings for your Car Don’t Require Maintenance
Another myth is that ceramic coated cars do not require washing or maintenance. A coating will heavily cut down on the amount of washing and maintenance but not completely eliminate the need for it.
The fact is if you are going to drive your car, even if its infrequently, the road is a dirty and the surface is going to gradually get dirtier even with a ceramic coat.
It will still require washing, just with a lot less effort and less frequency. Overall with a car coating, it’s going to be much easier. Additionally, it eliminates the need for waxing every few weeks, saving a lot of money over the course of the ceramic coatings lifetime.
Myth 3: Car Coatings Are Permanent
Partly, this is true. The nano ceramic coating is actually semi-permanent, as to it bonds with the car surface and cures into a hard and shiny sacrificial layer. That means that you don’t have to re-apply every other month to maintain that glossy surface.
How long does ceramic coating last? With a good product and proper application, it should last at least 2-3 years, however, it is definitely not permanent.