To preface: what is wax and why do I need it?
Ceramic coatings are the solution if you never want to wax your car again, but want the benefits of wax. Waxing is, at this point, kind of old school. But before I continue, let me break down, to the best of my abilities, what wax and waxing actually is.
Wax, typically carnauba wax or carnauba wax blends, comes in a liquid or paste form. This liquid or paste is spread across painted surfaces (by hand or machine), left to haze over (for a few minutes), and wiped clean - this leaves behind a waxed surface.
The wax layer itself is not all that durable. It looks good - yes, and it "fills in" some scratches - yes (temporarily, like maybe a few weeks), and it "protects" - sure. You get water beading and some dirt resistance, but it is all short lived. Waxes, and even the best synthetic paint sealants, are not designed to be applied just once a year or once in a car's lifetime. The label may state that it lasts 3 or so months, but in reality - in the real world - you'll be getting just a few weeks of shine and "protection."
Wax is the bare minimum to consider, if you want your car's paint to remain in tact and in shape. This is because the sun, the environment, water, dirt and contaminants, all play a huge role in breaking down your car's precious clear coat. Once it's broken down, there is no choice but to get a new paint job, if you want your car looking good again.
The problem with wax
If you are a disciplined person, and can stay on top of waxing your vehicle every month - this would be ideal. If you can do this, then your car will be protected from the sun and the elements, and you won't really have to worry about your car's paint condition over the long haul. However, most people don't understand this. Most people will actually never wax their car.
Most people, if they do get their car waxed, will consider waxing their car once a year - or even worse, once in the entire ownership of the vehicle, right before selling it. To be honest, there really isn't much benefit to waxing your car just once a year or very rarely like that. It looks good for the temporary time that the wax will last, but after that, it's back to it's normal, neglected condition.
This would sort of be like doing an oil change on your car once a year, or like after driving it for 25,000 miles. More accurately, this would be like working out or eating healthy once a year and expecting for that to be the difference maker in your health.
Since waxing regularly to keep your car protected is actually very difficult, and is proven to be something that people don't do, an easier, one-and-done type of approach would be to get a ceramic coating installed on your ride.
Ceramic coatings are the "once-in-a-car's-lifetime" wax
Ok so, ceramic coatings are more than just a layer of wax. The benefits are more of the same, but they last way longer. The main problem with wax is that it doesn't last very long at all, since it just melts off after a few short weeks. Ceramic coatings are the solution to this problem, since they are designed to last years! (Even the consumer grade coatings are rated for up to 2 years of protection.) By design, ceramic coatings are permanent (hence "ceramic") and will only come off if intentionally removed (by abrasion and machine polishing).
One thing to consider
Since most people view waxing as a once in a lifetime fix to their car's appearance issues, we need to start here, before really claiming the "never wax your car again" title for ceramic coatings.
A lot of people view waxing as a one and done procedure, and not every month or every few months, as they should. Since this is the case, we have to determine what people are actually looking for in a wax job.
A lot of people think wax will actually improve (permanently) their car's appearance, but unfortunately, this is not true. Wax is more like a makeup and a sunscreen, that needs to be reapplied to cover up imperfections and protect the paint finish.
Since a wax job, to most people, is to make the car look better, rather than to protect the paint, one would assume that people are looking to improve their car's appearance with a wax job.
This is where the common tagline (never wax your car again), for ceramic coatings, falls short. Ceramic coatings protect and last like crazy. One thing they will not do is continually improve it's look. Coatings resist dirt well, and are harder than paint, therefore, less scratches will occur. But since coatings are applied once and are permanent, the condition of the vehicle, immediately after it's been coated, is the best the car will ever look - coat it once, but maintain it from there. Sure, the scratch resistance from a premium ceramic coating is superior, but over time, even the BEST ceramic coatings, such as Opti-Coat Pro, are not 100% scratch proof. Over time, if not maintained well, a ceramic coated car may look worse than a car that is regularly (every month) waxed.
Hi! This blog is written by Detail Pros' very own, Ken! I am the owner and detailer at Detail Pros in Yuba City, CA, which is a smallish town between Sacramento, CA and Chico, CA. Thanks for reading!
Yuba City, CA 95993
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