Reality of a ceramic coating
Amidst all the hype surrounding ceramic coatings, in regards to their "never wax your car again" claims, and superior "teflon-like" "slicker-than-oil-like" protection, to the right type of car owner, with realistic expectations, they really are as good as claimed. Of course it takes a little bit of discernment to shuffle through all of the false claims, and hyper-amplified hype, (not to mention a bit of research) but ceramic coatings really are the most superior form of protection for your car's paint, outside of paint protection film. They certainly outlast and outdo all waxes, sealants, and even the "lifelong" stuff they sell at the dealership.
But let's get real. There's no way to liquefy Superman, and spread him all over your car. The reality is that ceramic coatings are a liquid product that gets wiped and flashed onto the paint, hardens over few days or so, and stays there until manually or environmentally taken off or worn off. Some coatings fail sooner than others, but all coatings will last longer and protect longer than any wax, sealant, and dealership protection out there. Now a coating will not wash your car properly by hand, or even at all, neither will it garage your car or keep it out of harm. A ceramic coating's durability, just like anything else, will be equivalent to how it's cared for and maintained. Here's the reality of what to expect from any ceramic coating, regardless of how long they are projected to last.
Dirt resistance, easier maintenance
Ceramic coatings will resist dirt to a degree. Will your car get dirty with a ceramic coating installed? Of course! But, the slickness and the makeup of a ceramic coating will help and is intended to keep dirt off. A ceramic coated car vs a non coated car, if tested under the same environment and conditions, will be way less dirty than not.
Will you still have to wash your car? Yes. Will you have to hand wash your car? It is highly recommended, so as not to get the coating scratched and worn off. Can you take your ceramic coated car to the touchless car wash - to prevent scratching your car and to lessen the amount of work required to keep the car clean? Sure, if you have a better coating installed. Most consumer grade coatings will not withstand the harsh chemicals blasting the car over time. They will degrade faster with touchless washes, than by using less aggressive chemicals, like car wash soap, and manually and gently hand washing.
Ceramic coated cars are easier to wash by hand. For one, there will be less dirt on the car. Secondly, the water behavior when spraying the car down is intense. Water will bead and sheet off with ease. Third, since the dirt will not stick as easily with a coated car, all it takes is a soapy mitt with no pressure applied, to release the loose dirt from the surface. Just rinse the car, glide the mitt across the paint, then rinse off and dry. Yes, there will be some agitation involved for things such as bird droppings and bugs, tar, and other contaminants, but cleaning a car that is cleaner to start with, and is easier to get clean, will make for easier maintenance.
Bird poop and bug etching, etc.
This, right here, is where a ceramic coating really shines. All cars, if driven ever, will at some point have bird poop landing on it, and certainly bugs on the front end of the vehicle. Now, while most car guys and car enthusiasts are awesome at keeping bugs and bird droppings off their car, quickly removing it for fear of paint damage, most of the general population that is not as anal about car care and appearance, will let that aspect of their car ownership slip and fall by the wayside. Sure, the car will be washed every month, or at best every few weeks, but by then, most car paint systems will show the effects of bird poop and bug guts being stuck on and left on the paint. There will be etching. And most of the time, it does not look good, nor is it repairable by just washing or waxing or polishing. No regular detailing will rid of these pesky issues.
In comes ceramic coatings! Ceramic coatings, as well as paint protection film, are the best way to prevent damage from bug guts and bird poop. Now, of course, attending to these issues as soon as they occur is actually the best way to prevent damage, however, most people don't live in the world of prioritizing their car's appearance. By the time they decide to take action on a bird dropping on their paint, or bug intestines splattered all over the front fascia, it's normally too late - the damage is done.
With ceramic coatings, and more truthfully, professional grade ceramic coatings, there is a superior chemical resistance that helps keep the acids and enzymes from a dead bug and bird poop from penetrating the paint surface, and thus preventing the damage. It takes the damage, if it occurs, and not your precious paint. Now, will bugs and bird poop ever penetrate a coating and damage your paint EVER? It is possible, just like anything else in life. But, the design and intent of a ceramic coating is to prevent this stuff from happening. It is the tangible insurance for your car's appearance. Otherwise, damage to the front end and the horizontal panels that birds love, may eventually and inevitably occur. (Hello paint job!)
If you can find value in that, then getting a ceramic coating installed is totally worth it.I
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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