Ceramic coatings seem to be all the rage these days in the world of automotive protectants. Unlike Paint Protection Film, also known as clear bra, ceramic coatings aim to offer as much protection as their more expensive counterparts, but at a fraction of the cost. The internet is a wash of conflicting options about ceramic coatings and their inherent advantages and disadvantages. It can be pretty difficult to wrap your head around it most of the time, so let’s clear the air once and for all.
Some of the common solutions to protecting your paint such as waxes or sealants are great at giving your vehicle back its glossy shine and are decent at protecting against swirls marks and paint chips. However, the problem is that unless you regularly wash and maintain your car with monthly waxes, you’re never going to be able to protect your delicate clear coat against the wrath of mother nature.
Enter Ceramic coating. It’s a small, magical solution that once applied can last for a minimum of 2-3 years, and with proper maintenance you can expect it to last the lifetime of the vehicle. It’s a one-time application. Afterwards your paint finish is protected against all forms of casualties, including oxidation, corrosion, acid rain, and much more.
What is Ceramic Coating?
Ceramic coating is a chemical polymer solution that is usually applied by hand to the paint surface of the vehicle and left to dry and harden. During this process, the chemicals within the solution form a hard protective layer on top of your vehicle’s existing clear coat, filling in any imperfections within the top layer to leave a mirror-like shine.
What are the Benefits of Ceramic Coating?
Hydrophobic & Highly Resistant
Thanks to the ultra-strong chemical bonds formed, ceramic coatings are highly resistant against normal atmospheric conditions and even offer hydrophobic properties, meaning rain, muck, and grime will simply roll off the coated surface. If you do happen to drive through a nasty puddle on the way back from work, just rinse off the bodywork and it’ll be good as new.
During normal cleaning and detailing of the vehicle, you won’t risk removing this polymer coating like you would with waxes or sealants. Doing so requires an extensive polishing and wet-sanding process, though we won’t get into that for now.
Protection Against Mother Nature
Hydrophobic properties aren’t its only benefit. With ceramic coating, you’re well-prepared to face off against the worst that mother nature has to offer and that includes acidic contaminants. Ceramic coating will prevent these contaminants from bonding to the surface of the vehicle—a great relief for those of us who live in areas where the air pollution only seems to be getting worse.
Protection From Harmful UV Rays
If your vehicle is parked on the street or left out in the sun for extended periods of time, ceramic coating can help prevent your vehicle’s paint finish from oxidation, which is the reason why your car’s once glorious shine changes into a dull and hazy finish.
The enhanced gloss that this polymer coating can bring to your vehicle’s paint is one of the reasons why some people may opt for a ceramic coating in lieu of a clear bra since it makes the car look as if it just came off the production line. Not only will this help keep you happy every time you see the car, but your bank account as well.
What Can Ceramic Coating Not Do?
Stop the Need for Regular Maintenance
At the end of the day, it is important to realize that ceramic coatings aren’t a full stop solution. Getting a ceramic coating isn’t an excuse to stop washing or detailing your car. Yes, ceramic coatings are incredible, however, failure to maintain them means your paint will go back to a dull and faded finish in just a few year’s time.
Be sure to maintain your vehicle by regularly washing and detailing it to avoid burning through the ceramic coating. It’s designed to make washing your car a whole lot easier, not remove the process entirely.
Protection from All Scratches and Swirl Marks
Ceramic coatings are also not a replacement for paint protection film solutions, rather they are seen as an alternative to waxing. Despite the ultra-strong ceramic protection layer on the surface of your vehicle, it can’t protect against all forms of scratches, swirl marks, and rock chips. Also note, incorrect washing techniques or automated car washes still risk introducing these imperfections into your paint finish.
Ceramic coatings might also look like a DIY-friendly procedure, however, we would highly advise against that. While the process itself is not that complicated, it’s the proper safety precautions and preparation that can allow a professional installation to stand out from your neighbor’s home garage-based application.
It’s important to properly clean, decontaminate, and paint correct the surface of your vehicle before applying the ceramic coating since ceramic coatings won’t actually hide away scratches or swirl marks, but seal them in completely. Always allow a professional to complete the installation for you since there are a plethora of ways you can mess up the application process.
Get Showroom-Ready With SET Auto Care
It’s important to note that ceramic coatings represent great value for money and an excellent way to protect, amp up the glossy finish of your vehicle’s paint, and make cleaning your vehicle a lot easier. While it may be no substitute for PPF, it’s a much better alternative to your traditional waxes and sealants.
If you need more information about ceramic coating, contact SET Auto Care or visit us in person at 71 Marycroft Avenue unit 13 Woodbridge, Ontario.
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