Updated: Oct 5, 2021
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By now most people have heard the words "Ceramic Coating," but a lot are still confused on what it is exactly, and why it is the best thing to happen in car protection in the last 30 years. As a professional detailer I get to explain the process and the value of a Ceramic Coating to people all the time, and what I have found is most people have heard of it or seen products with the words "Ceramic Coating" on them, but have no real sense of what it is.
From the drive-through car wash to the detailing section of your local AutoZone down the road, "Ceramic Coatings" are everywhere. I got a phone call the other day from my grandma out in Indiana and she said "The drive-through car wash down the street is offering Ceramic Coating's for $7 on top of your normal car wash, is that real?" Unfortunately, it is not, these products that are claiming to be Ceramic Coatings, but are almost always an Si02 or Silica based spray protection that has a "Ceramic" based chemical makeup but is not a Ceramic Coating in the professional sense. Most of these "Ceramic Coatings" will last 2-6 weeks and will look amazing while it is on there but lack the actual properties that make a Ceramic Coating a Ceramic Coating.
So What is A Ceramic Coating?
One of the main differences between your normal spray waxes and sealants is the hardness rating of a Ceramic Coating. Most Clear Coat layers and temporary protection products such as spray waxes, paste waxes, & sealants are rated between 2H and 4H. A Professional Grade Ceramic Coating on the other hand has a hardness rating of 9H. A Ceramic Coating is applied in a liquid form and has a curing period of anywhere from 6-8 Hours to 2 Weeks. A Ceramic Coating will last 10x longer or more than waxes and sealants and will protect 10x as much. A Ceramic Coating will bond to the clear coat or single stage layer of paint and create a semi-permanent bond to the surface that can last anywhere from 8 months to 10 years depending on the coating and the layers you intended to put on your vehicle.
So What Are the Benefits of a Professional Grade Ceramic Coating?
A Professional Grade Ceramic Coating that is installed by certified installers can have a multitude of benefits over a standard wax or a sealant. One of the main ones that intrigue people is the idea that you will never have to wax your vehicle ever again! Once a ceramic coating is applied waxing on top of the sacrificial layer is not needed, of course, you can still add wax or a Ceramic Based Topper but it is not needed! Below is a list of some of the things a ceramic coating will protect against over a traditional wax or a sealant
5 Protection Benefits of a Ceramic Coating
Extreme UV Protection
Acid Rain Protection
Etching Resistance Compared to Clear Coat or Wax (Bird Droppings, Bug Stains, Water Spot)
Oxidation and Rust Resistance
Looking at the chemical resistance or the hydrophobicity of a ceramic coating compared to a sealant or a traditional wax is amazing but what other benefits does a coating offer you besides just protection? Some of the best Ceramic Coating companies such as Ceramic Pro or P&S Inspiration or GTechniq are the added benefits of a guarantee or a warranty!
5 Other Benefits of a Ceramic Coating
Never Wax Again
A Ceramic Coating Leaves a Semi-Permanent layer of protection that lasts 10x longer than any other traditional form of protection
A Ceramic Coating offers a Hardness of 9H and gives you 5x a much protection against UV Rays, Etchings, & Stains
Saves you Money
Saving you time and money not having to wax or maintain your vehicle as often leaves it saving you money in the long run.
After Polishing and Applying a Ceramic Coating your vehicle will be the star of the show and will always return to that perfect showroom shine after it has been cleaned!
Stays Clean Longer
A Ceramic Coated vehicle will stay cleaner longer and be so much easier to clean. It is also "Self Cleaning" because of its hydrophobic properties, water will roll off your vehicle taking dirt & dust with it!
Increased Value of your Vehicle
Getting a vehicle Ceramic Coated can add value to your vehicle, just like adding a new roof to your house before you go to Refinance it. When using companies like Ceramic Pro or Opti-Coat your warranties are transferable and they are displayed on Carfax. Also, when the process of ceramic coating a vehicle is started, one of the first steps is prepping the vehicle for the coating. This consists of a full decontamination wash, clay bar, and a paint correction to try to get the vehicles finish as perfect as possible before applying the coating because whatever is left on the paint will be enhanced and sealed in the paint for the duration of the coating that is applied. After all the necessary prep is completed and the coating is applied a near perfect vehicle is sealed and every time you wash it or maintain it, you will be resetting the vehicle back to the way it looked after it was Ceramic Coated. This allows your vehicles factory finish to be preserved under the semi-permanent coating, increasing the resell value as well as the overall look when you go to trade up!