Updated: Feb 6
Ceramic coatings have been a hot topic and considered the best in vehicle protection for quite a few years now. But, with everything, there's always a downside. In this short article, we break down 5 reasons why a protective coating isn't right for everyone.
1. Up-front Cost
It was a no-brainer this would be a talking point. Ceramic coatings are typically one of the higher priced services within any car detailing company. However, they also provide far more value than most traditional vehicle protection methods.
Try taking a different approach when crunching the numbers and look at the long-term (1 year or more) numbers. For example, here at SpeeDetail, our entry-level exterior detail starts at $99. Your vehicle will look great and we'll apply a synthetic spray wax for paint protection. But, the spray wax is only going to offer you around 1 month of protection. The protection isn't as strong as that of a ceramic coating either. So, to keep a layer of wax on your car over the course of a year, you'd spend roughly $1200 (for a sedan). Or if you're a DIY'er, this would cost you 2 hours or more every time you waxed the car yourself.
On the contrary, our 1 year ceramic coating, which gives you a much more thorough detail, will cost you around $450 (for a sedan). Ceramic coatings still need to be maintained (common misconception), but that creates another selling point in their favor. Ceramic coatings make maintaining your car fast, easy and simple. We can usually wash a ceramic coated vehicle in less than a half hour and you can too!
2. You Regularly Use Automatic Car Washes
If you're someone that uses automatic car washes and plans on doing so in the future, a ceramic coating isn't worth your investment. This goes back to the myth that ceramic coatings are indestructible. They're not.
To counter that, automatic car washes can be very destructive, especially to protection applied to your vehicle. Car washes, touchless or not, use a very high pH solution. This leaves your paint in an alkaline state, which can cause fading and haziness to your car's clear coat or other applied protection, such as ceramic coatings. When this is done to a ceramic coating, it will dramatically effect it's performance and longevity. If you have want to explore less harsh vehicle maintenance, check out our article on the rinse-less wash method. It is safe and effective on any car on the road!
3. It's Just A Car To You
Is your car just a way to get from point A to point B? If so, a ceramic coating isn't the best option for you. After all, it's not something that your car needs, like an oil change or new brakes. We would love to see every vehicle on the road have a ceramic coating because we stand behind their performance and benefits, but they're just not necessary for everyone. If you want to keep your vehicle clean, but don't care about scratches and swirls from the automatic washes, then no need to invest in long-term vehicle protection. If you ever decide you do want long-term protection, we can give you plenty of reasons why you should get a ceramic coating in this post.
4. You'll Be Selling In Less Than A Year
Have plans to sell or trade-in your vehicle within the next year? A ceramic coating probably isn't the best option at this time. We would recommend our Signature car detailing lineup in that situation. There are multiple 1 year coating options available, but we don't recommend anything more durable if you won't get to enjoy the benefits anyways. Our 1 year coating option here at SpeeDetail will perform the same as a 5 year ceramic coating, it just won't last as long. If you want to increase the vehicle's value before selling, a 1 year coating is a great option. To ensure the added value, all of our car detailing services are recorded to your vehicle's CARFAX service report.
Will you be selling much sooner than 1 year? We recommend a ceramic-based sealant. This option is a step down from a true ceramic coating. The SiO2 sealant will perform exactly like a coating, but will typically only last 6-8 months when maintained properly. Feel free to browse our mobile car detailing services to find the best protection for your vehicle.
5. You Haven't Done Your Research
You've read this far and just by opening this article, you've at minimum, began your research on ceramic coatings. Go YOU! The reason researching this particular topic is so important is because there are a lot of myths and flat out lies being spread by product companies and detail companies alike. Never trust a product or detailer that uses trigger words like; bulletproof, indestructible, invisible, armor, maintenance-free, etc. These are all pretty bold claims that we've seen or heard and they are all untrue.
The truth is, the effectiveness of any ceramic coating comes down to the preparation involved. This is where the time and price comes into play as well. It takes much longer to properly prepare your car's paint for a ceramic coating than it does to actually install and cure the coating itself. You can find articles related to our preparation process at www.speedetailoh.com/blog
We can't stress this enough- if you have questions regarding a ceramic coating, please reach out to us! We will walk you through the entire process, guide you on reliable brands and even set up a free consultation to discuss your needs and expectations.
Thank You for reading, we hope you found this write-up informative. Check out our ceramic coating packages to find the best option for you.
Your SpeeDetail Team
Butler & Warren Counties