Updated: Feb 6
At SpeeDetail, we're often approached by clients who are in the market for a new vehicle. Many of them come to us with questions about the ceramic paint coating the dealership wants to install on their new car. So, they ask us, "Is this worth it?" We tell everyone the same thing. "Probably not." That's not because the dealer is competition or because we don't like them. It's because the quality of the product is poor and they are usually overcharging people for it.
From our experience, the dealership will typically offer a lifetime warranty on an "in-house" ceramic coating. There are a handful of brands in rotation amongst the dealerships and I promise, none of these brands are professional coatings nor are they used by reputable detailers. These "coatings" are actually paint sealants that don't last nearly as long. Don't be fooled by the warranty either. The lifetime "warranty" you are offered on the paint coating will be almost impossible to abide by. Usually included in this warranty is the stipulation that you must come back in every 6 months to 1 year to have your paint coating reapplied. Again, its just a paint sealant. Sealants are great! But they're not professional ceramic coatings.
As far as the price, they may charge more or they may charge less than a professional car detailer. The point is, regardless of price, you're not getting what you paid for. To put this in perspective, we spoke to someone who was charged over $500 for their paint coating and the job was done in less than 1 hour! Ask the detailer of your choice how long the prep work alone takes on just a 1 or 2 year coating. It's at minimum, a few hours or more. This is before the ceramic coating application and cure time. If they say something like "an hour or two", RUN!
As with a lot of things in life, preparation is key. This is especially true with ceramic coatings. If it only takes 2 hours to install the coating, the prep time can be 6 hours or more. Without properly cleaning and prepping the paint surface, you won't create a good bond with the coating, resulting in far less durability. Like car detailing in general, preparation is where the time and cost of a ceramic coating are generated.
Before actually installing the coating itself, at SpeeDetail we thoroughly clean the wheels, wash the car, decontamination wash the car, clay bar treatment, polish the paint and perform a final paint cleaning, or panel wipe to make sure the surface is completely clean of any oils or left over product residue. This doesn't even include measuring all areas of the paint before polishing, or taping off edges before polishing. All of these steps decide the outcome of how well your ceramic coating will perform. That's why we always preach about researching your car detailer. Ask them questions and make a confident buying decision.
A lot of times, people will get buyer paralysis when they are confused or unsure about a buying decision. We hope this article gave you clarity instead of confusion. If you want to know if a ceramic coating is the right decision for you, check SpeeDetail's 5 Reasons You Shouldn't Get A Ceramic Coating.
There are certainly more things we could point out with these coatings, but we didn't write this article to put people down. At SpeeDetail Mobile Auto Detailing, we genuinely want to help you make an informed decision when it comes to car detailing, especially on something like a ceramic coating. You can check out our mobile ceramic coating offerings and get a comparison between the products we use.
If you have anymore questions regarding dealership coatings, ceramic coatings in general or our mobile car detailing services, we'd love to answer them for you! There are multiple ways you can contact us below.
Thanks for reading,
Your SpeeDetail Team
Butler & Warren Counties