Unfortunately, this question is asked so much because of the massive amount of disinformation and empty promises surrounding these products. Let’s start with what a ceramic coating is not. Coatings are not bullet proof and they aren’t magic wands that can reverse or prevent a lack of maintenance or care.
Let’s compare ceramic coatings to something we can all relate to. Think of a cooking pan that has dried food stuck to it. It takes a long time to clean and can be a real pain in the butt. Enter the non-stick pan. This made things much easier to clean and you rarely have to worry about food sticking if you clean it regularly. Ceramic coatings are like non-stick pans.
When not comparing coatings to cooking tools, we like to explain them like this… Ceramic coatings create a hardened layer of protection that bonds to your car’s paint. They are very slick and hydrophobic (water resistant) and have self-cleaning properties. Check out the photo below. See how some of the water beads have dirt trapped inside of them? The water will roll off the car, taking most of the dirt with it. With that said, a ceramic coating does not qualify as maintenance and actually needs to be maintained itself. To get the full benefits of a ceramic coating, it needs to be washed regularly, just as your car’s paint does.
Now let’s talk about everyone’s favorite part of ceramic coatings. The gloss! Coatings do add a tremendous amount of gloss to your paint. But, its not the coating alone that creates that brilliant shine. Gloss is all about reflections and refractions of light. Scratches and swirls will cause reflections instead of adding depth of light to the paint. If your paint is full of swirl marks from improper washing, the coating is essentially locking those imperfections in. When it comes down to it, you can’t beat the gloss and shine that ceramic coatings are capable of producing.
Ceramic coatings can quickly become glorified waxes if the proper prep work isn’t done before applying them. Getting the paint ready for the coating application is what makes the coating effective and is the reason coating services cost what they do. Think about our non-stick pan again for a second. If you just do a quick once over with some warm water, the pan isn’t going to be clean and won’t perform the way it should the next time you use it. Ceramic coatings are no different. If your paint is full of contaminants, the coating will not bond correctly, causing it to fail much sooner than it should.
Our final point is the ease of maintenance. This is why we encourage everyone to opt for a ceramic coating. Your vehicle is usually your second largest investment and you probably want to keep it looking nice. This involves taking care of it regularly. Ceramic coatings make this regular maintenance a breeze. We already know that coatings won’t maintain themselves, but cleaning time is cut in half. We explained that dirt and debris have a hard time adhering to the coating, making vehicle maintenance much easier. Drying will be much faster too, because water doesn’t stick to the coating either. Lastly, a coating eliminates the need to wax your car. The coating already provides the gloss and gives much better protection than any wax.
There are several great coating companies out there. If you’re unsure on which ones to trust and which claims are real, reach out to us. We’d be happy to point you in the right direction. We have researched and tested countless products and we know what works and what doesn’t. If you’d like more information on our ceramic coating offerings, visit our coatings page on our website: www.speedetailoh.com/coatings. We explain the benefits and even have gloss and protection ratings for each coating we offer.
As always, thank you for reading and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions, coating related or not.