We understand that your car is an investment that requires regular maintenance and care. Although maintaining the internal systems of your car should be the priority, many people work hard to preserve their vehicle’s appearance. For many car owners, this involves frequent washing and regular use of wax coatings to protect their car from visible damages. However, the use of ceramic coating has recently become a popular and effective alternative offered by many auto shops. To make things simpler, we’ve compiled the basics of ceramic coating to help you decide whether it’s appropriate for you.
What is ceramic coating? Ceramic coating is typically composed of a combination of silica and titanium dioxide. When applied to your car’s exterior, these molecules form a hydrophobic barrier that protect your vehicle from a variety of external damages. Ceramic coating is used as a protective mechanism against regular wear and tear, and also allows for easier cleaning and maintenance of your vehicle. Benefits of Ceramic Coating As mentioned, ceramic coating offers long-term protection against a range of common damages that can affect your car’s finish. Blemishes to your vehicle can result from many factors such as oxidation, water damage, ultraviolet exposure, bird droppings, chemicals, acid rain, tar, impact from insects and animals, environmental pollutants, or improper washing.
Ceramic coatings will make your car more resistant against minor trauma and abrasions. These include the larger, more obvious abrasions as well as very fine scratches (termed “swirl marks”) that are typically only visible upon close inspection. Most ceramic coatings provide an additional layer of coating that can be removed and re-applied to address this type of damage.
Aside from offering protection, ceramic coatings add value to your vehicle and reduces the need for frequent washing and maintenance.
Types of ceramic coatings.
There are two primary types of ceramic coating available: professional grade coatings or consumer grade coatings.
The most common professional grade coatings available utilize nano-technology to fill minor blemishes that consumer grade coatings don’t address. To determine the effectiveness of coatings, the pencil hardness scale is used to measure the extent of damage a particular coating can resist. This scale is an industry standard and ranks coatings on a scale of 0 to 9. A coating with a ranking of 9H, for example, indicates that the coating can protect against scratches from a 9H ranked graphite pencil.
There are many products on the internet that claim to be ceramic coatings, but are actually hybrids that contain silica as an ingredient. Below are two of the most common types of commercial coatings available, including price range, advantages, and disadvantages.
- Pros: Easy to use, and produces a similar result as ceramic coatings.
- Cons: Is not a true ceramic coating.
DIY Ceramic Coats
-Pros: -Offers better protection than spray products, and uses actual ceramic coating technology.
-Cons: Requires some existing knowledge and skill to use.
Quality Comparison. The primary difference between commercial and professional coatings are price, longevity, quality, and durability.
Most commercial products are intended for single layer application, which is less effective than the multi- layered applications that professional auto shops use. Consumer grade products are also cheaper, but they usually require some degree of knowledge to use properly. Users should have an idea of what flaws to look for on their vehicle, and how to correct these flaws before applying the coating. Any existing damages to the finish must be fixed before the coating is applied or the flaws will still be visible through the coating. Most consumer grade coatings will offer protection for three to six months after application, and can take two to three days to install.
Alternatively, professional ceramic coating services use skilled and reputable technicians, and operate out of facilities that must meet certain requirements. These facilities use higher quality coating and special equipment such as infrared curing lamps to maximize the result of the coating. Professional coatings provide protection for two to five years, and can take three to four days to install. Professional services will vary based on your location and depend on factors such as the size, condition, and type of protection your vehicle requires. Limitations of Ceramic Coating. There are a few misunderstandings about the use of ceramic coatings that are important to understand before you make a decision:
Ceramic coating does not completely “scratch-proof” your car. The coating only acts as a protective barrier that minimizes the extent of damage to the exterior. Trauma to your vehicle from accidents or rough washing (a common problem with automated car washes) will still leave scratches on your vehicle. You must be cautious when handling your car to prevent damage to the finish.
Ceramic coating does not eliminate the need to wash your car. As mentioned, the use of ceramic coating can reduce how frequently you need to wash your car, and allows you to remove debris with less effort. However, it is still necessary to wash your car in order to maintain its appearance over time.
Ceramic coating is not a substitute for paint protection film. Paint protection film (also known as “Clear Bra”) is a more durable and effective method of protection that is offered as an alternative service in most auto shops.
Autostream 360 provides professional ceramic coating installation to protect and maintain your vehicle’s optimal appearance. Our facility utilizes a 10H ceramic coating - ranking among the highest in the industry- to provide you with a durable and long-lasting protection against everyday wear and tear. Our services include multi-staged, single-staged, and dual staged coating depending on your vehicle’s needs and condition.
Our services also include protective coatings for wheels and glass, which reduce glare and provide additional protection from UV rays. Ceramic coating is an excellent method to increase your vehicle’s longevity, retain its value, and ensure easier maintenance. Feel free to contact us for questions, additional services, and pricing inquiries.
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