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Ceramic Coatings, Should you get one? What else is there?

Ceramic coatings are a fairly new technology in the car care world first coming out a little over 15 years ago. These coatings are designed to enhance the gloss and add a rock hard protective layer to your vehicles paint. These coatings act almost like another layer of clear coat. They help to protect the base coat from the harmful UV rays the sun produces. These rays cause the paint to fade and lose its color. Ceramic coatings are supposed to protect and keep the paint glossier for a longer period of time then a wax or a sealant may. Ceramic coatings also get a false sense of security with the advertising that is out there for them. Advertisements make it seem as if this is some sort of magical coating that will protect your car from anything and that you never have to do anything after they have been applied to your paint.

The truth is ceramic coatings still require you to maintain the vehicle, they simply just make it easier to do so. They make the surface slicker and make it harder for the dirt to stick to the vehicles paint, also because they are another lay of protection they take the brunt of the wash induced marring, etching caused by bird droppings and acid rain. and light scuffs and scratches. But just like the clear coats once an area has been damaged or the coating has been warn through it is no longer there and needs to be reapplied. This is one of the benefits of a coating. You can correct the paint and reapply depending on the severity of an area without getting into the clear coat of the car!

Why a Ceramic Coating might not be for you

While ceramic coatings are a great investment to some they are not for every one. Here are somethings to think about before deciding on whether or not you should should invest in a coating for your car.

1. Cost

The price on these coatings usually start out around $1000 on an average size vehicle and go up from there depending on the size vehicle and prep to get the car ready for the coating to be applied.

2. Maintenance Required

As stated before this isn't some magical apply it and forget about it coating its longevity is based on how well it is maintained as well as the type of weather conditions it sees. A vehicle that constantly sees regular washes and is garage kept will see a longer life span on the coating then a car that is never washed and sits out in the baking sun all the time.

3. Longevity of the product

Ceramic coatings have a rather long protection life to them. If you are someone that only leases your vehicle for a year or two and then trades it in for a newer model it may not be worth the money to have a coating applied to your car. Your typical store bought ceramic coat has a life span of around 2 to 5 years, while a professional grade coating can last up to 10.

What else is there?

Besides ceramic coatings there are other types of protection that can be applied to your car that don't last as long and are a little more budget friendly. You still have the tried and true paste waxes, spray waxes, and sealants. Sealants are a polymer based synthetic coating that have a reputation for being glossier and longer lasting then a wax. They are a newer technology then was but not as new a ceramic coatings. Most sealants are a spray and wipe type application, this alone makes it more cost effective then a paste wax but when you add in the fact that it lasts almost 3 times longer then a wax it comes becomes the pretty clear option for most customers. The ease of application gives detailers the option to eat the cost and apply it to a known returning customers vehicle to provided for a better experience when the customer comes back for a "maintenance detail" since coatings make the paint slick which makes it difficult for dirt to stick to the surface.

While waxes are an older technology in detailing they still can hold a purpose. Since they don't last as long (typically between 50-60 days) you may choose to apply wax to a maintenance detail job that you see biweekly or at least once a month. A wax may also fit the build on a classic car that is used to getting a carnuba paste wax a couple times of year. With the increased technology in coatings even waxes themselves have scratch filling capabilities as well as enhanced depth and gloss abilities.

In the end it comes down to doing some research and talking to a reputable detailer to find out what is going to be the best coating to suit your needs.

Please check back next week as we talk about the process we go through at Brownsrinseless to get your interior looking its best and don't forget to contact us for all your detailing needs. Schedule your appointment today!

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