Ceramic Coatings: what they do and don’t do
Ceramic coatings are touted as being one of the greatest upgrades you can do for a vehicle’s paintwork. While we agree that an installation can certainly pimp your ride in a way no other paint protection product can, it’s important to understand its limitations.
Most suppliers will – quite naturally – extol the virtues of ceramic coating. However, while it can be an excellent decision in the right situation, it’s not suitable for all vehicles. At Radical Autoworks, we’re all about providing honest info to allow owners of prestige vehicles to make an informed decision about the best way to protect their precious ride’s façade…
All About Ceramic Coatings: the pros, the cons and everything in-between
While we don’t want to teach you to suck eggs, let’s quickly go over exactly what a ceramic coating is. As the name suggests, it contains microscopic elements of ceramic – known as nano-particles – that, when applied to a paintwork (or over a car wrap) bond seamlessly and invisibly to the surface below. The dries into a crystal-clear, rock-hard layer that accentuates the shades and colours beneath it, making the vehicle shine in a way that no amount of waxing or polishing can ever achieve.
The best quality coatings, such as those supplied by Gyeon Quartz will, if correctly applied, add a level of paint protection that lasts for many years.
Dispelling the Myths: the truth about what adding ceramic coating does
Done right, ceramic coating brings many attributes. However, it’s not a miracle product, so let’s get down to the nitty gritty and tell you what ceramic coating can’t achieve. After that, we’ll get to the fun bit and tell you why we think it’s a must-have upgrade for many of the coolest motors on the road today…
- Ceramic coating doesn’t mean you never need to wash your car again. If only, we have to say. While it does make maintenance easier (more about that in a mo.), you are still going to have to get out the shampoo on occasion.
- It can’t prevent all types of paintwork damage. Again, while it does an awesome job of paint protection, it can’t stop big stone chips, damage from automatic car washes or damage caused by that (insert description of your choice) who scrapes or scratches your parked car and doesn’t have the decency to leave a note with their contact details.
- It can’t correct paintwork in poor condition. However, minor paint correction needs are part of the process of a great installation. Just be aware that if it’s not done correctly, the coating can exacerbate the look of any paint anomalies.
- Ceramic coating won’t completely eradicate water spotting. Sure, it reduces it, but it can’t prevent it completely.
OK, so now we’ve told you what the stuff can’t do, let’s get down to the important facts about what it can!
· Ceramic coatings for protection: One thing that’s awesome about the product is its protection against environmental and chemical damage. UV ray fade, bird strikes, acid rain… The product creates an excellent barrier against paintwork damage from these types of damage.
· Minor physical damage: General road debris, small particles and bugs will have a tough job getting through the best ceramic coating.
· It’s hydrophobic: This means that water and liquids are repelled away from the surface, beading and sliding away. While this doesn’t mean, as we mentioned above, that there’s no danger of water spotting, what it does mean is that your regular car maintenance will be dramatically reduced. Which leads us neatly onto…
· It makes it a breeze to keep your car looking fab! Ceramic coating eliminates the need to wax. While you will still need to hand wash your pride and joy on occasion, the process will be reduced to the rinse-shampoo-rinse-dry sequence. Leaving you way more time to do what you should be doing – driving – instead of spending valuable cruising time waxing on, waxing off…
· It also makes the paintwork shine like never before: The ceramic particles catch the light, causing it to refract at angles that bring a vibrancy and depth of colour like you’ve never seen before.
· Great ceramic coatings increase a car’s value: This is because the factory paint remains in better condition for way longer than if it was unprotected. Selecting a top-of-the-range coating, such as the just released and warranty-backed Gyeon Infinite Base Type 1, is by far the best type of product to choose. Boasting superior protection, hydrophobicity and self-cleaning properties, it’s so select that it can only be installed by providers that the company has certified to do so (more on that coming soon… sshhhhhh).
But do be aware that the preparation of the vehicle is as crucial as the choice of coating and installation itself. Cleaning and clay barring goes without saying, as does meticulous paint correction. The coating should be applied in a semi-sterile environment at a regulated temperature, before being allowed to cure for well over 24 hours.
This makes the choice of installer one of your most important considerations. Correctly applied ceramic coating will bring you all the advantages we’ve mentioned. But done badly? Well, let’s just say that it certainly won’t have the aesthetically pleasing and vehicle enhancing attributes that you hoped for. You can get cloudy patches, smudges and smears like wax that you didn’t quite polish off. The problem if its done wrong is, once it’s dried, it’s very hard to remove your mistake.
Ceramic Coatings: the key points (for those skim-readers amongst you)
So, there you have it. Ceramic coating can be a highly attractive option, as long as you understand its limitations.
- You must choose a high-quality product and have it installed by an experienced professional
- It can enhance the look and value of a car
- It reduces washing and cleaning needs but doesn’t eliminate them entirely
- It protects the factory paintwork to an extent but can’t prevent severe knocks and scrapes.
- Provides excellent protection against environmental factors, including UV ray paint fade.
- Creates a superior shine that can’t be achieved by other means.
It’s also worth mentioning that ceramic coating can be combined with PPF (or clear bra for our American cousins) f required. If you’re serious about beautiful paintwork, then the skilled Radical Autoworks team will be delighted to talk to you about your options. From PPF to detailing, car wraps to ceramic coatings, we’re just an email or phone call away.