Have you ever heard of automotive ceramic coating or Nano coating? Now there are many auto detailing products out there but these two terms seemed to be gaining a lot of buzz lately. This procedure, when performed by a reputable and legit detailing shop, claims to eliminate the need to apply wax every two or three months. Nano coatings or ceramic coatings are polymers that are engineered to form a molecular bond with the paint in your vehicle. The result is better protection and a longer lasting shine without the necessary elbow grease.
However, be aware of crooked coating companies. There are those that will offer the promise of lifetime protection against dirt and UV rays. Many will boast of a lengthy five-year or seven-year warranty, stating that only one application is needed to protect your car’s paint for a span of seven years! If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
You should also consider the cost of applying ceramic coating to an average-sized vehicle. You can expect to fork over at least $300 for materials and labor. This is could be more than five times than paying the same shop to apply a coat of ordinary wax.
So, how do you identify the crooked shops from the real ones? Here are the 5 things you need to know about ceramic or nano coatings. If the shop tells you otherwise, it is probably better to look elsewhere.
1. Nano coating will NOT get rid of scratches, swirl marks, and paint imperfections.
Think of it this way: ceramic coating is a viable alternative to waxing. By that, we mean it is not a magical formula that will take the place of polishing and buffing the paint. Pure carnauba wax will seal the paint and give it a glossy shine. Polish is responsible for removing a microscopic layer of the clear coat on the paint. This is the only way to remove oxidation, discoloration, deep scratches, and ugly swirl marks. If the detailing shop is bragging their ceramic coating will remove scratches or major paint damage, walk away.
2. Ceramic coating will NOT completely eliminate water spots.
The primary motivation behind ceramic coating is the hydrophobic quality of the product. It is a fancy way of saying the product will repel water spots as the liquid will simply slide off the surface. Well, most of this is true, but Nano coating will not ensure the surface is 100 percent free from water spots. You need to remember that water droplets or rain will always contain a slight amount of hard minerals or dirt. When the water evaporates, the minerals will be left behind, hence the presence of water spots. If your vehicle is Nano-coated, there will still be a small amount of water droplets left in the pain. Still, ceramic coating will not totally eliminate water spots.
3. There is no need to wash the car frequently.
Crooked or dishonest ceramic coating companies will probably tell you that a single coat will eliminate the need to wash the vehicle. Others will claim you only need to wash the car every couple of months. The truth is ceramic coating will make it easier to wash the vehicle so you can effortlessly remove dirt, mud, and stains. In fact, the level of protection will improve with frequent washing. If you drive your vehicle, it will get dirty. Ceramic coating is not a magical spell that will make your vehicle impervious to dirt, dust, and debris. You will still need to wash the vehicle with cleaning products and water once the paint gets dirty, period.
4. Ceramic coating is NOT easy to apply.
Unless the garage is referring to over-the-counter ceramic paint protection, professional-grade Nano coatings are tedious to apply. The entire process will take a whole day or probably two days at most. Why? The paint will need to be rigorously washed and inspected prior to the application of Nano coating. The polymer will only bond to a clean and relatively spotless surface. The paint will need to be clayed and buffed to remove traces of old wax. The garage will also polish the finish to remove oxidation and swirl marks. After all of this is done, only then can they apply the Nano coating. The polymer will need to cure for at least 24 hours before the car is ready to face the elements. Beware of coating companies that claim the entire procedure will only take a couple of hours. It is probably a scam.
5. Nano coating is more economical than waxing.
Ceramic coating will require a small initial investment. When done right, your vehicle will have a longer lasting shine and will be easier to clean. However, you can still get this effect from frequent waxing. You can buy a whole set of waxes, polishes, and other car care products for the price of a single ceramic coating and technically wax your vehicle more times. If you have a newer car, Nano coating is a good option. Older cars should stick to the tried and true method of polishing and waxing.