Ceramic Coatings are awesome, that’s for sure! However, over the years coating companies have led consumers to believe a false reality of what ceramic coatings are and what they can do. The ‘as seen on TV’ type advertisements you may have seen on Facebook or YouTube have somewhat made people think that a ceramic coating for cars is bullet proof. You can light your car on fire and scratch it with a lighter and nothing will happen – wrong! It’s time we cleared the air and debunked some myths about ceramic coatings and what they can really do for your car.
MYTH 1: I don’t have to wash my car anymore since it has a ceramic coating.
This is something we’ve been asked so many times and we now make sure we thoroughly explain this to any potential client booking their car in for a ceramic coating. Yes, the ceramic coating will make your car stay cleaner for longer and make the washing process much easier, but you still must wash your vehicle. Your car will still get dirty with a ceramic coating paint protection and if you decide to never wash your vehicle, it will get considerably contaminated or even water spotted which will decrease the water repelling and beading properties.
The Ceramic Coating is no forcefield, nor is it bullet proof, but when maintained, your vehicle will be incredibly easier to wash and stay shiny. Waxes and sealants have a very short lifespan unlike ceramic coatings, which is why having a ceramic coating applied to your vehicle is highly recommended.
MYTH 2: My car won’t get scratched anymore with a ceramic coating.
This would have to be the biggest and most misleading myth about ceramic coatings. Many product companies use the term ‘Scratch Resistant’ or ‘Scratch Proof’ to describe the ceramic coating in order to make it more appealing, but this is far from the truth. Like we’ve said before, a ceramic coating isn’t bullet proof, and this is something we explain here at Clean Getaway.
It’s so important to know that ceramic coatings (or at least the ones we use) will help prevent scratches, but there are many kinds of scratches to take note of. The type of scratches that a ceramic coating will help prevent are called swirl marks and marring. Swirl marks are noticeable in direct sunlight – you can’t see them in a shady area – so you could think your paint is flawless until it’s in direct sunlight. Swirls look like spider web lines on your paint and are caused from anything that touches your paint. Wash mitts, sponges, a chamois, drying towels, brooms and brushes – all these tools will cause swirls to some degree (especially brooms and sponges).
Left side shows swirls and scratches caused from poor washing and drying techniques. Right side has been paint corrected.
Ceramic Coatings provide amazing paint protection. They are there to help protect your car against swirls and scratches. It offers a sacrificial layer that can be applied to protect the vehicle’s paintwork below it. High quality washing products and the proper techniques are required to keep your car in the best condition with the least amount of swirling.
MYTH 3: The ceramic coating is permanent.
Nothing lasts forever and it’s important to understand why coating companies use the word ‘permanent’. Many product companies claim that their automotive ceramic coating is permanent on the paint or will form a permanent bond to the paint. This is a very misleading claim as everything in this world has a life expectancy and won’t last forever.
The paintwork under the ceramic coating has a life expectancy and so does the car itself – a ceramic coating will eventually wear away. Another way of looking at it is understanding how a carnauba wax works. The life expectancy of a wax that’s been applied to a car will vary dramatically. Yes, a wax can last 5 years but only if the vehicle is garaged, never driven, and is meticulously maintained.
If that vehicle is a daily driver and is washed regularly, the wax will struggle to last a maximum of 3 months – if that! So, in summary, the ceramic coating will form a ‘permanent bond’ with the paint, but this does not mean it will last forever in a real-life situation. After all, we do purchase cars to drive them. Well, most of us do!
MYTH 4: Will my Ceramic Coating peel off when it breaks down?
This is something that freaks people out about Ceramic Coatings. After seeing their old Camry or Commodore have paint flaking and the clear coat peeling, it then becomes a concern that perhaps the ceramic coating will do the same thing once it breaks down.
Thankfully, this is totally not the case! A ceramic coating forms a thin yet incredibly strong bond on top of the clear coat. It will not flake off like a thick layer of clear coat will. Think of it like a layer of wax: when you apply wax to your car, you will not see it peel off when it begins to wear away – it just disappears.
To be completely honest, most times it’s very difficult to know whether the ceramic coating has fully worn off. Just because there are swirls, lack of beading, and perhaps water spotting, doesn’t mean that the coating is non-existent. This generally means that the paint needs to be decontaminated and cleaned with a mineral deposit remover. Although, it’s fair to say that the ceramic coating has served you well and helped fight off the elements and would have received very little love and care.
Sometimes it can be so hard to make sense of it all. There is so much information on the internet and every business can tell you something different. Here are Clean Getaway Car Detailing on the Sunshine Coast, we promise to deliver the truth about ceramic coatings so that our customers understand exactly what they’re purchasing. We know how much it sucks when you purchase something to serve a specific purpose, but it didn’t do what you expected – that is extremely frustrating, and you feel like you’ve been ripped off. Sometimes the truth might not be what you want to hear, but it is what you need to hear to make the right purchase. When maintained, ceramic coatings are without a doubt the best form of protective coating available. Come in and chat to our team about our Opti-Coat and Gtechniq range of Ceramic Coatings.