For as long as cars have existed, people have tried ways to keep them looking good for as long possible in between washes. Traditionally, people would buff their clean vehicles with wax to help maintain their paint job, repel dirt, and add a beautiful shine to their exterior.
As technology has advanced, many people also began to use chemical sealants for the same reason. Ceramic coatings have become increasingly popular as the go-to method for maintaining your car’s beauty and preventing wear and tear on the paint. Ceramic coatings were something previously only used by high end body shops, but today are a very easy and affordable solution for the everyday car owner.
What Exactly is a “Ceramic Coating”?
A ceramic coat is a chemical compound that comes in a can and is applied to your clean, dry vehicle, much like any traditional sealant. The active chemical compound is SiO2, or Silicon Dioxide, which forms a polymer seal on your vehicle and over your existing paint.
A ceramic coat is highly hydrophobic which means that it naturally repels water. After application, you’ll notice that water beads immediately when hitting your car and that it dries very quickly. A ceramic coating will also give your vehicle a glossy, candy like shine that will last for as long as the coating does.
What Are the Benefits of a Ceramic Coating?
A ceramic coating on your vehicle comes with a number of great benefits. The most important and desirable benefit is that a ceramic coated vehicle repels dirt, dust, and grime better than a non coated vehicle and needs to be washed less often. A quick rinse and a wipe down with a good microfibre cloth is all most owners find they need to do for their coated cars.
Ceramic coatings have also become very popular because they are very easy to apply. In years past, getting a paint job clear coated meant you either needed to have the sprayer, chemicals, and safety equipment to apply it properly or that you had to find a body shop and pay them to do it for you. Today, applying a ceramic coating to your vehicle is as easy as buying the compound from your local auto parts store, washing and drying your car thoroughly, and then applying the coating according to the simple directions.
Does it Last?
Ceramic coatings are also useful because they last a very long time. Depending on the product you use and your vehicle maintenance, a good ceramic coating should last 10, 15, or even 20 thousand miles before it needs to be reapplied. Between applications you can maintain the look and evenness of the coating by using a ph neutral soap that contains SiO2.
What’s the Catch?
If you apply a ceramic coating to your car, there are few things you do still need to keep in mind. While it does help against everyday wear and tear, you still need to be mindful about scratches, rock chips, and other debris damage to your paint. A ceramic coating will make your car look good between washes, but you will still need to take the time to regularly rinse, wash, and dry your vehicle as normal to help keep the coating and protect your paint job.
Should I Ceramic Coat My Car?
Not every solution is best for every situation, but if having a clean, glossy and dirt resistant car is something that sounds appealing, a ceramic coating might be just the right thing. Ceramic coating compounds are affordable, easy to find, and very straightforward to apply. Your car will look better, require less detailing work, and maintain its factory quality paint job for many years.