Do you need help with picking the right automotive ceramic coating? Here are some useful tips for you to consider regarding color, price, and more.
The global ceramic coating market was worth $9.75 billion in 2021 and it’s set to grow year on year.
That’s because, like you, millions of people now recognize the benefits of ceramic coating in all kinds of industrial settings. An automotive ceramic coating is an awesome way to keep your car looking like it just rolled off the dealer’s lot.
But not all ceramic coatings are made equal. The right one for your car depends on what matters most to you. Let’s get into 6 tips that’ll help you choose the best automotive ceramic coating for your pride and joy.
1. Check Out the Hardness Rating
Ceramic coatings work by creating a smooth, protective layer over the existing paintwork of your car. If you were to look at your car’s paintwork under a microscope, you’d see that it’s far from smooth. It’s full of little cracks, crevices, and undulations that trap dirt and grime. What you want is a surface that’s smooth and shiny and dirt will just fall off.
Think about your ceramic glazed dinner plates at home. Nothing permanently sticks because of that ultra-hard, shiny, waterproof layer. So you want to build up a similar layer on your car so that dirt will have nothing to cling to.
The coating is only partly ceramic. It’s actually a liquid polymer – a type of non-volatile solvent. It’s enriched with silica, which has the chemical symbol SiO2.
This is the ceramic part, and the higher the level of ceramic, the greater the level of hardness once it’s cured. Because the liquid polymer allows it to bond to the paintwork, it provides much longer-lasting protection.
DIY kits are limited in the percentage of SiO2 they contain. Above 80% is considered a good level of protection. Professional ceramic coating services use products that go as high as 93%.
The bottom line? To get the longest-lasting, hardest coating with the deepest shine, leave it to the professionals.
2. Check Out the Warranty
If you go the DIY route, chances are you won’t be backed by any kind of warranty. Professional-grade ceramic coatings are different. Some of them come with a warranty when they are applied by approved installers.
When you go to discuss automotive ceramic coatings with the company, ask about the manufacturer’s warranties. Make sure you’re clear about anything you need to do to keep them valid. These could last for three years or more.
3. Read Reviews
Getting the best ceramic automotive coating takes time and research. The market is flooded with options, with new products being released all the time. So review sites and YouTube videos are a great starting point.
With new products, you’re not going to be able to tell if they’ll stand the test of time just yet. But when evaluating more established products, there’s a wealth of information available online. Start with car magazines and auto review sites and then move on to reading reviews from the general public.
Bear in mind that no product is faultless and all will have their detractors. You need to first think about what’s important to you in a ceramic coating and then see how the product measures up to your criteria.
4. How Does It Repel Water?
One of the best features of automotive ceramic coatings is that they’re hydrophobic. Water beads up and, in theory, washes off the car. In practice, though, what often happens is that the water beads up and stays put.
When the sun comes out, it evaporates the H2O, but it leaves behind all the minerals and junk that was suspended in the water. You end up with a car that’s covered in water spots in spite of the ceramic coating.
Some coatings cause water to behave differently. They cause water to run off in sheets rather than hanging around in beads. This means that you should have less of an issue with water spots.
5. Get the Perfect Finish
Ceramic coatings used to get a bad rap for leaving a rather dull appearance when compared with traditional wax. Those days are mainly over, but as always you tend to get what you pay for.
Check out pictures of cars that have had the ceramic coating applied. Compare various products, preferably applied by the same installer. Most people love a deep, high-gloss finish that is effortless to maintain.
That’s what you’ll get when you choose the best automotive ceramic coating.
6. Choose an Easy Maintenance Option
Some ceramic coatings are sensitive to strong detergents, some are built to last. So talk to the ceramic coating service about ongoing maintenance to keep the coating looking sharp.
The best coatings only need regular washing to look their best. The water runs right off when you wash them and there’s zero need for wax. A few extra bucks on the right product may save you time, money, and effort in the long run.