First you heard ceramic coating mentioned at the car meet, and everyone seemed impressed by that. Then perhaps you saw it advertised in the Supercheap Auto catalogue, and it looks just like a bottle of wax. If it’s time to satisfy your curiosity once and for all; keep reading.
What does ceramic coating ACTUALLY mean?
Ceramic coating is a liquid polymer which chemically bonds to your paintwork. This is what makes it quite different to traditional wax, which doesn’t ‘bond’ at all.
Obviously, you hope the word ‘ceramic’ doesn’t mean your vehicle will look like a bathroom sink when it’s coated! The word here is actually short for ‘nanoceramics’. In automotive ceramic coatings the nanoceramics may be silicon dioxide (SiO2), Titanium Dioxide (TiO2), or a combination of both.
Protection. Will a ceramic coating REALLY prevent scratches, stone chips, AND repel mud?
You see this a lot in ads for these coatings, toss a bucket of mud at your BMW and it’ll bounce straight off – no washing required!
Yes, you’ll certainly be amazed how hydrophobic the coating is, but you’ll still have to take proper care of your paintwork. Brake dust won’t stick so easily, bird droppings and bug splatters will be easy to remove, and water spotting will be less of an issue.
Is there a difference between professional and DIY ceramic coating?
Prior to a few advancements in technology, application of ceramic coating was a job for trained professionals. And it wasn’t cheap!
Generally speaking; a ceramic coating applied by a professional can last up to 5 years and maybe longer! This comes at the cost of a lot more preparation and some precision techniques. They may apply the ceramic in a sealed booth to prevent dust being locked into your paintwork, followed by heat baking to lock the ceramic on. For most DIYers, this isn’t an option you can do when you’re cleaning your car in your driveway.
DIY ceramic coating solutions are much easier to apply and still give great results. Preparation stages differ from bottle to bottle with some as easy as spraying onto your freshly washed car. Others need a bit more time and include directions for a step by step preparation & application process.
Ceramic VS Wax. What benefits will a ceramic coating give me?
While ceramic is the new kid on the block, don’t be too quick to toss your favourite waxing products in the bin as they might still have a place in the detailing process of your car.
The main benefit gained with a ceramic coating is durability. Ceramics resist heat, UV rays, harsh detergents and contaminants. A ceramic coating will bond to the vehicle paintwork, making it possible to go 6 months or more before re-coating (depending on the ceramic coating you choose).
Wax on the other hand sits on the surface of your vehicles paintwork and does not have the bonding advantages mentioned above, giving you on average a shorter lifespan of up to 6 weeks.
What you will get with wax is that deeper wet show car shine, and for some the enjoyment of the application process that comes with it.
So, are you keen for all the benefits of this new technology? There are now enough tried and tested DIY solutions on the market that you’re guaranteed to find one that suits you. They’re all a little different, from application method through to the lifespan of the coating. We recommend selecting a few products, reading up a little on each, and making your choice from there.
*Important information* - Click here to read more about our How-To terms and conditions.