Ceramic protection is the go to recommendation for most detailers nowadays, but not a lot of people know what it is. I won’t go into too much detail, pardon the pun! But here is a brief overview of what is does and benefits
Ceramic coating is a chemical polymer solution that when applied becomes part of the surface as opposed to sitting on top like a traditional wax. It adds to the manufacturers clear coat and protects the paintwork.
It has many benefits including :
- light scratch and swirl protection of original paintwork
- Bird poo etching protection
- UV and oxidisation protection
- Self-cleaning abilities, Hydrophobicity (water run off)
- Contaminants don’t bond as easily
- Increased gloss levels
- Longer time between washes
That’s quite a few benefits and if applied and maintained correctly will last up to 4 or 5 years depending on manufacturer, some offer 10 years but personally I prefer the more realistic claim of 5 years or below.
The single most important factor in having a ceramic coating last is in the preparation, The car has to be deep cleaned and fully decontaminated otherwise the ceramic will not bond effectively, reducing the longevity. After this step is completed, you want the paintwork to look its absolute best otherwise you will just be covering those nasty swirls and scratches. A machine polish does this, removing small microns of clear coat and bringing that gloss, mirror like finish!
I had a classic case of this at the unit a few weeks back. Customer had got a ‘lifeshine’ package from a dealer, I can tell you when I got my hands on it, it was non-existent and had only been put on 4 weeks prior, the customer thankfully got a refund. The dealer or whoever they used clearly hadn’t prepped the vehicle and therefore the coat hadn’t bonded at all. it is also worth noting that many dealership offerings are not ceramic coatings hence the reduced life span. Clever marketing and a good salesman can often seduce you into thinking these are worth the money.
Having dealt with dealer offerings personally I know they charge close to what i charge but basically only doing 60% of the prep work, and that’s a generous estimation, you are essentially wasting your money.
As an example, let’s say a customer asks me for a ceramic coat, they intend to keep the car for 4 years, for arguments sake I charge £750 for a full prep and 3-year coat and a few extras thrown in. That equates to £187.5 per year, £15 a month! That’s a small price to pay when you weigh up all the benefits listed above.
Enhance and Protect your asset in a cost-effective way that will preserve the long-term value of your car.
It’s a no brainer if you ask me!