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The Truth About Ceramic Coatings

“Do ceramic coatings really work?”
“How much should you pay for a ceramic coating?”
“What coating should you get for your vehicle?”

Hi, I’m Joe from Inside Out Car Care. Every single day/week we get customers coming to us questioning whether or not they should get a ceramic coating put on their vehicle. Often our car is one of our biggest purchases and people want to do whatever they can to protect it. There’s lots of conflicting information and opinions out there about ceramic coatings, so I understand why it can be a confusing decision. As a professional detailer who’s been detailing for over 40 years, I’m going to give you my 100 percent honest opinion based on my experience from working on thousands of cars. I’m going to help you understand all you need to know about ceramic coatings, so you can make an educated and informed decision on whether it’s right for you.
Ultimately, the sole purpose of a ceramic coating is to exist as a sacrificial layer on your vehicle, helping protect it from harmful chemicals & acids, as well as adding additional shine and easy maintenance.

So, do ceramic coatings really work?

This all comes down to what your expectations are. I’ve come across many people who have been sold a lie and end up being disappointed. Will a ceramic coating stop scratches? Will your car only require a rinse than dry down? Will your car never get water spotting or stone chips? The simple answer to these questions is no.
If I’m recommending a ceramic coating to a customer, I make sure to break down what it WILL and WON’T do to ensure they have realistic expectations.
To give you an example, Atri Pro Nano Graphene will make your vehicle so much easier to clean, and the slick surface will keep it clean for longer. Bugs and dirt don’t hold to the surface as easily, so it will make your paintwork a lot shinier. Yes, the coating will help reduce light swirls and marring caused from washing and drying but it won’t stop scratches from handbags, or branches etc.
You’re also guaranteed that if bird poo or chemicals etch through the coating into the painted surface, it will be covered under the Atri Pro warranty – however mineral stains caused from water spotting can still occur and a coating isn’t designed to stop that.
Ceramic coatings are made to be a sacrificial layer over the painted surface of your vehicle. The coating is designed to take the brunt of whatever is impacting it, preserving the paint underneath, but it’s not bulletproof. So yes, a quality ceramic coating does work, but if you’re wanting something to act as a deflector shield from Star Wars, then a ceramic coating isn’t what you’re looking for.

How much should you pay for a ceramic coating?

As professional detailers, this question is like asking an electronics shop how much a TV costs. There are thousands of types of ceramic coatings, so it all comes down to what level of quality you are looking for and what paint correction and prep that is needed for the coating to perform properly.
You can buy a DIY ceramic coating online for 8 dollars, or you can get one professionally installed, backed with a manufacturer’s warranty, costing between $500 to $2,000.
When choosing what option is right for you, it’s important to think about a few key factors.

So, what’s the best ceramic coating for your vehicle?

Once again, this comes down to your vehicle and your preference. Some coatings suit soft paint over a hard clear coat, some are better for darker colors or metallic finishes and some sheet water more than they do beading, and could be more slick and silky than others. To make the right decision, it’s best to contact your local, professional detailer to talk through all the options and we recommend finding someone with many positive reviews.
It also makes sense to align the warranty duration with the length of time you wish to own the vehicle. For instance, if you see yourself owning your vehicle for 3 years, it might not be worth paying for the additional cost of having a 5-year warranted coating installed as opposed to a 3-year ceramic coating. By finding out what different coatings are being offered along with their pricing and warranty terms, you can make a better decision and hopefully save some money.