With nano ceramic coating in Sri Lanka being all the rage now, the question arises – what exactly is ceramic car coating and is it really worth the hype? While there are a number of ways to spice up your vehicle exterior that include self-cleaning methods and paint correction, there are many who are looking at ceramic car coating as a viable option.
Ceramic coating is certainly all over the internet these days with so many videos across social media demonstrating mud being thrown over a car hood and it sheeting off immediately leaving hardly any dirt marks.
In this post, let’s take a look at some of the realities of ceramic coating or nano coating in Sri Lanka for your car, if it fulfills what it claims to do and if ceramic car coating is the right choice for you.
INTRODUCTION TO CERAMIC COATING
Every car owner wants their car to look as amazing as it did the day it was bought from the dealers lot. But despite your best efforts in maintaining your car’s exterior, scratches, stains and chips are inevitable and the paint will begin to dull and fade from the effects of the sun.
Your car’s surface is constantly under attack from dust, mud, water spots, dirty rain water, grime and unwanted brake dust. And cleaning your car is no breeze either, with the job often being boring, monotonous and time-consuming. Automatic car washes, on the other hand, often scratch and mar the paint while the chemicals that are used are no better for the surface.
While wax adds a good level of shine and gloss to the surface of a car as well as a small amount of protection, wax only lasts for a few months and it certainly doesn’t act as a quality glass coating product.
This is where ceramic or nano coating come in to the picture. Initially designed for the oil and space industry, the 9th ceramic technology has now expanded rapidly to the automotive industry too, thanks to how effective it really is.
WHAT IS CERAMIC COATING FOR CARS?
The easiest way to understand ceramic coatings is to think of it as a second layer of skin or protection over your car’s clear coat. Ceramic coatings utilize nanotechnology, which are essentially tiny particles that form a very fine layer that is completely invisible to the eye. Because these particles are so tiny, when they are applied to a surface, they seal all the pores, making the surface water-repellent and resistant to chemicals, scratches, extreme heat and UV rays. A layer of ceramic coating is also completely transparent.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN UNCOATED SURFACE VS A NANO CERAMIC COATED SURFACE
The nano ceramic coating forms a semi-permanent bond with a vehicle’s surface, creating a protective layer that will not wash away under cleaning or break down over a short period of time. In fact, ceramic coatings usually lasts for years.
They repel water and all kinds of dirt and grime, making cleaning much easier. Additionally, their hardness helps to prevent swirl marks and marring from washing as well.
WHAT ARE THE AVAILABLE OPTIONS?
Although ceramic coatings are going mainstreams only in recent times, ceramic car coatings have been in the detailing industry for several years now.
However, because of their prohibitive costs through detailers, the coatings have only been accessible or cost-effective for enthusiasts and owners of high-end vehicles.
In recent times, there are two options for having your car’s surface ceramic coated:
- Professional applications
These are ceramic coatings that are applied by trained and certified professionals and offers super hydrophobic properties. Because of the experience, equipment and labour involved, the costs are relatively high. The nano ceramic process usually takes anywhere from about one to five days depending on the condition of your vehicle’s surface, the size of your vehicle and the packages you select.
- DIY consumer kits
Recently, an exciting range of consumer level ceramic car coatings have been introduced to the marketplace and it has opened up nano ceramic coatings to drivers who are less concerned about their cars being of showroom quality and more about the ease of cleaning and protection against the elements.
These DIY consumer kits are specially formulated so that they are less sensitive than the professional-grade ceramic coatings and they are designed to be applied with little or no experience. The quality and durability of these DIY products can vary a lot but when compared to the costs of professional apalcions, this option is much more accessible and feasible to the average driver.
WHAT CERAMIC CAR COATING CAN ACTUALLY DO
There’s a good reason why ceramic car coatings are so popular. A lot of the benefits it offers are simply unheard of in the automotive industry. Here are some of its advantages:
- It is hydrophobic (water-repellent)
This is perhaps the biggest advantage of nano ceramic coatings. This basically means that water will instantly be repelled when it comes in contact with a surface treated with ceramic coating. A car surface with ceramic coating will cause water to bead up and roll off the surface along with dirt, grime and mud as these elements have also been unable to bond with your car’s surface paint. Ceramic coating’s hydrophobic properties are often the first demonstration people give.
- It repels dirt, mud and grime effectively
Ceramic coating does a more effective job of protecting the surface of a vehicle than an ordinary paint job. Rain and water bead on the surface instead of accumulating on it, snow and ice doesn’t stick to the surface and mud and dirt just slides off.
- It protects the surface from oxidization, rust and UV damage
Typically, the more vehicles are exposed to the sun, the more the paint will start to fade and look dull. This is caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays that causes the paint to oxidize. Ceramic coating acts as that extra layer that helps to dramatically reduce the process of oxidization.
- It offers improved durability
As already mentioned, ceramic coating does a more effective job of protecting the surface of your car than ordinary paint. Nano ceramic coating in Sri Lanka bond with the molecular structure of a car’s paint and cannot be dislodged by vibrations and external forces, making it last for years and not just months.
WHAT CERAMIC CAR COATINGS CANNOT DO
There are plenty of myths and misconceptions about ceramic coatings. Some may be logical but even the best nano ceramic coating in Sri Lanka cannot make a car bulletproof. And it is certainly not a magical, all-encompassing product that will protect your car against all the potential hazards a vehicle’s surface is exposed to. And the truth is that not every vehicle will benefit from it.
Ceramic coatings cannot stop rock chips, they do not prevent water spots and they can not fully replace proper care and maintenance. They do not prevent dents and they definitely do not last forever.
Just because your vehicle has been treated to ceramic coating, it doesn’t mean that you no longer need to wash off the dirt and dust and remove bird droppings from the surface. You still have to but the only difference is that maintaining the surface of your vehicle will require a lot less time and effort.
Here are some of the most common myths associated with ceramic coatings:
- Ceramic car coatings are scratch-proof
A lot of retailers and suppliers exaggerate the scratch resistance of ceramic coatings, going so far as to say that it is resistant to rock chips and scratches which is certainly not true.
Ceramic coatings does prevent small scratches and the protective layer it forms will help against minor incidents that would otherwise mar the surface of your car. However, it is not thick or flexible enough to absorb the impact of a rock hitting the paint surface at highway speed or to resist against someone purposely trying to scratch the car.
- Ceramic car coatings don’t require maintenance
This is one of the most common misconceptions. A ceramic coating will cut down heavily on the amount of washing and maintenance but it will not completely eliminate the need for it.
The fact is that you’re going to drive your car and the road is a dirty place, so the surface is going to gradually get dirtier with a ceramic coating.
What you get with ceramic coating is that cleaning will require less effort and less frequency and maintenance is going to be easier overall. Additionally, it also eliminates the need to wax every few weeks, helping you save a lot of money as well.
- Ceramic coatings are permanent
While this is true in some sense, ceramic coatings are actually semi-permanent as it bonds with the car’s surface and creates a hard and shiny protective layer. This means that you don’t need to reapply every other month to maintain that glossy surface.
So how long does ceramic car coating last? With a good product and the proper application, it would last for at least two or three years but it’s definitely not permanent.
- Ceramic coatings are easy to apply
This is partly true with the new DIY consumer kits becoming available to customers which makes the application process relatively easy.
That said, the process of applying it is not necessarily simple. Before a nano coating in Sri Lanka is applied, the surface of the vehicle needs to be free of blemishes, which applies to even brand new vehicles. It really depends on the condition of the vehicle’s surface. As the ceramic coating will semi-permanently add a layer of the vehicle’s paint, it’s important to do any paint restoration before applying the coating. It’s recommended to wash the vehicle, as well as clay, buff and keep it pristine while applying the coating.
- Ceramic coatings provide more gloss than waxes and sealants
The truth is that nano coatings for cars don’t provide the gloss alone; the prep work done underneath the coating is vital as well. If your vehicle has a very faded layer of paint and you apply a ceramic coating on top, the surface will still look faded, with only a little bit of shine.
SO, IS IT WORTH GETTING A CERAMIC COATING YOUR VEHICLE?
The answer is yes, absolutely. The marginal investment, especially from a DIY point of view, makes getting a ceramic car coating well worth it. The upfront costs will pay for itself in savings in a few months. A professional nano coating application is also worth considering if you have a high end or show vehicle.
The important thing is not to expect magical results from ceramic coatings like a bulletproof force field of protection around your vehicle. What ceramic coatings will do is keep your car looking like its been recently waxed for years to come, makes dirt fall off more easily and protect your surface paint better than any wax or sealant.