Make sure to read the product label and use the product as per the manufacturers' instructions before use. Most Ceramic Coatings can be used on both plastic and glass surfaces, but not all Ceramic Coatings are the same.
Even though they might look like a transparent liquid and they might smell the same, their chemical properties might be different and might affect those materials differently. So some Ceramic Coatings may leave a hazy or whitish finish that wouldn't look good on plastic and would be considered unsafe when on the glass.
Generally no. It all depends on the condition of your car's paint prior to coating. Damage to the paint of a car leaves all these hills and valleys. And what Ceramic Coating does, since it is based on nanotechnology - meaning its molecules are super small compared to something like Wax or a Sealant, and the coating will trace all those imperfections leaving a thin protective coating on it once dry and cured.
So the surface will not be perfectly flat on areas where there was damage, but you will get a smoothing effect instead.
Since Ceramic Coating leaves a smooth hydrophobic surface when cured, liquids will not stay on the surface but sheet off it instead, or if there was damage on the car's paint ( we are talking on a microscopic level ) even though the surface is slick and smooth in those areas as well, it is not perfectly smooth, and they might hold water in the form of a bead.
If the car is stationary, the bead will stay on the coating, but the slightest disruption such as wind or vibrations will most likely drive that bead out of that microscopic valley and push it off the car. Under ideal conditions, we are talking almost utopian, if the surface of the car would be perfectly smooth without any damage, and the paint job was perfect, and the Ceramic Coating was added to the car perfectly and has enough time to cure under perfect conditions, undisturbed, and the Ceramic Coating used was of very high quality, then all liquids would sheet off the surface of the cars paint without fail to leave no beads.
So the perfect Ceramic Coating would have all the water sheets off the surface in seconds time leaving no beads on the surface. That way you would avoid water spots and would have a dry clean surface during the coatings lifetime.
When working with it, the applicator ( usually microfiber or suede ) pad will remain soft as long as you regularly reapply some Ceramic Coating liquid to the pad. So even if it takes you 30 minutes or 1 hour to apply the coating the applicator will be safe to use.
But, when you stop using it and you stop adding more of the Ceramic Coating solution onto the applicator, the liquid will evaporate and the ceramic coating solution will start to crystalize and harden. It can still be saved if the more liquid solution is reapplied within about 15 to 30 minutes. The best thing to do is to touch it with your fingers once some Ceramic Coating liquid has been reapplied to it to see if it is soft to the touch. If not, or more than 30 minutes have passed, we recommend getting rid of the applicator.
Even washing it in a washing machine will not do much at this point. The best thing is to dispose of that one to avoid scratching the paint by mistake in the future and take another applicator at this point to be safe. If you do not have a designated applicator, you can use a clean and dry microfiber towel. Make sure it is not damp.
You might also wonder when is it safe to drive or use your car when you finish coating it. Avoid using it and keep it covered and protected from rain or wind to avoid ruining the coating or the finish before it has hardened or cured. Ceramic Coating usually cures for around a week. Some products take more, some take less and the times are also affected by the temperature outside and the humidity in the air.
But it usually, unless instructed by the manufacturer otherwise, hardens on the outside in about 24 hours. It is safe to use your car now, but it is not recommended. We would perhaps avoiding any hard-driving, highways, or off-roading, or washing the car during the curing process to ensure a perfect uninterrupted bond on the whole surface of the car's paint.
You finally have your car coated in Ceramic Coating and now it is an impenetrable tank that cannot be damaged for the next 5 years all the way up to forever. Well, no, not really. Ceramic Coating is the best way to protect the paint on your car, at least in our opinion, but it is not some SF wizardry that promises eternal youth and infinite fortune.
It will, as most things, deteriorate over time, it will suffer damage and eventually, it will fail. The good news for you is that it will take a good amount of time before that happens. Especially if you maintain the coating correctly. Wash the car regularly, do not let bird droppings, tree pollen sit on your car for a long period of time, use pH neutral car shampoo and avoid abrasive towels but use microfiber towels to clean your car instead. The key tip here is to use pH-balanced shampoos really. Automotive Waxes or Polymer Sealants will get washed off by strong car shampoos, even by rain eventually ( as it can be somewhat acidic as well ), and sometimes even in one go. Or at least you will notice the difference immediately.
With Ceramic Coatings, especially if they are good, you won't notice any differences in their effectiveness even if you are careless about how you care for your car, but it will hurt the coating, trust us. So to get the most out of your Ceramic Coating, just use the tips stated above and take care of your car regularly.
No. Ceramic Coating lifetime varies from product to product, but they usually last from 2 years up to 5 years. Some coatings may deviate from those numbers. Also, the longevity of the Ceramic Coating is massively influenced by the environment, usage of the coated vehicle, or the way the coating is being maintained.
Temperature, exposure to the sun, washing techniques, non pH neutral automotive shampoos are all variables that help in the decaying process of Ceramic Coating.
So, for instance, you may Ceramic Coat a vehicle and leave it in a garage under perfect conditions, and that Ceramic Coating may last forever. But that is not realistic unless we are talking about a museum or showroom vehicles.
No. The reason for this is that if the microfiber towel that you have used to buff, or level the ceramic coating in question will have some embedded in its fibers. And once the Ceramic Coating has cured, the now dry crystalline structure will become very strong abrasive and would very likely scratch and damage the paint of your car if further used on it.
Not even using a washing machine will not guarantee it will be fully cleaned. Honestly, in our experience, the microfiber towels will be ruined if you thought of using them on the paint of the car.
Now if you decided to keep them and use them for cleaning the engine bay or something like that, you could technically, but we wouldn't use such towels for professional usage anymore. It is not worth damaging a vehicle over a dollar or two.
If you see a Ceramic Coating that is in a plastic bottle or a plastic container of any kind, you will know that product is not a classic Ceramic Coating but a mixture of a polymer sealant with perhaps some elements of car wax and some elements of a ceramic coating.
The reason for that is that pure Ceramic Coating would react with the plastic to make the liquid solution unusable. Plastic is not safe to use as packaging for Ceramic Coatings and glass is required instead to keep the liquid coating safe for use.
If you think that detailing your car is not needed ( paint correction, claying, polishing ), then whatever time it takes you to properly wash your car plus 1 hour on average for one coat, depending on the size of your car and your experience with using Ceramic Coating. Note that some Ceramic Coatings will require you to apply 2 coats of that product with some waiting time in between. Usually, that time is 1 hour. So if you have one of such products then coating your car might take you up to 3 hours under those conditions.
Then obviously, if you think that you should do some exterior detailing on your car, what we definitely recommend, then the above plus whatever you decide to do to your car. Detailing a car, meaning - washing, claying, and polishing might take you around 5-6 hours on average obviously depending on various factors. Could be more, or if you are really experienced and prepared you might even be able to do it in 4 hours. Not every vehicle is the same to work on so even experienced professionals working in the car detailing industry might have variable times when working.
As noted above, we recommend detailing your car prior to covering it with Ceramic Coating because whatever the condition of the paint of your car is currently, it will stay in that condition during the coatings lifetime. Ceramic Coating does improve the gloss of your car's paint but it does not remove scratches or swirl marks and they will be still seen underneath it.
It varies depending on the coats and the way you treat your car during that period, but if the car is being properly maintained then anywhere from 5 years upwards on average based on 3 coats. If you maintain the car well, we can promise much longer longevity of the Ceramic Coating.
If you are not properly maintaining the exterior of your car thought, then deterioration of the ceramic coating might happen faster.
Once applied as per instructions the Ceramic Coating usually hardens after about 24 hours, but it continues to cure and fully bonds onto the car's paint after about 2 days. It is important to note that the Ceramic Coating will not cure at the same speed because of things like weather, temperature, humidity, etc.
Yes. With research and preparation, you will be able to successfully coat your car with Ceramic Coating in a DIY fashion.
No. Ceramic Coating is a paint protection product and it does protect your car's paint but to a certain degree. It is not some magical forcefield but it does have some amazing properties that help it do its job extremely well.
Once fully cured it bonds on top of the paint of your car, usually, that is the clear coat layer of your vehicle's paint, and forms a hard slick surface that has some resistance to damage and is fairly resistant to harsh chemicals, and has excellent resistance to heat.
It is also resistant to UV radiation that we receive from sunlight and to weather. It has amazing hydrophobic qualities and the slick surface not only prevents from water sticking to it but also prevents particles, in general, to fully stick to it such as mud, bugs, or dust. And if they do not fall off while driving due to wind resistance then they should be easily washed off by rinsing it with water.
No, they are not. That being said, Ceramic Coating Sprays usually do not perform nearly as well as their counterparts in glass bottle form. They are actually a different formula even though on first inspection it might seem that they are doing the same thing. That is why you will likely find them at cheaper price point than true Ceramic Coatings. Spray Ceramic Coatings have been invented as an easier to work with alternative to Ceramic Coatings.
Spray-On Ceramic Coatings are usually polymer sealants combined with ceramic coating technology. Some are even infused with graphene for supposed added benefits even though there is no scientific proof that supports that claim.
They indeed are much easier to work with since they are mostly applied in a spray on and buff-off manner and it takes a significantly shorter time to coat a car. But they are really not designed to replace a Ceramic Coating since they offer mostly the same properties but at a weaker scale and thus perform worse. Most notably, they will on average last as an Automotive Car Wax would since they deteriorate quicker and easier when dealing with any day-to-day activities.
Why would you use Ceramic Coating when you have Car Wax that is much simpler to put onto the car and is less expensive? Well, that is simply for 2 reasons.
The first is that car wax is not resistant to chemicals at all and will wash off in one or two washes, while Ceramic Coatings are resistant to chemicals and will usually withstand a much-prolonged beating when compared to waxes or sealants.
The second reason is resistance to damage. While car wax offers almost no resistance to damage, ceramic coatings usually do. When talking about damage resistance we aren't talking about the car suddenly becoming bulletproof or that you can attack it with a sword medieval-style and expect it to suffer no damage whatsoever. When talking car paint and damage it is usually considered in the form of light to medium scratch resistance, swirl marks and maybe surviving stone chip damage but only at lower speeds really.
That might not sound impressive, but when you give it a little more thought it actually is amazing. Your car's paint is usually perfect when it comes out of the factory, or once you had it detailed to perfection which is a timely and expensive process. You can also consider respraying the car, which is again expensive and timely.
No matter the reason and no matter how perfect the paint on your car looks now, it will very soon have swirl marks, scratches and will start to look duller and dirty. The kind of dirty that you cannot simply wash off. There are numerous culprits for the damage your paintwork suffers, but unless it is not driven and in a garage ( for example a showroom car ) it will suffer damage over time. Even a simple rain can damage the paint of your car. All those things add up until your car's paint doesn't look new or fresh anymore but quite the opposite.
To keep the paint on your car looking new or fresh you need to protect it. And Ceramic Coating is the best way to give it that protection for the money you are paying. If you are ridiculously wealthy and do not care about money, there are even better ways of paint protection. But we are talking here about a method that is available to the average Joe and it won't drain your wallet.
Those were only two factors covered, but aside from how easy it is to apply the product, Car Wax loses pretty hard in all other categories compared to Ceramic Coatings.
No. The reason is that the chemical structure of Ceramic Coating requires it to bond directly onto the clearcoat of the paintwork. To ensure maximum adhesion the surface needs to be decontaminated using a clay bar and an iron remover and finally a degreaser agent or isopropyl alcohol to remove all oils from the surface that is about the be Ceramic Coated.
Those two reasons are why you should never use a Car Wax or a Polymer Sealant under Ceramic Coating.
Yes, you can, but is not recommended. Some people say it is great or ok to do it this way because you will enhance the color of the car even further and you will make the Ceramic Coat last longer because you have two protective layers now instead of just the one.
The thing is that both Ceramic Coatings and Automotive Waxes, and Polymer Sealants do pretty much the same thing, except Ceramic Coating does a much better job, with some added features and Ceramic Coating does it for much longer. Now putting on wax or a sealant on top of the Ceramic Coating would hinder the coating and prevent it to do what it was supposed to do. While theoretically, you might get a better shine or better UV protection, the car would perform as it had only wax on it.
And all the downsides of wax would be present, while the strengths of the Ceramic Coating would be prevented with the wax. This way you would be forced to wash the car more as it would attract more dirt than the CC would on its own, basically losing the Carnauba Wax soon anyway. So no real advantage would have been gained by doing that.
You would only be removing the Ceramic Coating effectively until the wax is gone and the surface is properly cleaned and degreased so that the Ceramic Coat can finally do its job again.
No. A clay bar exists in the automotive detailing industry to remove contaminants that are stuck in the clearcoat, or in this case in the coating. Now if you use a clay bar, which is abrasive, you might be damaging the Ceramic Coating to a point where it needs to be reapplied again.
Also since a clay bar is supposed to be used with proper lubrication, the hydrophobic properties of Ceramic Coating make this task even more difficult. Using a clay bar is definitely not recommended.
What you can use is a Tar Remover or an Iron Remover, depending on the material that is stuck in the paintwork because Ceramic Coatings will be mostly unaffected by such chemicals.