What is a ceramic coating?
A ceramic coating is a liquid polymer that is applied by hand to the exterior of a vehicle. The coating chemically bonds with the vehicle’s factory paint, creating a layer of protection.
What are the benefits of ceramic coating?
Ceramic coatings offer a better level of protection against environmental hazards and damage from the sun’s UV rays than traditional wax. They also offer resistance to chemical stains and a certain degree of scratch resistance, giving the way a high-gloss finish and making it easier to clean.
Can I use ceramic coating on matte or satin finishes?
Yes, nearly all ceramic coatings should work on matte or satin finishes. Do note that the paint or wrap could slightly change the look a bit, but it should still maintain the original matte or satin look with the added protection. However, to confirm whether or not it’s the look you’re going for, we suggest testing out the coating on a small section of the vehicle first, preferably in an area not easily visible.
Does a ceramic coating prevent scratches?
A ceramic coating does provide a certain level of resistance to minor scratches. However, it’s not bulletproof, and severe scratches can still penetrate the coating and damage the paint.
How long does a ceramic coating last?
With proper maintenance, a high-quality ceramic coating product can last for several years. The exact lifespan will depend on various factors such as the quality of the product, the preparation and application process, and how the vehicle is maintained.
Can I apply a ceramic coating myself?
Yes. However, as explained above, the process requires an extensive amount of preparation, including thorough cleaning and possibly paint correction. So be prepared to make the fiscal and time commitment to do the job right.
Does ceramic coating require maintenance?
Strictly speaking, the coating itself doesn’t necessarily require any additional maintenance than a car without a ceramic coating.
What is the difference between ceramic coating and wax?
Ceramic coatings offer longer and more durable protection than wax. Wax usually lasts a few months at most, while a ceramic coating can last for years. Additionally, ceramic coatings offer superior resistance to UV rays, chemical stains, and water spots.
Does ceramic coating protect against rock chips?
While ceramic coatings provide some resistance against minor scratches and chemical etching, they don’t provide full protection against rock chips or similar damage.
Can I remove a ceramic coating?
Ceramic coatings are semi-permanent, so they aren’t easily removed. The process typically involves abrasion, like wet sanding or using a machine polisher. This should be done by a professional to avoid damaging the paint if you need to remove the coating.
Why Trust Us
Hearst Autos combines the talent, resources, and expertise of three of the largest, most influential automotive publications in the world. The Gear Team has tested a wide variety of automotive products, parts, accessories and gear, such as GPS trackers for cars, OBD2 scanners and electric car chargers. We get our hands on each and every product we test. Most are purchased; manufacturers supply some.
Hearst Autos doesn’t need to game algorithms for traffic or promote lousy products to earn a buck. Instead, we’re more concerned with our legacy, our reputation, and the trust our readers have in Autoweek, Car and Driverand Roads & Tracks to deliver honest opinions and expert evaluations.
Visit our Tested & Trusted page to see the very best in automotive gear. Read more about our product testing and evaluation process here.