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Thread: Ceramic Coating - What's the catch?

  1. #16
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    In my opinion ceramic coatings are mostly hype and psychological. I would think that if it was so 'hard' it would scratch the paint as it was rubbed on the car. There is no way it can resist scratches, it's not a mechanical film or barrier. It's just another synthetic wax that fills in microscopic pores and bonds to the clear coat. Granted I have a garage to park my car in, but the Zaino synthetic that I used was good for two or more years based on the way water beaded on it and how slick feeling it stayed. For my new car I have switched to another synthetic wax, I will find out how long it lasts.
    Like one poster mentioned, there is no independent scientific tests to show the ceramic coating under a microscope or compare scratch resistance. However, if a car owner wants to get the perceived best coating that there is, and currently it is called ceramic coating, then they should.

  2. #17
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    As a test, someone who had their car ceramic coated should try washing a small portion of their car with dawn dishwashing soap and see if there is a difference how water reacts on that portion and to the unwashed portion. Most likely a strong detergent like dawn will wash the ceramic coating right off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MyFirstMazda View Post
    As a test, someone who had their car ceramic coated should try washing a small portion of their car with dawn dish-washing soap and see if there is a difference how water reacts on that portion and to the unwashed portion. Most likely a strong detergent like dawn will wash the ceramic coating right off.
    I understand what you are getting at - can a strong abrasive rub off the ceramic coating, but oh god please don't use dawn dish-soap on your car!

    But I'm very happy to hear multiple opinions on ceramic coating.

  4. #19
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    The word ceramic as used for a paint coating is misleading and just a PR technique. The word ceramic usually refers to a 1,500 degree, fired organic material to produce such as an enameled fry pan. Ed

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcticshade View Post
    I understand what you are getting at - can a strong abrasive rub off the ceramic coating, but oh god please don't use dawn dish-soap on your car!

    But I'm very happy to hear multiple opinions on ceramic coating.
    Dish-soap and other poor choices would be a good test if the coating imparts a hardness as the term ceramic implies.

  6. #21
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    I did run across this test. In his test, the synthetic wax I used, Griot's liquid poly wax, only lasted 4 months which is not good. The ceramic coatings last a lot longer than that. It seems to be a lagit test.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxYwEbCvcxU (01 17 2018)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHIgApa8T6Q (05 03 2018)

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyFirstMazda View Post
    I did run across this test. In his test, the synthetic wax I used, Griot's liquid poly wax, only lasted 4 months which is not good. The ceramic coatings last a lot longer than that. It seems to be a lagit test.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxYwEbCvcxU (01 17 2018)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHIgApa8T6Q (05 03 2018)
    Just to point out the obvious...

    >A 16 oz. container of Griot's cost $20-$25.
    >Ceramic coatings are $600 (really cheap) to $1,800 and up, including prep.
    >>That's 30-90+ bottles of Griot's (unadjusted for your labor). Ceramics BETTER be better!

    I'm still trying to decide if I want to do film, coatings or standard wax. (Someone else here mentioned Produxa.)
    In other words, $$$$$, $$$, or $.

    It was so much simpler when I was 18. A hose, one bucket (no grit guards, no microfiber), some Tide, a can of Simonize, and chrome polish. Lots and lots of chrome polish.
    Last edited by Avoidin Deer; 04-14-2019 at 07:24 PM.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avoidin Deer View Post
    Just to point out the obvious...

    >A 16 oz. container of Griot's cost $20-$25.
    >Ceramic coatings are $600 (really cheap) to $1,800 and up, including prep.
    >>That's 30-90+ bottles of Griot's (unadjusted for your labor). Ceramics BETTER be better!

    I'm still trying to decide if I want to do film, coatings or standard wax. (Someone else here mentioned Produxa.)
    In other words, $$$$$, $$$, or $.

    It was so much simpler when I was 18. A hose, one bucket (no grit guards, no microfiber), some Tide, a can of Simonize, and chrome polish. Lots and lots of chrome polish.
    The films work for sure, they protect stone hits and scratches but is expensive. I don't know how often they need to be removed and reapplied. Back to waxes, that guy's test showed that cheap Nu Finish lasted 1 year 3 months and still going. I might give that stuff a try.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fznghWNhPzA

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyFirstMazda View Post
    The films work for sure, they protect stone hits and scratches but is expensive. I don't know how often they need to be removed and reapplied. Back to waxes, that guy's test showed that cheap Nu Finish lasted 1 year 3 months and still going. I might give that stuff a try.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fznghWNhPzA
    Nu Finish is about half the price. It seems to be a less intense version of nano coatings (polymers rather than waxes.) My problem is I always zoom to the One Star ratings on this stuff. Even the 5 Star ratings for Nu Finish make reference to residual product "not showing up so much on white vehicles."


    Regarding the longevity of the professionally applied stuff, including minimum prep costs (it varies), the local detailer quoted:

    -$1,150 for a 3 year nano coating
    -$1,750 for a 7-10 year coating (I don't know why he gave me a range on this one. We did not discuss warranties on any of the coatings)
    -$1,700 for a 10 year self-healing film

    If I do anything, it will be the film.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyFirstMazda View Post
    I did run across this test. In his test, the synthetic wax I used, Griot's liquid poly wax, only lasted 4 months which is not good. The ceramic coatings last a lot longer than that. It seems to be a lagit test.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxYwEbCvcxU (01 17 2018)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHIgApa8T6Q (05 03 2018)
    Great find. The data are pretty subjective and I don't really know what "real" word difference this would make.

    With that said, these results are interesting. What is interesting is that my results with Ice-Wax are about what he sees (4-6 months). What is impressive is how well the NU Finish held up at 1 year and 4 months. Basically looks the same as the other "expensive" coatings. Really makes me think if you can put in the effort, a once a year work over with Nu Finish at $12 could be a great deal and just as effective as those more expensive coatings - at least in the short term (<2 years).

    Here is the ~16 month update:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fznghWNhPzA
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  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougal View Post
    Great find. The data are pretty subjective and I don't really know what "real" word difference this would make.

    With that said, these results are interesting. What is interesting is that my results with Ice-Wax are about what he sees (4-6 months). What is impressive is how well the NU Finish held up at 1 year and 4 months. Basically looks the same as the other "expensive" coatings. Really makes me think if you can put in the effort, a once a year work over with Nu Finish at $12 could be a great deal and just as effective as those more expensive coatings - at least in the short term (<2 years).

    Here is the ~16 month update:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fznghWNhPzA
    That is really interesting. Maybe I can cut down the NuFinish to once a year instead of two. It does appear to have the same benefits as a ceramic coating minus the shine.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcticshade View Post
    That is really interesting. Maybe I can cut down the NuFinish to once a year instead of two. It does appear to have the same benefits as a ceramic coating minus the shine.
    I was reading the Amazon page on it. I cannot recall if this was in the main description or possibly a response to a question, but the manufacturer's suggestion is to reapply after 6 months for the initial treatment. One would assume this is to ensure a complete base coat.

    Sounds like you've done this.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avoidin Deer View Post
    Nu Finish is about half the price. It seems to be a less intense version of nano coatings (polymers rather than waxes.) My problem is I always zoom to the One Star ratings on this stuff. Even the 5 Star ratings for Nu Finish make reference to residual product "not showing up so much on white vehicles."


    Regarding the longevity of the professionally applied stuff, including minimum prep costs (it varies), the local detailer quoted:

    -$1,150 for a 3 year nano coating
    -$1,750 for a 7-10 year coating (I don't know why he gave me a range on this one. We did not discuss warranties on any of the coatings)
    -$1,700 for a 10 year self-healing film

    If I do anything, it will be the film.
    I would do the film as well. A mechanical barrier applied this early on (before any additional rock chips or scratches occur) would be my priority vs. a nano coating that basically just makes the car easier to clean.

    I'm not sure where people are getting this idea that a ceramic coating provides extra protection from scratches, chips, etc. Maybe from the "ceramic" in the term? Anyway, generally speaking, a coating provides about the same level of protection as a wax does, the coating is just more durable. Washing with Dawn wouldn't prove anything as it might be strong enough to remove waxes and coatings, so a test as performed in the videos previously posted is much more realistic. Those videos give you an idea of real world durability as compared to other waxes and coatings exposed to the same environment/wash cycle.

    Again, if I had the money for it, I'd do a full PPF (with paint correction done beforehand) to get the best protection from the elements. Then, depending on how much more I wanted to spend, I'd buy a bottle of Meg's Quik Wax and use it as a drying aid after every 2nd or 3rd wash, or apply a wax every 4-6 months, or apply a coating myself every 2-3 years. I'd only be applying these things for the added hydrophobics to make the car easier to wash and keep clean.

  14. #29
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    I also use NuFinish and find it works very well and beads water nicely for one year. I do however keep my vehicle in a grage at night if that makes much difference. NuFinish is a great product and ~ $7.50 at Walmarts. Ed

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    Quote Originally Posted by sm1ke View Post
    I would do the film as well. A mechanical barrier applied this early on (before any additional rock chips or scratches occur) would be my priority vs. a nano coating that basically just makes the car easier to clean.

    I'm not sure where people are getting this idea that a ceramic coating provides extra protection from scratches, chips, etc. Maybe from the "ceramic" in the term? Anyway, generally speaking, a coating provides about the same level of protection as a wax does, the coating is just more durable. Washing with Dawn wouldn't prove anything as it might be strong enough to remove waxes and coatings, so a test as performed in the videos previously posted is much more realistic. Those videos give you an idea of real world durability as compared to other waxes and coatings exposed to the same environment/wash cycle.

    Again, if I had the money for it, I'd do a full PPF (with paint correction done beforehand) to get the best protection from the elements. Then, depending on how much more I wanted to spend, I'd buy a bottle of Meg's Quik Wax and use it as a drying aid after every 2nd or 3rd wash, or apply a wax every 4-6 months, or apply a coating myself every 2-3 years. I'd only be applying these things for the added hydrophobics to make the car easier to wash and keep clean.
    Yeah, ceramic coating does nothing to prevent scratches or rock chips. To help with that, you need the PPF.
    Last edited by dougal; 04-15-2019 at 03:33 PM.
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