One of the beauties of being a car owner is to see your pride and joy untarnished and looking good as the day you bought it. You diligently wash your car with the best products available and never fail to apply wax every few months. However, despite your best efforts, you notice that your car’s body color shade gradually loses its vibrancy. Plus, you also see the build-up of stains, chips, and swirl marks, just to name a few.
Is it really impossible to maintain that new car sheen over time? Are your washing and waxing efforts futile? Not really. Have you tried car ceramic coating? This type of coating has become popular over the years, and many of you are wondering if it’s an excellent product to improve and maintain a car’s appearance and how much it costs.
We’ve got you covered. Today, we’ll talk about car ceramic coating cost and find out if it’s a good option to preserve the looks of your car.
Car Ceramic Coating: What is It?
In simple terms, a ceramic coating is a liquid polymer applied to the vehicle’s exterior for protection and a shiny finish. The coating is applied by hand or sprayed, chemically bonding with the car’s factory paint, creating a layer of protection.
While widespread waxing and traditional sealants provide a good shine, these methods only offer protection at a surface level. As such, they wear off rather quickly and are not reasonable solutions for long-term preservation. In contrast, ceramic coatings provide a semi-permanent protection layer on the vehicle’s surface. As mentioned, the liquid polymer chemically bonds with factory paint and renders a hydrophobic layer for superior protection. Thus, the coating doesn’t easily wash away or break down from outside elements.
Ultimately, the ceramic coating offers long-term protection that can last between two to five years, even with comparatively minimal maintenance. In comparison, most wax and sealant products last only seven to twelve months.
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Car Ceramic Coating Cost: How Much is It?
The car ceramic coating cost can vary widely and usually depends on the vehicle model and size, its condition, the quality of the coating, and where you’re getting it. On average, you can expect to pay between $1,500 to $6,000, especially if you’re paying for professional ceramic coatings.
This significant variation in prices is because different cars require different levels of work. Furthermore, the overall cost will also depend on how much prep work is needed to work on your vehicle. For instance, ceramic coating application will be cheaper for a new or well-maintained car, while an older, neglected vehicle will cost a lot more.
Prepping your vehicle for ceramic coating may include the following steps:
- Removing license plates and other accessories
- Car washing
- Washing the trims
- Buffing minor scratches and marks
- Paint correction
- Application of the ceramic coating
- Final visual inspection
The average time to completely cover a car with ceramic coating is about 36 hours of labor. When you consider that the average labor rate for mechanics is $75 to $130 per hour, you’ll understand why professional coating costs a lot. That doesn’t include the extra costs and fees the shop may charge.
Professional ceramic coatings are expensive because they employ complex techniques and professional-grade products. For example, professional coaters use deionized water and specialized equipment to minimize scratches. They also use chemical degreasers to eliminate oil, grease, and grime. In addition, the prep work with a professional application can be very intense compared to the DIY route.
Can You Go DIY to Reduce the Car Ceramic Coating Cost?
Absolutely! Like most car services, you can apply the DIY ceramic coating with the proper knowledge, technique, equipment, and products. However, DIY ceramic coating isn’t something you can perfectly perform at home by simply reading the back label of a product. Plus, you need to know the proper techniques and prep work to ensure good results and that you don’t damage your vehicle.
With that said, DIY ceramic coating kits are good options if you don’t want to spend on professionals. These kits aren’t as high-quality compared to professional coatings, but they do get the job done of giving your vehicle a long-lasting gloss and sheen.
The average DIY car ceramic coating cost is about $70. Products range from $20 for entry-level kits to $110 for high-end. We don’t recommend buying low-end $20 kits because the coating quality will likely be low and won’t last as long. DIY kits will last about six months up to a year. Therefore, if you don’t mind re-applying them every six months or yearly, DIY kits are worth considering.
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Are Car Ceramic Coatings Worth the Cost?
Below are the main advantages of ceramic coating and why it’s worth the cost.
Protect the Body
Most people use ceramic coatings for their cars to protect them from minor scratches, marks, and minimal impact damage. These coatings provide a protective layer that shrugs off rocks and scratches while you’re on the road, keeping your car looking flawless.
Regular exposure to the sun and its harmful UV rays will cause your car’s factory paint to become dull and faded. A ceramic coating’s protective layer does wonders in preserving the factory paint from UV rays and keeps your vehicle paint vibrant.
Easy to Clean
One of the most noteworthy qualities of ceramic coating is it is hydrophobic, which means it repels water. By applying a ceramic coating to your car’s exterior, the hydrophobic property makes it harder for mud and grime to bond to the paint. Even if dirt, soil, and grime stick to the paint, they’re easily removable with a simple wash.
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Looks-wise, ceramic coatings provide a long-lasting gloss to your vehicle’s exterior. The unmistakable sheen not only looks great and makes the paint pop but also adds a reflective quality that adds more depth to the paint job.
For this reason, applying a ceramic coat to your vehicle will preserve its exterior and reduce the need for regular maintenance – adding significant value to your ownership experience.
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