Best Ceramic Coating for Cars: Protect Your Car with a Glossy Finish
Read about the best ceramic coating for cars and how they protect the car.
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BY Carl Malek / LAST UPDATED ON September 30, 2021
If you’re tired of your car wax because it breaks down every so often, then ceramic coating is exactly what you need. The liquid polymer or quartz bonds with your vehicle's paint and gives it a lasting shine. It’s also easy to maintain, doesn’t require many trips to the car wash, and gives your vehicle better protection. What is the best ceramic coating? Check out some options below.
You’ll get maximum shine and protection with this first-ever “hyperwax.” It combines the depth and shine of a high-quality wax with the durability, beading, and slickness of a ceramic coating.
- SiO2 gel suspension technology creates a user-friendly, easy-to-apply ceramic coating
- Nanotechnology creates a waterproof seal
- Helps protect against road grime and tar, water spots, bird droppings, tree sap, brake dust, salt spray, and more
- Doesn’t last as long as some others on the market
- Users say it's difficult to apply the coating evenly
This fits as our value pick because it’s budget-friendly and still offers some of the great features you can expect in a top-quality ceramic coating product. You don’t need much experience to apply this coating, yet the resulting finish has clarity, shine, and protection.
- Easy to use spray and wipe application
- Works well without other sealants and detailing product
- It provides fairly long protection against water beading
- May leave white beads on some parts of the vehicle
- Some reviewers say it's not so smooth to the touch
This is a great replacement for waxes and sealants since it leaves ten times more shine and protection in comparison. It’s an instant buff formula that protects the paint body from environmental damage and leaves a smooth finish.
- It has a relatively low tag price and contains 30 percent silica
- Once applied, it can last for a year with proper maintenance
- Leaves an appealing “wet look” shine
- Under pressure, the coating can crack, leaving a white residue
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Benefits of Ceramic Coating for Cars
- Repel rain, mud, and dirt. Unlike wax or factory paint, the ceramic coating does a better job of protecting the exterior of the car. The best car coating product has hydrophobic properties and will make water and rain bead instead of a pool on the hood. Mud and acid rain splashed on the car slide off the smooth surface without leaving a stain. The same goes for snow, bird droppings, or ice as they roll off the car without sticking to its surface.
- Prevent UV damage, rust, and oxidization. For the most part, leaving your car in the sun for too long tends to cause the car’s paint to fade and even crack. The ultraviolet rays of the sun have a destructive effect on the car’s surface. Many ceramic coating brands prevent this damage as well as other forms of erosion such as rust and oxidization.
- Cost-effective. Since car wax doesn’t last more than three months on average, you need to get the vehicle rewaxed a lot more than you may like. Ceramic car coating, on the other hand, is more durable, and a good coating with proper maintenance can serve you for a few years before replacing it. In the end, you save more money with nano-ceramic coating than wax or paint sealant.
- Improved protection. With a ceramic coating for car paint, your car gets a semi-permanent layer of protection that bonds with the paint on the molecular level. That protective layer is tougher than the soft wax and can withstand ultra harsh treatment both from the terrain and the elements. In effect, you’re not just protecting the car paint, but also protecting the body of the car itself against scratches, chemicals, and anything else that gets thrown at it.
- Glossy finish. Regular car waxes have a warm appearance that gets dull when left out in the open. Compare that to the sharp candy appearance of a ceramic top coat. It gives the car a high-gloss finish that doesn’t fade under the sun or with the passage of time.
Types of Ceramic Coating for Cars
Epoxy or polymer is a widely used type of ceramic coating that bonds with the factory paint coating of the car. That bond is permanent as the paint and the polymer become one layer that is tougher and more resistant to damage. It’s the reason why you can’t just wash away a layer of ceramic coating. The only way to remove the polymer coating is by polishing.
Quartz coatings are, by design, harder than other types. Quartz or silicon dioxide coatings reach high levels of hardness that aim to armor the vehicle against debris and scratches. They preserve their fresh appearance and shiny look even after years of use and abuse.
Hybrid coatings are a combination of quartz and polymer. That type, which claims to have the best of both worlds, is supposedly harder and creates a protective shell around the vehicle. However, there’s no evidence that hybrid coatings offer any extra protection than other types of coating.
Ethos Car Care is a US-based company that puts more focus on high-quality and locally made ingredients to make products that deliver. The company made its formulas from scratch and built the products from the ground up. Other ceramic paint protection products include the Ethos Ceramic Wax PRO - Aerospace Coating Protection.
As a leader in car detailing and ceramic coating products, CarPro was established in 2009. From the start, it has used nanotechnology to achieve advances in both fields and set itself apart from the competition. Besides the company's flagship Cquartz, there’s also the CarPro Reload Spray Sealant and the CarPro Flyby Forte 15mL Full Kit.
In 2008, the company was established in Turkey to work on nano-spinning techniques. In 2012, it changed its focus to protective nanocoatings and changed its name to Artekya. One of its top products is the Nasiol ZR53 Car Ceramic Coating.
Ceramic Coating for Cars Pricing
- Under $40: At this price range, you can get a product with decent quality but little durability. Most products that sell under $40 will not last more than a year.
- $50 - $100: You can pick a good-quality 9H ceramic coating with a professional finish at this price range. Durability won’t be an issue as some coatings can stay around for up to five years.
- Over $100: If you’re looking for a ceramic coating that will last the lifetime of the car, be ready to pay the price tag that comes attached to it.
Durability describes how long you can expect the ceramic coating to keep protecting the car’s body and looking as new as the day it was applied. Some high-end ceramic coatings have a durability that can last as long as the car’s lifetime. A good-quality product will give you anywhere from two to five years of good service. Even the most affordable ceramic coatings should last at least a year.
Ease of Use
Since not all car owners are DIY gurus, one thing to look for in the ceramic coating product is easy application. Even if you have no prior experience with coatings or special skills beyond knowing how to wash your car, you should still be able to use the coating with relative ease. A good product shouldn’t require extra tools or equipment to use it.
Level of Hardness
The coating industry describes paint hardness as the ability to resist damage and scratching. As such, the harder the coating, the better it is at doing its job protecting the car and its exterior. A ceramic coating with ‘9H’ in the name means it has diamond-level hardness.
- Weather: Depending on how much sun your vehicle gets, a ceramic coating can be a paint-saver. This is especially true of cars that get parked in the sun for long hours. Due to the damage caused by UV rays, these cars require the extra protection of a layer of ceramic coating.
- Car Age: As the car ages, so does the paint layer. You shouldn’t bother with a ceramic coating on an old car where the paint is faded, chipped, or has become thin. The chemicals in the coating can interact with the bodywork, which could damage the body of the car.
Best Ceramic Coating for Cars Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- When using spray, it’s a good idea to cover the windows and panels. If you spill it, make sure to clean it before it gets dry.
- After you’re done spraying, clean the nozzle to prevent it from getting sealed shut with the dry product.
- Keep a steady hand when applying the coat. Thick spots are not easy to buff away.
- Ensure you have good ventilation. The coating is made of chemicals and the fumes are hazardous.
- Let the car dry naturally for 48 hours to get good results.
Q: How do I maintain a ceramic-coated car?
You still need to wash the car regularly, but avoid using strong chemicals as they may interact with the coating. You don’t need a strong car wash thanks to the dust-repellent features of the ceramic coating.
Q: Do I need to wax my ceramic-coated car?
No. The ceramic coating does away with the need to wax altogether. You get all the benefits of waxing plus durability and a glossy finish.
Q: How long does ceramic coating last?
With proper care and maintenance, a layer of ceramic coating will keep your car looking new for two to five years. Some professional ceramic coatings can last the lifetime of the car.
Q. Is ceramic coating expensive?
Not necessarily. Plenty of affordable and mid-range products are on the market. As with anything else, you get what you pay for.
Q. Is ceramic coating easy to apply?
It depends on the product. There are many with easy, spray-on/wipe-off applications, while others require special applicators and specific conditions. Like with applying car wax, you get better with practice. If you're new to ceramic coatings, we highly recommend trying a more affordable product with easy application first.
When it comes to the best overall pick for ceramic coatings for cars, Chemical Guys HydroSlick SiO2 Ceramic Coating HyperWax wins hands-down in terms of ease of application, cost, and performance. It’s a great option for novice users who may not have a lot of experience with applying ceramic coats.
For a budget-conscious option that will still deliver great results, consider Mothers CMX Ceramic Spray Coating. It delivers a sleek and protective shine that’s super easy and quick to apply.