Problems with ceramic coatings

Written by George Bayios from Melbourne Mobile Detailing
One of the multitude of questions that many clients want to know the answer to, but sometimes are too worried or scared to ask.


I am aware of all the benefits and positives of having my car treated with a cotaing but what are some of the problems or negative aspects that can come with a ceramic coatings?

At Melbourne Mobile Detailing (MMD) transparency and honesty is everything, I have been running this business for over 10 years now and while I did start off with the usual wash, cut and polish or interior vacuum the last 6 years I have only specialised in paint correction and ceramic coatings while aiming for a 5 star service from start to finish. So to answer this question .. Are ceramic coatings an invisible force field, that is bullet proof, scratch proof and no matter what happens will never be affected? Absolutely not!!!

Sadly this industry has been over exaggerated and many distributors, applicators and/or neighbours have promised the world only to come out short

Although what you will find is that most problems related to ceramic coatings can be rectified by having a professional applicator that not only informs you but makes you aware of these possible issues, educates you on how to prevent them, and explains why they exist. I choose to use Autotriz nano ceramic paint protection for my clients

Education is key and once explained properly then it becomes a lot easier to understand the how, what and where these issues may arise from and how to reduce the risk of such complications

Contact your local Autotriz authorised applicator here for a breakdown of what our service includes and pricing structure with the variety of coatings that will suit your need https://autotriz.com.au/approved-applicators/

Issue #1: The upfront cost and weighing out the benefits.

Yes, ceramic coatings are expensive (Genuine coatings by a reputable brands are) and that upfront cost is difficult for many prospective clients to wrap their head around. $800 + for a 2 year coating? $1,000+ for a professional grade coating? But its a good idea to keep in mind that these prices include preparation and the cost of materails including the coating itself

I find the best way to break down this issue is with the following. How much value will the coating add to the vehicle? If the coating does what it says (and is guaranteed if you are purchasing from a certified applicator that offers a genuine warranty) and your vehicle looks very similar to the way it did when you first purchased it, the increase in overall value is going to easily surpass that up front cost of having the coating applied.
Either in resale or trade in value, simply the protection it self will cover the up front cost of the coating, not to mention the much reduced price of having a detailer or detail shop cut into your paint work, wax and seal the vehicle 2, 3, 4 times a year which in turn will minimize the paint thickness and cause more damage then good over a few years.
If you are paying $200 to have the vehicle waxed 3 times a year, in as little as two years you have recouped the cost of a professional grade coating, while receiving much better protection and not causing unecessary damage to your paint work

Issue #2: Water spotting/etching

Yes, ceramic coated vehicles can be susceptible to water spots, but so is every other type of vehicle. The key here is taking proper care to dry the vehicle, or if using automatic car washes, making sure they have a spot free rinse at the end of the wash. Water spots happen when water is left to dry on the surface and as the water evaporates it leaves behind the minerals that were picked up in the water. These minerals are what makes up those pesky water spots and certainly ruin the look of your paint work over time
This is where I believe proper education is invaluable. If you were to perform a rinseless wash to the vehicle, the chance of water spots falls to none. Although it opens up another box of issues in itself and will leave that for another blog post
If you were to two bucket method to wash the vehicle, washing it in the morning or evening during hot months, then drying it completely, the chance of water spots is very minimal.
While this can be an issue, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Issue #3: Premature failure

Ouch, this is a scary one. I’m going to hand over my hard earned money for this product that may fail, and there is a possiblity it can fail on me? Yes, coatings can prematurely fail. That being said, in the hundreds of coatings I have applied, I have never had to reapply a professional grade coating. The only re applications I have done were on coatings that had got to the end of their life cycle (such as two year coatings) or coatings that are cheap and cheerful which in turn were never applied properly from the start by a DIYer
So how does one prevent this? Well there are a couple of ways.
1. Use a reputable detailer that you trust, do your research online and have a look for their reviews, videos, comments and even call them as its easy to get a feel of how much passion the applicator has for his work after a few short minutes over the phone. (Call me id love to have a chat George – 0421 943 227) Also be sure that your chosen applicator uses products that are trusted, independantly tested and proven over time, there have been a few shops starting to use their own in house coating making unrealistic claims and offering up to 4 or 5 layers of coating, some even want your car in their workshop for over 1 week (Warning signs and many bells ring here).
Most reasons people would hide the brand name they use and or offer a different name would be cost cutting and not wanting the consumer to know the brand they currently use because of cost cutting methods or they use a coating that simply does not offer a warranty and they would in turn offer you an inhouse warranty that you simply cannot claim on without going through a dispute process. The list can go on and on but its obvious why this can be a dodgy practice. A good detailer will not only stand behind his/her work, but will be completely transparent about the products and processes they use (Passionate applicators will not relabel a cheap/cheerful coating to try and rip off their customers with the unkown). There will be no mystery or subterfuge involved, you will be completely informed about what you are purchasing, the brand offered, how it works, how the process works, and your responsibilities once the product is applied. This way a customer can do research online and be advised on what product they are purchasing to have applied

2. Use a detailer that offers a manufacturers warranty or guarantee on the coatings they sell. Not only a workmanship guarantee but also a fully backed warranty by the manufacturer of the coating they choose to use. While there are often requirements in order to keep or uphold a warranty, it does provide peace of mind to the consumer that if something goes wrong with the product or service provided, they will not be responsible for paying to fix it later on. While warranties are not always 100% guaranteed protection against risk, they do offer you a “second layer” of defense when combined with a professional detailer that conducts him or herself with the highest level of integrity.

Hopefully this article will shine some light onto you about the issues that can come with ceramic coatings.
In my opinion as a professional, the long term benefits to your vehicle far outweigh the risks, especially considering a majority of the risk comes from the detailer hired to apply the coating, not the product brand itself.

George Bayios
Melbourne Mobile Detailing
0421 943 227
www.MelbourneMobileDetailing.com.au

Author: Melbourne Mobile Detailing

Owner and operator of Melbourne Mobile Detailing (MMD) in Melbourne for 9 years and since then MMD has grown large enough with a huge customer base to cover many other detailers in Melbourne and surrounding suburbs dealing with paint protection, odour removal, sticker removal, car detailing, truck cleaning, boat/marine cleaning and aviation detailing in and around Melbourne

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