So ceramic coatings do have some downsides to them and are usually recommended as a product for those who are looking to take better care of their car. This is for a few reasons.
The first is cost. The coatings themselves are usually fairly cheap. Running at around $100 USD per bottle. But the process to get a ceramic coating professionally applied is labour and time intensive. Meaning it can cost upwards of $1,000 USD to get a car coated. There are some coatings that are meant as DIY products for detailing enthusiasts. But they do have the drawback of not lasting as long and can risk having contaminants being trapped under the finish.
Most coatings like ours are marketed specifically towards car detailing businesses. The reason is that where they are chemically similar, they often require multiple coats, require the car’s finish to be absolutely spotless, require space to let the coating cure for up to days at a time, and in some cases can even require special heating lamps for the curing process. It’s a labour-intensive and costly process, but the results are astounding and can last typically between 5–10 years depending on the product.
As an example of just the preparation phase for a professional coating. Any prior coatings will need to be removed, except for the clear coating on the paint. This includes waxes and other products. The car’s exterior will need to be thoroughly cleaned using a gentle soap. Then the paint will need to be decontaminated using equipment such as clay bars. Before then being buffed and polished to remove oxidized spots, scratches, swirl marks, or other imperfections. All before getting actually applying the ceramic coating. This is also where most of the cost is going for people who chose to get their car coated.
The next is to do with upkeep. Where ceramic coatings are extremely resilient and protect the paint on your car, there is a drawback for most people. That is the cleaning process. Where plenty of motoring enthusiasts will give their cars the personal touch and clean their vehicle by hand, a lot of people utilize drive-through car washers. The issue here is with overly aggressive shampoos, and their effect on the coating. Where ceramic coatings are designed to be chemically resistant, if a shampoo that is not designed to be used on ceramic coatings is used, it can damage the finish. The reason for this is that they can be highly basic (so they have a high pH level). Where a coating will protect your car from everyday chemical damage, it is a bit different literally covering the vehicle in said chemicals and having them sit as the car is cleaned.
But the inverse of this is that where the cleaning process requires a bit more time and love, you don’t have to go through waxing or clay baring every few months. It is recommended that a sealant is applied once a year to help keep the coating in the absolute best condition, but this is still an improvement over using one every few months.
It should also be noted that the longevity of a ceramic coating is still going to be affected by the conditions that the vehicle is kept in. Where ceramic coatings are UV resistant, it is still not a good idea to leave the car baking out in the sun if it can be avoided. As with anyone looking to keep their car in the best condition, using a covered area or garage is still recommended.
At the end of the day, ceramic coatings are mainly recommended for motoring enthusiasts. Particularly as they are intended to keep the vehicle looking its absolute best with a glossy finish. If you’re the kind of person that loves to take care of their car, it is a dream to have on and will keep it shining for years to come with minimal maintenance. But if you’re just your average run-of-the-mill driver who is mostly just looking for a clean car, but isn’t too bothered about the overall finish, then the extra cost involved may not be worth it.
Hopefully, this helped!