How To Properly Maintain A Ceramic Coated Car
You just had your car detailed & ceramic coated professionally. It looks clean, glossy and free from any paint defects. But how to maintain this perfect finish and make the coating last as long as possible in the next two years? Whats the difference in maintaining a coated car versus a non-coated car? In this post we will clarify these doubts and explain how we maintain customers ceramic coated car in our workshop. So you know whats the best car detailing products to use and how to do it properly in your garage.
In our previous post 6 misunderstandings about ceramic coatings, youve already learnt ceramic coating is not a bullet proof protection on top of your paint, unlike paint protection film, ceramic coating does not resistance to swirl marks, scratches or stone chips. So a coated paintwork is also vulnerable to scratches or improperly washing techniques.
The Cure For What Ails Your Car
Ceramic coatings can make an incredible difference in the upkeep of your car exterior, but just remember that they do require some special, but easy, maintenance. After your ceramic coating is applied, it will need time to harden and cure before it can do its job. During the curing process, the coating can be somewhat vulnerable to the elements, so youll need to keep your car dry and protected during this initial period.
The cure time for various coatings varies a great deal. Some professionally applied coatings take up to a week to cure, meaning your car may need to be in a dry, climate-controlled garage during that time. Consult with your detail shop or the manufacturer of your coating for specific instructions.
Our Hybrid Solutions ceramic coatings cure within 24 hours. We recommend applying a second coat after the first 24 hours and allowing that layer to cure for an additional 24 hours. Once youve done that, youre all set for up to 12 months of ceramic protection!
Whichever route you go DIY or pro detailer just dont forget to wash your ceramic coating and top it off every now and then.
Tip #4: Do Not Wash The Vehicle In Direct Sunlight
Avoid washing a vehicle in direct sunlight, as this tends to encourage the formation of hard water spots and dried soap residue.
To ensure that your hard work returns optimum results, and prevent the formation of water spots, always scrub your vehicle beneath a covered structure, or in a heavily shaded outdoor area.
If neither of these is available to you, wash the vehicle in the early morning or during evening hours, when the sun is low in the horizon and shadows loom tall. Avoiding;water spots at all cost, is the name of the game folks, and you have to play, regardless as to whether you want to or not.
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Tip #4 Use The Same Sio2 Boost Spray
Consistency is critical with any car care product. While many car enthusiasts like to try different products to use on their car, this isnt a smart idea with ceramic boost or maintenance sprays. Before you buy, contact the manufacturers of the ceramic coating you had applied or did yourself, and ask them which product they recommend. Using multiple spray coatings can cause compatibility issues, leading to damaging the coating and possibly leading to paint correction.
Never Use An Automatic Wash
If youve got a nanocoating, youre probably concerned about preventing scratches. So why take your vehicle to a wash thats going to mar your finish? Let us explain: Automatic washes use highly abrasive bristles that retain all the scratch-prone contaminants from previous washes. Put your vehicle through one and youll come out with a micro-marred coatingeven if its 9H.
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Implement Safe Wash Methods
If you have installed a ceramic coating on your car, chances are you have also completed some sort of paint correction on the vehicle. As many of my readers already know, when you wash or dry your vehicle you run the risk of inflicting swirls and scratches on your paint.
It is always important to avoid this, but even more so if you have already gone to the effort and cost of paint correction and coating.
There are several things you can do to reduce the risk of damaging your paint when cleaning your car.
- Use some sort of Pre-Wash Or Snow Foam before coming in contact with the paint.
- Avoid automated car washes
Step 6: Decontamination With Clay
We dried and rolled the RX-7 inside to complete the decontamination process, but you may not wish to move your car, and you might even choose to carry out this stage before drying. What’s most important here is that clay is lubricated with our Glide Clay Lube and used to pull out the last of the ingrained contamination.
Utilising Detailing Clay, or our Handi Clay Pads is an important part of preparing the car for the later stages, and what’s more you can actually feel the difference. The surface will get slicker and more slippery as you glide the clay across it.
There are no particular areas to take note of here, just clay the whole vehicle, including the lights. And, don’t worry, it doesn’t take half as long as most people think.
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Step1: Wheels And Tyres
As with any deep clean, preparation is everything. It also helps to work to a methodical system. We always start with the wheels, just like we would with any wash, because the grimmest and most neglected areas should always be the first to be tackled.
The first job is to jack the car up and remove the wheels. You don’t have to do all four at once, what’s most important here is safety, so make sure you use your common sense, and a beefy axle stand or two. We tend to start on the front, because these tend to be the most contaminated, and then move on to the rear.
Removing the wheels not only means you can deep clean the barrels, but it also gives you access to the chassis and arch liners, where you’ll usually find the heaviest soiling. A long methodical rinse with a pressure washer is the first process, this will help lift away any caked-on mud. Don’t be afraid to remove arch liners if you have to, and pay particular attention to the very top of the wheel wells where dirt tends to dry and clog. The car being jacked up also gives the perfect opportunity to blast away dirt and debris from the whole underside. Once you have pre rinsed using a combination Dynamite Traffic Film Remover and Eradicate Engine Degreaser liberally on all areas will help cut through the remainder of the grime. These can be agitated into all areas using a detailing brush or a Scrubi spot pad.
What Is A Tunnel Car Wash
The most popular automated car wash facility is one youll find at gas stations, or local car wash facilities. Its called a tunnel car wash simply because youll drive the vehicle through a tunnel . There are some commercial car wash locations that will send your car through the tunnel car wash, before completing the wash with hand drying or applying protectants.
This is your prototypical automatic friction-based car wash. If you listen carefully, you can hear this Mopar SRT screaming in pain.
There are three common tunnel car washes an express tunnel, , flex serve tunnel , and the full-service tunnel .
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The Car Wash For Ceramic Coatings
The first thing thats involved is a good, old-fashioned, car wash by hand. Most professional detailers and installers of a ceramic coat or a paint sealant recommend using the two-bucket method of car washing. This video is a great one to watch that will explain how the two-bucket method works. Adam Cote will also explain why its not a good idea to visit your local automated car washing facility.
Tips For Maintaining Your Ceramic Coating
Ceramic coatings take a while to cure and provide the necessary protection to your paintwork. A ceramic coating is quite a considerable investment, and unless you want to wash it all down the drain, you should not wash your car for at least a week after its application. This time allows the ceramic coating to cure properly.
Applying a protective layer on your vehicle doesnt make it dirt proof or contaminant proof. It still requires a regular wash, although not as often as when it only had the factory clear coat. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when washing a car with a ceramic coating:
- Wash your car every one to two weeks
As you drive your ceramic coated vehicle, its hydrophobicity makes it hard for most water-based dirt and smudges to stick on its surface. However, dirt, pebbles, and other small degrading materials get embedded into the ceramic coating. Without a regular wash, these materials chip away the ceramic coating, making it lose its hydrophobicity with time. This is why its vital to wash your car every 1-2 weeks to protect and maintain your ceramic coating.
- Do not wash your car in direct sunlight
If you wash your car in direct sunlight, there is a high possibility that water spots and streaks will form. Avoid this by washing your car under a shade or in the garage, to attain a spot-free surface.
- Use a dedicated car wash product.
- Use the two bucket method
- Do not airdry your car
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How To Maintain And Rejuvenate My Cars Coating In Between Washes
If the vehicle is merely dusty in between washes, use a silicon dioxide coating maintenance spray with clean soft microfiber towels to gently remove dust. Many ceramic coating manufacturers have developed special coating sprays that help maintain their specific coatings. These sprays are super easy to use and help those who enjoy kicking up the gloss level.
For ceramic coatings, waxing, polishing or applying any other sealants are not recommended. Waxing is not needed because it will not bond to the coated surface. Polishing is a type of abrasive that can damage the coating. Stay away from these products as they are not designed for coatings.
Simply clean the coating and keep it rejuvenated with the designed coating maintenance products.
Best Practices For Using An Auto Car Wash
If you have installed a paint protection film or ceramic coating on your vehicle, and cant hand wash your vehicle, using a touchless car wash facility is your best option. There are several waterless wash solutions that are likewise good alternatives, but the high-pressure washing system is what wed recommend.
The best touchless wash facility is one where youll drive into an open bay and use a high-pressure washer. These locations often have a brush you can use on the paint finish. However, the soap used can contain harsh chemicals used to remove road grime.
If youre going to use this type of car wash equipment, here are three easy tips:
Bring Your Car Washing Supplies. You can use a high-pressure car wash facility and in most case, bring your own washing supplies. For an optimal car washing experience, bring a 5-gallon bucket, some automotive-specific car shampoo , a microfiber wash mitt, and drying towel.
Use the high-pressure water to pre-rinse the vehicle, to fill your wash bucket, and rinse off. Dont use the hand-held brush as this will scratch the surface likely.
When youre done washing the car, use a dedicated microfiber towel to dry the cars finish while still in the bay and out of direct sunlight.
If youd like to learn more about ceramic coatings or paint protection film, click the link below and request a free estimate from a professional auto salon near you.
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Can You Use A Rinseless Wash On A Ceramic Coated Car
Believe it or not, yes! This isnt something thats talked about very often but its something Ive personally tested for years. My rinseless wash of choice is Optimum No Rinse and Ive never had an issue with it changing the behavior of the coating or leaving behind any streaks.
Its really easy to get that freshly polished finish without any water spots or streaks sticking around. I use it in the direct sun too.
Choosing a rinseless wash is basically the same thing as choosing a traditional soap. You dont need to overthink it. Just find one that doesnt contain any wax . I dont know of any rinseless washes that contain heavy duty cleaners or degreasers so that shouldnt be a concern here.
Check out this article for more on rinseless washes and whether or not theyre safe to use.
Make sure to follow safe rinseless wash procedures, especially if your car is really dirty. There is nothing wrong with giving the car a quick pre-rinse with either a pressure washer or the garden hose.
This is even more helpful on a coated vehicle because the self-cleaning characteristics allow you to remove a lot of the dirt and grime before you ever touch it. That lessens the chances of wash induced scratches being created.
Meguiars Gold Class Car Wash
Meguiars Gold Class is often recommended by professional detailers after theyve applied a ceramic coating for you. They know that the chances of a regular car owner going to a detailing supply store to buy an expensive soap are pretty slim. This one fits the criteria and can be found at nearly any big box store.
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What Is A Ceramic Coating
These are a true wonder of science and there are now literally thousands of ceramic protection products/brands on the market, which pretty well all fit the guise;of being a;semi-permanent paint protective coating that is applied to your paint, wheels, lights, glass and other exterior surfaces. They are made using multiple highly;engineered ingredients, all;blended;smartly to;create;a very thin, yet;strong;surface coating, adding an additional layer of protection that when looked after correctly,;can last for many years. Don’t look after it and they;can fail just as easily. ;
Is a ceramic coating worth it?
The short answer is; yes.
A ceramic coating gives you a great, super hydrophobic surface that will make your every day driver;easier to wash and maintain, and help it keep a nice shine. It’s not a magic force field though, and will require regular maintenance to keep it looking and performing its best. It will also degrade over time and require top ups, or perhaps even re-application after a longer period of time.
Ceramic coatings are best applied by reputable professional detailers.;The applying of the coating;itself is quite simple, but the crucial preparation process before application is something;very laborious and time consuming. It’s something;that many regular enthusiasts don’t always;have the time, knowledge, equipment and patience to;do. So, getting an experienced detailer to do it for you makes a lot of sense.
What about ‘ceramic’ sprays?;
How To Wash Your Car Before Applying Ceramic Coating Step By Step Guide
Ceramic coating for cars had become quite of a trend nowadays. Its suddenly all over the internet and countless car owners are trying the new trend out.
But here comes the real question- Is ceramic coating worth it? Even if it does, how to do that yourself?
Well, dont raise your eyebrow yet. If you like your car to be ceramic coated, you dont have to spend hundreds of bucks calling a car mechanic. You can start doing it by all yourself.
But before beginning with the actual coating, there are some pre-tasks. And washing the car is the most important of them.
Although washing the car sounds creamy. But when it comes to washing the car before applying the ceramic coating, things become a little complicated. Because Ive seen many noobs to leave this part incomplete and ruin the entire coating layer.
Washing car before applying ceramic coating
If you want not to end up with any such mess, this is the post written for you. Well be showing you the entirely DIY process on how to wash your car before applying the ceramic coating.
Enough of the intro. Lets get going-
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How To Apply Ceramic Coating To Your Cars At Home
If you decide to apply a ceramic coating to your car at home, you will need to follow the instructions exactly. Here is a list of the general steps that you need to follow for your DIY ceramic coat application:;
- Prepare your car for the coating by washing it thoroughly and then drying it off carefully using a microfiber towel. If there are any imperfections on your car such as paint scratches or swirl marks, you will need to fix them before you start the process as you dont want them to be sealed in.
- Park your car in a well-shaded place. If you have a garage, leave the door open. Just make sure it is not under direct sunlight.
- The kit will come with an application pad. You need to pour the ceramic coating on this pad to ensure a smooth and optimal finish. This method will be far better than applying the coating with a cloth or sponge. Use a crisscross motion while applying the coating with the pad over the surface of your vehicle.
- If there is a leftover residual ceramic coating, wipe it away using a microfiber cloth. After this, buff your entire vehicle using a second microfiber cloth.;
- The ceramic coating needs to be allowed to dry completely. Although each type of paint has its own drying time, usually it is around 48 hours. Be sure to leave your car in the shade while you wait for the coating to dry, so its better to choose a time when you wont need to use the car.