What are your thoughts on ceramic coatings to protect paint?

What are your thoughts on ceramic coatings to protect paint?

Does anyone have a view as to whether it is worth coating a new Tesla with ceramic coating, which supposedly obviates the need for waxing for 10 years? Not clear to me whether this stuff is marketing hype or if I'll actually come to appreciate it five years down the road.

Victorg-90D | 09. januar 2018

It makes a difference mostly for dark cars, especially black.
If you see swirls on your car then get coating and you will be happy.

PatientFool | 09. januar 2018

I've noticed that people who get it are universally happy with it even years after. It does seem to keep your car looking new/waxed and offers *some* scratch protection if you watch some youtube videos where people purposefully scratch their car or do other things to it. However I didn't get it because it's more then i wanted to pay and I was more interested in clear bras.

It does *NOT* protect much from rock chips which is the protection that I was mostly after - thanks to my 90mi/day commute. I've never had a car that doesn't get rock chips as all manner of things bounce off the front of my car and i've had extremely good results from clear bras protecting from that in the past.

If I wasn't so cheap i'd probably have done both but clear bra + 3M tint + opticoats was just too much for me. For me the must haves were the clear bra on the front and the tint which already set me back $2k. So as it stands i do wax my car once a month or so but it's not hard thanks to the turtle wax ice product which pretty much just wipes on and off.

Ultimately i think if you have the money, dont like washing you car yourself and don't like paying for or DYI'ing waxings/detailings it's a terrific product.

Loc_Nguyen | 09. januar 2018

Speaking from experience, It will NOT protect your car from scratches or small rock chips of any kind. The 2 benefits hat I see is the shine and hydrophobic features which makes it look great and easy to clean. That’s it! Don’t buy their scratch resistance advertisement.

I have Xpel ultimate full wrap on all paint surfaces and Cquartz UK on top. I went on a +4000 miles road trip. My baby still suffered some minor scratches on the Xpel surface that won’t heal. So the Cquartz ceramic coat didn’t really help. It really helped when it comes to cleaning though. The shine makes your car pops

Boonedocks | 09. januar 2018

PPF first then CeramicPro if your budget allows. Coating alone will still get rock chips galore.

mcmack15 | 09. januar 2018

I would go with the Xpel Ultimate, and skip the opti-coat, etc.

I 1st put the opti-coat on the entire car-----only because I was too cheap to go with the Xpel. In a few weeks we got a minor chip on the lower hood. Over the holiday I brought the car back and had the opti-coat removed from the front and front sides, and had Xpel put on in those areas-----with no opti-coat over it.

On a prior car I traded in for the Tesla I had, it was 100% covered with Xpel Ultimate and found no need for additional coverings.

ted | 09. januar 2018

I had the ceramic coat done on my red 100D, in my opinion its not worth the money. I was not happy with the shine,
I went over the car myself with turtle wax ice, the car now looks great. I always had high profile cars and simply waxed
them myself, they always looked like they came out of a showroom.

I think the coating has merit, but not worth the cost.

Anthony J. Parisio | 09. januar 2018

I have been researching this topic lately. I have even found ceramic coatings guaranteed for 10 years. The thing is none resist scratches a that much better than some hard paints. However they can not be buffed like paint. Reapplying the coatings do not correct any of the new fine scratches. The only way to repair the fine scratches is to remove the coating. This is not easy on the longer lasting versions. The ten year coating requires sanding to remove it. So if your car sits outside as mine does the ceramic coating might not be the best choice for you.

tesla | 09. januar 2018

Thanks all. Have others looked at Xpel Ultimate? That seems intriguing to me. Also reminded me I need to get some security windows done too (at my house!).

blacktape242 | 09. januar 2018

I was going to ask about Xpel, is it expensive to do the front facing parts? I wouldn't see it necessary to do the whole car.

I have a company in town that carries and installs Xpel.

5thumbs | 09. januar 2018

I had Cquartz finest applied on my dark grey tesla about 2 years ago. I'm happy with it. Does not stop paint chips as other's have mentioned. However, the car is very easy to clean with a rinseless wash or hand wash and always looks tip top. I probably spent more than I needed to get the color correction done prior to application of Cquartz. Did it at OCDetail in Fremont (was in Walnut Creek at the time). Would do again! Good luck

Shaler44 | 09. januar 2018

I had ceramic pro put on my white model S and all I have to is run it through touchless wash and it looks brand new. I also had the 3M clear bra put on and I’m very happy with the result.

ALI3N | 09. januar 2018

I have a Blk S60. For the most part, the best practice (in my option) is to ClearBra the ENTIRE Hood, Front Bumper area including Lights and if possible the Fenders. I would also apply ClearBra under the Door Handels to prevent Fingernail scratches. That will “help” to prevent Rock Chips. I would then Ceramic Coat everything which makes it easier to clean and keeps the paint looking nice. BTW Ceramic Coating can scratch at which point it must be professionally fixed (removed and reapplied).

If you do these things and Foam or 2-Bucket Wash then Air-Blow and “Blot” Dry you’ll have a car that always looks new with no swirls and limited to no chips. BTW Common Sense Driving Tactics help with preventing front end chips.

In CA it’s around 3K for front ClearBra and Ceramic. Add another $400 for a High Pressure Washer, Foam Sprayer, Buckets, Dirt Strainers, a blower and very special towels and you’re set.

Yes...I realize this is an epic pain but it’s the price one must pay if you truly want to keep your Tesla looking Shiny-New!

JAD | 09. januar 2018

If you take care of your car and wash and wax regularly, you are wasting your money. If you think rain cleans your car, it adds an additional layer that protects the clear coat and keeps the car looking good longer.

PatientFool | 09. januar 2018

cost depends on where you live and the cost of labor there. Bay area is expensive but i managed to find a place that did the front for $1400 which is a good price. shop around!

mcmack15 | 10. januar 2018

Here around Boston to do the entire car in Xpel Ultimate will run some $5K to $6K. I think to get 'most' of the front facing areas done (i.e., the front bumper, the headlights, the entire hood in one piece, and the fenders on the sides of the hood) cost me around $1,800 to $2,000. I did not get the back of the mirrors nor the pillars on the sides of the windshield done (think it was around $110 to $130, respectively, for those areas).

danbry39 | 10. januar 2018

One thing to emphasize is to choose the right person to do the job. You really want a skilled person to responsibly treat the Tesla. The prep work on your car prior to application is extremely important. I spent countless hours searching for the right detailer.

For myself, I had CQuartz Finest Reserve plus SunTek Ultra PPF applied to my car. I took the advise of the detailer on what would work best with my color (red) and choose that detailer due to numerous glowing reviews by other Tesla owners, even though the shop was over 100 miles away.

Still early on, but I drive much more relaxed with the knowledge that some protection is there, even though it isn't bulletproof. Washing is easy as pie now.

If I had to do it all over again, I would. Now, I'm not channeling my daughter to do that with her upcoming Model 3 as the car alone is financially challenging for her pocketbook.

avesraggiana | 10. januar 2018

I did the same thing as @danbry39. Twice. The firs time on our Model S and the second time on our Model X. Neither were cheap but I’d do it all over again. Cars this expensive warrant this type of expense.

SUNTEK PPF on front bumper, headlights, full bonnet, door mirrors, door handles and the rear bumpers. Ceramic Pro on the whole car.

One thing is for sure, both Teslas are a lot easier to clean and keep looking shiny. However, after washing our newer red Model X for the very first time, I still scratched the bonnet with a soft, brand new, never been used wet microfibre cloth. Thousands of tiny, hairline scratches all going the same direction, all over the this gorgeous, lustrous, gleaming, and previously unmarred painted body panel.

Really vexing, but I’ve been told that the red is a particularly soft paint. I’m resigned to just scratching my car up every time I wipe it dry.

Cost for SUNTEK PPF and Ceramic Pro was approximately $2500 for each car. Not cheap, but worth it.

jordanrichard | 10. januar 2018

So what coating should one use to protect the ceramic coating, then the what to use to protect that coating...........

mantin | 10. januar 2018

Opti Coat on mny 2013 and not a spot nor chip at 51K - with 4 annual trips from LA to San Francisco and more per year to San Diego at 80 mph. Had my new S100D opti coated in July to replace the 2013. Calif prohibits lead based paints so having opti coat protects from swirls, makes it easy to clean, and no chips. Installer came to my home both times to do the coating.

mcmack15 | 10. januar 2018

jordanrichard-------a garage roof, and never have it leave the garage.........................and of course, don't let the grandchildren into the garage to get a bike or something out...............this will also work for protecting the Xpel, 3M, etc.

Loc_Nguyen | 10. januar 2018

Oh, I forgot to mention that PPF side benefit is making your paint look slightly deeper. Since clear PPF somewhat decrease light reflecting back, the color underneath appears to be darker. To me, it was a huge benefit. My multicolor red looks deeper and more stunning, combine with the shine that ceramic coating gives. My car looks fantastic. Never got tired looking at it.

Rowlie | 10. januar 2018

I sort of got to have a side-by-side comparison. My previous car was an Audi A8 in Brilliant Black. It did not have a ceramic coating on it and I washed it weekly. We bought my kids a used VW Passat Wagon, also in Brilliant Black. My kids never washed their car, but it usually looked cleaner than my Audi. I haven't had it applied to my Tesla yet, but I think I will.

rxlawdude | 10. januar 2018

"Cars this expensive warrant this type of expense." It would be fascinating for someone to prove that resale value a few years down the road is any better for an Xpel, cQuartz, or OptiCoat treated car.

My thought is the cost will never be recouped, but if one wants to have a shiny car, more power (and less dough) to them.

mcmack15 | 10. januar 2018

rxlawdude-------per my actual experience with corvettes, I did not recoup any of the Xpel cost when trading the cars in to dealers. Their black book value was their black book value---virtually no value added for after market improvements of any kind. In a private sale, I might have possibly bartered for something. However, the Xpel did protect my cars and certainly contributed to their pristine look upon trade-in, so in that sense I did recoup something. Each was only about 2 1/2 years old when I traded it in.

My general rule of thumb on this-----if keeping the car for more than 3 years, it is worth it to get the Xpel. Especially, if you are like me and hate spending time washing, waxing and polishing cars. Minimal maintenance with the Xpel, and the car always looks great. Yes, yes, I realize I violated my own rule of thumb with the corvettes and didn't keep either one for the 3 years, but my intention with each was to keep it forever---after all, I promised my wife each time that it was the last corvette I would ever buy. PS--traded the 2015 Z06 in for the Tesla we got in September----pretty good reason not to keep it for 3 years.

And, I would only get the Xpel or ceramic coating if I had access to a laser touchless car wash. The washes where the brushes or rags touch the car can catch or snag on the Xpel corners and rip it off............and mark up the ceramic coatings. You can always hand wash either covering, but I am getting too old for that.................

JAD | 10. januar 2018

Remember, if these coatings were really that great, it wouldn't cost the manufacturer much to do it properly when painting the car originally. They are just a second layer of clear coat which may or may not be better depending on your needs and wants. If it magically improved the paint and cleanliness, every Ferrari, Porsche and exotics would have it standard in the paint process as the extra money is minimal IF it performed that well.

anyjoseph | 22. juni 2018

In my thinking ceramic coatings to protect paint is really good product for car protection. I have used this product for my car protection. I am usually take product from, and my car is very protect till now until I am using my car since 2015 but its look like a new car.

Adam | 15. september 2018

Ceramic Coatings and Paint Protection Film are all the rage right now with car owners and car enthusiasts for good reason. They are both excellent at protecting your vehicle from harsh environments.

Ceramic Coatings are extremely chemical resistant and make your car shine like no wax or sealant has ever been able to do prior. They by nature will be more glossy and slick than clear bra and paint protection film. Coatings do make your paint harder and fill the pores of paint which offers some level of scratch and marring resistance, but the best benefits of Ceramic Pro and ceramic coatings are the self cleaning effects, ease of maintenance and UV protection.

If you are looking for rock chip prevention and the self healing top layer that clear bra offers, paint protection film is the way to go. Many people will protect just their leading edges like bumper, headlights and mirrors or in many cases full hood, fenders too. PPF has evolved so much over the last decade that you can now protect your entire vehicle using clear bra. Let there be no doubt that for absolute protection the best recipe is wrapping the entire painted surface with paint protection film and then topping that with Ceramic Pro PPF & Vinyl Ceramic Coating system.

The best thing about ceramic coatings like Ceramic Pro and Clear Bra paint protection film like XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS is that they pair extremely well together. You can apply ceramic coatings like Ceramic Pro where PPF can't reach, is cost prohibitive, on top of PPF on interior surfaces and of course on all painted surfaces. This makes both products the ultimate line of defense for maintaining your OEM finish and ultimately the value of the vehicle.

Check out this video to see more about why you might choose one over the other or combine both.

redacted | 15. september 2018

I've had it done twice. Probably wouldn't do it again, I can't really tell a difference. I'd do the film again though.

ktslab | 15. september 2018

cost too much and you can't recover the cost from resell. That's the con.

the car looks great all the way till you sell it. that's the pro.

hand wash only especially if you have the ceramic coating.

I had PPF + ceramic coating on the S. Don't know if I would do it again on the upcoming X. (cost concern)

Bighorn | 15. september 2018

I did it on the S for $295. Wouldn't do it for 3+ times that.

ktslab | 15. september 2018

you did yourself Bighorn? l sure can't.

Bighorn | 15. september 2018

No, I paid for it out in CA when I went out for the factory tour. The price has gone through the roof since 2014. Some DIYs do it, but it's not the same product with Opticoat.

NKYTA | 15. september 2018

I don’t think I’d pay for the C Quartz (or others) again. Too costly and doesn’t protect rock chips in the front, which is very common.

I might give her a wrap down the road is she starts looking too seedy...

Boonedocks | 15. september 2018

PPF + CeramicPro 9H all the way x 2

ktslab | 15. september 2018

omg, Bighorn. that was such an incredible deal. the basic ceramic coating near me cost 1500 bucks. the fancy ones cost 2800 bucks.

MelaniaFromBrentwood | 15. september 2018

Spoke at length in person with the owner of the world’s largest and busiest Tesla approved body shop, in Los Angeles, while he was fixing spots left in my Model S hood (no bra or ceramic) from bird droppings that had etched the clear coat. He said, “it took 2 minutes to fix your car. I’m charging you $0. Worst case would have been $100-200. For the price of ceramic and PPF of entire car, you could literally do that repair many dozens of times. It’s a waste of $$.” And I agree with him now.

JayInJapan | 16. september 2018

Ceramic pro keeps my car looking so nice and makes it so easy to wash, that I will get it done on any future cars as well.

Anthony J. Parisio | 16. september 2018

I have experimented on three different cars with two different ceramic coatings. Now remembered my car sits outside under a tree 24/7. Both Opti-Coat and C-Quartz look great when new after proper paint correction. They do make it easier to clean. However they do not protect against bird droppings any better than wax. Also they do nothing to stop micro scratching. These are those tiny scratches one can only see in bright sun light or with high intensity lighting such that detailers use. These are often called love scratches by detailers because they usually happen while washing the car. Ceramic sprays help fill these scratches but not as well as a wax would. Plus removing bird marks removes the coating. While these coatings last longer then any wax they continuously get more and more love scratches. If you enter your car in car shows as I do this is not acceptable!

So my take on ceramic coatings is they are best used on cars that are garage queens. These cars that are seldom exposed to what nature will hurle at them. The coatings are great for cars that are seldom washed but usually rinsed. Followed by a quick refresh to the coating with the ceramic recharge spray. If this is your car you will find ceramic coatings to be the simplest fastest easiest ways to keep it looking great all the time. However if your car sits out side as mine does IT IS A TOTAL WAIST OF MONEY! The coating will never protects as well as some of the best waxes on the market now do. Yes waxes take MUCH more work and time but your car will look show car perfect all the time for much less.

normtoystoys | 28. desember 2018

Interesting points. I keep asking myself, "If these great products were truly great, why hasn't the automotive industries INCLUDED or offered these services / products?" For instance, at one time, premium audio systems, ABS, LED headlights, suspension kits, HP tires, etc. were all "after-market" products, but since demand and obvious benefits were apparent, these items became either part of industry-standard options or standard equipment. Every single car is painted for protection and looks. Every single car will get dinged, chipped, dented, bird-crapped on, road tar and bug smashed. Why hasn't any (no one) car company even offered this all-the-rage promising paint protection? I'm sure PFF and ceramic coating only helps protect cars, but to what extent? Unless, this is the new or latest "polyglycoat," I'm at cross-roads on paying another $1000- $3500 add-on "protection" item... What do you think?

Anthony J. Parisio | 29. desember 2018

I have to say the best protection is the plastic wraps. They need nothing but washing to look great for at least 5 years. Other than that ceramics, polymers and waxes are not really much different. As I wrote a garage kept car will be easier to keep clean with ceramics. However a car left 24/7 outside needs frequent reapplication of sealer regardless if it is wax, polymer or ceramics. All three sealers have spray versions of their products to refresh the protection.

lilbean | 29. desember 2018

A coated car is so much easier to clean, in my opinion. Dirt slides right off. I never have to wax the car. That makes it worth it for me. The cars still look brand new.

Anthony J. Parisio | 29. desember 2018

You are right but leaving it outside 24/7 dose ruin the ceramics much faster than you might think. Modern polymers leave the finish as easy to clean as ceramics.