The only real “problems” with ceramic coatings are caused by potential missteps during application. Some people may argue ceramic coating doesn’t perform as well as other coating solutions, such as graphene coating, but that’s not really problem.
For some drivers ceramic coating is the ideal solution. Other drivers may prefer a more powerful, longer-lasting graphene coating. It’s a matter of personal preference.
Can You Mess Up Ceramic Coating Applications?
Yes, it is possible to mess up a DIY ceramic coating application. Improper application may cause high spots, streaks, cloudy reflections or hazing. These mistakes won’t permanently damage your vehicle’s paint and can be undone. However, undoing a botched ceramic coating application is far more time consuming than the application itself, and may require wet sanding followed by polishing and finishing.
Trying to remove ceramic coating after it has cured can cause damage if you don’t do it properly. To remove a professional grade, cured ceramic coating, you may need to start with a 3,000-grit sandpaper (with a lubricant). Coarser or lighter grits may be necessary – it really depends on the age, depth and type of coating.
The key for ceramic coating removal is stopping once the cured ceramic coating is off – if you start sanding into the clear coat there will likely be permanent damage to your vehicle’s exterior
A lot of vehicle owners may not be able to tell if they’ve sanded off enough of the cured ceramic coating, which is what makes this procedure so risky for DIYers. If you’ve attempted a DIY ceramic coating application and now your car looks streaked, uneven and hazy, you may want to hire a professional detailer to remove the coating. The experts who apply graphene and ceramic coatings professionally for a living are also the people who are best at safely removing them without damaging a vehicle’s clear coat.
How a Detailer Might Remove a Problematic Ceramic Coating
Some car owners purchase vehicles with a dealership coating addon then decide to upgrade to a graphene coating or a better ceramic coating. Dealership coatings aren’t exactly renowned for their quality.
Before applying a new graphene or ceramic coating a professional detailer will first need to go through the long, time-intensive process of cleaning the exterior, fixing blemishes, paint correction and removal of the existing coating.
The cleaning process will likely begin with the application of break buster and other tough cleaning products to get rid of all the caustic and hard to remove dusts, grit and tar on wheels.
After that they’ll probably use a foam cannon to pre-treat your whole vehicle with a specially prepared soap, grease remover and shampoo blend.
Once that’s finished, they’ll do the more traditional scrub down with professional-grade car shampoos and sponges/mitts. After the exterior is thoroughly cleaned, they’ll correct easy-to-miss imperfections, abrasions and etchings from bug splatter or bird droppings.
After all the spot and paint correction is finished a detailer will likely apply pre-paint prep products. These products are designed to remove waxes and sealants. This pre-paint prep product, applied with a microfiber cloth, may be enough to remove lower grade products (SIO2 spray sealant for example).
The effort required to remove a ceramic coating varies based on the quality and layers of existing coatings. For the entry-level coatings, 3D1 and a polishing pad may be enough. A two- or three-year coating may require a microfiber pad or a 50/50 pad. Concentrated five-year coatings or higher with multiple layers may need up to 4,000-grit sandpaper instead of the microfiber or pads. The aggression of the removal method really depends on the coating, its age and its quality.
Comparison to Other Exterior Protection Products
Most people don’t consider performance attributes to be problems, but there are certain properties that some vehicle treatments possess or do better than a traditional ceramic coating.
Clear bra (paint protection film) will provide better impact protection than ceramic coating, but it doesn’t possess some of the hydrophobic, easy cleaning or shine-inducing attributes of a ceramic coating.
The higher-tier graphene coatings will probably provide superior protection in almost all the same categories as ceramic coatings. The differences between graphene and traditional ceramic coatings aren’t exactly indicative of problems or flaws in ceramic coating. Graphene is just a newer, slightly more expensive product.
To put it simply, there aren’t really any problems with ceramic coating as a product. It does some things better than other vehicle protection coatings while falling short of others in certain attributes. Ceramic coating products themselves, when applied correctly, don’t really have any downsides other than being hard to remove (which isn’t really a downside most of the time).
Get Help With Removing or Applying a Ceramic Coating to Your Vehicle in Phoenix or Scottsdale
Are you interested in upgrading your existing coating or just want to know what your options are for improving your exterior’s shine and durability?
The detailing experts at RPM Automotive are here to help. Keeping Phoenix and Scottsdale area cars looking their best is what we do. We’d be happy to answer your questions and recommend the best graphene coating, ceramic coating or clear bra solution for your needs.
Call us at 602.776.8888 for more information or to schedule an appointment.