Important Facts On Waxes, Sealants, Coatings And Paint Corrections.
And That Thing They Tried To Sell You At The Dealership.
In this guide we talk about paint protection, and how it has evolved over the years. Also some advice on what to watch out for when you are looking to properly protect your investment.
Craig from Revive Detailing Gold Coast has been detailing cars across the Gold Coast, and in this report he answers some of the most common questions detailers are asked.
Can you explain the difference between a wax, sealant, ceramic coating and the stuff they try and sell you at the dealership?
The goal of all these products is to protect the clear coat of your car. When your car is painted, there’s the primer; then there is the base coat – which is the color of your car. Then there’s the clear coat, which protects the base coat of your car.
What everyone is trying to protect is the clear coat of your car. That’s because the clear coat is protecting the base coat and you only have so much clear coat on your car, usually less than the thickness of a sticky note.
So really, the thin clear coat is protecting your car. Now, thanks to technological innovation, they’ve invented ways to add additional layers of protection to protect the clear coat – which is protecting your base coat. So traditionally this would have been a form of waxing, most commonly this is a Carnauba wax.
Think of it in 3 tiers of protection, the first tier would be a wax. Carnauba is a really hard wax, the problem with waxes is that it is very heat sensitive, they break down quickly when the sun is shining on them. Wax can also be simply washed off with a strong car wash soap or detergent. A wax is going to give you a month or two worth of protection. And that’s why this is the most generic form of protecting the clear coat possible.
Then the next tier would be a polymer sealant. It’ll also be a little bit more expensive than a wax, but it’s going to offer you around six months to a year worth of protection.
The third and final tier would be a ceramic coating. This gets into the “thing” that the dealership offered you in the finance office for thousands of dollars. They’re telling you, “Hey, you’re never going to have to wax your car because we put on this superior protection on your car.” The problem is, I have personally detailed cars that are only 12 months old that have absolutely no protection at all left on them. Despite paying sometimes thousands of dollars for a protection package.
The problem with a lot of dealerships is that most of the time, they say they are selling a “lifetime protection package” but they’re really applying a sealant, or at best a cheap ceramic coating (yes there are some cheap and nasty ceramic coatings out there too).
Ceramic coating is the highest level of protection that you can apply to your clear coat, the big selling point for a ceramic coating, is to think of it as putting another clear coat on top of your clear coat, that is not heat sensitive and cannot be washed off.
It’s mainly chemical resistant. If bird droppings, acid or something like that gets spilled on top of the coating, it is going to be sitting right on top, which can be safely removed with a couple of simple steps.
That’s where people have really become misled and mad. They thought that they were getting the best protection they possibly could have ever put on their car, but yet the dealer put on an inferior product, or didn’t prepare the car correctly as a reputable detailer would to ensure maximum protection.
How do I know what the dealer was really offering?
You don’t, and that’s the hard part, and I am not saying all dealers are operating this way, but just because they are charging you thousands of dollars, this is not a guarantee that you are getting the best protection for your money.
Is there a brand name that I should be looking for? Should I ask them what’s the name of the coating?
Ask for the brand of coating. Ask for any paperwork or testing sheets that they have on that coating. Now, here’s the key, look at the fine print.
They’re usually going to be selling these coatings with a warranty.
Typically, the coating comes with a 5-year warranty, sometimes they offer a lifetime warranty.
Also, don’t be afraid to talk to a reputable detailer about what the dealer is offering, or ask them for a quote for a protection package for you to compare. Keeping in mind that a detailer is in the business of looking after your car, the dealer is in the business of selling you a car, and whatever upgrades that can get out of you.
What is a paint correction on a vehicle?
Here’s the easiest way that I can explain it… You see a black car, and the sun is beating directly on to the side of that car. And as the sun beats on that car, it looks like a spider had laid a web all over that car. These are surface scratches in the clear coat, often referred to as swirl marks. I also like to call them love scratches, this is because they are usually induced from someone caring for their car with regular washing, but unfortunately not using the correct techniques.
Paint correction which most people would call a “Cut & Polish” is the service of removing as many of those imperfections as safely as possible.
Now every car will have some level of swirl marks, they’re just harder to see on lighter colored cars and easier to see on darker colored cars.
If you would like to learn more about our range of ceramic coatings, CLICK HERE