Compared to waxes and sealants, ceramic coatings offer the best and most extended protection for your car’s paint. Every type of paint protection has its pros and cons, and today we’re sharing with you seven disadvantages of ceramic coatings.
You should always be aware of all the pros and cons of any product you want to apply to your car, and reading this article will help you decide whether the ceramic coating is the right choice for your vehicle or if you should look for some other form of paint protection.
And while, out of all paint protection methods, we love ceramic coatings the most, some cons come with the product. So here is our list of annoying things to consider when considering ceramic coating your car and how to deal with them.
1. Ceramic Coating Application Is Expensive
The price of ceramic coatings is their most significant disadvantage. Many people see the price of ceramic coating bottles (usually ca. $50 to $100), and they think that’s the actual cost. And actually, that’s only one tiny part of the cost.
Applying ceramic coatings requires knowledge, experience, special tools for paint correction, UV lamps, and a dedicated space (garage) to cure correctly and bond to the paint. Here you can check our detailed article on the average cost of ceramic coatings.
2. It’s Hard Apply If You’re Not Experienced
Even if you have all the equipment and the space to apply ceramic coating properly, it requires you to be knowledgeable. There are tons of tiny tips and tricks to use for ceramic coatings to ensure their durability and longevity, and many people don’t know those.
Of course, if you’re a DIYer, you’ll quickly learn everything, but we don’t recommend applying ceramic coatings to your vehicle if you have never detailed a car. If you want to learn more about ceramic coating application, check out this DIY guide for applying ceramic coating by yourself.
3. Requires a Thorough Paint Prep
All paint protection products require paint preparation, but waxes and sealants are cheaper options, and if their longevity reduces because you haven’t prepared the paint properly, it’s not a big deal.
But, for ceramic coatings, the clear coat has to be perfect. Otherwise, they won’t bond to the paint, reducing their longevity.
Forget about polishing your car with an all-in-one polish or compound. If your car’s paint isn’t the best, you should do a 2-step correction to make it perfect. That’s the only way to expect ceramic coatings to last. Here’s how to prep your car for ceramic coating application.
4. Some Ceramic Coatings Aren’t Available To Everyone
Most ceramic coatings are widely available. However, some companies have professional-grade products that they don’t sell to anyone. You can only buy it if you have a certificate of knowledge (you’ll have to be a pro detailer and pass their courses).
Even though it may be a disadvantage for many people, it could also be considered an advantage. But we decided to put it here on the list because people usually expect the availability of professional-grade products to non-specialists.
5. Water Spots May Occur More Easier
Ceramic coatings are made and applied to prevent paint damage from various contaminants. However, ceramic coatings don’t offer enough protection for water spot prevention. They contribute to the easier formation of water spots.
Ceramic coatings cause water on the surface to bead, and while that’s a fantastic thing if you’re driving your car, it can be a problem if your vehicle is parked and some water beads stay dry on the paint. Removing them may be challenging and, if left untreated for a long time, may even cause damage to ceramic coatings.
That’s why we always recommend washing your car after the rain. You can even use some waterless shampoos and a clean microfiber towel. That’s the best way to prevent water spots from appearing on ceramic-coated vehicles.
6. Many Manufacturers Promote Misleading Claims
While some manufacturers will opt for complete transparency, some may promote misleading claims regarding the longevity of their ceramic coating products. Some companies may even claim that their ceramic coatings can last up to 9 years, and while it can technically be true, it is in most cases only achievable if you keep your car in the garage and never drive it. And that is different from how the real world works in most cases.
In my opinion, you should never expect ceramic coatings to last more than 5 years, regardless of what’s written on the bottle. And even those five years are hard to achieve if you don’t have a garage and don’t detail your car regularly.
7. To Last Longer, Ceramic Coatings Require a Lot of Maintenance
To get the most out of ceramic coatings and make them last as marketed, you should regularly maintain your vehicle. That includes:
Properly washing your car with pH-neutral shampoos
Applying ceramic coating boosters, toppers, or ceramic sprays every few months (we highly suggest using System X Renew Ceramic Spray Coating, which will add an extra layer of protection that lasts up to 6 months, thus extending the ceramic coating life)
Keeping your car in a garage
Dry your car immediately after washing it to prevent water spots
Let’s be straight: you would have to do the above things even if you did not apply ceramic coating to your car, but we put it as a con since you’re paying a lot of money for something that needs to be maintained a lot.
Even with all the cons of ceramic coatings, we still highly suggest you use ceramic coating as your paint protection method because it offers the best protection against contaminants and lasts longer than waxes or sealants.
As technology and scientific discoveries advance, so do ceramic coatings. With every passing year, they are becoming better and better. This is why we consider ceramic coatings the ultimate way to protect your car's paint (besides keeping it in a garage permanently). Cheers!