Is Ceramic Car Wax Worth It? How To Decide

A lot goes into maintaining the spark of your new car’s paint, and despite your best efforts, it is practically impossible to avoid scratches and chips. The solution is ceramic coatings. But are ceramic coatings worth the hype?

Ceramic car wax

Ceramic car wax is worth it. Ceramic coatings protect from UV damage, heat, harsh washing detergents, scratches, and environmental contaminants. They also make your car easier to clean and keep it looking newer for longer.

In the next part of this article, I will explain what ceramic coatings are, discuss whether they are worth the price, and guide you to decide whether to apply them on your car. Read on to find out more!

What Is Ceramic Car Wax?

Ceramic car wax is a group of liquid car-care products that provide better protection and are shinier than conventional paste-wax coatings. Ceramic waxes don’t contain wax similar to candle wax. These are chemical polymers that bond to your car’s paint firmly to provide a stronger coat than real wax.

Holding a car wax

Ceramic car wax is a nanoscopic liquid paint treatment that sets to form a hard surface over your car’s paint. Ceramic car wax is made of silicon dioxide sourced from quartz and sand. When applied to a vehicle, it bonds with the paint to form a robust hydrophobic surface.

Applying ceramic waxes to your car is straightforward, and they don’t need re-coating as often as their traditional counterparts. However, there comes a question of whether ceramic polishes are effective or it’s just a hype.

Why Ceramic Car Coatings Are Worth It

Car waxing the side of the car

Ceramic waxes form a permanent or semi-permanent bond with your car’s factory paint. So, they don’t wash away or deteriorate quickly to necessitate rewaxing every couple of months.

In other words, ceramic waxes protect your car’s paint and help to keep it looking new with little maintenance.

These are the benefits of ceramic car coatings that make them worth your money:

Protects Your Car’s Paint From UV Damage and Oxidation

The sun’s UV rays damage cars’ paint the same way they damage human skin, causing it to age and lose its brilliance.

You know this too well if you reside or frequent the American Southwest. It’s not uncommon to find your car’s paint peeling off and looking older than it is. As the sun’s UV rays bake into the paint, they cause molecular damage to the paint, causing it to peel and bleach.

A ceramic wax coating provides a UV-blocking barrier coat that reflects the sun’s rays and heat that usually bake into the paint of unprotected cars, causing them to fade and peel. You’d want to consider ceramic waxes if you live in areas with high sunshine intensity or don’t have a garage to park your car during the day.

You can also consider a car shelter as well as applying ceramic waxes on your vehicle, since you can’t go wrong with extra protection.

You can try this ShelterLogic Instant Garage to protect your car from the elements. It comes with a durable all-steel metal frame and a sandstone cover to provide the best shelter for your vehicle.

Protects Your Car’s Paint From Staining by Chemicals

Natural acidic contaminants might stain your car’s paint. A ceramic coating provides a chemically-resistant surface to prevent chemical stains from bonding with the paint. Therefore, your vehicle becomes resistant to staining and etching because the contaminants are removed from the surface in time.

Ceramic Waxes Make It Easy To Clean Your Car

One exciting thing about ceramic waxes is that they make your car’s exterior hydrophobic, which means the surface repels water. Water glides off more smoothly on a hydrophobic surface than on a regular one.

Car paint has microscopic pockets where dirt and dust adhere to. The ceramic wax nanoparticles fill these pockets, leaving no space for dust and debris to attach.

Therefore, dust and mud will not bond quickly to your vehicle’s surface. Additionally, contaminants will slide off effortlessly when washing your car. After all, who wants to spend their entire Sunday afternoon trying to flush grime off their vehicle?

Smooth and Gloss Finish

Who doesn’t like the glossy factory paint new cars come with? You’d better start using ceramic waxes to keep your vehicle shining like it did when you bought it. An excellent ceramic wax will add depth and clarity and improve its reflective properties. Your car will retain its factory gloss finish and fetch more money if you want to sell it.

Saves Money

It’s a hassle to have your car waxed with regular waxes every few months, not to mention the severe hole it leaves in your wallet. Though a bit expensive at first, ceramic polishes are cheaper in the long run. They last for many years, so you won’t need to wax your car frequently. They’ll save you the buck you spend on monthly waxing with conventional car waxes.

What Ceramic Waxes Don’t Do

Applying car wax on the car

Although ceramic waxes protect your car and minimize maintenance needs, they don’t indefinitely protect your car from severe scratches and other damages beyond their capabilities. A ceramic wax isn’t a super miracle that will fix every other problem for you. Don’t expect too much; everything has its limits.

Eliminate Scratches, Rock Chips, and Swirl Marks

I wouldn’t agree that ceramic coating scratch resistance is exaggerated. It’s just that people expect too much of this often superior car-care product.

A ceramic-coated car isn’t entirely resistant to parking lot scratches and rock chips. Despite the ceramic protection, severe scratching force will most likely penetrate your car’s paint. And if not applied correctly, your vehicle will still be at risk of swirl marks made by an automated car wash.

Ceramic coating isn’t a substitute for severe scratch protection like paint protection films. It protects your car from UV damage and gives it a smooth gloss finish. For scratch protection, you better look elsewhere.

Eliminate the Chances of Water Spots

Water evaporates when it’s left to dry on a car, leaving behind visible spots. Although a ceramic-coated paint is hydrophobic, water glides off smoothly; not all droplets glide off. Some are left behind, posing the risk of water spots. Therefore, you’ll still need to dry your car correctly after a wash to dry off water droplets that didn’t glide off.

The Ceramic Coating Doesn’t Eliminate the Need To Wash Your Car

Ceramic waxing maintains your car’s factory gloss finish with relatively low maintenance, not ‘no maintenance’. Your car will still collect some dirt even with a ceramic coating, so you’ll still have to wash it to keep it looking great.

Ceramic waxing only makes washing more manageable, it’s not a replacement for a car wash.

How To Decide Whether Your Car Needs a Ceramic Coat or Not

Waxing a black car

Ceramic waxing is a great idea to give your vehicle paint the protection it deserves. It’s recommended to wax your car twice a year – once at the beginning of summer and once when winter begins. To protect your vehicle entirely, you’ll need a 3 to 4 month interval between waxing, but this is only recommended for regular waxes.

Ceramic waxing lasts from two to five years and sometimes up to 10 years, but that’s rare. How you care for your car can affect how long the ceramic wax will last. So how do you decide whether to apply ceramic wax or not? Should you apply ordinary waxes, a ceramic coating, or sealants? Which is better?

You Should Apply a Ceramic Coating If:

  • Your vehicle’s paint is in a near-perfect condition.
  • You drive in all conditions and rarely neglect your car.
  • You wash your car often using the correct products and techniques.
  • You can benefit from easy and quick washes.

Age and Condition

The age and condition of your car’s paint should help you decide whether to go for a ceramic coating or not. New cars will not need regular waxing compared to those that have been around the block for a few years.

Although you still can apply a ceramic coating on a new car, you can first start with regular waxes and apply a ceramic coating later. Cars with bleached or scratched paint will need regular waxing, polishing, and maybe a color restorer to help bring their shades back to life.

You can be sure regular ceramic waxing won’t be cheap. So you should instead restore your car’s paint first, then apply a ceramic coating.

You should stick to a sealant instead of ceramic coating if:

  • You regularly abuse your car.
  • Your car gets dirty, and you don’t wash it immediately.
  • Your vehicle is likely to suffer from scratches and dents.
  • You don’t want to spend a lot of cash on ceramic coatings.

Environmental Conditions

It would be best if you considered the environment in which your car spends most of its time. Salt accelerates corrosion, so if you live near the sea or frequent roads with tons of winter road salt, you should regularly apply a ceramic coating and maintain it using maintenance boosters. (I will talk about maintenance boosters later)

If you park your car in direct sunlight or under trees, it would be best if you applied a ceramic coating to protect the paint from UV rays and sap, respectively. Extreme conditions of smog, dirt and high temperatures may also necessitate ceramic coating.

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How Often Do You Use Your Car?

How often you use your car affects whether you should get a ceramic car wax. It might be overkill if your car stays in the garage most of the week or if you frequently drive in harsh conditions. Traditional waxes with hydrophobic polymers will provide protection and a glossy finish.

If you’re a daily driver, it’s almost sure your car will be exposed to the elements in one way or another. It may get hot, rain, or snow unexpectedly, so it would be best to protect your car with a ceramic coating just in case.

How To Maintain the Ceramic Coating

Ways to maintain ceramic coating

Nothing good comes easy – you have to put in some effort to keep it in perfect working condition. You have to maintain them properly so that they can continue protecting your car the best way possible.

Here’s how you maintain your car’s ceramic coating:

Use Maintenance Boosters

Besides washing your car regularly, maintenance boosters will come in handy to maintain the appearance of your car’s ceramic coating.

Maintenance boosters are similar to the original ceramic formula, but they come in much higher concentrations. You spray them on your ceramic-coated car paint to fill in any imperfections from abrasions. You should apply a maintenance booster on your car’s paint every 3-4 months to maintain its glossy finish.

Wash Your Car Regularly

Wash your car every two weeks or when it becomes filthy. Neglecting to clean your car will cause the coating to lose its hydrophobic qualities prematurely. The good thing is that the ceramic coating makes cleaning easier and faster, so you shouldn’t worry about taking too much time cleaning your car.

I prefer hand washing my car, but a single automatic wash between hand washes isn’t that bad. Repeated automatic washes will degrade the coating over time, so you’d be better off avoiding them.

Are Ceramic Coatings Worth It? Final Verdict

Ceramic coating for cars

Ceramic coatings are worth their cost. They last longer than ordinary waxes and protect your car’s paint from damage by UV rays and the elements. Although they seem pricey at first, a full-range auto detailing will cost you even more. So, they’re a better way of maintaining your car’s paint.

The Bottom Line

Waxing your car with ceramic-based waxes or the regular type of wax is an excellent way to maintain the paintwork on your car. Either method has its pros and cons and will demand unique maintenance procedures.

First published on Sep 23, 2022 by

Of course, ceramic coatings shine all the way. You can’t compare the smooth glossy finish you get from a ceramic coating with the ordinary touch of regular waxes. So I’d go with ceramic coating.

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CarCareReport dot com first published this article on Sep 23, 2022..

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