Taking care of your vehicle—and its paint—is a necessity for some and a passion for others. But when you start to research all of the options, it can become a little overwhelming and confusing to know what works best for your desired level of protection and budget.
If we strip down all of the industry terms, the objective of all vehicle paint protection options is the same: to protect your vehicle’s paint—but each goes about it in a different way. Ceramic wax, paint protection film (PPF or clear bra), and ceramic coatings are all like a second skin for your vehicle, however, the composition of each product is different and the longevity of each varies.
Read on to learn which vehicle paint protection is right for your vehicle.
Ceramic waxes are a good option for traditional DIY car lovers. It can be a simple hand-applied paint protection that lasts between six months to a year and can be easily done at home or at your local car wash. Ceramic waxes are one of the easiest ways to maintain your vehicle’s paint with regular cleaning and attention because they cure harder, last longer, and provide better hydrophobic properties than the carnauba waxes traditionally used for at-home vehicle waxing.
The difference between ceramic waxes and conventional waxes is the hardness of the seal and the hydrophobic properties. Ceramic waxes are formulated to allow you to build layers overtime for added protection. Conversely, traditional car waxes require you to remove old coatings before you apply a new layer. The other major difference between ceramic and conventional waxes is that ceramic wax is 100% synthetic and has zero natural ingredients.
Ceramic waxes are lab-created and designed with polymer-based ingredients—often infused with Si02 or Teflon. By using these ingredients, the wax is able to produce a hydrophobic (or slippery) surface that protects your vehicle’s paint from damage. The wax bonds with the surface of your vehicle, hardens, and protects your paint from UV rays, chemicals, grime, dirt, bugs, and other contaminants.
The primary issue with ceramic waxes is the lack of consistency in the application of the wax. Without consistent coverage, your vehicle can be left vulnerable to damage and can leave those unsightly swirl marks on your paint. Ceramic waxes can be applied with a traditional paste (like what you would find for at-home applications) or with a spray-on application often found at your local car wash.
ScotchgardTM 3M Paint Protection Film (PPF) is a fantastic option for car lovers looking to add additional protection to their vehicle’s most vulnerable areas. It offers scratch and stain resistance and lasts up to 5 years. The specially designed clear coat provides amazing clarity to preserve the color and design of your vehicle. Both flexible and conformable, it’s a paint protectant that lasts under even the harshest conditions.
This paint protection film was created to protect your vehicle against the elements. The film helps keep your vehicle looking newer longer and creates a protective barrier around the vulnerable areas of your vehicle like front bumpers, hoods, side mirrors, door handle cavities, and door edges. Unlike wax which is short-term and only protects against dirt and grime, PPF lasts up to five years and is better equipped to deal with small impact damage from rock chips, scratches, bugs, road debris, and weather
After application, PPF is virtually invisible and has excellent conformability around the contours of your vehicle. You will not need to do any additional maintenance beyond your normal wash and wax. PPF is not a wax or ceramic coating and will not improve your vehicle’s shine. It is designed to be a protective barrier against small impact damage.
Ceramic coatings such as Ceramic Pro are the best option for car owners looking for long-lasting, high shine, and superior protection.
Ceramic car coatings utilize nanotechnology to protect your vehicle’s paint. This nanotechnology is made up of tiny particles that form a thin, transparent coating that’s invisible to the naked eye. The nano-technology fills in minor cracks and imperfections on the porous and solid surfaces of your vehicle. When these imperfections are filled, the coating provides a flat and hard layer of protection.
The ceramic coating is composed of silica and titanium dioxide. Together, these two substances create a covalent bond that is hydrophobic and forms a nano-ceramic shield to protect your vehicle’s paint. This additional layer seals the pores in your vehicle’s paint creating a hydrophobic layer as well as added resistance to UV rays, scratches, chemicals, and heat.
The ceramic coating creates a semi-permanent bond on the surface of your vehicle that won’t wash away or break down over a short period of time. The coating has non-stick properties making it harder for dirt and grime to stick to your vehicle and has a glass-like finish
With the highest on the pencil scale of hardness of 9H, the 9H Ceramic Pro ceramic coating is basically as hard as solid quartz, and is the protection choice for car owners who want to safeguard their investment and keep their car in showroom condition.
Protecting the exterior of your car safeguards your investment and keeps your car in showroom condition. We understand the desire to keep a car in showroom condition—but birds, bugs, weather, and minor scratches make it extremely difficult. Now that you better understand the differences between Ceramic wax, PPF, and ceramic coatings, you can choose the right level of protection for your car.