Nothing in life is perfect – this unfortunately includes Ceramic Coatings. Everyone wants to sell the sizzle and not the steak. I want to outright expose the downsides of Ceramic Coating so that you are able to make a more educated buying decision.
It’s not a secret that upfront cost is a big downside to Ceramic Coating. A multi-year Professional-Grade Ceramic Coating should never cost less than $1,000. (Here’s Why). Upfront Cost is a relative factor though. Ceramic Coating is certainly more expensive than no protection or a simple wax. It is also more affordable than PPF while retaining most of the benefits (More Here: Ceramic Versus PPF). A great comparison here is that your phone screen can remain unprotected, you can have a screen protector and functional case (Ceramic Coating) or you can buy an OtterBox (PPF). Otterboxes are $65 + tax… Absurd right? No protection means you will definitely shatter that screen in a week. Now the $20 screen protector + case seems reasonable, right?
If the prior analogy wasn’t your cup of tea and you prefer numbers… A sedan size vehicle costs about $1,200 for a Lifetime Ceramic Coating at Kings Valet. Let’s call “lifetime” a decade just for argument’s sake. An exterior detail is $150 with wax – most people do this 4x a year so $600 total per year. Meaning in 2 years of subpar protection being applied (wax) you have spent the equivalent of the highest gloss paint protection on the market. In 10 years of ownership you have spent $6,000 on wax – versus about $1,200 on a Professional Grade Lifetime Ceramic Coating from Kings Valet.
“Well I have to get my Ceramic Coating detailed too right? What about that cost?” Yes there is maintenance required for Ceramic Coating, but if you think you won this round; think again… Kings Valet includes Quarterly Details for FREE through their Lifetime of Maintenance Program (More Info Here). Yes, even with just the base Ceramic Coating package. “Don’t Ceramic Coatings require annual inspections for their warranty?” Yes they do… And if you guessed that Kings Valet INCLUDES this as a part of your Lifetime of FREE Maintenance, you would be right. (The other guys charge up to $250 annually). This free annual inspection even includes a Ceramic Topper.
Another Number for you… Average cost of a new car in 2023? $48,100. This means your investment in Ceramic Coating is roughly 2.5% of your investment in that new car. Putting in perspective it sure seems like the upfront cost is well worth it. Maybe “cheaper” isn’t better when you look at the real costs of wax versus a Ceramic Coating from Kings Valet.
Speaking of cheap… Using a cheaper brand or installer can lead to premature failure and lack luster results. Premature failure is almost always due to poor paint preparation / installation methods. A couple common causes of poor prep include not using a clay bar and iron decon spray during the detail. This means the installer will be coating right over contamination on the clear coat. When said contamination falls out – so does the Ceramic Coating. Failure causes are also extremely common in the panel wipe step before application. If any oil or grease (like fingerprints) are left on the surface, it will prevent a proper bond between clear coat and Ceramic Coating. A bad bond means one thing… premature failure.
Premature failure is not a problem Kings Valet ever experiences, BUT we have a Lifetime Promise (More on Kings Valet Lifetime Warranty Here) in place as a layer of protection just in case. A part of this layer of protection is a 200% money back guarantee. This money back guarantee is not limited to 1 day, 30 days or even 1 year, but rather 3 full years after installation. If you dislike ANY part of our process and we cannot make it right – we will double what you paid for your Ceramic Coating. All you have to do is be current on your warranty. How to stay current on your warranty? Just see us once a year for a Free Annual Inspection, Don’t Set Your Hood on Fire and Avoid Abrasive Wash / Drying Methods. It’s that simple and absolutely no fine print.
I get it. We tell you that you can no longer go through drive and shine (abrasive wash method) and you say well how the heck am I supposed to clean my car in February. Great concern! First, no car should go through brush based washes; even if not coated. The damage caused by these washes in just a couple trips is horrible. Think about it – you pull up right behind a Ford F350 from AAA Construction. His truck is covered in mud, salt and sand. Where do you think all of that debris goes in the 6 seconds before those brushes are hitting your car? It certainly isn’t being rinsed off the porous fibers now micro-marring your paint. So, yes – Ceramic Coating manufacturers bury this in the fine text, but we tell you outright – it is bad for any vehicle.
Yes, to maintain a warranty with Kings Valet or ANY Ceramic Coating brand – you cannot use brush washes – now what should I do in February? Kings Valet suggests touch-free washes Like American Classic Carwash or Caribbean Auto Spa. These touch free washes are still automatic so you can enjoy staying in your nice warm car or truck. They function with an arm running around the vehicle and by utilizing more aggressive cleaning agents (chemicals). Guess what is a great feature of Ceramic Coating… If you guessed chemical resistance you just hit a home run! While a hand wash is always the preferred method for cleaning – you can use automatic touch-free in the winter. Because of the easy to clean properties of Ceramic Coating this will have you back to nearly 100% clean with no effort. Just remember you only need the basic package – rinse, soap, rinse and dry. No super hot lava wax or titanium topper coat.
It is an undeniable fact that water-spotting plagues vehicles that are uncoated – unfortunately it still affects Ceramic Coated vehicles as well. This occurs because the water that is in contact with your vehicle evaporates leaving behind just the minerals it contained. The solution? Drive real fast every time it gets wet!
Obviously I am kidding. Your best fight against water spotting is just proper care. It is certainly easier to remove mineral etching from a Ceramic Coating versus regular clear coat. The least aggressive method would be spraying a 50/50 mix of distilled vinegar / distilled water onto affected panels. (Do this in the shade!) Allow to dwell for about a minute and then wipe dry with a clean High GSM Microfiber. If spots persist, use pure distilled vinegar and allow it to dwell longer. Still no luck? A quick polish of the coating will fix it.
Tips to avoid water spotting? Avoid parking by sprinklers, never wash in the sun and use proper drying methods when you are finished washing.
Ceramic Coating is not magic or perfect. There are still perceived problems with having a Professional Grade Ceramic Coating installed on your new car or truck. Stephen and I have done our best to root these problems out of Kings Valet. Our goal is ensuring you have peace of mind for years to come. This is done through providing you educational resources before installation, utilizing proper procedures during installation, and backing our Ceramic Coating for as long as you own the vehicle after installation.
As noted, Ceramic Coating may be a heavier investment the day you buy a vehicle, but is MUCH cheaper in the long run when installed by Kings Valet. Plus – who doesn’t love a little extra shine on their brand new car or truck? The quality remains long after the price is forgotten.
Interested in booking today? Click HERE to learn more about The Lifetime Ceramic Coating Program from Kings Valet!