Do You Have Questions on Paint Protection?
You are not alone! Below you will find an answer to nearly every question Kings Valet has been asked.
What is Paint Protection? "Paint Protection" is a general term that means anything applied over your vehicle's exterior paint to protect it from various damages. The protection on the market varies both in coverage and cost. This category includes surface protectants like: Wax, Ceramic Coatings, PTFE, PPF and some other offerings on the market.
What is Wax? Wax is the original "Paint Protection'' - It has been around since the early 1800s. Wax originally was made from animal fats to cover horse trailers (ironic right?). While it has developed over the decades, the cons of wax far outweigh its offerings. Constant reapplication is the biggest of these cons.
What is Ceramic Coating? Ceramic Coatings bond with your vehicle's clear coat and form a long lasting, high gloss "Nano Coat" barrier. Ceramic Coatings repel water, environmental factors and even prevent lackluster. It protects, enhances and strengthens one of your most valued investments. Ceramic Coatings have a good balance between pros and cons.
What is PPF (Paint Protection Film)? Paint Protection Film is the latest addition to the protection market. It is the only protection that will resist; and in some cases even heal, after taking damage. Yes you read that right - some PPF is self-healing. It can handle going through car washes and rock chips with minimal issue. The disadvantage? VERY expensive. This protection can run you 5 figures for an entire vehicle. It requires multiple days for application. Even for protection on the front third of the vehicle (hood, fenders, front bumper, mirrors) you will spend thousands.
Should I Buy Ceramic Coating from The Dealer? Run Away! Dealerships are the worst possible option - Yes, even versus a consumer grade coating. First, most of these coatings are not Ceramic Coatings - they sell you on the buzz word (lie) and then the paperwork will mention nothing of Ceramic, just that a "lifetime coating" was applied. These coatings fail in WEEKS. If you have a dealership coating - bring it to Kings Valet and they can make it FAIL with a chemical this is only meant to CLEAN a real Ceramic Coating. It is a SCAM. Even if the dealer is legitimately selling a Ceramic Coating (Kings Valet knows of 0 in the area), it is likely being installed by a minimum wage worker with minimum experience. It will not end well. On top of this - detailers at dealerships are HEAVILY overworked. Going to a true detail shop or Ceramic Coating Installer (like Kings Valet) will ensure that your vehicle gets the attention it deserves from a true professional.
What is the Best Paint Protection? Kings Valet recommends Ceramic Coating for a great balance between price and protection. However, Ceramic Coating is not right for everyone. This is why you cannot just click and buy before talking with someone at Kings Valet.
Professional Grade Ceramic Coatings Vs... A Car Wash's "Ceramic Coating"? The same as that car wash applies a wax - this wax is rated for a couple days (first rain after clean at longest). They stick some SiO2 in their mix, scratch your car up while cleaning it then tell you that you have a Ceramic Coating. It will also last a couple days or first rain. "Ceramic Wax"? What an oxymoron. Like the car wash, wax manufacturers stick a bit of SiO2 in their formula and call it ceramic. True Ceramic coatings have no fillers (wax does) and will last years NOT days. Best case with a spray applies "Ceramic Wax" you will see a couple weeks; meaning constant reapplication. Consumer Grade Ceramic Coatings? Lifespan is the answer here as well. No consumer grade coating is rated over 2 years. Even this rating is a stretch. Prep is the most important part of installation. without a proper clean, clayed and polished surface you will coat over contaminants. When these contaminants eventually fall from the surface - so does that amazing consumer grade coating. Consumer grade companies know (the same as pro) that YOU are the biggest factor that determines how long your coating lasts. They would never release a "lifetime" option without properly educating their base. Biggest problem here? Proper education is EXPENSIVE.
What Types of Paint Protection Does Kings Valet Offer? Kings Valet offers Ceramic Coating. Mastering a single trade is their intention.
What Ceramic Coating is Best? Kings Valet can only speak to their experience for this question. Their customers prefer fast turn-around, high-gloss and a reasonable price as their top 3 requests. This has led Kings Valet to use System-X as their preferred brand. It is a single layer coating with up to a lifetime rating.
When is Best to Ceramic Coat a Vehicle? The day you buy it - The longer you leave your vehicle unprotected the higher the risk. Kings Valet understands many people buy cars around the holidays then want to wait for spring to stop in for service. Yes, it will get dirty the day you leave if you have Coated Coated during winter - but this is a MUCH better option than driving around unprotected.
Are Ceramic Coatings Safe? Absolutely - Once Ceramic Coating is installed there is absolutely no risk to you or your vehicle. During installation Kings Valet will wear PPE - there are odors emitted (similar to paint or gas) that are likely harmful over the long-term. Kings Valet does their best to protect their staff from any harm.
Are Ceramic Coatings Good for Cars? Absolutely - There are no drawbacks for a Ceramic Coating installation by Kings Valet. It makes a phenomenal sacrificial layer of protection over the entirety of your vehicle. Ceramic Coatings resist chemicals, bugs, bird bombs, minor abrasions and ensures an easy to clean; deep-shine, for years to come!
Does Ceramic Coating Stop Scratches? No. When George sits down with a potential client at Kings Valet - he will always joke that "If you have an angry ex with a key - they will still get down to bare metal". Also, there is a reason EVERY Ceramic Coating manufacturer says that driving through an automated brush wash will void your warranty. While Ceramic Coating will not "stop" scratches; it will "resist" them. What does this mean? Ceramic Coating is a great sacrificial layer. The leafy part of a tree branch or your jacket zipper will rub the Ceramic Coating versus the clear coat under it. Ceramic Coating is much harder than a clear coat. This means all the annoyances of life will be on a harder top layer versus getting through the clear to paint and metal. It is also much easier to repair (buff) Ceramic Coating versus clear coat.
Does Ceramic Coating Stop Rock Chips? Again, No. This is not what Ceramic Coating is designed to do. Will it help with a few pebbles, probably - but Kings Valet will never sell a Ceramic Coating as a solution to rock chips. PPF is the only solution on the market that can handle rock chips (and even PPF is not perfect).
How to Care for a Ceramic Coating? Literally anyway EXCEPT a tunnel (brush) wash. The preferred method will be the two-bucket approach. This is the least aggressive method; both in what chemicals are used and abrasion on the surface. You may also go through any touch-free automatic wash. The chemicals are harsh and while Ceramic Coating is resistant, overuse of automated touch-free is not suggested. If you go to a wash bay - do NOT use the brush provided by the wash. It is full of grit and is rarely cleaned. Bring your own wash mitt or microfiber. Ceramic Coated vehicles will clean near perfection with just a power washer, but a contact wash (two buckets) will help with clogged pores. Kings Valet gives after-care instructions and warranty information post service for their specific brands. Kings Valet also offers a yearly maintenance program that includes a detail every month.
How are Ceramic Coatings Applied? Kings Valet applies Ceramic Coating by hand. They pour a few drops onto an application block and wipe on in a cross hatch pattern. After 30-60 seconds (just before flashing) they buff the coating off with a Korean Fiber towel. A second method for application is by HPLV gun.
How Long Will My Ceramic Coating Last? A Lifetime! Kings Valet traditionally ONLY Installs Lifetime Ceramic Coatings. Other companies may offer shorter-term coatings, but Kings Valet believes in you getting 100% of your value. For only a couple hundred dollars difference you jump from a 1 year offering to a lifetime offerings.
Where to Buy Ceramic Coatings? Obviously, Kings Valet recommends coming to them for a Professional-Grade Ceramic Coating Installation. Consumer-grade ceramic coatings do exist, but they will not have near the life-span or integrity of a professional grade coating.
How Much Do Ceramic Coatings Cost? Kings Valet has LIFETIME Ceramic Coating starting at about $1275. Ceramic Coating can range up to about $2,500 depending on additional packages selected, size of vehicle and level of paint correction needed. Average invoice for Kings Valet's clients is about $1,700. This includes a couple popular add-on packages and / or an additional level of paint correction. Exact pricing for your vehicle can be found under our "Lifetime Ceramic Coating" tab, towards the bottom of the page.
Are Ceramic Coatings Worth It? Absolutely. Cost to have an exterior detail and wax applied 4x a year = $600 x 10 Years = $6,000 Cost to have a Ceramic Coating Installed that lasts 10 years = $1000 (ish) It isn't even close - and this is just covering the monetary cost. The VALUE of Ceramic Coating far exceeds wax. Chemical protection, high gloss, easy to clean, protection from mother nature, etc.
Can Ceramic Coatings be Layered? Yes - However, Kings Valet will not install beyond two layers (and even this is a rarity). Kings Valet elected to install a single layer coating purposefully. Second layers and beyond tend to have more chemicals wiped off versus bonding to the surface. Kings Valet has found that this is a waste of chemicals on their part; and a waste of your money. Layering for "additional gloss" or "more protection" is one of the biggest scams in the industry.
Can I Light My Hood / Ceramic Coating on Fire? Absolutely - Just don't come back to Kings Valet with a Warranty Claim or lawsuit. In all seriousness, this is one of the worst marketing gimmicks related to Ceramic Coatings. The manufacturers say "Hey, look at this crazy stunt" then immediately tell you it will void all warranties and they assume zero liability. Please do not do this.
How to Remove a Ceramic Coating? Call a professional! This issue typically only arises in 2 situations: You tried to install your own coating and it went terribly wrong OR you knew a guy who could do it for $100. Either way - neither of you should attempt the process of removing a coating. Installation of a coating is easy compared to removal. The removal process requires wet-sanding, buffing and a ton of patience.
Can I Use a "Soft-Touch" Car Wash With My Coating? Nope. They aren't soft-touch - that's why. The fibers in both tunnel (brush) washes and soft touch washes trap sand, dirt and debris which is then slung across the hood of your car at a high speed. Any automatic wash that physically touches your vehicle will cause swirl marks, scruffs, scratches and hologramming. It will do this whether a clear coat or a Ceramic Coating is the top layer of protection.
Kings Valet Offers a No Fine-Print Warranty? Yes they do! Have you ever reached out to a 1800 number for a warranty you know should cover you - paid up front for the work and then been told somehow your claim is invalid. Yeah... Kings Valet understands. They elected to offer a primary-level of protection to you. There are 3 simple rules to their warranty: 1) No Abrasive Wash Methods 2) No Setting Your Hood on Fire 3) See Them Once a Year for an Inspection Yes, number 3 has a cost associated - it is $250. Kings Valet recommends that you do this in the spring to unclog the lower portions of the coating from the salt and brine attached to Indiana's winters. This price will NEVER increase for the life of your coating.
What's the Warranty for a Lifetime Ceramic Coating? For as long as you own vehicle you are covered, you just have to follow some three simple rules. The Three Simple Rules: 1) No Setting Your Hood on Fire 2) No Using Aggressive Wash Methods 3) See Kings Valet Every Spring for Annual Inspection Rule One is in place because the Ceramic Coating Manufacturers show this off constantly in their ads. They nor Kings Valet will actually warranty for this gimmick. Rule Two is addressing Automatic Brush Washes (Yes, even "soft touch"). These wash methods will leave swirls and scratches in your paint. The only acceptable way to wash a coated vehicle is by hand or automatic touch free. Kings Valet recommends "American Classic Car Wash" - it is the best kept automatic touch-free in the Michiana area. Rule Three is so Kings Valet can ensure the coating is performing up to their standards. Kings Valet recommends this inspection be done in the spring. It will "unclog" your coating from winter's salt and brine. Yes there is a cost to this appointment ($250). This rate is guaranteed for as long as you own the vehicle. It includes a full exterior detail AND Kings Valet will touch-up any previously applied coating and add toppers as needed. *BONUS* *BONUS* *BONUS* Getting in an accident is an absolute headache right? Kings Valet believes in adding value at every fork in the road. One way they do this is with this by recoating up to 3 panels at absolutely no cost to you after an accident. They will attempt to bill the responsible party's insurance as a part of repairs. If this insurance company says no - Kings Valet still has you covered!
What is Included in The Annual Inspection? Full Exterior Detail. We will also go over every inch of the originally installed exterior coatings and ensure they are working as well as day one. The last thing we want you to do is be less than satisfied with your coating so please let us know if you have noticed anything over the past year. We then sign-off that you came for your annual appointment and you are good to go for another year! What is not included at this appointment? Paint Correction. Poor washing / drying methods will lead to marring / scratching of the coating. We are more than willing to do paint correction, but it is not an included service. While Paint Correction is NOT required to maintain your warranty; a marred surface will have less luster than the date your coating was initially installation. Interior Detailing.
Can You Apply Ceramic Coating On... Vinyl? - Absolutelty. PPF? - Yes Again. It will make both of these options easier to clean. Matte? - Yes and bonus - it turns to a deep, rich satin look. Absolutely no gloss.
Ceramic Coating For Glass Absolutely. This is one of the most popular add-on questions. Glass Ceramic Coating is like Rain-x on steroids. A windshield will last 4-8x longer (1-2 years) on a single applicaition. All glass besides windshield will last even longer than that!
Ceramic Coating for Rims Yes! This helps with the big headache of brake dust! It also helps to stop corrosion from brine and salt on the roads during winters. Final benefit being even more shine to chrome or a deep satin finish to matte colored rims.
Ceramic Coating for Plastics Absolutely! Tired of dealing with bugs sticking to your mirror-housing and head lights? Maybe the bothersome part is plastic trim fading over time? All of this (and more) is eliminated by Ceramic Coating Plastics.
Ceramic Coating for Interior Kings Valet has dedicated coating for Leather, Plastic, Textile and Carpet! These coatings keep the deep rich color prevelant and help protect from staining / UV damage.