For around 30 years following the arrival of the automobile, there weren't effective cleaning options. Even when services became available, they were hardly anything but minimal. However, with the rapid growth and development of the automotive industry also came the increased need for cleaning and maintenance products and techniques.
Today cars come in every form, model, and color imaginable, and to meet the wildly specialized needs of cars, several detailing and maintenance treatments exist to keep cars in the best condition.
In terms of post-car wash protection, the two primary treatments are the professional car wax service and the ceramic coating service. Waxing has been, and continues to be, a standard treatment for car protection and appearance following a car detailing service. Ceramic coating on the other hand is the latest treatment that auto detailing experts have fallen in love with because of its exceptional results.
Both waxing and ceramic coating have positives and negatives depending on the car and customer. In this article we’ll break down the most important aspects of the protective finishing services, and which one will be the best for you.
Waxing vs. Ceramic Coating: Protection
Following a car detailing service it’s essential to preserve the clean surface, appearance, and to protect it from future damage. The mainstay for a long time now has been a professional car wax service.
There are several types of car wax formulations available for you to research and determine what is best for your car. The process is relatively simple and involves carefully covering your car in the product and then wiping it off.
The protective benefit that it provides is a barrier layer between the environment and your car’s clear coat. It will protect the surface or your vehicle from typical contaminants like water, dirt, and debris, all of which can harm the clear coat. As the clear coat deteriorates, the paint becomes at risk, following that is the metal frame of the car which is susceptible to rust. However, this treatment is temporary, meaning it’s protective capabilities can only go so far.
Ceramic coatings services are much more laborious and time-consuming, needing overnight to cure. While the treatment is exceptionally more complex to perform, it also provides a vastly superior protection. Ceramic coating is silica-based liquid polymer that hardens like glass. Because ceramic coating is hard, it boasts higher resilience to debris and scratching than wax.
In terms of protective capability, ceramic coatings far outperform the traditional waxing service. But the level of protection needed for a car is determined by the car itself and the owner. A car waxing service may be best for those with a standard vehicle, and ceramic may be better for owners of luxury vehicles.
Waxing vs. Ceramic Coating: Appearance
Both waxing and ceramic coating provide protection as well as better appearance. Because both are the final steps of a car detailing process, they preserve the clean look and add an element of shine.
Waxing is a simple but effective way to help your car shine again. Over time tiny imperfections and scratches will occur on the surface of your car. If you imagine an extreme close-up side view of your car's paint and top coat, you would see peaks and valleys of where the clear coat has been removed or deteriorated. This rough surface refracts light in several directions, diffusing it and making your car look faded. Wax is a liquid treatment that can fill these tiny crevices, and when wiped away reveals a smoother and shinier surface. It also adds a level of water-repellency that prevents water marks.
Because wax is temporary and soft though, it can leave behind a residue that doesn’t maintain shine after experiencing surface abrasion and can even get contaminants stuck to the surface.
Ceramic coating creates a hard glass-like shell that has a high-gloss shine. The surface is hydrophobic as well and will repel water, ensuring the surface does not get water marks or streaks. And because ceramic coating amplifies what’s underneath, it has to be applied to a polished surface.
While not directly a result of the ceramic coating service, the need for a polish to remove surface imperfections before application already guarantees it will have a superior appearance. Also the shine from a ceramic coating can’t be beat by that of a waxing.
For the best looking car, a ceramic coating will make your car shine. It brilliantly highlights paint and stuns with its shine. It is a must for any owner of a luxury vehicle looking to maintain the car’s beauty. If you have a standard car that you want to revitalize, a wax may be a solid option too.
Waxing vs. Ceramic Coating: Cost
A typical professional car wax service is a relatively easy treatment. The product is commonly organic as wax can be sourced from several sources, but can also come in synthetic forms. All types of car wax though are temporary surface applications. The resulting protection provided from waxing can vary by product but typically lasts a couple months.
Depending on how you personally view it, the short term protection can be a good or bad thing. Because it is easy to apply and temporary, it is also relatively inexpensive to do. Tacking on the treatment after an auto detailing service is an easy addition. You can even save more money and apply wax yourself, it’s an easy and cost-effective way to protect your car in the short-term.
Professional ceramic coating is a permanent treatment. The hard shell barrier created by the silica-based liquid polymer can last for years if properly maintained. It will protect your car from all kinds of contaminants for much longer than a wax can.
However, a ceramic coating service can be expensive. Because the product lasts so long and the process involves so much manual labor, it is not for the casual car owner. Before a ceramic coating, a car has to be polished to remove any visual defects. This along with the exhausting and delicate work of application can make it be seen as more of a luxury service.
When comparing the cost of the two, wax is far cheaper upfront. That being said, to get protection for a comparable period to what ceramic coating offers, several waxing services will add up. If you're looking for an affordable treatment, waxing is a no-brainer, if you want long-lasting protection and money isn’t a concern, ceramic coating is the best in the industry.
Which One Prevails?
Both waxing and ceramic coating have their benefits and short-comings. On the one hand waxing is easy and affordable and provides noticeable results in protection and appearance. But it doesn’t last as long, protect, or shine better than the competition.
Ceramic coating excels in protection and appearance, beating all the competition and has become a new industry standard for luxury cars with good reason. However, it isn’t the most cost-effective choice. In the end, it offers unparalleled benefits but at a luxury price.
When determining what treatment is best for your car there is no simple answer. It is entirely dependent on your car and your desired results. If you are looking for fast outcomes and an affordable price, waxing will be the best option. If you have a luxury vehicle or one that you want to look it’s best and money isn’t the biggest concern, ceramic coating is the clear choice.
Book Auto Detail Services With Cali Car Co Mobile
Hire a car detailing specialist such as Cali Car Co Mobile to get your vehicle looking brand new with a waxing or ceramic coating. We can not only fix minor imperfections, but we can also protect and enhance the paint on your car. Give us a call, and we'll be able to help. Fill out a form or give us a call at (925) 549 - 4555, and we can have your car looking like new!