Is Ceramic Coating Worth the Investment?

Living in the desert where it’s constantly dusty, sandy, and brutally sunny & hot, I definitely want to do what I can to protect FiFi from the elements. For a few weeks, I did plenty of research on ceramic coating and eventually decided that this would be a good first step. I found a local detailer just five minutes away to do it for me about two months into ownership. I opted for the 3-year coating as it seemed to be the best value at $700 for the whole car, including the wheels.

Full exterior wash before coating

The process pretty much took him a full day, and I did not stick around the whole time since I had appointments that day. I wish I could have though to take more photos and to see what went down, but I did manage to stop by when he was prepping her for the ceramic coating. He did a thorough job washing and polishing the car first, and after this step she was already so glossy! He sent photos throughout the day to keep me in the loop, which I really appreciated. Needless to say, by the time I picked her up, she looked better than showroom ready.

Day after ceramic coating – flawless mirror finish!

Overall, I’d say that the paint condition was already pretty good to begin with since FiFi is a relatively new car and has been well taken care of. There weren’t any noticeable paint chips or oxidation, but there were definitely swirl marks and some scratches that needed to be buffed out and polished. If you don’t look super closely like I do, you’d think that she is absolutely FLAWLESS after ceramic coating. Of course, she’s a car, and ceramic coating is not going to make her totally bullet proof. And no car is going to be totally perfect if it’s going to be driven. As much as I strive for perfection, I know I have to manage my expectations.

So fresh, so clean!

After ceramic coating though, I noticed that the “elements” like dirt, grime, and bugs don’t stick onto the car as much. The wash process is SO much easier. I have not needed to do anything remotely close to scrubbing, because things seem to wipe right off, or come right off with water through a pressure washer when it’s bath time. This has been especially nice on the wheels because it gets tedious having to scrub them down, and the stock rims (which I plan to upgrade eventually) just don’t hide brake dust at all. With ceramic coating though, brake dust rinses right off with just water if you are like me and wash weekly or biweekly.

I may be a little OCD when it comes to keeping FiFi clean and washing her. But for the 2-3 weeks “curing time” post-coating, you aren’t supposed to wash. I was given a finale spray by Aero that’s good for quick touch-ups and detailing, which I actively used during this time period to ensure no bugs were caked onto the coating and to keep her looking relatively clean.

First rinse 2+ weeks after ceramic coating and no water contact in this time frame

After just over 2 weeks, I took her to a self-service car wash bay for a quick rinse. I was really curious how FiFi would look without using any soap, so that’s exactly what I tested! I simply rinsed her down with water and dried her up using the car dryer. It was super satisfying seeing 1) the water beading up on FiFi, and 2) all the brake dust on the rims just wash right off with no elbow grease whatsoever! Once she was mostly dry, I used a soft microfiber towel to gently apply the finale spray all over while touching up any wet spots the dryer may have missed. This simple process left her looking good as new, and that’s when I knew I made the right choice.

Water beads up and sheets after ceramic coating – a satisfying sight!

Don’t get me wrong… ya girl ain’t afraid to get her hands dirty… but if I can just stand there and watch everything glide right off the car with water through a pressure washer, I’ll take it!

Long story short: ceramic coating is 100% worth it! Here’s a quick breakdown of perks if you’re not yet convinced by my personal experience/story…

  • Blocks 99% of damaging UV rays
  • Easy maintenance
  • Reduced static
  • Repels dirt & insects
  • Enhanced shine & color
  • Harder than factory clear coat
  • Increased scratch resistance
  • Never wax again
  • Protects car value (goes on the CarFax if you get the 3+ year options!)
  • Eliminates oxidation
  • Provides mirror finish
  • Prohibits saltwater corrosion and reduces acid corrosion
  • Hydrophobic (water sheeting)

First time seeing my rims so clean since taking ownership

At the end of the day, I feel like ceramic coating is something you have to experience for yourself at least once if you haven’t yet. From there, you can decide for yourself whether it is right for you! For me, I enjoy the low maintenance and how the ceramic coating gives FiFi that beautiful mirror-like finish all the time, even when she’s a bit dusty.


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