Updated: Feb 14, 2019
There is nothing quite as aesthetically pleasing as the glossy, unblemished finish of a new car or vehicle, yet, in the past, it was difficult to maintain a new factory finish. Now, with advances in polymer finish technologies, such as Opti-Coat (a professional line of ceramic paint coatings), vehicle finishes can be kept looking factory new for much longer.
Our Vancouver ceramic coating service protects your vehicle’s paint, defends against fading and oxidation caused by sun, wet weather, road salt and grime, while dramatically reducing vehicle waxing and finish maintenance requirements.
What is Ceramic Paint Coating?
Ceramic paint coating is a durable, ceramic clear coat that bonds to vehicle paint to form a glass-like, transparent armour finish. Unlike regular automotive waxes, which sit on the surface of the paint job, quickly become dull and require frequent re-waxing, a ceramic car coating forms a semi-permanent bond with vehicle paint, so it does not wash away or wear away with continued exposure to the elements. Ceramic paint coatings are over 100 times thicker than a typical vehicle wax. This thick, glass-like finish provides your vehicle’s finish lasting durability, finish and colour depth, and protection that cannot be obtained by vehicle wax.
Ceramic coatings: Sometimes, ceramic coatings are referred to as “nano-ceramic coatings”. What does this mean? Nano, means extremely small or microscopic. A nano-ceramic coating, then, contains microscopic ceramic particles suspended in a clear polymer. When applied, the coating chemically bonds to the surface paint, resulting in an impermeable finish. Ceramic is said to be four times harder than steel, are naturally corrosion resistant and can withstand extreme temperatures. Remember the Space Shuttle’s ceramic tiles? Ceramic withstood the heat of re-entering the earth’s atmosphere.
Benefits of Ceramic Vehicle Coatings
· Long lasting, warrantied finish When applied by a professionally trained auto detailer, ceramic automobile coatings can last several years, depending on the manufacturer and the product. Opti-Coat Pro, for example, has a 5-year warranty from the date of application for any vehicle that is 5 model years old or newer and has a 2-year warranty from the date of application on any vehicle that is 6 to 10 model years old.
· Scratch and abrasion resistant Because of the thickness of ceramic auto coatings, they resist swirl marks and light scratches that all vehicles are subjected to during, normal use. Factory paint is protected, and its surface and colour are preserved.
· Superior UV protection Just as the sun’s harmful UV rays can damage your skin, your vehicle’s “skin” – its paint – will also deteriorate over time because of prolonged UV exposure. A ceramic clear coat reduces UV damage such as fading and loss of lustre. Without protection, all vehicle paint jobs will eventually fade and become dull. A ceramic car coating will dramatically extend the life of your factory vehicle finish.
· Reduced maintenance requirements With a ceramic clear coat, you’ll no longer have to wax and re-wax your vehicle. Washing your vehicle will be easier, too, because the ceramic-polymer finish makes it more difficult for dirt and grime to adhere to its finish.
Ceramic Car Coating Process
Before: even a relatively new car finish will show surface scratches and swirling from car washes and exposure to the elements. The owner of the 2017 Audi shown below noticed that his car’s paint was already showing wear. Notice how dull the surface of the hood appears because of the long, shallow vertical scratches. While nobody can eliminate environmental impact completely, getting a protective ceramic coating when your car relatively new will drastically reduce typical paint deterioration caused by environmental factors and normal use.
Every RDI ceramic coating package is a 4-step process, as follows.
Step 1: Car wash and chemical decontamination
Time: 1 hour
Cleaning and chemical decontamination is an important step in the process, removing debris and particles so that the nano-ceramic paint coating has an optimal bonding surface. Cleaning and decontamination also ensures the best finish. We carefully hand wash and dry the vehicle.
We use professional-grade cleaners and chemical decontaminants which remove paint oxidation, dirt, grime and bird droppings. When finished, the car’s surface is cleaned with a clay microfibre towel, which removes remaining contaminants and leaves the surface smooth.
Step 2: Compounding
Time: 4 hours.
“Compounding” uses ultra-fine buffers and cutting compounds to remove surface imperfections such as fine scratches and swirls.
Compounding removes a microscopic layer of old paint, revealing the newer, unblemished paint beneath. Before compounding, we tape areas of the car to protect their surfaces.
After compounding, the surface is polished twice, deepening color and maximizing gloss.
Step 3: Final clean and preparation for ceramic coating Time: 1 hour.
Before applying the nano-ceramic coating, we prepare the car’s surface and ensure it is free of dirt particles.
Once applied, the vehicle paint looks new.
In fact, in some cases, the finish is deeper and more lustrous than the original factory finish. Most importantly, the pristine surface is protected by a hard, glass-like layer of clear ceramic, protecting the beautiful paint beneath.
The next time you polish or clean your car, the paint is protected from fine scratches and swirl marks. It’s also protected from harmful contaminants and UV rays that can dull the paint finish.
Step 4: Interior detailing
Time: 2 hours (depending on the interior’s condition).
Our ceramic auto coating service includes a complete and thorough interior detailing. We vacuum, clean, and apply a protectant to fabric, leather, dash, trim and wheels. Your vehicle will look good inside and out!
Ceramic paint coatings are an investment that pays dividends. Your paint job will last longer, which means you won’t be paying for a new paint job on your “baby” in a few years. For years, your vehicle’s paint will be protected from environmental deterioration and marring from normal wear and tear. A gleaming, pristine surface also increases a vehicle’s resale value and makes it easier to sell.
See the Ceramic Coating Difference! Receive a Free Consultation
If you are in Vancouver or Richmond, BC, or anywhere in the Lower Mainland area and you’d like to restore your vehicle’s paint to its former glory, contact us. We offer a FREE consultation in the shop as time permits. We’ll inspect your vehicle paint, demonstrate the product, explain how it works and answer any questions you may have. We’ll guide you to a ceramic coating package suitable for your vehicle and budget. We’ll help you make an informed decision so you can choose a solution that’s right for you.
RDI also offers Paint Film Protection packages.