Ceramic Maintenance

Today, we will talk about the best way to maintain your ceramic coating so it can last as long as possible.

Coatings aren’t permanent!

Many detailers often mis-sell coatings by giving the impression that the coating will last forever! Sometimes we wish we could just apply the coating and be done. Unfortunately, without ceramic maintenance, it won’t last if not cared for properly.

A ceramic coating maintenance wash must be done frequently, and if you follow these guidelines, will have no problem to maintain your car’s coating the best way and keep the coating glossy and shiny for many years.

ceramic maintenance - red car finish

The process

The main benefits of ceramic coatings are the glossy new look, ease of cleaning and the protection from damage to your vehicle from the environment and UV damage from the sun in Vietnam.

A ceramic coating for your car is designed to provide a semi-permanent bond with a vehicle’s paintwork/wheels/plastic/glass, meaning that it will not just wash away after a few months, like a typical wax or paint sealant would.

Ceramic coatings must be applied in a professional way and then cured with an IR-Lamp.

If a coating is applied in a poor working environment or outdoors, dust and contaminants will be on the paint when it is applied, further reducing the durability and bonding of the coating.

ceramic maintenance - black car application

Whilst your coating cures, the coating will still be relatively soft and can be weakened. Most coatings harden after 48 hours but it can take 3-4 weeks for a coating to fully cure. During this period, if you notice any contaminants on the car, like bird droppings, tree sap, etc., you must remove them immediately.

What are ceramic coatings?

There are hundreds of types of ceramic coating on the market. Many can last for a long time, between 1-5 years, depending on the number of layers applied. However, anything over 4 layers is pointless as it will not bond properly to the previous layers.

You must ensure you choose a reputable coating company and not an OEM china made coating, which often uses cheap materials and fail within 3-6 months of application.

Raw silicone is the primary ingredient for a ceramic coating which has faced a worldwide shortage since 2017. This has resulted in an increase in the global trading price of silicone by 30-40%. Many companies are now increasing their price or finding hard to source silicone at all. Top tip – If a ceramic coating costs very little to buy, you should consider the quality of the materials being used.

Luckily in the USA, we have experienced detailers who frequently test the different coatings on the market which lets us quickly know which ones fail and what works.

In Vietnam, the reputable ceramic coatings with official Distributors or Resellers are IGL Coatings, Ceramic Pro and Gyeon Quartz.

These are companies who manufacture and supply to experienced detailers around the world. These companies use the highest quality materials and have completed extensive research, development and testing by external agencies such as SGS, ISO 2015 to prove their coating quality. The famous detailers in the USA and Europe use these established companies as they are assured of their quality and the results they will provide for their clients.

ceramic maintenance - igl product

Coating Maintenance

Keeping a ceramic coating in its best condition require maintenance. Fortunately, this does not mean you have to come back to the centre who applied your coating every month. However, you should make sure you are offered a maintenance schedule at every 3 months or so.

If the companies who applied the coating are an official Accredited Coating Centre or Distributor and they are following the maintenance schedule, you should be offered a warranty. You will be assured that your vehicle will look immaculate for the duration of ownership, as the manufacturer’s warranty will cover you.

During these schedules, the centre will clean your vehicle and remove any contaminants that have adhered to the coating, instantly giving you back a showroom shine.

If you do not keep your ceramic coating maintained, you will find that the hydrophobic properties (repelling of water and dirt) will be reduced, but a simple professional car wash using quality products will fix this problem easily, alternatively using a quick detailer like IGL Enhancer will ensure your vehicles coating lasts even longer!

ceramic maintenance - marine ceramic bottle

Some people think that because their coatings hydrophobic effect is lost, that the coating has failed. This is not the case, usually, the coating gets blocked up and simple maintenance can restore the properties within minutes, without the need to recoat your vehicle!

Ask a Pro: Ed Bews @ Vietnam Car Care.
Ed Bews has had a passion for car care since he was 17, for over 18 years he has detailed and loved his cars! He is a member of the International Detailing Association (IDA) and a founding member of Vietnam Detailing Academy. Ed opened Vietnam Car Care in 2015 to bring the same passion and international detailing techniques and services he found in the UK to Vietnam!