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Ceramic Coating for Car Paint Protection Questioned and Answered by Car Experts

Is ceramic coating actually harmful to your car’s paint? Is this just another easy car fix scam? Is washing and waxing to protect your car an out-dated maintenance chore? Can you apply ceramic coating over paint protective film? This and more about what some experts have to say about using ceramic coating products on your car.


For a little over the past 10 years, ceramic-based paint protection for your car has been available as either a service you pay someone to do professionally (for a few to several hundred dollars); or, as an easy-apply spray-on option for the DIY car owner (for under $50).

Ceramic-based paint protection basically involves the curing of a ceramic coating consisting of some combination of silica, quartz, or silicone-dioxide (SiO2) onto the surface of your car’s paint via a chemical bond to form a protective coating or shield resistant against water, detergent, dirt, chemicals, UV rays, tree sap, bird poop, etc. In other words, pretty much anything that can and will weaken the clear coating from the factory on the surface of your new car.

The plus of ceramic-based paint protection over traditional washing and waxing is that of better protection and not having to wash and wax your car monthly as part of your regular car maintenance. Ceramic coating is typically advertised as lasting a minimum of two years requiring nothing more than an occasional hosing off or heavy rain to keep the surface looking new.


"This is a Bunch of Crap"

The motivation for this article was a recent video posted by the Scotty Kilmer YouTube channel where Scotty says that it is total nonsense using a ceramic-based paint protector because it opens the possibility of the ceramic coating causing the paint surface to crack under temperature fluctuations during the year.

However, uncharacteristic of Scotty’s videos was a plethora of negative comments about Scotty’s views on this topic. Some said that this was just an old fashioned view of car maintenance hanging onto the traditional car washing and waxing of our father’s and grandfather’s generations, that is out of touch with modern technology in car care. Furthermore, no one chimed in and stated that they had experienced any cracking or other problems using ceramic coating on their car’s paint.

Unfortunately, Scotty did not back his claims with any demonstrative evidence. And, it seemed uncharacteristic of him to go out on a limb like this.

So, after researching into this a bit, it looks like Scotty might really be off on this one---there is a lack of information supporting Scotty’s opinion on the matter.

That said, we can turn to another trusted source of automotive topics through the Engineering Explained YouTube channel, that while a sponsored channel, does offer a younger view and goes into detail about ceramic coating protection for you to watch and judge for yourself in the video below.

Everything You Need To Know About Ceramic Coatings

The Verdict on Ceramic Coatings

Not ever having used a ceramic coating on my vehicles---although with a restoration job including a new professional paint expected next year, I am seriously considering researching this further---I cannot honestly reach a definite yes or no on this car maintenance practice.

However, from what I have gathered, this is a job best left to a professional automotive paint shop or a professional car detailer. Commonsense tells me that just like any other paint job or metal restoration, is that it’s the before-application prep that determines success or not. And, if there are problems---it could be a matter of poor quality versus good quality brands.

Let Us Know What You Know---If you have used ceramic coating on your vehicle, let us know in the comments section below what you have found on whether this works or has its own problems.

And finally…

For additional articles about car maintenance and repair, be sure to check out these two on "Cleaning the Inside of Your Car With a Leaf Blower Is a Bad Idea" and "Consumer Reports Used Car Fixes: DIY Fix for a Dented Bumper."

COMING UP NEXT: Everything You Need To Know About Saving Money Buying Toyota and Lexus Parts

Timothy Boyer is Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.

Image courtesy of Pixabay


Mike C. (not verified)    November 8, 2021 - 2:12PM

A purchased a 2018 Honda Pilot, new in 2018. The SUV was covered with a ceramic coating at the dealership. I think the dealership coats one car of each color to sale in the pressure sale when closing the deal. I say that because the car was ready 15 minutes after I said no to the ceramic coating. Back to the coating, it is perfect whatever they use is incredible almost 4 years and it’s like it just came out of the dealership. No, zero, door nicks run your hand over the paint and it’s like brand new. I did nick the paint when I dropped a pick putting it in the back. But again this is the dealer product not what what we find online.

Timothy Boyer    November 8, 2021 - 2:19PM

I'm betting that Scotty probably was referring to some off-brand product that failed miserably. It will be interesting to see if anyone can attest to a brand that does not work as advertised. Thanks for the input.