How Long Do Ceramic Coatings Last?

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guy applying ceramic coating to a car

If you want to apply ceramic coating on your car, I’m sure you’re wondering how long does ceramic coating last. In this post, I’ll break down the most popular ceramic coatings on the market and how long do they last according to manufacturers.

I’ve tried plenty of ceramic coatings and will compare marketed lifespan expectancy vs. what I’ve realized through years of my experience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ceramic coatings usually last anywhere between 1 year to 5 years.
  • All manufacturers’ claims about longevity should be taken with a grain of salt.
  • Ceramic coatings should be regularly maintained to increase their longevity.

How Long Do Ceramic Coatings Usually Last?

Since I already gave you an answer above, I made a table with some of the most popular ceramic coatings out there and promoted durability (based on their information online). So, here it is:

Ceramic Coating ProductMarketed LongevityRealistic Longevity
Adam’s Advanced Graphene Ceramic Coatingca. 9 yearsUp to 5 years
CarPro Quartz Ceramic Coatingca. 5 years3-4 years
Gyeon Q2 Pure Ceramic Coating1-3 years (with one layer only, you can add more layers to extend the longevity and durability)1-3 years
Sonax Ceramic Coating1-3 years1-3 years
Auto Shield IX Ceramic Coating3-5 years2-3 years
Drexler Ceramic Coating3-5 years2-3 years
Nano Band Ceramic Coatingup to 3 yearsca. 2 years
Longevity of popular car ceramic coatings

As you can see, the promoted durability of ceramic coatings varies anywhere between 1 year and 9+ years. However, the durability may be subjective since it depends on many other things aside from the product itself.

What Affects The Longevity of Ceramic Coatings?

As I already told you, it’s not only about the product; many things affect the longevity of ceramic coatings, and here I’ll show you all of them (or at least the most important ones). 

1. Preparation of The Vehicle

Ceramic coatings require a perfectly flat and smooth surface. You can only achieve that by properly preparing your vehicle for ceramic coating application.

The preparation process looks something like this:

  • A thorough wash of the vehicle
  • Clay bar the car’s paint
  • Compound and polish to fix the clear coat imperfections

After all the above has been done, then the clear coat may be applied. Without proper preparation, the clear coat won’t be able to properly bond to the surface, making it last much shorter than it’s capable of.

2. The Quality of Ceramic Coating

As always, not all the products are of the same quality. With ceramic coatings, it’s especially important to choose high-quality products. Even if we don’t take longevity into account, there are many other things you should consider.

For instance, the one really important thing is the ceramic coating’s hardiness. You should aim for 9H or 10H, which is extremely hard, and once it bonds to the surface, it’ll protect your car better. Together with that hardness comes longevity. 

There are plenty of cheap products promoted as ceramic coatings, and honestly, I wouldn’t be so trusty in those fancy brochures. You can’t expect to get high-quality ceramic coating for $30. 

In my opinion, you should spend at least $60+ for a quality ceramic coating that’ll last. Some of them even cost $100+. You should learn the difference between DIY and professional ceramic coatings as well. Professional coatings can only be applied by certified auto detailers and will last longer in general.

3. Detailer’s Knowledge and Experience

Ceramic coating application isn’t so expensive because of the product price only. It requires thorough preparation (mentioned above), and it also requires the detailer to be skilled enough to apply it properly. 

Don’t want to sound harsh right now; everyone can learn the basics of applying ceramic coatings, but it takes time and practice to get the knowledge and experience needed to apply ceramic coating properly.

Without a proper application, the ceramic coating may not bond well to the surface, which will reduce its longevity a lot. Even worse, a bad application may require a re-application, which will again cost a lot of money.

4. The Way You Wash Your Car

Even though ceramic coatings offer fantastic protection for your vehicle’s paint, that doesn’t mean that you can go and wash your car at automatic car washes or by using a sponge. 

If you want a ceramic coating to last, you should always wash your car in a proper and safe way. That includes using the 2-bucket method, using wash mitts, pre-washes, and other safe methods for washing vehicles.

5. Where You Keep Your Car

Exposing your vehicle to sun, rain, wind, dust, etc., will reduce the longevity of ceramic coatings. So, if you don’t have a garage or other spot to hide your car from all the external elements, you can expect ceramic coatings to last shorter than advertised.

On the other hand, if you have a garage and keep your car in a garage when not using it, it’ll extend the ceramic coating longevity. Remember, ceramic coating is here to protect the clear coat, and exposing it to bad factors will reduce its life, but that’s its purpose – to protect the car’s original paint. 

6. Using Spray Detailers

Spray detailers are a fantastic addon that’ll enhance the car’s color, especially when using them on ceramic-coated vehicles. Not only do they enhance the color (deep shine, etc.), but they’ll also add a thin layer of additional protection – which will extend the lifetime of ceramic coatings. 

Make sure not to use standard waxes and sealants on top of ceramic coating since they may break the bonding and shorten the longevity and durability of ceramic coating. 

7. Polishing and Compounding Your Car

Even with a ceramic coating applied to your car, some swirl marks and scratches just can’t be completely avoided. 

If you decide to polish or compound them out, you may remove the ceramic coating from your vehicle, leaving the paint unprotected. You should only polish or compound your ceramic-coated vehicle if you apply a new coat of ceramics because the polishing process will remove all the coating from the car’s surface. 

Are Ceramic Coatings Worth It?

It’s hard to answer this question since it’s subjective in a large portion of it.

I thoroughly replied to this question in the article above, so make sure to read it. Afterward, based on that article and this one you’re reading right now, you’ll be able to decide whether ceramic coatings are worth your money or not

In my opinion, it’s worth the money if you have a newer or more expensive car, so you want only the best protection for it. Personally, for most cars, using waxes and sealants is still the best option. 

What Are The Best Ceramic Coatings On The Market

This may be a subjective question, but some companies are known for their high-quality products, especially when we talk about ceramic coatings. 

In my opinion, these three products are one of the best ceramic coatings you can find on the market:

  1. Adam’s Advanced Graphene Ceramic Coating
  2. Gyeon Q2 Pure Evo Ceramic Coating
  3. CarPro Quartz Ceramic Coating

If you’re looking for a budget ceramic coating, then I can recommend Sonax Ceramic Coating, which is ca. 30% cheaper than the ones above but still extremely quality.

Whichever product you decide to buy, you should learn the basics of maintaining ceramic coatings and that way, they’ll last as marketed, and sometimes even longer.

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