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What Even Is Paint Protection? Let's Find Out...

Among the four types of paint protection, what is the difference and how do I know what is best for my vehicle?

  1. Wax

Wax is the most commonly used paint protection on a vehicle. It is relatively inexpensive and easy to apply making it so common. Wax offers a high gloss and wet like shine to your vehicles paint. Most waxes often protect your vehicles paint for about 2-4 months give or take. Some waxes may last longer than others depending on the environment you live in. If you live in an area where there is a lot of dirt or debris then your wax won't last as long. Your vehicles wax will also protect your paint from harmful UV rays. Additionally, the lifespan of wax is depended on how often you wash your vehicle as it is easily removable. Wax does not protect your vehicle from any swirl marks, scratches, chips in your paint or from chemicals.

2. Sealants

Along with waxes, sealants are susceptible to more temporary protection and are relative in price. Sealants protect your vehicles paint up to 6 months unlike a waxes 2-4 months. Yes, sealants and waxes are very similar but a sealant is designed to stick to your vehicles paint better than a wax. The chemicals in a sealant help bond itself to your vehicles to clear coat to also give it ultimate shine and gloss. These sealants do offer the same protection as waxes and also do not protect your vehicle from swirl marks, scratches, chips in your paint or from chemicals.

3. Ceramic Coatings

This is where things get interesting. Ceramic coatings are the longest lasting liquid paint protectants out there on the market. With protection that can last up to 5 years if treated and maintained properly, it comes at a very high price. Most detail packages that offer ceramic coatings can cost anywhere from $800-$1,200 depending on the coating itself, steps to apply, how long it lasts and size of your vehicle. Ceramic coating typically contain a chemical called Silicon Dioxide (Si02) that derives from quartz and sand. This chemical contains a hydrophobic barrier between the paint and the coating itself allowing water to beed off and debris to be removed very easily. Pros to ceramic coatings are going to protect your paint from harmful UV rays and chemical stains along with giving it a hydrophobic barrier making it easy to clean the exterior of your car and give it a deep gloss. Even with this high ticket price point, ceramic coatings will not protect your vehicle from swirl marks, scratches or chips in your paint. Just because it has hydrophobic properties, does not mean you never need to wash your car again. Unlike waxes and sealants, ceramic coatings will not wear off for up to 5 years if properly maintained.

4. Paint Protective Film (PPF)

Paint protective film or PPF for short is all in all like a screen protector for your phone but for your car. Out of all the paint protection options, PPF is going to last the longest. PPF is a permanent paint protection that will not wear off. PPF is composed of thermoplastic urethane and it is mainly applied to areas that see the most wear and tear. While PPF could be applied to the entirety of the vehicle's paint, its commonly placed on the front bumper, hood, lower parts of door corners nearest the wheels and rear bumpers. Paint protection film has outstanding protection against rock chips, bugs, salt, road debris and premature degradation of your paintwork and headlights. These PPF can cost as little as $700 to protect the main targeted areas of your vehicle. Most companies that install PPF have a warranty for their film so you know that if anything happens to your vehicles paint, you won't have to sweat.

From the four options of paint protection, ultimately it's up to you as the owner to find out what you feel is best for your vehicle. If you aren't huge into cars and just want a temporary shine then a wax or sealant is right for you. On the other hand, if you're invested into cars and you think of your vehicle as "your baby", then a ceramic coating or even a paint protection film is your best bet. Even though a ceramic coating or PPF may burn a hole in your pocket, it will give you the utmost longevity of your pride and joy.

If you have any questions I may not have answered, don't hesitate to reach out so I can further answer your questions about paint protection.

Wax Sealant

Ceramic Coating Paint Protection Film (PPF)

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