Ceramic Coating Longevity – How Long do Coatings Last?

Ceramic Coating Longevity – How Long do Ceramic

Coatings Last?

At Liquid Finish we are constantly asked “How long do Coatings Last?” considering the high cost and work involved with a ceramic coating a new vehicle. For a great quick insight watch these two videos that cover a lot of important points:

Warranties do not mean lifespan! Is there an annual topper? 

Average, Normal, High Use – There is no expiration date to a coating!

Get a proper professional recommendation and ask a ton of questions!


What is the Effective Lifespan?

Unrealistic expectations: hardness & scratch resistance

 Realistic expectations: hydrophobic or self cleaning attributes


Three variables for Ceramic Coatings Longevity:

From my opinion and experience after installing 200+ vehicles, ceramic coating longevity relies on three factors:

1. Vehicle – Usage, Color, and Condition

Does the vehicle drive 3000, 10 000 or 30 000 miles a year? Is it straight black and prone to swirls or scratches from the factory? Is it cheap less durable paint or a luxury high end paint system?  Is the vehicle garaged or left outside un washed?

2. Installation & Ceramic Coating

At the time of installation was the vehicle new with 0-1000 miles, little to no swirls or scratches with fresh paint? Or did the vehicle have 20 000 plus miles? Are there any repainted panels, paint chips, or scratches from 2-3 years of age?

What type of coating was installed? Was it a 1 year, 5 year, or 7 year product? 

3. Maintenance

Does the client wash at a minimum monthly with recommended coating spray protectants or enriched wash solutions? Is the vehicle stored correctly and brought into the original detailer for an annual detail? Does the vehicle run through cheap automatic car washes or dangerous hand car washes?


So How Long do Ceramic Coatings Last?

The short answer is it varies on how you maintain the vehicle. Before installation I always ask these three general questions to build a proper package:

  • How long will you own the vehicle? One, two, three or five years? How many miles per year?
  • How will you maintain it? Will you garage the vehicle? Automatic or safe hand wash?
  • Is the vehicle daily driven or is it a weekend warrior? Is it a light or dark color?
  • What do you want the coating to do?

Perform a great installation, care for the coating on a monthly basis, and any coating can last for a long period of time!

Ceramic Coating Warranties

Ceramic Coating Warranties are very debatable and hard to decipher. First read the warranty terms to see exactly what is covered. What’s required to maintain status? Is there an annual detail that requires any boosting products? Most warranty terms are loaded with jargon, just be careful of outlandish claims and realize the warranty is as good as the coating installer

Installer care and a maintenance system is key for longevity. A quality installer can elongate your coating lifespan and recommend the right maintenance products for durability. Warranties are not an indication of lifespan. Be realistic and have right the expectations!

Coating Warranties…Valuable?

Liquid Finish Detailing is based in Apex, Cary, and Raleigh specializing in paint correction and Opti Coat Pro Plus installations. Operated by one Madman with a sole focus to keep customers happy with unique services and products. 

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