What’s the Difference Between Paint Protection Film and Ceramic Coating?

ceramic car coating

Knowing the Ins and Outs of Vehicle Wraps and Paint Protection Film

Scratches, dings, dents – all a car owner’s worst fear. Whether your car is fresh off the lot, or has been a beloved part of your family for years, scratched paint can be a serious bummer. And yet, thanks to the elements and normal wear and tear from the road, small nicks and dents are virtually a given.

Here at Auto Image, we believe every car deserves a little protection from the outside elements. Read on to learn why it’s so important to protect your car and the difference between the two best ways to protect your vehicle’s exterior: paint protection film and ceramic coating.

Protection is Key

Thinking about protecting your car’s paint? Did you recently get your vehicle wrapped and want to ensure the new style is protected? Here are the top five reasons why some sort of exterior protection is a must-have for your car:

  1. Keep your car’s youthful appearance – Permanent paint protection gives your vehicle a lifetime of luster. It bonds with the pores in your car’s paint, leaving a smooth, high-gloss finish.
  2. Reduce the chance of superficial damage – As most drivers know, bangs and dents can happen no matter how careful you are with your car. Paint protection is a clear layer between your car’s paint and things that can harm it, like road sand, acidic or alkaline rain, or even bird droppings.
  3. Reduce the need for washing – Most car paint protection films do a thorough job of repelling dirt, dust, and grime that gets kicked up onto cars as they drive. If some dirt does stick to the film, it’s easy to spot-clean, saving you time and money from a full wash.
  4. Increase your vehicle’s resale value – The first thing used car buyers notice when looking for a car to purchase is the car’s exterior. Like people, first impressions really count! Faded paint or tiny scratches can easily bring down the value of your car. If you have paint protection, this will not be a problem for you!
  5. Save money throughout the life of the vehicle – This is an investment that will pay off for you. Repairing or redoing a car’s paint job is not something most people want to bother with (and it can be expensive!). After you get coating or film installed, it’s very unlikely that you’ll ever need to have a paint job again. While it’s an investment upfront, it’s cheaper than redoing the paint after a rock chip or door ding scratches.

What is Paint Protection Film?

Car or truck paint protection film is a transparent, urethane material that is applied to any exterior painted surface on your vehicle. This material preserves the quality of your car’s paint by reducing the risk of multiple kinds of damage, including chips and scratches, swirl marks, chemical stains, chemical etch marks, hard water spots, and oxidation.

What is Ceramic Car Coating?

Ceramic coating is a liquid polymer that is applied to the exterior of the vehicle. It chemically bonds with the vehicle’s paint, establishing a layer of protection and a hydrophobic surface, making it harder for contaminants to bond with your car’s paint. This application similarly helps reduce the risk of damage such as chemical stains, chemical etch marks, and oxidation.

What are the differences between the two applications?

You can do both!

There’s no need to choose between these two applications. The good news is, both can be applied to the same vehicle. A combination of paint protection film and ceramic coating is the ultimate form of protection for your vehicle, and for an installation pro, the process is simple.

Paint protection film is applied first to the front bumper, hood, fenders, side mirror, rocker panels, and rear-wheel arch (the most susceptible parts of the car to rock chips or scratches from road debris). Once those areas are protected, the whole car receives a ceramic coating. The coating will bond with the vehicle’s factory paint, as well as the film that has already been applied. This adds an additional layer of protection from chemical etching and stains.

Paint protection and ceramic coating installation in New Jersey

Installing either of these protective products is something that needs to be left to the pros. Our installation technicians at Auto Image have been installing paint protection film, ceramic coating, window tinting, and so much more for decades. Visit one of our two locations in Brick or East Brunswick today. Our product experts can talk you through the process, and then our installation experts can get your vehicle in and out in no time!