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Old 12-10-2018, 11:52 AM   #1
tiger8mush
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ceramic coating

Some of the nicer low-mileage e46s that I've seen for sale lately claim to have "ceramic coating" done to the paint finish. What is the average cost, and do you guys think and is it "worth" it?

Lastly, any recommendations for a shop in Southeast Connecticut area?

Thanks!
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Old 12-10-2018, 11:56 AM   #2
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Overly hyped, IMO.

I'd just wax the car using a good wax, twice a year, maybe three times a year. Call it a day.

The coatings work, but there's a ton of variance between them in terms of quality and how effective and durable it is. They have to be maintained and re applied just like wax as they wear down. And you have to have an absolutely perfect finish underneath before applying it, so really only best for new cars or newly painted cars.

My buddy in the detailing biz says he stays away from it personally as its just hype.
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Old 12-10-2018, 01:37 PM   #3
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Overly hyped, IMO.

I'd just wax the car using a good wax, twice a year, maybe three times a year. Call it a day.

The coatings work, but there's a ton of variance between them in terms of quality and how effective and durable it is. They have to be maintained and re applied just like wax as they wear down. And you have to have an absolutely perfect finish underneath before applying it, so really only best for new cars or newly painted cars.

My buddy in the detailing biz says he stays away from it personally as its just hype.


I believe the same. I do the Meguiars 4 step process and works great.


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Old 12-10-2018, 07:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger8mush View Post
Some of the nicer low-mileage e46s that I've seen for sale lately claim to have "ceramic coating" done to the paint finish. What is the average cost, and do you guys think and is it "worth" it?

Lastly, any recommendations for a shop in Southeast Connecticut area?

Thanks!
I'm going to do this come spring. There's a detailing place thst will do it with the detail and clay bar and all for $400. The tech has come a lot further to make it more affordable to us plebians. Used to cost like $2000. Kind of sick of waxing my car every 3-4 months and getting it clay barred every other year

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Old 12-10-2018, 07:44 PM   #5
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I used to think it was snake oil, and early examples were essentially that. My opinion has changed recently. I have done a few vehicles recently and it works great. Shops can charge a ridiculous amount here if you also need paint correction, but it also depends on where you are going.

Product cost alone for ceramic pro can be up to $150, which is not cheap.

It IS NOT A MIRACLE SERUM. THINGS WILL STILL DAMAGE YOUR PAINT. It simply offers an extra layer of protection with hydrophobic properties. It also enhances the gloss, but can make imperfections look even worse. in my opinion these products do not last as long as advertised. I would say a year of use max out of most of them. Climate will also vary.

Until some scientific breakthrough has come about, there is still nothing that will make your car look new for 5 years... Regardless of what is in it.
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Old 12-10-2018, 08:17 PM   #6
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I've got a similar sealer on my new VW Alltrack, the stealership tried to sell it to me twice. Once during the negotiations for $2k and again during the final paper work for just over $1k. Said no both times. They sold me a car that was supposed to have the options I wanted (lane deviation, blind spot monitoring etc,) but didn't. Settled for the coating system for free. Hard to see a difference on new paint but some bugs washed off easily.
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Old 12-10-2018, 08:22 PM   #7
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I've got a similar sealer on my new VW Alltrack, the stealership tried to sell it to me twice. Once during the negotiations for $2k and again during the final paper work for just over $1k. Said no both times. They sold me a car that was supposed to have the options I wanted (lane deviation, blind spot monitoring etc,) but didn't. Settled for the coating system for free. Hard to see a difference on new paint but some bugs washed off easily.
The dealership add-on's are the ultimate scam. Armor plus (I think), 3M, autoguard ect, there are numerous. I have been in the car industry for quite some time and have seen these packages sold nearly everywhere.

Half the time they do not even apply it to the cars. Its essentially a sealant, but it does very little. Something that you wipe on and wipe off is not going to be a miracle worker. It will last a few months at most and I have no idea how they "warranty" that stuff, but I doubt it is in the customers favor.
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:26 AM   #8
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I have ceramic coating all of my own cars. i highly recommend ceramic coatings.
Cost depends what is condition of your paintwork and what type of coating you want. If you can do prepwork DIY, coating process it is not difficult or expensive.
There is good products like Gtechnic Exo V4 + crystal serum light which is easy to use.
I can confirm it is not snake oil or anything bullshit, worth every dollar.

Look my 330CI showroom topic under showroom section, i did prepwork myself. Next step is coating.
https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showth...1241411&page=2

My own experience:

I am from Finland, and we have road salt 6-7 months per year and we need really strong chemicals for car washing.
Like for example petrol based solvant.
Problem with waxed cars: When you wash with solvants or strong chemicals wax protection is gone. Buff.
You have to apply wax every time after you wash car.
Ceramic coating main benefit is that you can wash it with almost everything.
You can use iron contamination products, or petrol solvants.
Shine is also different level with ceramic coatings.
They last many years, i can imagine if you live in arizona good ceramic coating lifetime can be 4-5 years no problem. It is so easy, no need to wax. Just wash..

Here is couple of pictures of my cars which have ceramic coating:
No reload or quickdetailers used. Just normal shampoo wash.





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Last edited by Antti; 12-11-2018 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:00 AM   #9
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Many things above are correct. It does need to be applied to good paint, there is variance in quality of application, and it is expensive.

However, I have it on my 2003 E39 and I absolutely love it. Granted the PO spent $1500 on it and had paint correction done before, but its wonderful.
The shine looks like or better than a new car. Deep, glorious shine, wicks away water, easy to clean. Headlights are done too and have no signs of UV degradation/fogging up. It has about 3 years on it and looks great.

It will not save you from large scratches but will surely save you from getting swirls when washing the car, being scratched by bushes, or when if somebody leans on your not so clean car.

When and if I buy a new 2 series, it will be getting a top notch ceramic coating the first month I have it. This comes from somebody who loves waxing their car.

If you can get it on an E46 and not pay significantly more for it, do it.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:05 AM   #10
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Pic

Doesn't totally do it justice but it catches light nicely.

Sorry for pic size... not sure why it gave a **** version.
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