Ceramic Coating Maintenance

How to Wash Your Vehicle

What To Expect After 1+ Year With Proper Care

Properly Maintaining Your Ceramic Coated Vehicle

To Protect & Preserve The Great Shine of Your Paint

Maximize the investment of your Ceramic Coating through proper maintenance methods. At Shine Division Detailing, it is my goal to provide you with necessary info and resources to care for your vehicle post-service to ensure long term results and maximum protection. Ceramic Coatings provide a hard sacrificial barrier of protection crystalizing to the paint for a glass-like finish. Offering high gloss and durable protection against the environmental elements, staining, etchings, and extremely high UV rejection. Ceramic Coatings last for years! Varying depending on care & ceramic coating product.

Unlike what you may find online, Ceramic Coatings have a lifespan and they also have limitations. Neglecting your ceramic coated vehicle will result in premature degradation, loss of protection, lack of hydrophobicity and shortened lifespan. This page is dedicated to equipping you with proper knowledge on most ideal maintenance methods to keep your vehicle in the best shape possible!

Popular Questions

I had my vehicle professionally ceramic Coated, Now What?
Implementing recommended maintenance methods is highly recommended! Waxing your vehicle is certainly not necessary and not even recommended. Ceramic Detail sprays are nice to use if you like to give your vehicle a final wipe after washes. Simply wash & dry is all that’s needed. Ceramic Coating will last for years!
What to be Cautious of
The Internet may have led you to believe Ceramic Coating are bullet proof. They are not. While they do provide superior protection against the elements and will certainly keep your paint cleaner, glossier and easier to maintain, here are some things to be cautious of.

Bird Droppings, Sap & Bug Guts: The Ceramic Coating has formed a glass layer hardened over the surface. If one of these substances comes in contact with your paint, its not the end of the world. HOWEVER, It is very important to understand that each of these contaminants are EXTREMELY Acidic. Eventually, they will eat through the ceramic coating, then down into your clear coat. As long as you get these off in a timely manner, you have nothing to worry about. 

On a very hot day (especially black paint) with your paint near 200 degrees, it is very likely to develop minor staining on immediate impact of unwanted debris. I have found after washing the paint and removing the debris from the surface, a few hours of the paint in the sun will burn off these types of staining without issue. Staining that lingers for several days after may require a Minor polish to remove. Very easy to do by hand.  

Water Spots: Treat this very seriously! What appears to be no threat at all could become your worst nightmare (or just mine because you’ll be calling me). Hard water has minerals and chemicals in it you can’t even pronounce. You do not want hard water sitting on your paint. The issue is not the “water spot,” but what it WILL turn into if you don’t do something about it…”Water Etchings.” 

The water will evaporate leaving behind the nasty minerals that will etch into the coating. Leave it long enough, it will eat through and could become permanent. Common fixed to water etchings is wet sanding. (Most cars have such thin paint, you don’t want to go there). Eliminate the risk by just wiping the spots off with waterless wash. Demineralizing chemicals help during washing to break down minerals on the surface. 

Common Source to Water Etchings: Sprinklers, Acid Rain (dirty car + more rain + Sun/Heat), tap water.

How Often Should I Wash My Vehicle?
One of the biggest mistakes I see is not washing your vehicle at all. Usually due to being afraid of messing something up with the paint. However, not washing your vehicle is one of the worst things you can do and can lead to significant issues.

Maintenance washes will vary for garage queen vs outside kept vehicles. Vehicles that are garaged 24/7, wash as needed. You’re at a significant advantage as far as keeping the ceramic coating in perfect shape. 

For Daily drivers, I recommend washing your vehicle every 1-2 weeks. This will keep the elements and everyday grime from embedding into the surface. The cleaner you keep the coating, the healthier it will be, the easier it is to wash and the less service it would need down the line. Plus, a clean ride is always nice. 

Are Drive Through Touchless / Self Serve Washes Ok?
The Idea of touch-less washes sounds great! BUT, you have to also think about the detergents being used. In order for a touch-less service to be effective, they have to use very aggressive detergents. Either degreasers or acidic soaps which basically burns off dirt. Overtime, this will significantly degrade the ceramic coating’s protective abilities and hydrophobic properties. 

Self Serve Car wash is better. Do NOT use their soap. Use their Water ONLY and Bring your own supplies. 

Recommended Products for Self Serve: 

  • Hole Shot Off-road Cleaner (Great pre wash / soap out of a spray bottle)
  • Eco Shine Waterless Wash / Rinseless wash (Spray or pump sprayer)

What Does Future Maintenance Look Like?
I address this exact question through a couple videos on this page. In short, it will vary from vehicle to vehicle. Most common interval for a “check in” or Tune-Up Service will be annually. This primarily consists of decontaminating the surface and boosting the coating for good measures. 

Depending on your care routine, some may need a service more often than others. Very well kept vehicles won’t need much of any services (at least not as frequent)

I put together popular ceramic coating maintenance services. My recommendation for what service is best for your vehicle will depend on its current condition as well

What is The Best Way To Maintain My Ceramic Coated Vehicle
Hand Washing the paint will be best. Utilizing a 2-bucket method, an appropriate amount of wash mitts, the right soaps are all essentials. Properly hand washing the paint will keep the swirls away, your paint shining and coating healthy

Definitely avoid automatic car washes, sloppy detailers and cheap car wash services.

Shine Supply put together a great tutorial to maintaining your vehicle yourself if you wish. If you need a referral for a mobile detailer, I can give you names!

My Ceramic Coating Does Not Water Bead Like it Used to
Some think if the coating isn’t water beading perfectly, then it must be dead. This is not true. Though, it is a sign of wear. This may happen for a couple reasons; most common is due to contamination buildup. Go ahead and wash the vehicle, feel the surface when it’s wet. If it feels bumpy, the coating is contaminated. To limit contamination buildup, wash the vehicle more frequently. Contamination will inevitably happen to some degree overtime. But your maintenance plays a significant role in severity and how soon. 

After a decon service, the coating is back to its former state. Coating gets a booster for good measures. 

I recommend Option 1 of the service option to decon & boost the coating.

I Got Swirls in My Ceramic Coated Vehicle
Imagine, you have black paint…You had it corrected & polished out so nicely. Ceramic Coating applied. It looked CHERRY! Few months/Year have gone by and you’re starting to see some swirling. Its a terrible feeling if you’re a freak like me.

Light swirls can be fixed without doing a full correction & coating again. Because the ceramic coating, these light swirls haven’t reached the actual paint. (Scratches will damage through the coating). Keep in mind, the swirls that were corrected in the initial service are completely gone. What you’re seeing is new swirling being imposed in to the surface. This can happen from one bad wash using bad techniques. This is why I emphasize on proper maintenance, especially if you’re picky! 

If you’re getting excess swirls that are very noticeable, you need to alter your wash routine ASAP and rewatch the Video on Proper Wash Methods. 

To find out more on how I can remove swirls from your coated vehicle, take a look at some of the videos on this page and Option 3 of The Ceramic Coating Maintenance Service Menu. 

How Long Does The Trim & Wheel Coating Last?
If I applied Beadlock Trim to your exterior plastics, this product lasts Approx 1 year. And will last longer with care. Come in and ask which product I use to keep the trim coating looking and performing its best. 

Wheels take a beating! Wheel ceramic coating helps keep your wheels cleaner, easier to clean etc. As long as you take care of it…Do not use improper chemicals for your wheels. Degreasers, acids will degrade the ceramic coating. With proper care, wheel coating will last approx 1 year. Come on in and grab supplies for your wash routine. 

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Each Vehicle's Maintenance Needs Will Vary

Staying on Top of Maintenance is Key to Long Term Performance

What an Annual Service May Entail

Have a Different Question?

    Common Ceramic Coating Maintenance Services

    Option 1: Decontaminate & Boost

    Keep it Healthy

    Decontaminate & Boost: This is a routine service that takes care of the essentials. Removing bonded contaminants from the surface of the coating that have slowly accumulated through Chemical Iron Remover, Demineralizer, and Minor Clay process (only if necessary) then boosting the existing coating to maximize protection & gloss. Includes a full exterior service with Mini Interior Detail. (Most common in 6-12 month intervals or as necessary).

    THIS PACKAGE INCLUDES

    • Exterior Detail & Decon Service
    • Iron Remover on Wheels & Paint
    • Exterior Trim Re-Hydrated
    • Ceramic Coating Booster Final Wipe
    Estimates:

    Small – $250 | Medium – $295 | Large/Trucks – $350+

    Option 2: Light Refresh

    Refresh The Layer of Ceramic

    Everything Included in Option 1, with an added rejuvenation polish. Utilizing fine polishing methods, this process works to repair the ceramic coating & minor imperfections while laying down a fresh layer of Quartz. Common at the 1+ year mark. More common on darker colored paint & outside kept vehicles

    *Only Recommended If Necessary*

    Estimates:

    Small – $375 | Medium – $425 | Large/Trucks – $475

    THIS PACKAGE INCLUDES

    • Exterior Detail & Decon Service
    • Iron Remover on Wheels & Paint
    • Exterior Trim Re-Hydrated
    • Light Refresh With Quartz Agent To Repair Coating
    • Ceramic Coating Booster Final Wipe

    Option 3: Full Rejuvenation

    Replenish The Existing Layer of Coating

    RELOCK Service. Bring it back to DAY ONE! Significantly enhance the condition of the coating with this mini Re-Coat service. Includes necessary Decon work, a Polish with Slickback Ceramic Polish to eliminate light swirling imposed into the coating, address any staining etc…Then rejuvenate the existing layer of ceramic with RELOCK express coating to Reload protection and extend the life. 

    For those coated vehicles that have swirling you want removed or nearing the end of your coatings life, this service will significantly revive the life of the coating by at least 1 Year without having to do major correction work or full Re-Coat

    Best on vehicles coated with Beadlock Pro or Better

    Estimates:

    Small – $495 | Medium – $575 | Large/Trucks – $675+

    Total Cost Will Vary Depending on Current Condition of The Vehicle

    THIS PACKAGE INCLUDES

    • Exterior Detail & Decon Service
    • Engine Bay Cleaned & Conditioned
    • Iron Remover on Wheels & Paint
    • Exterior Trim Re-Hydrated
    • Ceramic Polish to Eliminate Swirls & Imperfections From Coating
    • Application of RELOCK (1-2 Year) Ceramic Coating
    • Ceramic Coating Booster Final Wipe

    Reach Out For a Quote or Additional Questions

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