When you are purchasing a new vehicle, the dealership will often try and sell you a “coating” to help keep it protected. Should you purchase it? Most detailers will tell you no as they are not as good as the professional ceramic coatings we use, but there are a few angles to look at before you make your decision.
First, let me clearly say that the dealership coatings are by far inferior to the “professional” ceramic coatings from reputable brands. What the dealership is selling you, for upwards of $800+ most of the time, is a warranty. They state the product can offer these amazing protections and if anything, ever goes wrong they will fix it for free. Well hey, that sounds great, right? $800 over the course of a 5-year payment is nothing and they will fix anything that goes wrong? The issue is the warranty language. Most, if not all, have many loopholes and wording that will get them out of covering almost anything. Granted many professional coating warranties have the same language and it falls on the detailer to correct mistakes and manage client expectations.
Now you are paying $800 for a coating and no warranty, still not too bad right? You still are paying it over the course of time and it’s a lot easier than paying $800 to a detailer upfront. Then the issue of performance comes into play. Regardless of outlandish claims anyone makes about either kind of coating, when put under the same tests, the dealer coatings fall way short.
I have done several vehicles that had the dealer coating installed and after a clay and a good Eraser wipe down there is little to no water beading and the paint feels dry, not entirely like bare paint, but similar. With a true ceramic coating installed it needs to be polished, and I mean POLISHED off, it is not an easy task. So, while the initial dealer coating may work decent and not everyone may notice the difference in performance, the durability is where the pro coatings shine. They will work just as well as day 1 over years of time.
So, are the dealer coatings a rip-off? Would you be better off paying a few hundred for a detailer to apply even a ceramic spray such as Gtechniq C2 v3 Liquid Crystal? Absolutely. But don’t feel bad if you were convinced into getting this, or if it was already applied when you got the vehicle as it is a decent product initially and over the course of time the hit to your wallet is minimal. If you ever wanted to upgrade in the future it doesn’t take any extra effort by the detail to remove the coating either.
- Projects: Lotus Evora GT, Paint Correction, Clear Bra, Ceramic Coating
- Product Review: CarPro Cquartz Lite Longevity Test
- Detailing Projects: Ferrari 488 Pista #2 Paint Correction, Clear Bra, & Ceramic Coating
- BMW 550i: 2 Step Polish & Ceramic Coating
- Ford F-350 Dually: 1 Step Polish + Ceramic Coating