The Truth About Dealership Installed Ceramic Coatings: A Word of Caution!


So, you're planning to buy a new car or about to snag one from the dealership? Many of my customers ask me if I should get the dealership coatings they have to offer and throw in a brand name that can be found in other dealerships. However, nearly every time I hear about a coating from a dealership, I shake my head. Here's why:


It's not a coating.


Dealerships have to pay for a huge plot of land and have to make huge profits. One of the primary ways is to upsell certain services to customers and many buy into it thinking it's great value. One of them is a 'permanent coating' or '5 year sealant'. These terms are used interchangeably and nearly every time, it's usually a wax or sealant that needs to be applied at the dealership every 6 months to a year. Hence, it's a wax or sealant marketed as a coating. You can drop anywhere from $1500-2500 for one of these and it is money that will be thrown down the drain. You can even read between the thin lines of your agreement that this has to be re-applied every 6 months. Dedicated hard coatings last in years and are usually a set-it-and-forget-it option.


Ceramic coatings take hours to properly install. Many such dealerships have minimum wage employees who have to use minimal work to install this wax or sealant on your car which can leave your vehicle in a worse condition than before, especially if they use the wrong buffer, polish and buffing pad! I've seen $400,000 Bentleys with extremely poor paint finishes that would show immense swirls and holograms. You should look for someone who is actively learning, experienced, knowledgeable and has a track record of enhancing the appearance of the vehicle. And that's the point. After you install the coating, the vehicle should look even glossier and shinier than its show room finish.


How do I know this? I've worked directly with dealerships, angry customers who weren't impressed with dealership work on their vehicles, body shops that have re-painted high end exotics and directly with the car manufacturers marketing team!


So, it's best to work with a detailer or installer who is experienced and has worked with several brands. Working with one brand alone should be a red flag as most such installers and dealerships have deals where it's more about generating quick revenue than focusing on improving the product and quality. This is why I don't recommend a single brand any more. I connect with other detailers, specialists and installers across the globe and together we brainstorm on what kind of products are there and which are the best at that current time.


I wrote this article after a friend's friend got their car waxed by a dealership for $2500 and when I looked at the brand, it was a wax marketed as a coating. I shook my head. Would you get your new car coated? Why? Comment below:

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