4+ Reasons Why Ceramic Coating Is Bad for Your Car (w/ Alternatives)

Ceramic coating may not be your thing for a variety of reasons, one of which includes adverse effects on your vehicle’s paint job.

We will dig into some of the reasons why ceramic coating is bad for your car and give you alternatives that work better for you and your needs.

What is the point of ceramic coating for Cars?

Ceramic coating aims to prevent dirt and grime buildup, water stains, and scratches. 

You can permanent and semi-permanent spray-on ceramic coating 

Typically, professionals install permanent coatings that can last up to five years.

If you apply the ceramic yourself, a semi-permanent solution might last a year, depending on the product.

4 Reasons Why Ceramic Coating is Bad for Your Car

Let’s take a look at the downsides of ceramic coating before investing your time and money.

1. It Can Make Preexisting Imperfections Worse

Hard ceramic coating isn’t a magical healing solution that erases pesky preexisting damage to a paint job. 

If your vehicle is full of dents and imperfections, ceramic coating alone will not likely be for you. It traps every scratch, swirl, and scuff underneath, making them even more apparent.

2. Cost to Repair Minor Surface Scratches Pre-Application

The cost to repair minor scratches & paint correction varies depending on your paints condition. It it extremely important to correct your paint prior to a ceramic installation, as the coating will lock in any existing damage.

Unless you can make that investment in correction, you should probably skip the ceramic coating. It will just lock the scratches underneath and amplify them.

You have other options that likely will work better for you and your wallet.

DIY vs. Professional Ceramic Coating Installation

Some of the cons to ceramic coating have to do with how well the installer applies it. Others relate to what it can and can’t do, which will always affect what you’re willing to invest.

DIY products are typically affordable and have a wide range in price. 

The price tag for professionally applied ceramic coating ranges from $500 to $3000 depending on the product and the condition of the paint.

3. Applying it yourself may do more damage than good.

You can not only trap debris and marring underneath. Improper application can leave streaks, high spots, and a lackluster finish.

Professional ceramic coating installers generally offer free quotes. It never hurts to have one take a look and give you a proper assessment of what might work for your car.

4. It isn’t a magic car shield.

Let’s throw a misconception out of the window while we have a chance.

Ceramic coating is not bulletproof. It will not even protect your paint job from deep scratches and paint chips.

Alternatives to Car Ceramic Coating

  • Wax. Good old-fashioned car wax protects cars from chemicals and other substances that can damage a paint job. However, it doesn’t bond like ceramic coating and isn’t as resilient. 
  • Protection Film (PPF) or clear bra (wrap). If you want something a little better at defense, PPF protects a car’s surface better from flying rocks and debris. (Though, still not bulletproof.) 
  • Paint Sealant. Paint sealants are synthetic wax products that last longer than some of your traditional waxes. But, it doesn’t protect it from scratches, rock chips, and chemical stains.
  • Graphene Coatings. Graphene is an alternative to ceramic coating. Graphene strengthens the solution, which leads to increased protection and durability. 

How do I remove a ceramic coating from my vehicle?

The reasons you want to remove your ceramic coating can include any number of things.

  • Bad Installation
  • Failed Ceramic Coating
  • Deteriorated Condition

Be prepared; it isn’t going to be an easy process and might not even entirely do the job.

Chemical Removal

One of the benefits of ceramic coating is that it protects your clear coat from chemicals that wish to do it damage. It means that using chemicals to remove it will not be as straightforward as it needs to be.

Alkaline products are going to be your best bet. But, be wary. It’s a potent chemical that can still damage the coats underneath.


Most experts will tell you that polishing is the only method that will entirely remove the ceramic coating. And in some cases, professionally done coatings can only be removed by polishing.

Unless you have the supplies and skillset, you will want to take it to an expert to have it polished.

Further Reading

What are the benefits of ceramic coating?

  1. Prevents minor scratches. Hard ceramic coating will protect your paint job from future minor scratches and swirls.
  2. UV ray protection. The sun does damage to your car and those inside of it. Ceramic coating helps bounce those UV rays right off.
  3. Decreases the odds the bug or bird poo will eat your paint. It’s annoying enough that they leave gross splats everywhere. But, their insides will eat paint rather quickly.
  4. Hydrophobic Properties. Water spots are pretty irritating, too. Ceramic coating helps water bead off the surface instead of leaving spots to clean. Oh, and rain has chemical components that destroy paint jobs, too.

How often do I have to wash a ceramic-coated car?

Dust, pollen, and other particles will still land on your car. Sure, it helps repel grime and water, but that’s as far as its abilities go.

Maintenance is key to keeping your vehicle looking sharp and ready to go. Washing your automobile twice a month should keep it shiny and looking like new. With ceramic, it will take significantly less time to wash and dry your vehicle.

If you DIY your ceramic coating, you will want to reapply the solution every three months unless the product states otherwise.

Do I always have to completely remove ceramic coating?

You may notice a spot or two that’s a little hazy, or you missed a few scratches. If the coating is still intact and exhibits all of its original qualities, you don’t have to strip away a ceramic coating entirely.

You can address those spots directly and reapply your solution. 

If your coating looks dull, you can wash and decontaminate the vehicle before applying another coat. You can apply ceramic coatings atop one another.

You will want to use the same product as the original coating in both cases.

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