What Are Paint Protection Film and Ceramic Coating—and Do I Need Them?
Updated: Oct 26, 2022
Paint Protection Film
Do you protect your smartphone’s glass with a screen protector? Paint protection film is like a screen protector for your vehicle. It prevents flying rocks and road debris from chipping and damaging your paint.
PPF is best applied when a car is brand new. However, you can apply it to a car you’ve been driving awhile. I help customers make this decision on a case-by-case basis. I’ve seen some vehicles with 8,000 miles that are still a great candidate for PPF. But you can only protect a new-car finish if you have a new-car finish.
PPF is a clear polyurethane film; it’s virtually invisible. PPF is engineered to be safely removed even years after application—revealing the brand-new, factory-finish paint that’s been protected below. (However, I don’t recommend removing PPF before selling or trading in your vehicle because if you do so, the dealership is likely to think your vehicle was in an accident and repainted, which tanks the value. Let the new buyer remove the PPF to enjoy the brand-new paint.)
PPF is thick film that comes on a roll that’s cut to match your vehicle. (High-end shops use state-of-the-art technology and pre-engineered patterns that are cut with a computer numerical controlled CNC plotter.) PPF is comprised of several layers: A layer of adhesive, then a thermal plastic impact layer, a layer of clearcoat that offers UV protection, a hydrophobic topcoat, and that’s all topped off by a gloss enhancer. The clear coat is self-healing, which means your vehicle will always look freshly polished!
A ceramic coating, also sometimes called quartz, applied to your vehicle makes it easier to wash—saving you time and money—while improving its appearance. You won’t have to wash your car as often, and when you do, it’ll be easier to clean. Ceramic coating also protects your vehicle against UV damage. Your car will look freshly detailed all of the time. Just wait for your jealous neighbor to make the snarky remark, “Can you wash my car next?”
Professionally applied ceramic coatings last for years. At Immaculate Paint Protection, we offer ceramic coatings with multiple-year warranties, with no special maintenance or servicing required. Compare that with a wax or sealant that might protect your car for a few months. The coating is either silica dioxide (SiO2)–based material or the newest technology available, fluoro modified polysilazanes, that’s carried in solvent and applied onto the vehicle. The coating cross-links, or chemically bonds, to the porous clear coat, filling in the microscopic pores.
For paint protection film and ceramic coating packages, pricing, and more visit us at immaculatepaintprotection.com.
About the author: Bill Fetter’s passion for cars started at an early age, as he loved anything with wheels. Through his childhood, Bill observed his dad’s work as a mechanical engineer turned marketing manager and proud lifelong employee of General Motors. During high school, Bill honed his passion for cars by hand-washing and detailing his neighbors’ vehicles. Knowing he wanted to be in the automotive industry, Bill earned a degree in Industrial Engineering from Kettering University in Flint, Michigan. He’s worked as an engineer in the automotive manufacturing, medical device, steel industry, and pharmaceutical manufacturing fields