Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Ceramic coating - cost in SoCal?

mhan00

Active Member
Oct 13, 2014
1,226
1,511
Southern California
Hey Guys - what is the purpose of the ceramic coating? Thx...

I’m no expert, but from what I gather it’s like a more durable wax coat. It’s hydrophobic and provides a little protection for the paint and makes the car easier to clean and keep its shine. And instead of washing off within a few weeks like wax, it’s supposed to stay on the car for years with proper maintenance.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tracksyde

ShockOnT

⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️
Jun 26, 2016
3,406
3,099
Sydney
It’s how car dealers squeeze an extra $500-$1000 out of “wood ducks”.
Why anyone would self-inflict this on themselves outside a car dealership would perplex my ex-car dealer father.
 
  • Funny
Reactions: bnsfengineer

vinnie97

#WalkAway
Jul 24, 2014
1,110
392
southwest
^So, snake oil in you and your father's estimation?

OT but related question to no one in particular: Does paint correction involve buffing out hairline scratches?
 

ShockOnT

⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️
Jun 26, 2016
3,406
3,099
Sydney
Not quite snake oil, but it really doesn't do much better that a few good polishes, and costs a whole lot more.
Wrapping, on the other hand, actually does make a big difference, but it's so pricey it's probably not worth it. You could repaint damage several times for the cost of a good wrap, and even a good wrap doesn't stop all damage.
 

Twiglett

Single pedal driver
Oct 3, 2014
2,989
2,953
Austin
A good ceramic coating should last much longer than regular wax and last much longer. There are a couple of test comparison vids that show how much better they are.
If you’re DIY the higher product cost is more than offset by the time savings.
Paying someone to wax your car will never be cost effective.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tracksyde

insaneoctane

Active Member
Apr 6, 2016
3,731
8,642
Southern California
Seems like so many other things in life.....you can learn to do yourself if you're willing to invest the time to become proficient. Or you can pay someone that is already proficient. We make these choices all the time, right? I'd be a little concerned about polishing away my clear coat. The paint correction stage requires that you use something with some cutting power (ie abrasive) and I could easily see someone "going to town" trying to make their clear coat amazing and maybe going too far? Again, I'm not an expert, so I don't know how likely that is. Edges are most prone, but maybe the cutting compounds are so mild it would take days....or maybe seconds. That's kind of my point, I'd hate to become proficient on my new Tesla. So, while I'm generally a do it vs pay for it kind of guy, I just don't know enough to feel confident that I won't screw it up. Plus, if these coating really last 7 or 10 years, do I need that expertise?
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: 9erDog

vinnie97

#WalkAway
Jul 24, 2014
1,110
392
southwest
If my arms weren't tendinitis-ridden and my left arm still suffering after a humeral head fracture, I might be more apt to try it. Is paint correction effective in eradicating hairline/surface scratches, or is this going to require a body shop overhaul?
 

jgd108

Member
Jun 13, 2017
376
210
orange county
People who do it themselves make it sound easy and saved hundreds of dollars but then yeah you have to learn how to do it and testing on a 50k car is not something I would be willing to do!

One thing I've noticed when you don't know something fully, learning from all those vendors only make you more confused!
They all preach their way is the best, and there is such variance in cost!

Just trying to see if it really is worth the money they ask or rinse less regular car washing will do 90% of the work :)

Need to get tinting done for sure though.. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: bnsfengineer

bnsfengineer

Member
Aug 25, 2017
743
294
So.Ca.
Seems like so many other things in life.....you can learn to do yourself if you're willing to invest the time to become proficient. Or you can pay someone that is already proficient. We make these choices all the time, right? I'd be a little concerned about polishing away my clear coat. The paint correction stage requires that you use something with some cutting power (ie abrasive) and I could easily see someone "going to town" trying to make their clear coat amazing and maybe going too far? Again, I'm not an expert, so I don't know how likely that is. Edges are most prone, but maybe the cutting compounds are so mild it would take days....or maybe seconds. That's kind of my point, I'd hate to become proficient on my new Tesla. So, while I'm generally a do it vs pay for it kind of guy, I just don't know enough to feel confident that I won't screw it up. Plus, if these coating really last 7 or 10 years, do I need that expertise?
Well if you purchase all the items needed and watch a few videos its really not rocket science its just time consuming.Clear coat is about 1-1.5 mil so if you took a high speed buffer and applied a lot of pressure... there goes the clear coat. Chemical guys have several good products and videos on polishing and if you use a random orbital(not a high speed) on a lower speed with the right pad the finish will look unbelievable with minimal effort. I have a Porter Cable and usually use it on about speed 4-5 depending on the age of the paint. Now if you have a five year old car thats been sitting outside car and try to restore its a lot more difficult that polishing a new car like were talking about. If you were to purchase everything needed including the ceramic around $125 not including the buffer. Paying someone had quotes from $5-900. BTW the coating will not last 7-10 years most only a couple and you should be using the additional ceramics product that will add to your cost for the once a year refresh. Listen to the Henchman above!
 

Henchman

Member
Mar 24, 2018
120
374
Los Angeles
Putting ceramic coat isn't hard. But the paint correction work is quite hard :(
Actually, doing paint correction on a new car isn't hard either.
It just takes time
I actually practiced on our 2011 leaf , that we bought used 3 years ago. I did it after I had already done the ceramic on our new Model 3.

Our leaf looks better now, than when we bought it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: r0xx0r

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top