So we have decided to address probably the most discussed topic with regards to car detailing. Paint Protection. In this article we aren't going to get into the chemical side of things and break down the actual construction of the protective layers, that is for another time.
Paint protection has become a multi-million dollar industry in a short amount of time, with extreme marketing hype and a vast range of products available it is imperative to know what you are looking for when you look to enter the market.
One of the major issues is that the term “paint protection” (referred to as PP for the rest of the article) can be applied to literally hundreds of different products. Car wax itself is a form of PP as it provides a protective layer to slow corrosion and protect the paint from damage, it is merely a short-lasting form of PP. You will never hear of wax referred to as PP by a professional car detailer this is merely theoretical to illustrate the issue of using the phrase. Generally speaking the term “paint protection” is generally used to refer to coatings that will last 12 months or more.
With PP causing such drastic views ranging from “it’s completely rubbish” to “it’s the best thing I’ve ever done to my car”, it’s evident that there are either misrepresentations or misunderstandings. People have been exposed to different products with different (often bogus) claims as to its performance and lifetime.
The first place many people hear of PP is from the dealerships when they purchase a car, this is for one reason, the mark up is HUGE! (By far into the 1000s of per cent profit). They will often sell you a car either at cost or just above but really push the PP options (often $1500 or more), not only this but the products the dealerships use are (in general, there are some good ones) nowhere near the top of the line and often last little more than a couple of years.
The theory behind it all...
This image above ( from http://www.dasauto-magazine.com, note that µm = 1 millionth of a meter) gives us a clear idea of the structure of modern automotive paint. All we are really focused on is the “Clear coat”. This is a layer added to provide protection to the base coat (colour coat), it is essentially a factory installed PP.
Over time the clear coat is exposed to UV rays, bird droppings, swirl-marks etc and other damage. A professional car detailer can use machine buffing to often fix these defects but occasionally they will be too bad and the only option will be an expensive re-spray.
PP is a layer which is applied on top of the clear coat to reduce the risk of these defects occurring. The PP layer is (in theory) more resistant to all of these issues.
NOTE: There is NO PERFECT COATING!
We don't buy into the whole "infinite protection" as none of these products have been around forever. Does it have a "lifetime warranty"? Read that warranty as some (VERY well known companies have been known to warranty the underlying paint rather than the coating, but hang on a second, they didn't even apply the paint, that was the original manufacturers....
So which paint protection should I use?
Keep an eye on our site to hear more about the paint protection we use in the coming weeks..
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