CERAMIC COATING IN CHESHIRE

Have your vehicle protected with the highest quality coatings to keep the surfaces shielded from the elements for years to come. Choose from 1-year, 3-year and 7-year ceramic coatings for the ultimate protection.

CERAMIC COATING IN CHESHIRE

1-YEAR CERAMIC COATING

3-YEAR CERAMIC COATING

7-YEAR CERAMIC COATING

CERAMIC COATING PACKAGES

Every ceramic coating package offered by Auto Care HQ includes a full decontamination and single-stage enhancement machine polishing service. This ensures that minor swirl marks are removed from the paintwork before they are locked in by the coating, and it helps ensure that the protection bonds properly and lasts for the maximum lifespan.

Here is a price list of the different ceramic coating packages available:

1-YEAR CERAMIC COATING

Small car – £400
Medium car – £500
Large car – £600

3-YEAR CERAMIC COATING

Small car – £550
Medium car – £675
Large car – £800

7-YEAR CERAMIC COATING

Small car – £600
Medium car – £725
Large car – £850

Small car = 2-seat sports car/ 3-door hatchback
Medium car = saloon/ coupe/ 5-door hatchback
Large = SUV/ MPV/ estate car

You can also upgrade to a two-stage machine polishing service with any ceramic coating. Please visit the paint correction service page for more information.

OTHER CERAMIC COATING OPTIONS

Ceramic coatings are typically applied to the paintwork but can also be applied to other exterior and interior surfaces to protect them for years to come. Auto Care HQ also offers the following additional coating services:

Glass coating – £60
Plastic trim coating – £60
Alloy (faces) coating – £100
Interior coating – £60

TREAT YOUR VEHICLE TO THE ULTIMATE PROTECTION

Ceramic coatings are chemical polymers which when applied to a vehicle, harden to form an extremely durable layer of protection. Ceramic coatings can be applied to most surfaces including the paint, glass, wheels, plastic trim, and leather. Ceramic coatings last for 3 years on average but can last for 1-7 years. The durability of the coating depends on the type of coating itself, how it was applied, and how it is cared for.

EXCEPTIONAL DURABILITY

EXTREME CHEMICAL RESISTANCE

OUTSTANDING DEPTH OF GLOSS

WATER AND DIRT REPELLENCY

Email heather@autocarehq.com
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WHICH CERAMIC COATINGS DO YOU USE?

Auto Care HQ offers a range of 1-year, 3-year and 7-year ceramic coatings by leading brands including Pyramid Car Care, Garage Therapy, Performance PPL and Diamond ProTech. If there is a specific ceramic coating from another brand (e.g. CarPro, Gtechniq or Gyeon) that you would like to be used on your vehicle then it may be possible to source this. Please email heather@autocarehq.com for more information.

CERAMIC COATING IN CHESHIRE

The ceramic coating application process is intensive and requires a level of skill to ensure the installation is successful. Here is a step-by-step explanation of the preparation and application steps involved in the ceramic coating package.

STEP 1. EXTERIOR WASH

The car is firstly washed using safe-techniques and premium shampoos and microfiber wash mitts. This includes a thorough clean of the entire wheel surface (arches, alloy barrels/ faces and tyres), a two-stage pre-wash and hand-wash.

STEP 2. DECONTAMINATION

To remove embedded contamination and leave the paintwork completely smooth, the car is chemically decontaminated using iron remover, tar remover, and mineral deposit remover sprays. It then receives a clay bar treatment to remove any remaining bonded contaminants.

STEP 3. PAINT DEPTH INSPECTION

To check the thickness of the paint before machine polishing, a Paint Depth Gauge is used. A full report of the readings will also be provided to the owner to show the thickness before and after coating application.

STEP 4. PAINT CONDITION INSPECTION

An inspection light is then used to assess the paint defects and find a suitable pad and polish combination to improve gloss and remove swirl marks without being overly aggressive.

STEP 5. MACHINE POLISHING

The paintwork is then machine polished to remove the defects and enhance the gloss. The result is a mirror-finish which is ready to be locked in by the coating.

STEP 6. COATING PREPARATION

In order to remove any polishing oils, a panel wipe solution is used. This ensures that the surface is completely free from any residues to allow the ceramic coating to bond properly.

STEP 7. COATING APPLICATION

You have the choice of either a 1-year, 5-year or 7-year ceramic coating application to the paintwork. You can also upgrade the package to include the application of a coating to the alloy faces, glass, exterior trim, and exhaust.

STEP 8. TYRE CONDITIONER

To not only complete the freshly detailed look, but also to protect the rubber, a tyre conditioner is applied. This is not your typical shiny tyre gel, but a unique formulation which hydrates the rubber to keep it in excellent condition.

GET IN TOUCH

To book your car in for a valeting or detailing service get in touch today by either emailing or completing the contact form and Heather will be in touch shortly

heather@autocarehq.com
8:30-6:00 Mon-Sat

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

MEET THE DETAILER

Auto Care HQ was founded by Heather in 2020. With Heather’s passion for car care and keen eye for detail, the business soon developed a reputation for producing high quality results. Catering for the Cheshire East area, Auto Care HQ offers premium car detailing and valeting services for vehicle owners who take pride in their car’s appearance and want the very best level of service.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CERAMIC COATINGS

What actually is a ceramic coating?

Ceramic coatings are chemical polymers which when applied to a vehicle, harden to form an extremely durable layer of protection which lasts several years. They can be applied to most surfaces including the paint, glass, wheels, plastic trim, and leather. In most ceramic coatings on the market, the active ingredient is silicon dioxide (SiO2), and most premium-grade coatings contain at least 80% of this compound. They usually come in small glass bottles which have about 30-50 mL of the coating inside. The first ceramic coatings were developed in the ’50s and used in the aerospace industry, but they weren’t used in the automotive industry until the 2000’s and have only become really popular over the last decade.

What are the benefits of a ceramic coating?

The benefits include:

  • Excellent durability (typically several years)
  • Extreme water and dirt-repellency
  • Chemical resistance
  • Enhanced gloss
  • UV protection
  • Wash marring resistance

Ceramic coatings help to keep a car cleaner for longer between washes, and make the vehicle easier to actually clean. This is because they are very hydrophobic and slick, which means dirt and traffic film doesn’t stick as stubbornly to the surfaces.

A properly applied ceramic coating will achieve an ultra-glossy finish which is sure to turn heads. In order to prepare the surface for coating, the paintwork is machine polished which removes scratches and swirl marks in the clear coat and refines it to a mirror finish. The coating itself will also bump up the gloss leaving the ultimate finish.

Ceramic coatings (when fully cured) are harder than conventional clear coat paint. This means that they last a long time (often several years), shield against environmental contaminants (bird poo, tar, water spots etc), and offer protection against wash marring and chemicals which would typically damage the clear coat layer of paint.

Do ceramic coatings stop rock chips and scratches?

Ceramic coatings do not prevent rock chips. The only method of protection available against rock chips is paint protection film (PPF). Ceramic coatings do not prevent scratches, however they do provide some resistance against wash marring to help keep the vehicle swirl free.

What is a 9H or 10H ceramic coating?

Ceramic coatings are rated on a hardness scale. This hardness scale refers to the hardness of pencil which is capable of scratching it when held at a 45 degree angle. The scale goes from H (softest) to 9H. If a coating is free from damage when pressing a 9H pencil at a 45 degree angle, it will receive a 9H rating. If it is damaged by a 9H pencil, but not by an 8H pencil, it will be rated 8H, and so on. The higher the number, the harder the coating. Some coatings on the market are described as “10H”, which means they are not scratched by the 9H pencil. There is no “10H” pencil, so it is not possible to grade coatings higher than this using this scale.

How is a ceramic coating applied?

Ceramic coatings themselves are not too tricky to apply (depending on the exact coating), however there is a time-consuming and labour-intensive preparation process which is critical to the success of the application. It is vital that the paintwork is properly prepared before using a coating. Otherwise, it won’t last very long at all and can be a real mess visually.

Here are the stages involved in the coating preparation process:

  • Thorough pre-wash and hand-wash using a dedicated car shampoo
  • Chemical decontamination to remove tar and iron fallout deposits
  • Physical decontamination using a clay bar to remove any remaining contaminants
  • Machine polishing to remove clear coat scratches and swirls and prep the surface
  • Panel wipe solution to remove oils and residues from the previous step

Here are the steps involved in the application of a ceramic coating:

  • Apply several drops (8-10) of the coating to the applicator pad
  • Spread the coating on a small section of the panel in a cross-hatch pattern
  • Wait the recommended time (usually from 10 seconds to 2 minutes but is dependent on the coating)
  • Level the coating using straight-line motions and light pressure with one microfiber towel
  • Use a second microfiber towel to remove the remaining residue in circular motions
  • Use a final microfiber towel to lightly buff the area and adjacent panels/ sections to prevent any high spots
  • Wait the recommended cure time before exposing the car to the elements (usually between 4-24 hours but does depend on the coating itself)

How do you maintain a ceramic coating?

Here are the most important things to remember when cleaning a ceramic coated vehicle:

  • Never take a ceramic coated car to an automatic car wash or cheap roadside hand-washing station.
  • Always pre-wash the vehicle before making contact with a wash mitt.
  • Use a pH neutral, pure shampoo to wash the coating.
  • Do not used wax-infused or gloss-enhancing shampoos, or any household products which will damage or clog the coating.
  • Use microfiber mitts to wash the car, and never use sponges or brushes.
  • Use separate tools and brushes to clean the paintwork and the wheels to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Don’t scrub at the paintwork with your wash mitt. Use plenty of lubrication and wipe gently to avoid scratches.
  • Don’t wash the car in direct sunlight because the water and chemicals will dry on the surface very quickly.
  • Use a microfiber towel to gently dry the car. Never water blades (squeegees), chamois leather or bath towels.

Please read this guide to maintaining a ceramic coated car for more information.

Can you take a ceramic coated car to an automatic car wash?

A ceramic coated vehicle should not be taken to an automatic car wash. This will permanently scratch the coating and inhibit the performance. The coating should only ever be hand-washed using safe techniques to prevent damage.

Are there any drawbacks to ceramic coatings?

Despite the excellent protection they offer, there are some downsides to ceramic coating a vehicle:

  • They are not scratch-proof
  • The application process is labour intensive, time-consuming and complex
  • They are more expensive than waxes and sealants
  • They require frequent maintenance to maintain maximum performance
  • They have a tendency for water spotting

As I mentioned previously, one of the ceramic coating myths is regarding their hardness and scratch-proofness. Although ceramic coatings are harder than clear coat paint, they do not shield against stone chips, door dings and other forms of heavy abrasion.

Ceramic coatings are also usually 3-4 times more expensive than waxes and sealants, however they are also more durable so when you factor in that then they are still considered the better option in terms of value for money in a lot of cases.

Since ceramic coatings are hydrophobic, small water beads will form on the surface after it rains. These droplets when left to dry can hard leave water spots behind. These water spots look unsightly and can hinder the performance of the coating. However, with proper maintenance this is not a big concern.

What is the difference between a ceramic coating and PPF?

PPF provides much more resistance to stone chips and scratches compared to a ceramic coating. PPF typically lasts between 7-10 years whereas ceramic coatings last between 3-5 years on average. Ceramic coatings are cheaper and easier to install and are more chemically resistant than PPF. Please visit this comparison article for more information.

What is the difference between a ceramic coating and a wax or sealant?

Ceramic coatings are significantly more durable and offer a higher level of protection compared to waxes and sealants due to their hardness. Ceramic coatings last for several years, whereas waxes and sealants only last for a few months. They are however much easier to apply. Please read this comparison between ceramic coatings, waxes and sealants for more information.

What is a ceramic wax?

Ceramic waxes are not the same as ceramic coatings. A ceramic wax is a form of paint protection made from a blend of silicon dioxide and conventional waxes. They often come in a paste format, but can be found as sprayable or liquid waxes. Ceramic waxes typically offer 6-12 months of protection, excellent hydrophobicity and good levels of gloss. However, they are significantly less durable compared to ceramic coatings and less preparation is involved, hence why the service is cheaper.

What is a ceramic sealant?

Ceramic coatings and ceramic sealants are not the same thing. Ceramic sealants are far less durable but less complex to apply compare to true ceramic coatings. The easiest way to tell the difference is to look at the packaging. Ceramic coatings will come in small glass bottles, whereas ceramic sealants typically come in larger plastic bottles with a spray trigger (usually around 500 mL). Be wary of extremely cheap “ceramic” services, as these often use inferior ceramic sealants instead of true coatings.

How do you remove a ceramic coating?

Ceramic coatings require abrasion to be fully removed. This can be done via machine polishing, but if the coating is fresher then sanding may be required to completely remove the coating.

Do I need to be a professional to apply a ceramic coating?

You do not need to be a professional detailer to apply a coating. However, if you do not have previous experience decontaminating, machine polishing and coating a vehicle then it is strongly recommended that you choose a professional detailer to install the protection. The process takes 1-2 days to complete, requires a lot of specialist equipment/ chemicals, and is complicated meaning it’s risky to attempt the application if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing.

What conditions does a ceramic coating need to be applied in?

Ceramic coatings usually need to be applied in more specific conditions compared to waxes and sealants. It does vary between manufacturers, but generally it is between 10°C-25°C (50°F-77°F) and in less than 70% humidity. They can be applied outdoors, but you do need to be conscious of the environmental conditions to ensure the application process is a success.

What are the most popular ceramic coatings?

There are many excellent ceramic coatings from reputable manufacturers in the detailing industry. Some popular ceramic coating brands include:

  • CarPro
  • Carbon Collective
  • Gtechniq
  • Gyeon
  • Pyramid Car Care
  • P&S
  • Zirconite
  • Fenylab
  • Infinity Wax
  • Performance PPL

Which ceramic coatings do you use?

Auto Care HQ offers ceramic coatings from Pyramid Car Care, Garage Therapy, Infinity Wax, Diamond ProTech and Performance PPL. Here is a list of coatings used:

  • Infinity Wax Synergy Lite 1-Year Ceramic Coating
  • Pyramid Car Care New Era 3-Year Ceramic Coating
  • Garage Therapy Cerberus 3-Year Ceramic Coating
  • Diamond ProTech Diamond Body 36 3-Year Coating
  • Performance PPL Reign 7-Year Ceramic Coating

What is Infinity Wax Synergy Lite Ceramic Coating?

Infinity Wax Synergy Lite is the entry-level ceramic coating offered by Auto Care HQ. This 1-year ceramic coating is included as standard in all paint correction detailing packages. Unlike inferior ceramic sealants, Synergy Lite is a true 9H coating that can be applied outdoors. Once applied, the coating needs to be kept dry for 30 minutes and then the vehicle can be driven as normal. In order to let the coating fully cured, it must not be washed for 7 days after application. Synergy Lite offers excellent water repellency, gloss, and slickness making it a great entry into ceramic coatings at an affordable price point. Here is a link to Infinity Wax Synergy Lite for more information.

What is the Garage Therapy Cerberus Ceramic Coating?

Garage Therapy’s /Three: Cerberus 3-year ceramic coating provides exceptional levels of gloss and slickness. I have personally tested this coating on my own vehicle and been very impressed with the performance. Garage Therapy is a very well respected brand in the detailing industry and this coating has been extensively tested to ensure it offers incredible performance. Here is a link to Garage Therapy /Three: Cerberus for more information.

What is the Pyramid Car Care New Era Ceramic Coating?

Pyramid Car Care New Era is a 3-year ceramic coating with 9H hardness. The benefits of this coating are that it can be applied outdoors and the vehicle can get wet just 4 hours after the coating is applied. It provides UV resistance, wash marring resistance and a very glossy finish making it an excellent choice if you are looking for several years of durability. Here is a link to the Pyramid New Era Ceramic Coating for more information.

What is the Performance PPL Reign Ceramic Coating?

Performance PPL Reign is the top of the range ceramic coating offered by Auto Care HQ. It is a 7-year coating which has an incredible 10H hardness meaning it offers industry-leading protection. This coating can be applied to the paintwork, glass, trim, alloys, exhaust and even interior surfaces. It comes as standard in the “New Car Protection” package, or can be added as an upgrade to any paint correction service. Here is a link to Performance PPL Reign for more information.

How do ceramic coatings compared to “dealership protection”?

When you place an order for a new vehicle (or a used one), the sales person will typically offer you a “Dealership Protection Package”. Whilst this may look similar to a service provided by a professional detailer, in the vast majority of cases it is far from the same.

The dealership valeters are under immense pressure to prepare vehicles for sale incredibly quickly. Unfortunately this means that they often use improper wash techniques (e.g. skipping the pre-wash stage) and cheap tools (e.g. sponges and brushes) to get the vehicle on the road as soon as possible. The result, is the infliction of scratches and swirl marks which can only be removed by polishing the paintwork.

The protection that is applied is also often very poor quality. Although it may have a long durability guarantee or wild claims, I can’t tell you the amount of times that I have detailed vehicles which have been treated with the dealership’s lifetime protection package, only to see that there is in-fact no protection whatsoever on the vehicle just a few months later.

Can new cars be ceramic coated?

New cars should be ceramic coated in order to protect them from the elements and keep them looking brand-new for as long as possible. Auto Care HQ offers a New Car Protection package which includes the application of Performance PPL Reign to the paint, glass, wheel faces, trim and exhaust.

Can repainted cars be ceramic coated?

Repainted cars can be ceramic coated however it is recommended to wait at least 3 months for the paint to fully “gas out” before applying a coating.

Do ceramic coatings need to cure?

All ceramic coatings need to cure after application to ensure the coating fully hardens. During this time the vehicle cannot be washed. Most coatings should be kept dry for 12-24 hours after application, and not washed for at least 1 week.

How much ceramic coating is needed to cover a vehicle?

Vehicle SizeAmount of Ceramic Coating Required for Single Layer
2-Door Convertible e.g. MX-5 RF8-12 mL
3-Door Hatchback e.g. Ford Fiesta8-12 mL
5-Door Hatchback e.g. Audi A39-13 mL
Coupe e.g. Mercedes C-Class Coupe9-13 mL
Saloon/ Sedan e.g. BMW 5-Series Saloon11-15 mL
Small SUV e.g. Volkswagen T-Roc11-15 mL
Large SUV e.g. Range Rover13-18 mL
Pickup Truck e.g. Dodge RAM21-25 mL

How many layers of the ceramic coating need to be applied?

This depends on the specific coating. Some manufacturers only recommend that one layer of the coating is applied, whereas others recommend a dual-layer or even triple-layer system which includes the addition of a top-coat.

Can a ceramic coating be applied outdoors?

Ceramic coatings can be applied outdoors providing they are used in the correct temperature and humidity range for the specific coating. Auto Care HQ uses outdoor-friendly ceramic coatings with short cure times to ensure a successful installation.

Can you polish a ceramic coating?

Ceramic coated cars should not be polished as this will remove or degrade the coating. A ceramic coating should only ever be polished if the intention is to remove it and the plan is to reapply a new layer.

Can you use a clay bar on a ceramic coating?

Clay bars should not be used on a ceramic coated car because it will break down the coating, or cause swirl marks. You can use an iron fallout and tar remover instead to safely remove contamination without using clay. Please read this article for more information.

What is the difference between graphene and ceramic coatings?

Graphene coatings claim to offer better durability and are less prone to water spots than ceramic coatings. However many independent tests have struggled to identify tangible differences between the two types of coating. Ceramic coatings are usually cheaper and more readily-available. Both ceramic and graphene coatings are similar in terms of gloss, hydrophobicity and application method.

Can you apply a wax over a ceramic coating?

It is not recommended to apply a wax over the top of a ceramic coating because it will likely hinder the coating’s performance. In some instances, the solvents in the wax can even degrade the coating. Instead of using wax, a ceramic coating should be maintained with a compatible top-up spray. Please read this article for more information.