Do you have to wash your vehicle after it is ceramic coated?
Ugh! Unfortunately, you do!
Listen, we hate washing and maintaining our vehicles as much as the next person! Bug guts, bird droppings, Texas pollen, you name it! This is why, on our vehicles, we have both ceramic coatings as well as clear bra. We have the ease of cleanup from the ceramic coating, and we have the clear bra to protect the paint from scratches if we are trying to clean it up quickly.
It does make it easier when you have either a ceramic coating or a clear bra (or both) on your vehicle, but unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you can skip taking care of it. Especially in the first few weeks as the ceramic coating cures and/or the clear bra dries and bonds, you need to be especially aware of things like bird droppings, bug guts, and water spots.
We don’t want to discourage you from choosing to ceramic coat your vehicle, but we do want you to be aware of some things (please note that all of these issues are more easily cleaned up with ceramic coating!):
The Main Reasons
- Hard water and sprinkler systems especially can leave water spots in the paint, even with ceramic coating. The total dissolved solid count (how water is measured for “hardness” or how water is determined to have too many minerals and the like) hovers around 250 for Harker Heights. We assume Killeen/Copperas Cove/Temple/Nolanville are all the same or similar. This is why we have a reverse osmosis system at our shop. If your sprinklers are hitting the vehicle and then drying in the sun, even ceramic coating won’t protect it. If you get water spots in your paint that you didn’t wipe away immediately, you can try to use vinegar to remove the leftover minerals before they damage the paint.
- Bird droppings are incredibly acidic. Did you know that birds do not have a stomach and bladder that separate their solids and wastes? The waste is mixed together in an organ called the cloaca, and contain a very high amount of uric acid. Bird droppings can not only easily eat through ceramic coating and damage a clear bra, but they can even damage the paint. If you catch the droppings early enough where they might have only topically etched the paint, an auto detailer such as us, of course, can usually take care of it with a compound and polish. If they have eaten further into the paint (known as wrinkle etching), the only solution is to repaint the panel. The moral of the story is to remove bird droppings ASAP!
- Bug guts. Bug guts are often acidic as well, which is why sometimes you will see them damaging the clear coat and etching into the paint much like bird poop. The summer with the Central Texas heat is big risk factor!
- Tree sap. Tree sap is a little bit of a slower process, but with temperatures in the Killeen area soaring into the triple digits already in May, the process speeds up. Tree sap can also leave your clear coat damaged. Tree sap, in general, can often be a difficult removal process, even more so than your typical auto detailer would provide.
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