PPF vs CERAMIC COATING - WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
PPF VS CERAMIC COATING = PROTECTION VS EASY CLEAN UP
There is so much marketing and confusion around PPF vs ceramic coatings, the hardness of ceramic coatings (9H, 10H, and all that), and whether they protect against scratches and chips. Local Copperas Cove/Killeen/Harker Heights and Austin auto detailing businesses claim ceramic coating protects against these damages (some of them)! There are even companies claiming that ceramic coatings protect against fire! There is so much hype out there, so let’s sort through the facts. We are never going to steer our Killeen-area clients wrong! Even with PPF, people claim that PPF protects against shopping cart damage, hail damage, you name it!
PPF VS. CERAMIC COATING: quick facts
Clear Bra/PPF/Paint Protection Film Benefits:
Ceramic Coating Benefits:
PPF VS CERAMIC COATING: Ceramic coating really is not that thick!
When talking about PPF vs ceramic coating thickness, please understand that PPF is typically 8mil thick, which is about .008 inches thick.
Ceramic coatings are typically around 1 micron thick. For reference, 1 micron is 0.00003937 inches thick. An automotive clear coat is about 35 to 50 microns. Ceramic coatings CAN NOT protect against scratches and rock chips, especially when you are talking all these rocks on I35 and the I14 of Central Texas. The only roundabout way that a ceramic coating will protect against scratches is ceramic coatings make it easier to clean or detail your vehicle. Therefore, you might have less contact with your paint and are less likely to scratch it. However, if you scratch a car with or without a ceramic coating, it will scratch.
PPF vs Ceramic Coating: Primary Purposes
The primary purpose of ceramic coating is to make cleanup easier, bugs easier to clean off, environmental protection, UV protection, and potentially deeper color and slicker surface. Ceramic coating’s purpose is NOT protection against damage, scratches, or rock chips. In the Killeen-area, we get a lot of hail and sun damage from UV rays (just like the rest of Central Texas). Ceramic coating will not stop hail, but it will help prevent sun damage.
On the other hand, a PPF (clear bra or paint protection film) will protect against rock chips and scratches. Clear bra is self-healing (you can see our other videos about this), which means it can be scratched (within reason) and heal itself. Some ceramic coating companies claim to make self-healing ceramic coatings, but the amount or extent to which this MAY work is nothing like clear bra, and due to the thickness of the coating, it will only work for a short duration (if ever).
The primary purpose of clear bra is PROTECTION.
They can be used together to keep the car easy to clean and protect, but neither is a substitute for another. Most clear bra films are hydrophobic, but that is not their primary purpose, like self-healing ceramic coatings.
PPF vs Ceramic Coating: Warranties
When talking about warranties in the PPF vs Ceramic Coating discussion, PPF warranties are typically based on the number of years set by a manufacturer. When you find a PPF shop, their primary film will all carry the same warranty. We use Autobahn Incognito PPF, which carries a lifetime warranty (see video). Autobahn has an industry-leading no-hassle lifetime warranty with a one-time accidental damage clause. Other companies in the Copperas Cove/Killeen/Harker Heights area claim a lifetime warranty, but that is only at certain selected shops within their brand. Many common PPF manufacturers’ warranties are 8-12 years. Price is typically dependent on what panels are covered by PPF. Our most popular PPF package is the full front, which is hood, fenders, bumper, and mirrors, and starts at $2300.
With ceramic coating, on the other hand, price is typically dictated by number of years the coating lasts (is warrantied for). At Harker Heights Ceramic Coatings, we offer 1-3-5-10 year ceramic coatings, with our most popular being the five-year ceramic coating.