Paint Protection Film Vs. Ceramic Coating for Your Car

September 19, 2019

Are you a car owner in the market for a product that will add a protective layer to the exterior of your paint job? There is a lot of confusion about paint protection products on the market, especially when it comes to paint protection film (e.g. Clear Bra) and ceramic coatings (e.g. Opti-Coat Pro+). 

In this article, we will look at the similarities and differences between two popular options so you can make an informed decision about car care practices.


What Is Ceramic Coating? 

Ceramic coating is a layer of protection applied over car paint to protect the paint and establish a hydrophobic surface. It is a liquid polymer that chemically bonds with the vehicle’s paint, so it is much more difficult for contaminants to bond with the paint and cause imperfections. The water-repellent surface created by ceramic coatings makes car washing easier and reduces the risk of chemical stains caused by acidic contaminants, etch marks caused by acidic contaminants, and fading due to sun exposure. 


What Is Paint Protection Film? 

The paint protection film (ppf) is similar to ceramic coating, but it is better at reducing chips and scratches that occur due to small rocks and debris. It is a 100% transparent material made from urethane. 

In addition to preventing chips and scratches on car exteriors, the paint protection film is good at reducing the “swirls” that can be caused by car washing on unprotected cars and hard water spots that occur due to mineral deposits that settle on your car’s exterior. The paint protection film is also used to help prevent chemical stains, etch marks, and fading due to sun exposure.


How Are They Similar? 

The protective mechanisms on both products share some similarities. Both products are good at preventing chemical stains and etch marks caused by acidic contaminants, as well as fighting the fading that occurs due to sun exposure. Both products instantly add value and protect your vehicle.


How Are They Different? 

There are some distinct differences, however. The paint protection film is thicker than a ceramic coating, making it slightly better at resisting scratches caused by debris or small rocks on the road. It also has a “self-healing” capacity, meaning the material is malleable and molds back into place after abrasion. This allows the protective layer to absorb damage caused over time by rocks, scratches, and swirl marks. 

Ceramic coatings cannot “self-heal” to the same extent, but they are much better at repelling water. Having a hydrophobic surface is helpful when it comes to maintaining your car’s exterior since it keeps the surface free from acidic contaminants that would otherwise remain on the car’s exterior and cause damage. 


Which Product Should I Choose? 

The good news is there’s no need to choose between paint protection film and ceramic coating. The products function best when they are applied together. If you choose to purchase both, a mechanic will first apply the paint protection film to areas of your vehicle that are most likely to show damage caused by small rocks or road debris. 

Next, the entire vehicle will get covered with a ceramic coating, which bonds to the vehicle’s factory paint and the paint protection film. Used together, these products give your car the best chance for retaining a shiny and scratch-free exterior! 


How Much Does It Cost?

When deciding to purchase a product or service it usually comes down to price. You don’t want to break the bank, but you also want to make sure you’re getting professional service from an expert team and great value for your hard-earned money. The cost of getting PPF and or ceramic coating depends on how much of your car you want to be covered. Lucky for you San Diego Auto Glass & Tint can help you protect your car without breaking the bank. We have over 20 years of experience in stain resistance and rock chips prevention.