To PPF or not to PPF, that is the question

How much PPF?


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VaderMachE

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I don't think people really understand how easy it is to do the ceramic coating yourself. All you do is wipe it on, let it haze, wipe it off. Instant 1-3 years of paint protection (depending on how well you take care of your car).

It's also two completely different things. PPF protects against physical damage from bugs and rocks, ceramic coating protects your clear coat from fading away from elemental damage and also makes it way easier to clean. If you don't want to do ceramic coating at least put a paint sealant on your car every 4-6 months depending on where you live and if it's outside or in the garage.

Saying no to both is like saying you don't give a damn about your car. PPF isn't for everyone but at a minimum at least protect the paint with a sealant of some kind.

I keep my fusion protected with a sealant (not ceramic) and I can go through a touchless car wash once a week and it looks like I completely cleaned my car because nothing sticks to it. I'll do a full hand wash maybe once a month. With the MME I'll be doing a ceramic coating. I didn't do it on the fusion because I'm getting rid of it anyway.

Also doing PPF on the front end back to the mirrors because I can only imagine how many bugs and rocks are going to be tagging that giant front area.
You're so correct! The prep work is where the sweat equity comes in. Clay bar and any paint correction is all you need to do prior to ceramic coating, and even then, the amount of work depends on how much of a mirror you want your ride to be.?Keep those MME's shiny!

 

EELinneman

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Someone's Start White get a little ceramic TLC in this short YT video.

 

blue92lx

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You're so correct! The prep work is where the sweat equity comes in. Clay bar and any paint correction is all you need to do prior to ceramic coating, and even then, the amount of work depends on how much of a mirror you want your ride to be.?Keep those MME's shiny!
The first time I did a clay bar I was amazed at how easy it was. It has all this hype built up around it like 'omg I got my car clay barred' but you just throw some detailing spray on it and wipe the bar around. It's so freaking easy to do lol. I was like.... what? That was it?
 

blue92lx

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Someone's Start White get a little ceramic TLC in this short YT video.

And that's it. That's the 'mystery' behind ceramic coating. You wipe it on, you wipe it off. I feel like it's been this mysterious thing that only a professional detailer could do, but now that so many real ceramic coating products are available to the public we can see how it's not really a big job to do. Like Vader said, it's just doing some prep after a car wash. Wash the car with your car soap and a little dish soap mixed in to remove any wax/sealant on the car, clay bar if necessary (will give you that glass feel and also remove any additional sealant/wax), wipe ceramic on, wipe ceramic off. You now have years of protection on your car.

If you want to then protect the ceramic coating you can wait a little bit and put sealant on top of that, or for even more shine maybe some wax.
 

EELinneman

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And that's it. That's the 'mystery' behind ceramic coating. You wipe it on, you wipe it off. I feel like it's been this mysterious thing that only a professional detailer could do, but now that so many real ceramic coating products are available to the public we can see how it's not really a big job to do. Like Vader said, it's just doing some prep after a car wash. Wash the car with your car soap and a little dish soap mixed in to remove any wax/sealant on the car, clay bar if necessary (will give you that glass feel and also remove any additional sealant/wax), wipe ceramic on, wipe ceramic off. You now have years of protection on your car.

If you want to then protect the ceramic coating you can wait a little bit and put sealant on top of that, or for even more shine maybe some wax.
Adam,

There are some professional-only products out there and some commercially available also. I think that Patrick of the Mach-E Vlog and his wife Liv were doing a video of this. They published one on do-it-yourself PPF which is excellent.

We are now at the limit of my knowledge of this. I do know wax, but am learning about ceramic.
 

blue92lx

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Adam,

There are some professional-only products out there and some commercially available also. I think that Patrick of the Mach-E Vlog and his wife Liv were doing a video of this. They published one on do-it-yourself PPF which is excellent.

We are now at the limit of my knowledge of this. I do know wax, but am learning about ceramic.
Check out Larry's video, the amount of detailing information he has on his channel is amazing. But this is his 'ceramic' coating (it's actually enamel and not ceramic but does the thing). He also has an extensive Q&A for the last half. He goes into using products on top of the ceramic coating, how long to expect it to last, etc.

 

Scooby24

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And that's it. That's the 'mystery' behind ceramic coating. You wipe it on, you wipe it off. I feel like it's been this mysterious thing that only a professional detailer could do, but now that so many real ceramic coating products are available to the public we can see how it's not really a big job to do. Like Vader said, it's just doing some prep after a car wash. Wash the car with your car soap and a little dish soap mixed in to remove any wax/sealant on the car, clay bar if necessary (will give you that glass feel and also remove any additional sealant/wax), wipe ceramic on, wipe ceramic off. You now have years of protection on your car.

If you want to then protect the ceramic coating you can wait a little bit and put sealant on top of that, or for even more shine maybe some wax.
I'd advise a bit of caution on this approach as it's unfortunately not that simple in practice. First, the clay bars do some micro marring of the paint. In the right lighting you will definitely see that after a clay (even a fine clay or a clay sponge) you will need to do paint correction prior to ceramic as well. You need the paint surface completely corrected before application.

The application itself is not as simple as it looks. It's a WEIRD product. It goes on somewhat thick compared to other solvent type products and it doesn't all flash off. You have to time the removal right and that timing has to be checked as every coating will react differently and will also react differently with every day based on conditions for humidity and temp. If you remove too soon, you remove too much. If you remove too late, you get uneven heights which produces a rainbow effect. If you don't have the right lighting, you won't see these results as you're applying and may not see the mistakes being made until it's too late.

Now it's absolutely true there are consumer grade products that are MUCH more user friendly and forgiving with these caveats....but there's USUALLY a trade off.

One product that's not quite SiO2 but still produces similar results while being WAYYYYYY easier, is Meguiars hybrid paint coating. Durability results look downright impressive.
 

Mach-E VLOG

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We did DIY PPF on the front half of our Mach-E followed by DIY ceramic. The PPF install was a huge effort, but can be done yourself if you have the time and patience. Ceramic was far easier, but still requires a bit of time and you have to be careful in how you apply it. Neither was perfect for us, but we learned a lot in the process -- both about the products and about the Mach-E's body.
 

TRP

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This will be the first car I've had it done on but I'm doing both.

PPF - full front, mirrors, A pillars, B pillars and ALL exterior gloss black around the lower part of the car. Professionally installed. There are a few other places here I "may" do myself, undecided at this time. Cost of install - $3000

Ceramic Coating - Full car even over top of PPF. Cost $300, should last about 1 year. If it gets close to that and I really like it I'll pop for a better quality version later

 

 
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