So you’ve just ceramic coated your car, and after allowing the coating to cure for a full 48 hours in the garage, it’s time to take it outside for the first time.
But as you sit admiring your ride’s glass-like lines and factory paint shining in the sun, you recall that your 9H-rated nano-ceramic not only offers hydrophobic protection against contaminants but scratch resistance as well.
Like most people, you are probably not too keen on the thought of subjecting your freshly ceramic coated vehicle (and its pristine paint job) to a scratch resistance torture test, just to see what will mar the quartz-like ceramic shell atop it.
Don’t worry. The 9H scratch resistance rating awarded to products like Armor Shield IX means that they can handle the average run-in with overgrown shrubbery, rough snow removal brushes, and even the occasional lashing from an automated car wash. However, this does not mean that your nano-ceramic coating is 100% scratch-proof.
Luckily, if for whatever reason you do happen to mar that protective layer of nano-ceramic coating, or encounter some unsightly chemical etch marks, there are a handful of home remedies that can help.
Here are the top three proven fixes for ceramic coating scratches that we here at AvalonKing wholeheartedly endorse.
3 Safe Ways to Repair Scratches in Ceramic Coating
While nano-ceramic coatings will not fill or hide scratches and swirl marks, they can make scratch repair a hell of a lot easier. But only if the scratch in question does not go deeper than the ceramic coating itself.
When it comes to removing or hiding scratches in ceramic coating, we have found that the following three solutions offer the best (and safest) results.
1.) Boost and Blemish Begone!
For mild scratches, a quick touch-up with a SiO2-heavy ceramic boost spray and a quality microfiber applicator pad or towel is more than likely going to cut the kimchi.
Just be sure to conduct some micro-polishing with a super soft buffing towel or machine polishing buffing wheel beforehand, as that will help clean up any surface blemishes along the damaged area.
Follow this with a quick IPA decontamination wipe-down and a multi-purpose microfiber cloth to remove any dust, and then all you’ll need to do is hit those scratches with some of AvalonKing’s SiO2 Ceramic Boost Spray.
2.) The Fill and Pray Approach
People ask all the time if they can touch-up a scratch in Armor Shield IX ceramic coating, to which we answer: “Yes, but only to an extent.”
This method only works if the ceramic coating scratch is ultra-thin and superficial, much like your uncle’s skanky ex. But unlike that bilious blonde bimbo, a bit of extra coating goes a long way to fixing this sort of situation, as the scratch is repaired via an invisible ceramic coating “bandage.”
Just be sure to clean and decontaminate the area in question with a properly blended Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) Prep Spray before administering the ceramic coating, for all it takes is a dash of contamination for a coating to fail.
3.) Micron Deep Mild Massages
If the scratch in question appears to be a bit more serious, a very fine polish may have to be in order. Commonly referred to as an “essence polish,” this procedure requires mildly massaging a damaged area with a foam finger. And no, we’re not talking about that giant foam finger your uncle waves drunkenly about at sporting events.
We’re talking about professional car detailing foam fingers, a product that allows you to amend all manner of surface blemish, without running the risk of polishing undamaged surrounding areas. Just remember that the word “massage” is key, as you are only working with about 2–4 microns of man-made material here, and don’t want to damage the paint.
Once gently massaged in a back-and-forth crosshatch pattern, decontaminate the area with IPA spray and a clean microfiber cloth, recoat the area with a little nano-ceramic coating, and allow the coating to cure for the appropriate amount of time.
Quick Nerd Note: How you wash your car oftentimes correlates to how scratched the additional layer of protection on its exterior appears. Improper washing etiquette, or using things like a rough, or contaminated drying towels during the drying process can quickly turn a pristine physical layer of ceramic coating into a hazy scratch-bomb.
When is it Time to Call in a Scratch Repair Professional?
There comes a time in every DIY detailers life, when they are forced to throw in the buffing towel, and reach out to a professional for help. Don’t worry. This does not mean that we think any less of you and your dogged devotion to all things DIY. Asking a pro for help is the sign of someone who truly cares for their car, for it prove that they are willing to cough up the cash to provide the professional care that it deserves.
Not everyone feels up for the task of familiarizing themselves with things like aggressive polishing compound usage, sacrificial layer replacement procedures, and other in-depth detailing practices. And do you know what? That’s perfectly fine.
A ceramic coating product serves as a sacrificial layer, engineered to prevent potential scratches from damaging a painted surface, and therefore deep scratches will likely require paint correction procedures.
So when it comes to scratches in ceramic coatings, the following signs serve as prime examples of when it’s time to hang-up that DIY hat, and hand the reins over to a professional car detailer or auto body specialist.
1. You can see bare metal or rust.
2. There is flaking paint.
3. Scratches are widespread and/or large in size.
While the steps may vary greatly from the repairs one must undertake in order to fix a scratched ceramic coated dinner plate, repairing scratches in automotive ceramic coatings is not a difficult process. Time-consuming maybe. But by no means difficult.
The struggle lies within the realization that even the world’s top nano-ceramic coatings are not 100% guaranteed to prevent scratches from developing. Nothing short of a full-blown paint protection film (PPF) install is going to protect against scratches, and even then you are not 100% safe.
So what’s the trick for keeping ceramic coating scratches at bay?
Your best bet for removing ceramic coating scratches from your automobile’s life is through prevention. Taking care of your ceramic coating with ultra-plush microfiber products, routine washes with the appropriately balanced car shampoos, and avoiding overgrown shrubbery at all costs is the name of the game here folks.