keep your vehicle looking new for years to come
In the last several years there have been some very important leaps forward in the technology of protecting cars. There are a few different options all with their own benefits that can make a big difference depending on how you want to use it. What makes sense for a daily driver car may not make sense for an Exotic car and what works for a track driven exotic may not work for a collector level exotic. Regardless of what you drive, where you drive and how long you plan on keeping it, we will help you custom tailor the options to make sure your car continues to look as good as the day it leaves our studio for years to come.
The main options that we use are Paint Protection Film (PPF) and Ceramic Glass coatings. Both will last for several years and they both have different ways of protecting. PPF offers a thin, clear barrier over the paint to help resist impact damage and other abrasions. Ceramic Glass puts a hard, non-porous layer over the paint. It is crystal clear and offers a tremendous gloss as well. PPF is the more expensive of the two and wrapping an entire vehicle in the clear film will certainly give you the most possible protection. Ceramic Glass will still shield the paint from many harmful contaminants and is a little less expensive than PPF.
We have found that the most effective approach is to do the front end of the vehicle in PPF to protect it from the most impact damage and then apply Ceramic Glass to everything else to protect it from the elements. Every car, every use and every budget is different and we will be glad to communicate all of the various aspects of your project and custom tailor a package that will best meet your needs.
Read on to see the breakdown of the various steps and the most utilized packages or feel free to call or message us to schedule your personalized consultation.
Wax and Sealants
Waxing a vehicles paint is completely obsolete for many reasons. Originally developed in the 1940’s, wax offered a way to smooth paints’ inconsistent surface and help repel water and some contaminants. In order for it to be effective, it had to be applied about once a month. The other problems with wax is that is opaque and doesn’t offer a crystal-clear view through the clear coat. Also Wax is inherently sticky and statically charged, which causes it to attract dirt which then sticks to the vehicle. the worst part is that as its sticks to the paint and then the vehicle is washed, the dirt acts like sandpaper which damages the paint even further.
Sealants became widely used in the late 80s and offered a better level of protection then wax. They are easy to apply, inexpensive to purchase, have a decently slick surface, a more neutral static charge and they would last for 3-8 months depending on its use and how you washed it. Despite the opaque coloration of the product, it would have seemed we found the best option. We still use very high quality sealants for the most budget or time restrictive jobs.
Ceramic Glass coatings were developed in Japan and Taiwan around the turn of the millennium. Originally they were a solution to the problem of industrial equipment rusting and corroding. People quickly adopted the technology to apply to our beloved automobiles. Ceramic Glass offers a hard, non-porous, crystal clear coating that protects and beautifies the paint. It help the car stay cleaner longer, easier to clean it and keep contaminants from embedding into the paint. It also can help protect paint from topical damage such bird droppings, bug guts, tar, sap and light marring. Ceramic Glass isn’t bulletproof but it does offer a fantastic leap forward in protection that wasn’t available 10 years ago. This level of protection now makes a proper paint correction worthwhile, because it can be maintained for years at a time, instead of having to be redone every year. As you have seen the shortcomings with Waxes and Sealants, we now have a product that has truly changed the dynamics of automotive detailing forever.
Paint Protection Film (PPF)
Paint Protection Film was commonly referred to as Clear Bra. The original film was developed by 3M to protect helicopter blades during Vietnam. It was adopted to automotive use in the 80’s and replaced the black vinyl bras that did more damage to the paint than the rocks they protected it from. The early versions of the clear bra was hard and turned yellow and brittle within 2 years of being installed. Most people concluded that it just wasn’t worth keeping the car protected to have such unsightly yellowing film.
Over the years the technology has grown by leaps and bounds and even though the film has gotten more expensive, it actually last up to10 years or longer! It has also gotten much better in terms of flexibility which allows skilled installers to make the installs nearly invisible. The other feature of the material is that instead of blocking rocks by being hard, the film is soft and able to absorb and disburse the impact! While PPFs main job is to protect the vehicles paint, it’s flexibility and self healing features help it to stay looking great as well! We have tested the various films available and we have found that STEK offers the best of these properties to achieve the longest lasting and best looking installs!
Interior and Glass Protection
Ceramic Tint for the windows can help the interior more then any other feature. Most tint blocks 99.9% of UV rays which can damage and discolor plastics and fabrics over time. The Ceramic tint that we use blocks up to 95% of the IR (Infrared) heat that comes through the glass. While this makes it much more comfortable to enter the car on a hot day, it’s also much better on your cars various interior materials as well.
There are several other products that can offer other types of protection against spills, dryness, scuff marks and so on… between products like Leatherique, Ceramic Pro and PPF we can offer significant protection for all of the interior surfaces.
We will be offering impact protection for windshields soon, feel free to inquire for more updated information
We know this is a lot of information, we will be happy to break it down for you to show what really works best for your needs.