Well, well, well… Do you want to install a ceramic coating on your car to make it look fancy and to protect its paint? That’s great! But then, you are left wondering how long for the ceramic coating to cure and how long your car is going to be out of commission.
Worry not, fellow citizen (I actually have no idea where you live). I will answer your question and more.
If you want to know how long it takes for a ceramic coating to cure and when it is safe to drive your car, what you should avoid doing, and more – grab your favorite cup of coffee and read on!
Does Ceramic Coating Cure in Weeks?
People who want to shield the paint on their cars usually choose ceramic car coating as their preferred form of paint protection. How long does it take for a ceramic coating to cure?
Most people think you must wait many weeks, but this is only the case on some occasions!
Usually, we are looking at the 1st 24 hours when you should keep the car garaged and not drive it at all. You want to avoid water, tree sap, bird droppings, bugs, and anything really that would contaminate the paint of your car until the ceramic coating has hardened.
Then you are looking at the full week or sometimes longer (read the product description as that time may vary). During that week, it is safe to drive the car, but avoid driving at highway speeds and offroading if you can. Also, don’t wash your car – at all. After the week is over, do your 1st wash on the ceramic-coated car. Abide by proper ceramic coating maintenance guidelines.
What Is The Cure Time For Ceramic Car Coatings?
Ceramic coatings come in a few distinct varieties, and they all cure in various ways. While some take effect immediately after application, others may take several weeks to acquire their ideal hardness and defense.
Typically, 90% of the cure for ceramic coatings is reached in approximately 72 hours! However, it’s critical to remember that a complete recovery would require up to four weeks. It is preferable to avoid applying any pressure or blows to the coated area during this period; for example, refrain from washing your automobile with a high-pressure hose.
Once it has properly cured, your ceramic coating will have a much longer lifespan, and you’ll enjoy it for many years. The hard surface will have a high gloss shielding the paint from environmental hazards like rain, excess sunlight, and bird droppings.
It can save you money by preventing rust and other weather-related damage to your car and safeguarding the exterior paint job!
What Are Your Options While The Ceramic Coating Cures?
If the ceramic coating has yet to cure properly, I advise you not to use your car. Please keep it safe in a garage whenever possible. Keeping your car indoors is particularly crucial during the winter when surface ice formation can harm your coating.
Try only to drive farther than is required if you must use your automobile during these periods. Also, when parking, keep it away from other cars, in the shade, and out of the rain.
The Ceramic Coating Curing Process
The curing process depends on the first 24 hours after coating your car. The new coating is fast-solidifying, but your vehicle is still secure to drive.
It would be best if you avoided all of the following:
- Corrosive materials
- Hard mineral water
- Automated brush cleaning
- pH-High or pH-Low car shampoos (pH Neutral only)
- Avoid parking near trees
- Avoid parking near other areas where the coating could get contaminated by bird droppings
Suppose any of the aforementioned comes into contact with your coating. In that case, you should spread a thin layer of sealant over the affected area and then remove it with a microfiber cloth that has been cleaned and dried thoroughly.
Your ceramic coating will continue curing for the following two weeks to reach its maximum 9H Hardness potential. It would be best if you avoided the same things mentioned above during this time.
If your car has dust, moisture, bird droppings, tree sap, or other contamination build-ups, rinse it with fresh water, gently hand wash it with a pH-neutral car shampoo, and then dry it thoroughly with a premium microfiber detailing towel. During this time, avoiding any items with detergents or an unstable pH level is crucial to prevent the coating from eroding.
What Should You Do After The Ceramic Coating Has Cured?
Once finished, you should wash your automobile utilizing the two-bucket approach roughly once a month. Avoid using anything abrasive since it will harm the ceramic covering, such as polishes. Keep your car out of the sun when it’s damp to prevent issues with the coating.
Coating your car with a ceramic coating is one of the greatest ways to improve its appearance and protect your investment. A ceramic coating is the best type of finish protection for your vehicle because it outperforms all conventional waxes and sealants in terms of longevity, performance, and look enhancement.
However, without sufficient upkeep, a ceramic or graphene coating may deteriorate more quickly and lose its advantages sooner. The simplicity of washing a car with a ceramic coating is one of the many advantages of this form of car paint protection.
Here are some general guidelines if you want to maintain the performance of your coatings over time:
- Maintaining the high gloss and water-repellent properties of your ceramic coating requires a hand wash around once every two to four weeks, depending on how often you wash your vehicle.
- Using a wash mitt and two buckets, one with clean water and the other with soapy water, hand wash using the “Two-Bucket Method.” Both should have grit guards on the bottom to prevent abrasions from being caused by hard impurities.
- Use only soaps with a neutral pH. When you use a soap that isn’t pH-neutral, your coating is exposed to harsh detergents, which might cause it to break down and shorten its lifespan.
- If your ceramic coated car is completely clean, and you notice the coating performing a bit worse than it used to, you can revive the hydrophobic properties of your coating by either using a topcoat coating or a ceramic spray coating. That extra layer will revitalize the existing ceramic coating.
- Every three to four months, do seasonal maintenance on your coating to guarantee optimum performance and long-term durability. Apply a sealant as a coating topcoat to improve and renew the protection, aesthetics, and performance advantages of your graphene or ceramic coating following a maintenance wash with your pH-neutral car shampoo.
- If you want your coating to look nice and dandy, avoid water spots and streaks, and avoid washing in direct sunlight. Also, a good general idea is to avoid high-volume brush washes if you don’t want to or can’t wash the car yourself. Limit yourself to hand washing or touchless car washes.
- Use microfiber drying cloths without risking abrasion during drying. Use a few edgeless, high-pile microfibers. Alternate between using one to soak up most of the water and a second to dry the car completely. Don’t use too much pressure; let the towel do the work instead.
- Microscopic impurities like dust particles and other environmental particles can, over time, become entrenched in the surface of your car as your coating heats up from daily use and sun exposure. Your coating’s look and capacity to fend against impurities like water and dirt suffer as a result. You should clean the exterior of your car at least once a year.
- The metallic impurities in your paint, especially the bottom and rear of the car, is iron dust. You get it from breaking. You can’t really remove braking from the equation, so another really good idea is to use a pH-Neutral iron remover on the surface of your car. Spray it on and wait a bit. Usually, the iron reacts with the chemicals, and the liquid turns purple. Then use pH-neutral soap and the two-bucket approach to give your car a maintenance wash three to four minutes later.
WARNING!A clay bar MUST NOT be used on the coated vehicle. Because they are abrasive, clay bars will remove the coating.
The coating, once installed, will be fully cured in a week. Read the instructions on the product because that time can vary depending on the product. But generally, if you want to drive the car, you are ready to go after about 24 hours.
Make sure to avoid any water until then, and have the car garaged to avoid any unexpected rain, bird droppings, and tree sap (the three horsemen of the apocalypse when it comes to ceramic coating; dunno what happened to the 4th one). I can’t tell you how many ceramic coating installations get ruined because of this.
Also, during that first week, don’t wash your car, and avoid automatic car washes like the plague – in fact, if you see one, just hit the gas pedal – the police will understand.