Ceramic coating has become extremely popular in car communities, but it’s mostly for protecting the car’s paint. Lately, many people have started applying ceramic coatings to their wheels. But is it worth it? Today, we’ll go through the most common questions people have about wheel ceramic coatings and will also share with you our opinion on whether applying a ceramic coating to your cars’ wheels is worth it or not.
We’ll also show you some alternatives, so make sure to check out the whole article.
Benefits of Ceramic Coating For Car Wheels
There are three main benefits of ceramic coating for car wheels:
- Easier maintenance
- Better appearance
Easier maintenance. The ceramic coating acts like a barrier between the wheels and the environment, keeping all the dirt, dust, and grime from sticking to the wheels. That way, all that dirt is much easier to wash away, even without using hard-stiff wheel brushes, and it’s especially true when talking about brake dust and particles.
Better appearance. Ceramic coatings make the surface perfectly smooth, which improves the appearance (shine and gloss) of painted surfaces such as wheels. If you have some shiny black wheels on your vehicle, the ceramic coating application will shine them up like never before, and they’ll look like new.
Protection. Very often, due to environmental factors but also mistakes made when washing cars, wheels get scratched, faded, or oxidized. And while most people don’t care about wheel scratches too much, if you’re a car guy and lover like us, you do care about it. Ceramic coatings can also prevent some minor scuffs, scratches, and fading caused by UV and heat.
Longevity and Maintenance of Wheel Ceramic Coatings
Most ceramic coatings for wheels will last about 1-2 years. Some of them are even claimed to last up to 6 years, but it’s in ideal condition. It depends on how often you drive your vehicle. We think that ca. 18,600 miles (30,000 km) is how long most wheel ceramic coatings will last.
Maintenance of ceramic-coated wheels is pretty straightforward; just make sure to follow some basic guidelines:
- Pre-wash the wheels with a pre-wash spray and rinse with a pressure washer
- Apply a mild wheel cleaner to the wheels
- Agitate the area with a microfiber wash mitt or some gentle wheel brushes
- Rinse the wheels
- Let them dry (you can also dry them with a microfiber drying towel)
Long story short, you should avoid any harder scrubbing of the wheels, and you should let high-quality chemicals do the job.
Cost of Application
Most detail shops will charge you around $200 to ceramic coat the face of the wheels, and if you want the barrels coated as well, that’ll probably cost you $400 or more because the wheels will have to be removed.
If you decide to ceramic coat your wheels by yourself, it’ll probably cost you less than $70, depending on the product you decide to apply. So, if you want to save a few bucks, we highly recommend you do it yourself. However, if you’re not experienced in doing such things, paying a certified detail shop to do it is a much better choice.
Alternatives to Ceramic Coating
If you don’t want to pay a higher price to protect and shine your wheels, there are some alternatives to ceramic coatings:
- DIY Ceramic Sprays
Sealants are extremely easy to apply to wheels, and most of them can be applied directly with a spray, while you’re washing your vehicle.
Waxes are a bit harder to apply, but they’ll give your beautiful wheels an outstanding shine, and even ceramic coatings can’t beat it.
DIY Ceramic Sprays offer better protection than sealants and waxes and are pretty easy to apply, but they are much more expensive. And, of course, they can’t be compared to professional ceramic coatings that require a proper application.
However, the biggest downside of sealants and waxes for wheels is that they won’t last long, especially because they’re not as resistant to high temperatures as ceramic coatings.
Final Word: Are Wheel Ceramic Coatings Worth It?
If you’re still unsure whether you should ceramic coat your wheels or not, here’s our answer.
Ceramic coatings for wheels are undoubtedly worth it for your vehicle if you want to protect and shine up your car wheels. While there are some great alternatives to ceramic coatings, none of them aren’t even close to ceramic coatings when it comes to the level of protection, durability, and longevity.