Car Care / Paint Protection Discussion

For a new car straight out of a dealership - what can be done so the paint is protected for long?
I keep reading about sealants, ceramic coatings and paint protection films - are they worth it? And which one to go for? There's just so much contradicting information on the interwebs on this. The other questions around this on the forum are talking mostly about this for (slightly ?) older cars. Any other things that can be done from the get go so the car is better protected inside out - appears neat and well taken care of?

Mod: Updated title so all paint protection and similar discussion can belong in this one thread.


  • +11

    Really depends on you. Happy to spend the time at least twice a year to properly detail the car yourself then a quality sealant/wax will be fine. Prefer to just wash it once a month then ceramic coating is OK. Disregard the scratch and stone chip BS on ceramic coatings. This is pure fantasy. One downside many don't consider with ceramic coatings is they can't be paint corrected later without removing the coating which takes longer and therefore costs more and in an accident repair the coating is again removed and you'll need to pay more to have it reapplied.

    Whatever you choose to do, someone at the car park will slam their door into it within the first month of you having it.

    • the other downside to ceramic coating is that if it has not been properly cured after application you will continue to have scratches and stone chips.

      • +5

        You'll have scratches and stone chips regardless. Cermaic coatings can not stop this despite their fanciful claims. PPF has a chance of stopping much of it but has a limited life and is expensive to do a whole vehicle.

    • +1

      Whatever you choose to do, someone at the car park will slam their door into it within the first month of you having it.

      Exact reason why i never buy new vehicles, because If they get damaged I get hurt a lot

  • +11

    Keep it garaged, protected from the elements and accidents.

    • +14

      you mean don't drive it.

      • +1

        don't forget to bubble wrap it

  • Bought a 10 year old car that had ceramic protection from the factory I think, paint still looks amazing.

    I think some sort of protection was applied to the leather seats as well, still looks amazing too.

    I'm sure the owners also took good care of it.

    • +9

      I'm sure the owners also took good care of it.

      I can guarantee you this is the sole reason it still looks good. Cars don't age if they're looked after. I have a 24 year old car that still looks fantastic and the original leather is perfect.

    • +7

      Never heard of factory ceramic protection.

      The dealership most likely had it applied.

      • Yeah that's probably what happened. It was part of the original purchase price.

  • +3

    What car OP?

    Hyundai i20 - wouldn't bother
    Golf GTI - sure, why not
    Macan GTS - hell yeah

    • What about Hyundai Iconiq 5

      • +3

        Just rub it with a satin cloth. Generates static electricity which will charge the battery at the same time.

  • +1

    Put it in the garage and never take it out.

    But seriously, if you do a lot of driving it might be worth getting a clear vinyl wrap over the front of the car at least.

  • +2

    This thread might help

    Garage it, and touch it as little as possible when washing it. 2 bucket system with prewaah and blow dry. Don't eat in car

    Anyway after 6 months you wont care as you will get bumps, kerb rash, trolley scratches as you use it everyday

    Enjoy it while it's new

  • +4

    Didn't the ming moll help you out?

  • -1

    are they worth it? NONO

  • +2

    Get a screwdriver and scratch it. Then you don't have to stress about it getting scratched anymore

    • We did something similar (by accident obviously).
      Scraped a new car in the first week on a gate post; not worth getting fixed so left it as it was.

      • +1

        that first ding or scratch hurts the most, after that it's character

    • +1

      Totally agree with this! Cars are tools, they need some character and a scratch here and there doesn’t hurt.

      • +1

        Cars are tools,

        So are most of their drivers.

  • I'd get it done externally through a detailer.

    PPF if it's worth it to you. It will fail over time.

    Ceramic coatings will make it easier to clean, reduce risk of light marring and defects. Some offer good hydrophobic qualities.
    Ceramic coatings will generally need appropriate paint correction (yes, even if brand new) proper application and curing. PH neutral washing, maintenance with si02 coatings.

    I've detailed a number of my cars and I've finally had a go at doing my GR Yaris Rallye myself and I am pleased with the results and I know it had proper paint correction and application. The product is usually $120 but will cost about $200 all up if you buy a new buffing pad, towels, prep cleaners etc etc.

    Overall, worth it pending the money.

    For me, it's easier to clean. Hydrophobic qualities are great, I managed to correct the free pre-delivery swirls.

    Also to further inflame discussion, not all ceramic coatings are the same. I have had the 'premium ones' on my previous cars and funnily enough some of the normal ones have better workability, application and retention.

  • contradicting information on the interwebs on this.

    no there is no contradicting info about this. you should look up what each type is protecting.
    PPF protects from light scratches/rock chips, very expensive and is used on supercars/very expensive cars. ceramic coating bonds to the paint to repel dirt for easy washing not for scratches.

    for your tiktok lambo, i strongly recommend a full paint correction then PPF protection and with a ceramic coating applied on top.

  • +1
    • the clear coat was more expensive than that there shit box


  • +1

    Don’t bother wasting the money, it’s not worth it !

  • Depends on how much you want to spend.
    Have a conversation with your local detail-er and see what options they offer.
    Usually, you will still need to get the paint corrected (even if its a new car) and then you will have an option to choose from wax / ceramic coatings / ppf.
    Ceramic coating are more durable. but waxes offer a better gloss/shine for darker colors.
    PPF can provide protection against light scratched(finger nails etc).
    Also you will still need to maintain this.
    It is not a one time solution.

  • +1

    What car? As long as you don’t buy whatever snake oil the dealer offers you’ll be pleased with the results.

    IMO it’s not worth the money, except if you are going to continue to invest time and $ into maintaining it. Even then, maintaining paint without extra ‘protection’ will Give you a good result. Eg regular wash, park under cover when possible.

  • Ferrari?

  • +2

    I would use one of the over the counter Hybrid Ceramic Spray such as the Turtle Wax or Meguiars. I just used the Jay Leno's Radiant on my brand new car and it apparently last 6 months. i used a 1/5th of the bottle to do the whole car so it wasn't bad value and was really quick to apply. Super Cheap have a sale on the Turtle Wax etc at the moment.

  • +1

    Meguiars Ceramic spray in the blue bottle!
    Follow instructions…
    Then wash and follow again each time after the next wash!

    Get on the front foot, and look after it from the start - and your all set…

    The end!

  • I'd go with something cheap, quick, and easy so you actually bother doing it every few months. Because car's already shiny just do a liquid or spray on wax (easy to apply, 15 mins to do whole car then wipe off once dry) every couple of months and wash with wash and wax. Good liquid or spray wax = $20. Good wash n wax = $20. If it's cheap and easy you'll be motivated to do it every few months for minimal effort, good protection, and nice shine which is better than an expensive treatment that isn't mantained because too $$$ or time consuming. Doesn't have to be too complicated.

  • -1

    Contact a car specialist whom may provide you the right answers.

    • Or talkntou into an expensive waste of money.

  • Need to define what protection means to you " what can be done so the paint is protected for long? "

    • You should inspect the paint at the dealership irrespective on delivery
    • Then a simple wax (Meguiar, Bowden, Mothers, AutoGlym) will do the trick - follow the instructions do yourself no machine is need it
    • If you need pain correction (before wax) get a professional to do that.
    • That will protect the car against the weather, bird poo ( which must be removed), acid rain etc…
    • Than again if the car is outside you may need to do that every 2 months, if it is undercover, every 6 months

    As said before here, scratches, stone chips, if you need to protect against that, wrap may help to a point.

    Enjoy the car

  • My first ever brand new car came home with me at the end of last month.
    I've found myself buying a foam canon, two buckets, drying cloths, wash and wax, and a heap of other seemingly must haves for car washing properly.
    Just put Xpel PPF on the door sills.
    2 complete wash and full details since handing over that bank cheque.

    All my other 4wds previously, I've just sprayed with CT18 Truck Wash from a Bunnings garden sprayer, let sit and then a pressure wash when ever I remembered and could be bothered, after beach camping, mud slinging, bush exploring….

  • Merged from Ceramic Coating Recommendation for Vehicles

    The sun up here in far nth QLD is absolutely nuclear and my last couple of cars have had damaged paint due to me not being on the ball and letting the sun cook the enamel off them. Due to where I work parking my vehicles undercover during the day during the week is not an option. I was reading about the topic of ceramic polishes as an option to provide long lasting protection but as I nave no knowledge and the internet is a minefield of people trying to sell me stuff I was hoping someone might be able to shine some light on the topic for me.

    What are the best best brands and best types (are there even different types) of coats on the go that I can apply? What to expect? Is this even worth it? Any pro tips for putting the stuff on? Anything to avoid?

    Any helpful information will be appreciated thanks.

    • I haven't used it myself but Armor Shield ceramic coating seems to be an affordable DIY option that seems to work.


      else if you're on a budget this stuff seems to to do the job for <$50


      or go straight to aliexpress for the same stuff for $10

      • Two no name brands. The second one has a BS 10h hardness rating.

        • Reviews don't lie though ;)

    • +2

      If only there wasn't some way of looking this up…

    • Opti Coat seems to be the go to for all the bigger cars. Well, at least that's what I keep getting told on my car forums.

      • Dated and less popular now.

        Carpro, gtechniq, Gyeon are all forgivable entry level products.

        I did one GR Yaris in Gtechniq and one in Carpro CQuartz and found the latter to be much better.

        • Cheers, will do more research.

        • Is Carpro CQuartz a realistic product for someone without experience? How important is it to find dust free garaging to do it?

          The temps up here rarely drop below 22 this time of year, and that's early in the morning… it's hovering around 30-35 for pretty the whole day, is that an issue?

          • @illogicalerror: Very easy imo. I did large panels on a 28ish degree day. I have noticed where I've left a bit too much on. It's on the lower accessory trim portions of my partners car. It makes it look holographic. It won't be hard to cut down and reapply.

            I would not do it in the sun or on hot panels.

        • found the latter to be much better.

          In what way exactly? Better means a lot of things. Is it easier to apply? Does it look better when new? Does it last longer? Is there any difference in maintenance required?

          • @Euphemistic: Significantly more hydrophobic. Piano black sections look way deeper and resist filth easier. Much better with brake dust (The Yaris is absolutely crazy in this department). in terms of lasting longer. Not sure, it seems to resist bird shit better. I found bird shit immediately removed the Gtechniq.

            No, no difference in maintenance. Top up with silicone oxide spray ceramic coat of choice. I really like Nova jet

    • I like the look and ease of cleaning when vehicles are coated, but to be honest, I'm a little bit skeptical when it comes to how much sun protection a thin coating can really offer. Especially when it comes to the hot/cold temperature changes.

    • Ask Jonathan Banks

    • I have gone with Autoglym Ultra High Definition Ceramic Coating Kit - on sale atm at repco. Fairly happy with it.

  • Merged from Best DIY "easy ceramic" or "hybrid ceramic" coating for cars, ideally suitable for other uses


    I am not talking about the "classic" ceramic coating in small bottles which are a bit more like a proper painting job, but about the ones in big bottles which are applied more like waxes, they claim to be ceramic and sometimes graphene as well.

    There are a couple of modern Turtle wax and Mcguire products which are quite popular on here, which one is the best if I want to use it ideally on car and bicycle paint and also on car windows and shower glass?.. I understand that they may not work as good on glass so if it is not possible I guess two products recommendations one for paint and one for glass should be considered. I may use it on anodised aluminium surfaces and plastics/rubber as well.

    I am not into cars at all and not a detailer, just want to ease the washing process a little bit by repelling dirt, so I would not consider a product that requires pro tools, equipment or skills.

    • +1

      I’ve used quite a few, Mothers CMX is hands down the best.

    • You need to realise that ceramic in this sense is just marketing so what you're really looking for is the best spray sealant regardless of ceramic claims that's easy and convenient. In fact I do wonder about the long term health effects of those that do contain SiO2 (silica) given few who use it would wear a respirator when applying and breathing in silica does have known health concerns.

      IMO the best and easiest I've used is Bowdens Own Happy Ending but it does require a pressure washer and foam cannon to apply. For ease of application you can't beat a foam on and instantly rinse off application. The fact it's one of the best performers as well is an extra bonus. If you're willing to put in a little work then the outright best performer is their Bead Machine product. Plenty of reviews etc on Youtube, you just need to watch local channels that have access to Australian products.

      • +2

        Si02, thats why I avoid the beach /s

    • As an experiment I used Turtle Wax ceramic spray on my car's alloy wheels and as well as looking shinier brake dust doesn't stick to them anywhere as bad as previously.

    • Used both Maguires and Turtle wax hybrid ceramic sprays. Not bad last 3-6 months. Not sure which is better.

    • I've had a good experience with The Chem Guys sealant, which looks to be called Jetseal now.

      Not as long lasting as those "ceramic" coatings but longer than if you just waxed the car.

      I have been applying it about every 6 months and it makes the car really easy to wash, the dirt sort of sits above the paint so most washes off with very little pressure from the wash mitt. The water also beads on the car so when it has rained it dries fast.

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