Does Ceramic Coating Protect Against Rock Chips?

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When it comes to maintaining the pristine appearance of our prized cars, protection against the elements is a top priority. Rock chips are among the most common nuisances that can mar the beauty of a vehicle’s paint job. In recent years, ceramic coating has gained popularity as a potential solution for safeguarding automotive finishes. But does ceramic coating protect against rock chips? 

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In this article, from the expert detailing professionals at OCDetailing in Lumberton, NC, we will delve into the world of ceramic coatings and explore their effectiveness in preventing rock chips.

What is the ceramic coating?

Ceramic coating is a cutting-edge solution for automotive paint protection. It involves the application of a liquid polymer to the exterior surfaces of a vehicle, forming a chemical bond with the factory paint. The result is a durable and transparent protective layer that shields the paint from a wide range of contaminants. Its advanced nanotechnology properties enable it to create a hydrophobic surface, which means water and other liquids bead up and roll off effortlessly. This not only makes the car easier to clean but also enhances its visual appeal, giving it a head-turning glossy finish that lasts for an extended period.

What are rock chips?

Rock chips, also known as stone chips or road chips, are small damages or imperfections that occur on a vehicle’s paint surface when rocks or other debris are thrown up from the road and impact the car at high speeds. They are a common occurrence, especially when driving on highways or roads with loose gravel or debris.

Rock chips are not only unsightly but can also pose a risk to the integrity of the vehicle’s paint job. When the paint is compromised, it exposes the underlying metal to the elements, making it susceptible to rust and corrosion over time. Moreover, the damage caused by rock chips can decrease the resale value of a vehicle if left unaddressed.

Does ceramic coating prevent rock chips?

Ceramic coatings are highly effective in providing a protective shield for a vehicle’s paintwork, but they are not foolproof against rock chips. Rock chips commonly occur when small stones, pebbles, or other debris are propelled into the air by the tires of other vehicles, road construction, or natural elements, and then collide with the surface of the car at high speeds. The impact can result in small chips, scratches, or even dents on the paint surface, compromising the pristine appearance of the vehicle.

While ceramic coatings offer a durable layer of protection against light abrasions and minor impacts, their hardness does have its limitations. The nano-ceramic particles in the coating create a strong bond with the factory paint, providing an added level of defense against common road hazards. It can withstand the impact of small stones and debris to some extent, thanks to its ability to absorb and disperse the force of minor impacts. As a result, ceramic coatings are effective in preventing minor scratches and swirl marks that might occur during routine driving.

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However, it’s essential to understand that ceramic coatings are not designed to withstand the force of larger rocks or heavy debris that can lead to more severe rock chips. The sheer velocity and size of such objects can overpower the coating’s protective properties, causing damage to the underlying paint layers. Therefore, while ceramic coatings offer excellent protection against day-to-day wear and tear, including minor road debris, they cannot provide an absolute guarantee against larger and more forceful impacts.

Despite their limitations in preventing rock chips, ceramic coatings are a valuable investment for car owners. Their hydrophobic properties make cleaning easier by repelling water, dirt, and grime, reducing the chances of contamination that could lead to paint damage. Additionally, the enhanced UV protection helps maintain the vehicle’s paint color and finish, preventing premature fading and oxidation caused by prolonged exposure to the sun.

Can you apply a ceramic coating over rock chips?

It is essential to apply a ceramic coating on a clean, smooth surface to achieve the best results. Trying to apply the coating over existing rock chips or scratches may not be as effective, as the coating needs to bond directly with the paint to create a strong protective layer.

Before applying the ceramic coating, it is recommended to address any existing rock chips by seeking professional touch-up paint services or dent repair. Once the surface is restored to a smooth condition, the ceramic coating can be applied, providing better protection for your car’s paintwork.

Read more: How Long Does Ceramic Coating Take To Cure?

How do I protect my car from rock chips?

While ceramic coatings offer some protection against the elements, it is wise to implement additional measures to safeguard your vehicle from rock chips. Here are some tips to consider:

Maintain Safe Following Distance

Keeping a safe distance from the vehicle ahead can reduce the likelihood of rocks and debris hitting your car.

Avoid Construction Zones

When possible, try to avoid driving through construction zones where loose gravel and debris are common.

Install Paint Protection Film (PPF)

PPF is a clear, thermoplastic urethane film that can be applied to vulnerable areas like the front bumper, hood, and side mirrors. It offers an extra layer of protection against rock chips and other road hazards.

Drive Cautiously

Being cautious on the road and anticipating potential hazards can help you avoid unnecessary damage to your vehicle.

Where can you find the best ceramic coating services in Lumberton, NC?

If you’re in Lumberton, NC, and looking for top-notch ceramic coating services, look no further than OCDetailing. Our team of skilled professionals specializes in applying premium ceramic coatings to protect your car’s paint and enhance its overall appearance. By visiting OCDetailing in Lumberton, NC, you can rest assured that your vehicle will receive the care and protection it deserves.
OCDetailing is located at 2725 E. 5th Street, Lumberton, NC 28358. To book your appointment, give us a call at 910-816-0352 or bring your vehicle down to our location for advice on the best package for your vehicle’s needs.