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Discussion Starter #1
The first thing I did when I picked up my black 2018 RTL-T last week was take it over to Ceramic Pro.
It was a two full day, three coat job that came with a five year warranty. They also did the front and side windows.
The result so far has been great. Water beads nicely and I'm not using my wipers much. (a couple days ago we got part of a tropical storm down here so that was a good test). Also got ceramic tints done all around and blacked out all the chrome on the truck.

The whole project was $1400 the bulk of which, $950, was the ceramic coating. Question is, is this something I could have done myself with the same or similar result?? Ceramic Pro is legit and I trust the guy who owns the local franchise, but I'm wondering if some of these off the shelf coatings are working out for people over the long term?
 

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Yikes. I've been into cars and detailing since I got my first vehicle back in '75. Over the last 45-years I've seen lots of 'miracle' paint care products making outrageous claims. IMHO ceramic coatings are just the latest fad which may be an improvement over previous paint care products but their primary benefit is how effectively they separate the car owner from his money.

In my opinion, if a vehicle is driven daily and exposed to the elements, then contamination and oxidation are unavoidable and paint surfaces will need to be periodically washed, clayed and polished to remove the contaminates and oxidation and then sealed with something to mitigate damage of future exposure to the elements and maximize shine and water beading. I don't think it's possible to use a vehicle as a daily driver and expect any sealant to last more than 6-8 months, one year max.

That being said, if you are happy with the results, then it was a good purchase.
 

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Having just done this process myself, I can say you did not waste your money. They are many things to consider cost wise when comparing doing this yourself and paying a profession. Do you have the tools and materials to properly clean and perfect the paint prior to applying the coating. The compounds, polishes, cleaners, pads, rags and lights needed don't come cheap. Unless you already have a stable of products and a polisher, you are looking at a couple hundred to get started. Next, do you have experience with paint correction and polishing? It is not complicated, but experience goes a long way. Also consider if you have a good area to commit to the project for 2-3 days? Do you have the proper lighting? The ceramic products that professionals have access to are typically better products that will last double what you can buy as a consumer. I have a friend that details for a living. Once he started adding ceramic products, he had to take a ton of training to get certified before he could even purchase the products. Plus, if anything goes wrong - you have a warranty. I probably spent $250 for products to do my truck. I already had the rest of the tools and products to do a full detail. I spent about 25 hrs in my own time, so you can easily add $500-700 in labor on top of the materials. The majority of what you are paying for when getting a coating is the experience labor to prep the truck so that the coating can be properly applied. For me, I enjoy this work and wanted to see for myself how it works, so it was an easy decision to go DIY.

Like you, I had my windows ceramic tinted. I have no clue how to apply the stuff, so I paid a pro $300 to tint the front 2 windows, the entire windshield and add a dark brow. Maybe, I could saved money, ordered the material and watched some you tube videos and done it myself. But I know me, I would have failed miserably, got super frustrated and end up pitching the material in the trash, only to have to pay to have it done right. In some cases, it is just better to pay for the service.

As far as whether or not ceramic is worth the cost. I think so. And on top of that, your truck now should look better than new. Plus you have a long term coating that makes cleaning your truck much easier. Same results can be had with waxes or sealants, but you will be repeating your efforts much more often. The Ridgeline is the first vehicle I've ceramic coated and so far, I'm very impressed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, when you put it that way.... Damn, I got a steal!! Before I did it, I justified the cost by looking at what I'd spend on getting the truck waxed 3-4 times a year. I'm not much for doing all that waxing and washing. Used to be and then one day I was just over it. :LOL:
 

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It's not a waste if you're happy with the results. Pretty much counts for anything we do. In a few years, if the product holds up to expectations, you'll know you have a winner. If it doesn't, you won't buy it again. Either way, your job is to come on here and let us know :)
 

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Sounds like you went to a reputable shop that did good work. I got my windows tinted...all of them...15% on the front two, and 80% on the windshield and the other factory tinted windows. I wanted maximum heat rejection. It cost me about $600 to get it done, but the shop that did it is well known for doing excellent work. I was not disappointed.

They also do ceramic coating and told me it would be over $1000 to do the job. I think you paid the going rate.

I'm old school, so I tend to wash, clay, paint correct, and coat (using a wax or other coating). It takes a solid day to do it, but I sort of enjoy it.
 

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Lol. I'm really old school. I take my truck through the drive through wash a couple times a year. I used to be into the all day wash, wax, and detail. My vehicles sure looked good for a day or 3. Or until the rain came.

I finally got over it and just do the drive through thing now. ;)
 

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Lol. I'm really old school. I take my truck through the drive through wash a couple times a year. I used to be into the all day wash, wax, and detail. My vehicles sure looked good for a day or 3. Or until the rain came.

I finally got over it and just do the drive through thing now. ;)
When I was younger I washed my car every week and waxed it about once a month. I don't have time for that now. I typically give them a good detailing in the fall and in the spring. Outside of that, it's too hot or too cold to fool with it and they get the touchless car wash.
 

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What happens to the ceramic coat toward the end of its warranty? Does it get patchy, peals or just dissipate?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Lol. I'm really old school. I take my truck through the drive through wash a couple times a year. I used to be into the all day wash, wax, and detail. My vehicles sure looked good for a day or 3. Or until the rain came.

I finally got over it and just do the drive through thing now.

Just make sure it's touchless especially if it's black!
 

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Lol. I'm really old school. I take my truck through the drive through wash a couple times a year. I used to be into the all day wash, wax, and detail. My vehicles sure looked good for a day or 3. Or until the rain came.

I finally got over it and just do the drive through thing now. ;)
Yeah, every quarter I'll wash and wax. Otherwise, it's the Auto carwash. I don't even care about touchless. I drive the truck everyday, and I drive it on roadtrips up one side of Texas and down the other. Brush swirls in ten years are the least of my worries.
 

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The first thing I did when I picked up my black 2018 RTL-T last week was take it over to Ceramic Pro.
It was a two full day, three coat job that came with a five year warranty. They also did the front and side windows.
The result so far has been great. Water beads nicely and I'm not using my wipers much. (a couple days ago we got part of a tropical storm down here so that was a good test). Also got ceramic tints done all around and blacked out all the chrome on the truck.

The whole project was $1400 the bulk of which, $950, was the ceramic coating. Question is, is this something I could have done myself with the same or similar result?? Ceramic Pro is legit and I trust the guy who owns the local franchise, but I'm wondering if some of these off the shelf coatings are working out for people over the long term?
you got screwed ,I do my own coating .its better n wax but it wears out ,like all things
 

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No you didn't get robbed. I have a close friend with the best clearbra/ceramic coating shop in my metro. His opinion and he's been doing this 20 years, first on aircraft, is that clearbra is the better choice but when cost is a heavy factor, ceramic coat the entire thing. I think you did just fine.
 

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When I bought my '19 Odyssey, we looked into ceramic coating the whole van. Cost was $1300 and it was a 3-yr warranty. This was back in Aug 2018 and the price was quoted from a shop in NY.
So I would say you got a good deal.

Now, spend more, and get the truck covered in some paint protection film.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Now, spend more, and get the truck covered in some paint protection film.

They wanted another $800 to clear bra the bumper, hood, fenders and rear views. Now it's too late because the paint protection film won't adhere over the ceramic coat!
 

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Not seen a professionally applied ceramic coating but recently clay barred my 2017 RL and put two coats of Meguiar's Hybrid Ceramic Wax. My wife came out and said it looked better than new and she never even notices when I wash the thing! I was impressed by this off the shelf wax, so I can imagine a pro application of pro products looks mighty sweet.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
On my black Ridge, it looks deep and rich as can be. However, since it was pre-owned, bringing it to that level of clean you can see more clearly some of the bigger imperfections (if you are looking for them). That's not to say there are a lot of them. I didn't have them do a total paint correction because I really don't mind a few imperfections as long as it has a nice layer of protection going forward.

It's been raining hard a lot lately and there's been a ton of grime getting kicked up on the road. I can say it is staying very clean for a black vehicle under the circumstances. VERY pleased so far!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
you got screwed ,I do my own coating .its better n wax but it wears out ,like all things
Take a look at post #3 here. If you consider the time and resources I have to do the job right, I don't think I got screwed.
 

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