Selecting the right type of protection for your vehicle

tata safari paint protected with rubber coating

New car owners are often overwhelmed with paint protection options. You have choices from a simple sealant to a Paint Protection Film. You could either do it in a couple of thousand rupees or do it upwards of a lakh. In this blog, we’re going to get down to the nitty-gritty of paint protection and figure out which option is best for you.

Why?

Do I need to protect my paint? Is a question that might have come across your mind, and rightfully so. Cars and bikes of yesteryear were doing fine without any protection on the paint, right? No. Paint degrades over time. The constant abuse from the heat, pollution, dust and other forms of contaminants take their toll on the paint. This process happens over time and is gradual, this is the reason many fail to notice it happening. Paint protection will protect your paint against most of the abuse and will help you in keeping the paint looking fresh for a long time.

What are the different ways to protect the paint?

tata safari protected

Wax

This is the cheapest and most basic form of protection for your vehicle’s paint. When applied correctly, it forms a protective layer on top of the paint. It gives the paint a glossy finish and also makes it hydrophobic. The hydrophobicity makes the vehicle easier to maintain. However, these characteristics of wax are short-lived. Within a month or two, the protective nature of the wax is gone! This calls for regular application and polishing of the vehicle. Every time the vehicle is polished it removes a very thin layer of the clear coat to remove and correct any defects on the surface, doing it too often increases the chances of cutting into the paint. This will require a repaint of the panel. For these reasons, it is advisable not to go for a wax.

Sealant

Sealant is just wax on steroids. It has similar protective properties but lasts significantly longer than wax. Usually for at least a year with good maintenance. When applied correctly, paint sealants will create a deep, high gloss finish that also protects the paint. The hydrophobic properties of sealants make keeping your vehicle in pristine condition a breeze. 

Who’s it for?

Paint sealants are the ideal choice for vehicle owners, looking to protect their paint on a budget. Similarly priced to wax, sealants offer a better bang for your buck. A sealant definitely won’t last as long or protect as good as a ceramic coating would but is an excellent choice when it comes to budget-oriented paint protection.

Coating

A coating is a liquid that is applied to the paint. After application, it hardens, forming a protective shell on the paint. Coatings come in different varieties and at different price points. In general, they leave behind a deep and glossy finish that lasts for anywhere from 2-5 years depending on the type of coating and maintenance. Coatings offer better protection than sealants overall, some premium coatings also help prevent minor swirls. Although they are a bit expensive they tend to pay for themselves over and over again, by drastically reducing the wash cycles which also reduces water consumption. 

Paint Protection Film

mahindra thar protected with paint protection film

A Paint Protection Film is an ultra-thin polyurethane film that acts as a sacrificial layer. This offers the ultimate protection when it comes to protecting your paint from scratches. However, PPF isn’t invincible. It offers excellent protection from everyday abuse, it offers protection from rock chips, protects against formation of swirls,  has Wolverine-like self-healing properties, and can last up to 10 years with good maintenance. PPF does have its share of cons like it doesn’t offer an increase in the depth or gloss of the paint, as coatings do, it’s not as hydrophobic, and is the most expensive form of paint protection. 

Conclusion

Every type of protection, have their unique list of pros and cons. The type of paint protection that’s right for you is dependant on multiple factors like where you park, your driving style, the place you live, how the car is washed/maintained, and much more. Contact ReflectOn Automotive, let us help you pick the right one for you. 

You must have noticed a pattern in the coating options we had discussed above. Good care and maintenance goes a long way, in increasing the lifespan of all types of paint protection. Negligence and bad washing habits will degrade the coating over time. 

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