The days when a coat of wax is all you need to keep your car shining like new are long gone. We sit down with G Guard’s Andy Koh to find out more about today’s trending methods – car coatings and paint protection films.
Q: Waxing your car seems insucient these days. Now, we have coating as well as paint protection films. What are the dierences between the two?
A: Coating is much thinner, similar to wax. The dierence is in the material.Coating is made from silica. It’s much harder than wax, and the bonding between it and the paint is much stronger. This translates to better durability and longevity. Silica also oers better water repellence. It’s a trend that is replacing traditional waxing.
Film is very dierent. The concept is similar to that of applying a screen protector on a mobile device. There are many kinds of paint protection film. Ours, for example, is invisible and has a self-healing feature. You’re more likely to see scratches and swirls on a car that only has a coating than one wrapped in film. The film is essentially another clear coat to protect the original clear coat. But it’s nearly twice the thickness of the paint layer and easily oers much more protection than coating. Of course, this comes at a price. Paint protection films are much more expensive, which is why many customers only apply film to the front end of the car. Those who can aord it wrap their entire car, basically making their car scratch-free.
Q: How do you maintain a car with coating or paint protection film applied? Can you wash it like a normal car?
A: You definitely need to wash it. Film can get dirty too. And you can just wash it off with the correct kind of cleaning formula, usually supplied by the company responsible for the film job.
There is more work involved in coating as it is not scratch-proof. Scratches and watermarks can be bued out but it takes time. And we usually reapply the top coat after the restoration.
Q: Is it common for over-protective car owners to apply both coating and paint protection film?
A: Yes, you do get customers who, after spending money on coating, feel the additional need to protect their expensive coating despite it being a protective layer on its own. Therefore, they apply another layer of film to lock the now-protected layer of paint. This is how fussy car owners can be nowadays.
This is more common among weekend cars and second cars. This process is not entirely necessary for
daily cars as it is dicult to completely protect a car that’s out and about under the sun and rain every single day no matter how much you spend. You don’t have to invest so much – maybe an inexpensive coating will do.
Q: Is yellowing a problem with paint protection films? Will there be any inconsistency to a car’s colour when the film is only applied to selected areas of its body?
A: It depends on the brand. You may be able to see dierences in colour with cheaper films which are prone to discolouration. Reputable brands can give you a layer that’s completely invisible to the eye nowadays.
The only cars which we might have a bit of trouble with colour inconsistencies are white cars. But the
dierences will be very minimal, if any.
This is why you should only send your car to a trusted brand. Dierent companies use dierent materials, formulas and application methods. Employee expertise also diers, which is why studying the market beforehand is very important. It helps us too – a customer who has done his homework doesn’t need much explanation or convincing. Our products speak for themselves.