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New car add-on protective treatments, any experience?

Thank you for confirming what most people seem to think. It has been interesting to read everyone’s experiences, both good and bad. Since we are not all that car proud (!) we decided not to purchase these add-ons.


You’ll find lots of posts in other Forums. One of the companies(mentioned in a Post ) under its parent South African company and an affiliate company was prosecuted in WA by Consumer Protection in an Australia wide action for selling bogus electronic rust protection, a couple of years ago. Fact: So called ceramic coatings are commonly applied by professional detailers - they’re OK per se and last longer than waxes etc. Respectable detailers advise the coatings will only last a year or two at best - not a lifetime as the dealerships try to tell you. On a new car, at the most for a $30 bottle of coating plus half a day of wipe on, wipe off you should pay $500. Not $2000, or more as is commonly asked. But you’ll need to re-apply every year or two. The dealerships will never give you the “Limited” warranty wording until you’ve signed the contract and collected the car. If they did and you read it, you would never sign up. The warranty is not worth the paper that it is written on, which is fine, as long as its openly presented to you - but its not. Commercial lawyers have constructed the warranties in such a way as to provide every “out” possible at their disposal.For example, one warranty excludes failure of the ‘clear top coat’ which is precisely what the coating is meant to protect. Top coat IS part of the paint system on your car and IS what will fail first under for example solar radiation. The same warranty will allow only spot damage caused by for example bird or bat droppings - not UV radiation. You have to prove that you’ve washed the car in accordance with their maintenance schedule - which is impossible to do. You have to register a claim within 30 days of its appearance - The product manufacturer makes it near impossible to claim but they might only get a couple hundred dollars per application for the “rights” to supply the product to the dealership. The dealership might get a couple thousand dollars off you, for a $500 treatment, but there’s no comeback on them as the warranty is with the product supplier. And here’s a sting. If you believe the sales blurb of ‘lifetime’ protection(note, if you sell the new car, the warranty ceases anyway), and you don’t then wax(seasonally) or apply other protection periodically, you risk harmful weathering of your car paint after a few years- commonly happens after three to five years. For some reason the dealership misrepresentations haven’t been able to be nailed or exposed by the consumer authorities - its legal - just. If anyone out there is about to buy paint treatment from a dealer, call the sales manager in and ask him/her to give you a copy of the limited warranty and explain its limitations. No sense though walking out and going to another dealer - most of them are in on it. They get $1k to $2k extra margin out of a sale.


Thank you for providing such a clear explanation which neatly encapsulates our hunch as to what we felt about the hard sell. We are glad we didn’t succumb to the jargon, and hope other potential ‘victims’ benefit from your knowledge.


I’m a big advocate for the right paint and fabric/leather protection after doing the research on the various types and products that are right for you. I wouldn’t pay for it through the dealership as all you are doing is introducing the “middle man” - the dealership who is making money for basically an introduction.
You should be able to save several hundred dollars on what the dealership is quoting you by going direct. Most reputable applicators are mobile and will come to you.
The last three new cars I have bought have all had a new product called "Ceramic Pro"applied to the paintwork, carpets, leather interior and wheels. A basic application cost around $700-900 for the package (paint/interior/wheels) however you can pay extra and get extra layers of the product put on the paint which I have in all three instances with unbelievable results. The extra layers give the paint an almost gloss glass appearance which given two cars were black just looks amazing. Two extra layers (so 3 in total) cost me $1300 all up which I was happy with and saved at least $700 than doing it through the Mercedes dealer.
The benefit of ceramic protection I have found is just find yourself a good brushless car wash and drive through and then just wipe off the small water residue with a micro cloth. A bit cheaper than a proper hand carwash and its only 5-10 minutes and you’re done.
The product definitely protects the paint against bird/bat droppings as these tend to eat into paint and are difficult to remove if left on for an amount of time.
The way I see it, is you’ve spent many thousands on a new car, an extra $1000 over the life of it is good value for the result. I would definitely do it again and receommend it-but do your research and read lots of reviews.

Same deal with window tinting- deal direct with the company/applicator and save at least $200+.

Hope it helps!!

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Nice story!! I’m in your camp…couldn’t be happier with the latest “Nano-ceramic type coatings”…big sounding technical words but the stuff is brilliant especially on black cars (which I swore I’d never buy) but since having this product applied I now have 3 x black cars!! I think I have problem now with black cars…

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My experience in some other forums on the same subject are that there are a lot of very honest hard working detailers out there who will tell you exactly what to expect from these coating systems. I guess there may be a few not so skilled and honest as well. Conversations such as these really worry the hell out of the professional detailers. And I can understand why, and some get very defensive.

A fact often not discussed, is that if you only intend to keep your new car for 5 years, why would you bother with any treatment at all, even old fashioned waxes. Modern top coats will generally last 5 years. OK, that doesn’t sound very nice for the used car buyer of your vehicle(I’ve had 4 second hand cars where the paintwork packed up a year or two after I bought them, probably for lack of maintenance) but the economic/commercial reality is once you’ve sold your car, its not your problem anymore.If you’re going to keep your new car for more than 5 years its a very different story – but applying some carnauba 3 or 4 times a year will probably keep your paint pretty good ???


Thank you for your reply. There’s lots of useful information which may reassure some who are more car-proud than my partner and me!
Our lovely new car will get a lick and a promise from time to time but we decided not to go with the extra protection. I already inflict my OCD tendencies about the home on my poor long suffering partner and am going to be more relaxed about our car!


@PhilT : Thank you for your offer of a product from an auto-shop. Certainly sounds like great value. Apologies that I have been offline since your kind reply. Too late now of course as we have paid out long ago.

@All4GoodService : Thanks for your nice response. Enjoy your almost perpetually shiny black cars. Ours are always red – a colour which the sun appears to fade quickly into a dull and awful-looking matte colour; and this duco protection has always prevented that from occurring, so we are very happy with the products. Perhaps we have just been lucky on each occasion.


HI All

I know its a very old feed but I felt it important to add my 10c.
I am car proud and I was very sceptical about paint protection, however, I am a convert, my car always looks clean even after it rains, and maintains that shine for quite some time. I have owned the car for two years from new and never had to polish it and the water still flows off the car when I wash it, as per all the adverts. With respect to the protection piece cant really comment but to say my car looks as good as the day I purchased it.

So whether you are a car proud person or not, you will benefit and for the sake of $2-3K then do it.


Welcome to the Community @julesmeister

Likewise, 2 years will tick over on 31 Dec. I wash mine about every 2 or 3 months, don’t do anything additional, and it looks pretty good to me. A run through a wash with the spray on wax and protectorants was all it takes. The water beads fine and runs off.

YMMV :wink:

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Our MY2015 Honda CR-V is 7 years old this month and we paid for the protection package when we bought it new in 2014, which from memory was around $1,400 for the package.

The white pearl paint does not show the dirt and it has never been polished, let alone professionally detailed, like our previous vehicles were, and my wife and I are no longer up to washing it, especially the high roof, so it generally just gets a complimentary exterior wash at the Honda dealer when it gets its annual service, whether it needs either of them or not, althought I did take it through an automatic car wash this year.


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Our Toyota Kluger is 18 years old, and has spent half of those years on coastal North Qld. It’s now in the south east.

Aside from a couple of washes each year with a regular car product it has had zero extra TLC. It has been parked in a garage or under cover (carport). Until recently the rain would still bead after a good wash. It received no special dealer add on treatments.

Is there a problem here with memories of older models and cut price finishing?
I could suggest the Ford Ute of similar vintage that has lived outdoors from Cairns to Alice and beyond may have benefitted from some extra investment pre-delivery. But being a Ford and still going, it’s not evident a more shiny outlook would compensate for all the other defects the paint cannot disguise. :wink:

Perhaps all vehicles are not created equal. Whether spending extra on a protection package is worth the cost? YMMV.


To revisit, the dealer packs have guarantees that usually require a reapplication every year or two, at the consumers cost. Not so different from an annual wax, except for costs.