Glass coating for cars: Here's everything you need to know

Updated Oct 15, 2020 | Same topic: Automotive FYIs
What is the glass coating for cars and how can it protect my beloved vehicle?

In the quest to keep our precious cars in tip-top shape, many have turned to several possible solutions. There are simpler ones like buying a car cover or regular car washing.

Then there’s the usual regular coat of wax. A lot of elbow grease is involved, but using car wax provides a temporary layer that protects your car’s paint. But then there are the more expensive, semi-permanent means of protection like ceramic coating and glass coating.

A picture of the very rare Mazda 323 GT-R.

Imagine, you just bought a very rare Mazda 323 GT-R. Of course, you'll want to protect it, right?

As its name implies, ceramic coating uses a coat of ceramic material to protect a car. Many are familiar with ceramic coating, and it’s very common. But what about glass coating? Is it really glass? And why is it more expensive than ceramic coating? Let’s answer those questions.

What is a glass coating for cars? Why might it be better than ceramic coating and car wax?

When one thinks of glass, you’re probably picturing the clear, brittle material used to make your car’s windshield and the windows in your house. If we get technical, however, glass is defined as a vitreous solid made by rapidly melting material. As a result, it is made out of particles that are arranged randomly.

Now glass coating and ceramic coating might have the same composition and have the same randomly arranged particles. There are, however, some differences. For starters, the ceramic coating is an older technology.

It was developed in the 1970s, and it's significantly easier to apply than glass coating. Glass coating for cars, on the other hand, bonds more thoroughly with your car’s paint.

It sticks on it on a molecular level and does so immediately when applied. In comparison, the ceramic coating needs to be heated up first, and therefore there will be a greater window for mistakes to occur. And boy, making a mistake in applying ceramic coating might require removing the entire coating altogether and repeating the entire process.

A person applying glass coating.

Glass coating is applied like this. Also, it dries faster than the ceramic coating

Due to the tighter molecular bond, glass coating is better than ceramic coating and it just beats car wax altogether. It offers more chemical resistance, protection from oxidation, and UV protection. On top of that, a layer of glass coating is both harder and thicker than a layer of ceramic coating.

This means that it is more durable and it protects your car’s paint from light scratches and paints swirls. Like ceramic coatings, glass coating for cars can also be layered on top of each other to provide more durability, hardness, and longevity.

Because of glass’ randomly arranged molecules, a glass coat tends to be less smooth than ceramic coating. Also, its rougher molecular surface means that it doesn’t have the hydrophobic properties that are present in ceramic coating.  

A picture of a man pouring water on a car with glass coating.

Do note though that some brands of glass coating are at least more hydrophobic than plain car paint or wax

If we compare glass and ceramic coating to wax, then the wax is the lowest in the car protection hierarchy. It’s less permanent and will need continuous work to be maintained. Sure, natural carnauba wax will work for a while, but it does not have the longevity and durability of ceramic and glass coats.

However, that doesn’t mean that glass coating doesn’t need maintenance. In fact, one still needs to clean your car regularly. It is however much less labor-intensive than a mere wax job.

>>> Related: Glass coating vs Ceramic coating: What’s the difference?

How long does glass coating for cars last?

If properly applied, a premium glass coating brand can last as somewhere between six months to a year. In comparison, some premium ceramic coating and diamond brands are known to last from two to three years depending on the driver and natural conditions.  

A picture of a man waxing his car.

Also, not everyone has the patience to apply car wax on the regular

My car now has a glass coating. How often do I need to wash my car?

One popular myth floating around about glass coating for cars is that it offers 100 percent protection from corrosive materials like dead insects, bird poop, tree sap, rotting tree leaves, etc. This isn’t true. In fact, one has to remove these immediately. Letting them sit on the coating for a long time might even damage the coating.

Typical car glass coating costs in the Philippines

Like ceramic coating, the cost of glass coating will depend on the size of the car. If you’re a Honda owner, then lucky for you because Honda Philippines is offering a certified glass coating. If you’re buying a brand new Honda Civic, City, Jazz, BR-V, HR-V, or Mobilio, it’ll cost Php 14,000. Larger cars will cost around Php 16,000.

Regular prices from detailing shops are much pricier. It will hover from Php 18,000 to Php 20,000. Larger vehicles and premium packages with more glass coating layers can cost up to Php 70,000.

Glass coating for cars: FAQ

1. Is it advisable to coat a car’s glass coating with wax?

Answer: Applying wax on a glass coating or ceramic coating cannot protect the coating. As such, it is useless. The better alternative is to apply another coat of ceramic coating on top.

2. Is it advisable to DIY my car’s glass coating?

Answer: Applying glass coating can be difficult and mistakes will cause unsightly imperfections. As such, we highly advise that you leave it to the professionals instead.

3. Is glass coating 100 percent scratch proof?

Answer: No, a glass-coated vehicle is not completely immune to scratches. Plus, improper washing will still cause swirl marks.

4. How long will glass coating last in a car?

Answer: A properly applied glass coat will last up to a year. Ceramic coating, with proper care, can last longer up to three years.

5. Do I still need to wash my car if it has a glass coating?

Answer: Yes, you still need to wash off the dirt, grime, and possibly corrosive gunk that collected on your car. Moreover, you still need to apply proper washing techniques.

For more articles on car maintenance, keep reading here on Philkotse.com.

Author

Cesar G.B. Miguel

Cesar learned how to drive a car years before he got his license. Today, he's still looking for that perfect '90s Japanese coupe to drive into the sunset while listening to Crazy Little Love by Nuage. Also has a thing for badass off-road vehicles and weird engine swaps.