Ceramic Coating on Wheels – Worth It or a Waste of Money?

One of the most important aspects of car care is proper wheel cleaning and polishing. So it makes sense that finish coatings have come to play an integral role in approaching this crucial process. One of these coatings, called a ceramic coating, has been all the rage in recent years among enthusiasts, but is it worth it?

Ceramic coating on wheels is worth the money as it will seal the finish on the alloy and give it a protective coating. This added layer is highly resistant to road grime, brake dust, and harmful chemicals, keeping your wheels more resistant to regular wear and making them much easier to clean.

This article will cover when and why a ceramic coating on your wheels is worth the money and discuss why it’s not right for some people.

Is Ceramic Coating Worth It for Wheels?

Ceramic coating is worth it for high-end wheels on expensive cars as it will protect them from corrosion, oxidation, and other environmental damage. However, given the high price, protecting regular wheels with a ceramic coating is not necessary.

Some key benefits of ceramic coating include:

  • Ceramic coating makes wheel cleaning much easier.
  • It’s very resistant to chemicals, so it can withstand harsh cleaning solutions. 
  • Ceramic coating will keep the wheel shining for a long time. 
  • It’s ideal for aluminum wheels, as the alloy is a very lightweight metal and vulnerable to corrosion.

Ceramic coatings have been used for years in industrial applications to protect metal parts from corrosion and wear. However, this technology was recently made available to consumers in an easy-to-use kit form.

One way to apply ceramic coating is with a liquid solution consisting of nano-ceramic particles that are applied and baked onto the surface at high temperatures (the exact temperature required depends on the grade of ceramic used). 

How To Apply Ceramic Coating at Home

More commonly, ceramic coating is applied with an applicator and allowed to dry before use. Car enthusiasts can purchase kits and apply the coating themselves in very little time, with minimal experience.

The steps are as follows:

  • Remove and wash the wheels thoroughly, including the tires and rims. 
  • When totally dry, go over each tire and rim with a cleanser to remove any wax or old sealants. 
  • Open the kit and wrap the sponge with the provided cloth.
  • Apply the product to the cloth-covered sponge and carefully rub it into the rim. 
  • Work in sections, leaving the product to sit for around one minute before buffing away with a clean microfiber cloth.

Check out this video for a full tutorial on how to do it yourself:

Following this procedure, it becomes an integral part of the surface. The liquid ceramic dries and cures to form a hard, glass-like finish. 

According to a paper written by B.Rother and A.Mucha, it is best to apply a ceramic coating by ‘Electron Beam Evaporation.’ With e-beam evaporation, the coating is vaporized with the use of an electron beam in a vacuum chamber. Once in this state, they begin to precipitate and finally coat the surface of anything in the chamber with them. 

Given that this is not suitable for everyday use, ceramic coating is usually applied to the wheel with an applicator and then left to dry for a few days in a warm room, as described above.

The Cost, Time, and Process of Ceramic Coating for Wheels

A ceramic coating is supposed to be applied by professionals, as they have the right tools and necessary experience. By choosing this method, you know it will be applied correctly and that it will last.

The cost of ceramic coating is anywhere from $300 to $800 or more per set of four wheels. You can expect the entire process to take up to six hours, not including the time it takes for the coating to cure.

That may seem ridiculous for most people since you can buy new rims if your current ones are ruined by rust and corrosion. But, ceramic coating is supposed to be worth the cost because it will protect your expensive wheels for years without any maintenance on your part (besides washing them once every few weeks).

The Benefits of Ceramic Coatings on Wheels

A ceramic coating can provide several benefits if done correctly and professionally on wheels made from metal or plastic. 

The most important benefit is its protection against high temperatures and extreme weather conditions – both summer and winter. A properly applied ceramic coating will keep your wheels from degrading or oxidizing, and it will also help keep brake dust and other dirt particles from sticking to them. 

In addition, a good ceramic coating can also increase the shine of your car’s wheels, making them look new for longer.

All in all, if you are looking for a way to protect your car’s wheels from the elements and make them look shiny and new for longer, then applying a ceramic coating might be worth considering.

Does Ceramic Coating Work for Wheels?

There are plenty of pros to using a coating – it can protect your wheels against scratches and chips, keep them looking new for longer, and makes them much easier to clean. However, there are also a few drawbacks that you need to be aware of. 

Ceramic coating on wheels works very well and prevents all kinds of debris from sticking. This protects the wheels and makes the cleaning process much easier and faster. In addition, ceramic coating ensures the wheels will be more protected against damage that can occur when driving. 

The debris that comes into contact with your wheel and breaks it apart is stopped immediately and prevents any further chipping or breaking, either in a straight line or across the face of the wheel.

The coating also works very well to ensure that you won’t have to deal with brake dust accumulating on your wheels. This is because there’s no heat generated by friction when braking like there would be if you didn’t coat them over.

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The Disadvantages of Ceramic Coating Your Wheels

There are some downsides to using a coating on your wheels. The disadvantages of ceramic coating on wheels include:

  • Requires a professional – They make color changes impossible to perform yourself at home and also require professional application and removal, which can be expensive. 
  • The cost – The product itself is relatively expensive compared to getting a good wax job on your wheels or rims.
  • Not ideal in wintery conditions – Ceramic coating may not work if you live in an area with harsh winters or other conditions that can damage the coating within just a few weeks. Line 1

For daily drivers, the ceramic coating may not be the best option because of the price, but for expensive cars with high-end wheels, these kinds of coatings are perfect. If you decide to try out one of these kinds of ceramic wheel coatings, make sure to check with local laws before getting one professionally applied. 

Many states have regulations concerning how much iron oxide can be used in the ingredients, which may complicate things for some people. For example, California has restrictions on this kind of coating, though they only apply to applications that will end up being sold. 

Ceramic Coating Kits 

As mentioned, there are some kits on the market that allow you to apply a ceramic coating to your own wheels. 

These can be a great option if you want the benefits of a professional application but don’t want to spend the money. They also give you the ability to reapply the coating as needed, which is something that you can’t do with a professional application.

When looking for a ceramic coating kit, make sure to find one that is specifically designed for use on wheels. There are a lot of different kinds of coatings on the market, so it’s crucial to find one that is meant for this type of job.

Some things you may want to look for when choosing a kit include: 

  • The quality of the ingredients – The ingredient to look for in the ceramic kit that actually does the protecting is called polyaspartic. It’s a clear, odorless liquid that is painted directly onto the wheels of your vehicle. 
  • The kit’s ease of use – Most kits only require a few steps to complete the application process, and most of the time, you won’t need to use any specialized tools. Just make sure to read the instructions carefully before getting started.
  • How long it will last The lifespan of a ceramic coating on wheels can vary depending on how often it’s used, how well it’s maintained, and the type of coating used. In general, though, you can expect the coating from a kit to last anywhere from six months to a year.
  • Any warranty included with the kit – Most kits include a warranty, but it’s important to read the fine print before you buy. Sometimes, the warranty only covers defects in the product and not how long the coating will actually last.

You can get these products in either a professional or an at-home version, and they may be applied by hand or with a drill attachment. A ceramic wheel coating can last anywhere from six months up to two years, depending on how often your car is driven, the type of terrain it’s exposed to, and other environmental factors.

Here are a couple of things you should keep in mind before applying a ceramic wheel coating:

  • Ensure the wheels are free of debris and brake dust before coating them; any dirt or grime on the surface will affect how well the coating adheres. 
  • Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions exactly since application methods can vary depending on the product.
  • Once your wheels are coated, it’s essential to take care of them properly in order to maintain protection. 
  • Washing your car regularly – especially if it’s been driven through a muddy area – is key, and you should avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning products

Does Ceramic Coating Prevent Brake Dust? 

Brake dust is a common problem for car owners and one that can be difficult to solve. The tiny particles created when brakes are applied can quickly coat wheels and other surfaces in a thick layer of grime, making them look dirty and lowering the car’s value. While there are several products available to help remove brake dust, a new option on the market is a ceramic coating for wheels.

Ceramic coating does not prevent brake dust from occurring, but it stops the brake dust from burning into the wheels. When applied to wheels, the ceramic coating forms a hard, durable layer that helps keep brake dust and other contaminants from adhering. 

Ceramic coatings have long been used to protect car surfaces from the elements, and they are especially popular for use on car exteriors. 

How Long Will Ceramic Coating Protect My Wheels?

A ceramic coating on your wheels can protect against dirt, grime, and brake dust, each of which may harm the finish of your wheels. But how long will it last? 

Ceramic wheel coatings will generally last between 12 months and three years. The amount of time depends on a few factors like the type of coating used, weather conditions, and how often the vehicle is driven.

Once the coating starts to wear off, it’s important to re-apply in order to maintain protection. Brake dust can be very damaging to wheels and can cause them to rust, so it’s essential to take measures to protect your investment. 

A good ceramic coating will help keep your wheels looking great for months at a time.

How To Extend the Life of Ceramic Coating

Cleaning ceramic coated wheels should be easier thanks to the coating’s inherent chemical resistance properties. The coating allows for quick-release cleaning of brake dust, road grime, and other contaminants that commonly build-up on wheels after driving.

To preserve the appearance of your rims, it is necessary to keep them clean with regular washes using soap and water without applying any harsh chemicals or abrasive brushes that could damage the coating. 

Be sure you never use any harsh chemicals or metal brushes on your wheels, as these can damage the coating and lead to rust. In wintery conditions,  it’s also essential to make sure salt and other ice-melting chemicals don’t come in contact with your wheels, as they can erode the coating over time.

These conditions may require you to occasionally clean your wheels with a brush and soapy water to remove any built-up salt and dirt.  You may even want to re-apply a coating of the ceramic treatment every few months.

Using these tips will help you maintain your wheels, thus extending their durability and enhancing their appeal to car lovers for many years.

Key Takeaways

Ceramic coatings help to prevent brake dust from adhering to your wheel or other parts of your car. In addition, the ceramics in the coating help protect against brake dust corrosion and environmental damage.

Ceramic coatings are:

  • A clear, protective finish that can be applied to any auto surface, including paintwork, glass, metal, and plastic.
  • Worth it for cars with expensive wheels.
  • Great for car owners who want their wheels protected but can’t afford a full detail with a high-gloss shine on all of the surfaces.
  • Not worth it for daily drivers with cheaper wheels.


Jan-Lucas Ganssauge
Jan-Lucas Ganssauge