We check out and review the new Auto Finesse Caramics Complete Protection Kit…
Ceramic coatings are big business nowadays. In fact, over the past few years they’ve taken the detailing world by storm. Many professionals offer this premium service and, if you’re luckily enough to be in the market for a new motor, the dealer will be more than happy to charge you a fortune to have the paintwork sorted too.
But what’s all the fuss about? The simple answer is that ceramics offer the ultimate in surface protection. Think of them as a super-advanced version of traditional waxes or sealants, with even more extreme durability, enhanced hydrophobic qualities and better UV protection. They’re not just for paint either, there are specialist products designed for glass, fabrics, leather and even specific kits for alloy wheels.
Invented in Asia around a decade ago, it’s the past couple of years where they have really blown up. Sometimes these are referred to as nano-coatings or glass-coats, but the basic idea is that they use silicon (or, more accurately, SiO2 – silicon dioxide), to add a microscopic layer of glass to surfaces. This offers plenty of gloss but, much more importantly, stops dirt and grime sticking. Some pro-detailers go so far as to call these sort of products ‘self-cleaning’, which means that, as you drive, grime will literally slide off the surface.
The downside of all this of course, is that the technology is expensive compared to traditional finishing products and LSPs. They also require plenty of effort and experience to apply properly.
But that’s exactly where Auto Finesse say their new ‘Caramics’ (can you see what they did there?) range is different. So, as it’s that time of year where surface protection is paramount, let’s have a little lookie…
What’s in the box?
First things first, and at the risk of sounding like one of those ‘Youtuber’ people, the packaging is spot-on. Before you even start, this product feels special, and that’s important when you’re spending your own cash. Open the box and you get… that’s right, four more boxes! Everyone bangs on about paint protection of course, but here you also get a separate kit for glass, wheels and interiors. It’s like a Russian doll for car nuts! Again, it’s nice that they haven’t skimped on the packaging here either, it would have been so easy just to lob everything in the box and let you work it out yourself. What’s also great is that each kit contains absolutely everything you need, along with a comprehensive instruction booklet to make life even easier. Importantly, these are all available separately too.
When you get to the business end, using the stuff, it’s clear that they’ve taken a different approach to many by giving the home market the bulk of the consideration. If you take the paintwork kit as an example, instead of a small bottle of product (where you have to mess about measuring out the right amount of drops onto an applicator), the coating comes in the form of ceramic resin wipes, each containing the right amount of product for a panel or so. If you can clean your hands after eating a Bargain Bucket using a KFC wipe, you know you’ll be able to use these.
The same sort of wipes are in the glass kit, and both the wheel and interior coatings come in an easy-to-use spray bottle. Each kit also contains prep-wipes (or sprays) and all the applicators you’ll need. They really are about as comprehensive as it gets.
I can’t help thinking that what Auto Finesse have done here is rather clever. Ceramic coatings are brilliant, there’s no doubt about that, they offer the best surface protection you’re ever going to get. Generally speaking though, the way in which most products have to be applied immediately makes them the reserve of professionals and the more hardcore detailing buffs. Even for experienced detailers, using a ceramic coating can be a daunting task.
What they’ve done with Caramics however, is really thought about making the process accessible to all. The unusual thing about this product is that it’s designed for everyone from the hardcore detailing nut, right through to the beginners. In fact, it’s arguably even better for those who don’t particularly get all excited about cleaning their car at all, the instructions and application methods make it dead simple and, once you’re done, you get all hardcore protection you’ll ever need for a whole year.
Ease of application aside, the Complete Protection Kit we’ve got here is seriously good value, but I also love the way each smaller kit can be bought on its own, a way of making the system even more appealing. Take my TT for example, the vinyl wrap means I won’t really need the paint protection, so I’d be more inclined to go for the wheel, glass and interior systems. Having to pay extra for a paint kit may have put me off. Some might prefer to just coat their wheels or interior, others might only be interested in their paint, so having the whole range available separately gives a good degree of versatility.
Most of all though, it’s almost impossible to mess these up. The only way they could have made Caramics any easier to use is if they popped around your house and whacked it on themselves. An epic product, and just in time for winter too.
In a nutshell: Easier than I thought, professional results, ideal for this time of year.
For more info see Auto Finesse
Review by Midge