By Stephen Macharia
Globally, cars are more than just for transportation – they are an extension of identity and pride. The need to maintain cars and keep them as good has expanded the car detailing market. The automobile world has evolved, and Kenya is on the cusp of this exciting transformation, making it easier to keep the car shining bright.
Ceramic coating, an automotive paint treatment, is fast becoming the choice for Kenyan motorists looking to keep their vehicles in spotless paint condition. This long-term nanoscopic protectant is shaking up the car care industry. It offers motorists a fresh layer of defence against paint wear and tear.
Although relatively new to Kenya, ceramic coating has existed for a long time. It traces its roots to the aerospace industry of the 1970s, where it started as a solution to safeguard military and commercial aircraft from extreme temperatures, corrosive substances, and UV rays. Today, it is making waves in Kenya, with a growing number of firms offering ceramic coating services.
To delve deeper into this phenomenon, AutoNews Magazine visited Detailers Kenya, a player in the Kenyan ceramic coating scene. This writer sat down with the company’s Managing Director, Mercy Remour, who quit her job in the United Kingdom to introduce ceramic coating to the Kenyan market. An enthusiastic advocate of car detailing, Remour shed light on the wonders of ceramic coating.
“Ceramic coating is a shield, protecting your car’s paint from blemishes, and damages, and prolonging its cleanliness,” Remour explained. “After application, the vehicle gains an enduring glossy shine while staying resilient against environmental factors, including harmful UV rays.”
So, what are the tangible benefits of ceramic coating? It offers extra protection against various environmental factors, including sunlight, hard water stains, and even bird droppings. The coating safeguards the paint from scratches and peeling caused by mild road conditions, such as encounters with road stones.
However, Remour emphasized that not all vehicles are equal, and each requires a tailored approach. “We consider the car’s paint condition and size in pricing. Our services start from Kes 50,000 for one year of protection, going up to Kes 110,000 for a five-year safeguard.”
Beyond the promise of a scratch-free finish, ceramic coatings are celebrated for their ability to repel dirt, dust, and other contaminants that haunt vehicle paints. “We introduced ceramic coating to Kenya in 2020, and since then, other players have joined the fray,” Remour said. “Motorists need to be cautious of counterfeit ceramic coating products out there. What distinguishes us is our expertise and utilizing top-of-the-line products.”
Remour’s dedication to quality service has paid off – this year, her company, Detailers Kenya, clinched the title of “Best Car Detailers in Kenya,” as awarded by the Automotive Awards.
But how does ceramic coating really work? Its scratch-resistance claims are often overstated. While ceramic coating may repel some minor scratches, it does not make your vehicle entirely impervious to the damage.
Also, improper car washing techniques or automated car washes can still create swirl marks on the car’s surface. To get the best results, Car Detailers apply the coating manually.
Ideally, car owners should apply it shortly after purchasing their vehicles, as it requires minimal preparation. For cars that have weathered the elements, a thorough paint correction and buffing precede the application to ensure a pristine surface. This process ensures every part of the vehicle receives the protective embrace of ceramic coating.
Applying ceramic coating is an art, not just a task. It requires skill and a trained eye to ensure no part of the car is missed. The coating process typically takes around eight hours, and then the vehicle needs two days to cure. The entire process takes three days. It is advisable to refrain from washing the car for seven days to allow the coating to bond securely with the paint surface.
As a mark of confidence in their work, Detailers Kenya offers a warranty to guarantee satisfaction. According to Remour, the company has seen very few client complaints since its inception. Beyond ceramic coating, the firm also specializes in paintwork and runs a garage that handles body and engine repairs.