Once you decide to purchase a car, your car dealer might ask you about a lifetime warranty for paint protection.
The car’s already nice and spiffy, so you don’t see the reason for getting additional protection. And what is a lifetime warranty for paint protection anyways?
Some car dealers claim that paint protection can last up to 10 or 20 years.
But does paint protection even exist? Can your car be protected forever?
Read on to find out the answers to these questions.
Defining Paint Protection
The car industry classifies the protection of automotive parts into three categories: waxes, coatings, and sealants. These three products offer a layer of protection that covers your car paint. They also have different properties, weaknesses, strengths, and durability.
Most professional detailing companies consider these three types of products when referring to paint protection. Before coatings existed, sealants were the most common product used for paint protection.
Sealants are artificial chemical products that protect your car from outside dirt by linking together and forming a tight seal on your vehicle. On the other hand, ceramic coatings are chemical polymer solutions that are alternative to wax and are applied mainly by hand. The car technicians use ceramic coatings to essentially “water-proof” your car.
Two significant industries offer paint protection: car dealerships and professional detailing companies. This article will discuss car dealerships since the majority give their cars to them for repair and paint jobs.
Car Dealership Paint Protection
Customers who purchased brand new cars would be offered a lifetime warranty for the price of up to $3000. Of course, the cost can go as low as $1000, depending on the type of vehicle.
If you were to go to a car dealership and sign the paperwork for the purchase, a salesperson would often come in to talk about paint protection. They would mention this exorbitant price that could scare a buyer into purchasing their supposed lifetime warranty.
After all, if you paid a lot of money for your car, would you want the paint to fade quickly?
People might immediately agree to their set price when they are put in a tight spot. But first, as a buyer, you need to think and question the cost of paint protection.
Most car dealerships use words like Ceramic, Quartz, and Coating to describe your car paint protection product. But car dealerships often Primarily possibility use synthetic polymer sealants and barely do any work to decontaminate the car’s surface or adequately remove any swirl marks.
So why don’t car dealerships properly apply products for paint protection?
Mostly because of difficulty in application, the possibility of permanent streaks, and time consumption (usually 2-3 days). Indeed, the car technician needs to be meticulous when applying ceramic coatings since there’s a high risk of damaging the car if he’s not careful.
Other reasons might include prep work and product costs. Sometimes, a car dealership isn’t trying to trick someone, but the buyer gets what they’re willing to pay for.
What Do Car Dealers Mean by Lifetime Warranty?
Not all car dealerships are involved in this paint protection marketing tactic. But there are a few dealerships and product sellers who collaborate to churn out money from customers.
The lifetime warranty name is pasted on the product to give it more value. Otherwise, if they told you that the cost of a $30 paint protection sealant is $2000, would you buy it?
These coatings would most probably last six months, and then you have to head to the dealership again. So bear in mind that such schemes exist, and you need to pay extra attention when purchasing your car.
What Do Lifetime Warranty Contracts Look Like?
Car dealerships that use such contracts print out many pages, so the customer would not have time to read all the points. But sometimes contracts can come in a few pages mentioning the following topics:
- Warranty cover is valid if the Approved Applicator has issued a Warranty Card and registered within 30 days of application.
- The car exterior paintwork must be maintained and washed regularly.
- Warranty is excluded when the owner has deemed careless, negligent, or fails to correctly maintain the exterior painted surface.
- Yearly Inspections must be carried out by an approved applicator within 30 days before or after the last service date to maintain the lifetime warranty.
- Once the 5 years have transpired, the warranty will be terminated.
A lifetime warranty does not mean the product lasts a lifetime but up to 5 years. Also, annual inspections are suspicious since why does your car need to be inspected every 12 months? Is there a need?
After all, to prevent paint degradation, according to carcover.com, the most helpful thing you can do is buy a car cover. That’s why when you’re ever presented with such contracts, make sure to ask them the actual number of years you’ll be covered.
Are all Paint Protection Packages Frauds?
The longest-lasting coatings on the market last from 2-5 years. Coating effectiveness depends on how much the car is used, how it’s maintained, and what products are used to wash and clean it.
A much vital factor to consider is how well the coating was applied in the first place at the car dealership. You can have the best layer in the world, but it will not last if the detailer didn’t prep the paintwork properly or misapplied the coating.
No coating on the market that lasts longer than five years. And whoever tells you that their coating is somewhat unique, remember not to fall for their convincing words.
Also, most paint protection packages offered at car dealerships are sealants that last 6-12 months (or sometimes even less), and aftermarket coatings offered by professional detailers last around 2-5 years.
In the end, any paint protection offered with a “Lifetime Warranty” has a contract filled with that many clauses and loopholes is not worth your time and money.