The finishing.com Hotline: Serious Education ... plus the most fun you can have in metal finishing. Ted Mooney, Webmaster
Teflon coating for a car/automobile, page 4
Ed. note: Enjoy this very long thread as you wish, but be warned that you will not find brand name comparisons. Time proved that it simply couldn't work and we had to remove all the brand names. Sorry! If you want brand-to-brand comparisons you'll need to find them at AAA or Consumer Reports or some other independent testing service.(2007)
Anybody who claims that their PTFE/TEFLON coating works to protect paint is full of S**t. Dupont has loads of cash for lawyers and hardballs individuals that call them on their poor quality products. It involved itself with a car care manufacturer at the start of 2004. They are now putting Teflon in anything and everything they can think of. Even tire shine. (I think that may be another hint as to the effectiveness of spray-on Teflon/PTFE. Who wants slippery tires?). I have been unable to find any independent testers positive testimonials regarding this range of products anywhere. I was less than impressed with any of the Teflon based products we trialed. In any case Dupont says the market for car care is about US$750M in North America. I guess they want a share. I think people don't know what to look for so they just buy whatever they are told to buy. There is only one product system that actually works as advertised up to 10 years, all the rest are just bs.Brian Hallaway
- Dubai, UAE
Ed. note: And . . . as they come around the rail . . . here comes the claim from supplier no. 999 that "my secret formulation works, and the other 998 secret formulations you just read about are bs" :-)
I have worked in an automotive component industry for 5 years now. I strongly believe that every manufacturer strives hard to improve the quality of the product produced in the most economic way. If TEFLON coating or whatever finishing process can really improve the quality of the paint job, car makers would have definitely done it thus obviating any 'post process' at dealer end. A dust free paint booth at the manufacturer's assembly line would be the best place to do such finishing work.
My advise, save your self few hundred or thousand bucks (depending on your country!) and buy a more functional item like car refrigerator or upgrade your music system!
- Bangalore, India
I have read a number of these posts regarding the use of Teflon on cars. One of the first problems is to define the terms that everyone is using. When we think of Teflon coatings, I think we are mostly thinking of the non-sticking surface that we see on our cookware. Manufacturers have long been "adding" teflon to there car care products with the creation of waxes and polishes that can resist and withstand all kinds of harmful attacks to our paint. We must consider the objective of being in business and that is to make money. This Teflon is added to so many things these days because it has such a track record from the cookware industry. Look in anyone's kitchen and you will find some pot or pan that has a Teflon coating as well as someone who will vouch for the performance of that pan. We have been mislead by manufacturers to think that this same process can be applied to our cars finish in the form of same paste or liquid wax/sealant. If you go to the web site of DuPont you can read how the process of Teflon is applied and you should clearly see that this is not possible. This is not to say that by adding the Teflon to waxes that some type of benefit will not be achieved. I don't know this for sure. What I do know is that you will not get this barrier of protection that your frying pan has. There is so much bad and erroneous info being passed around the world these days and this subject is certainly full of it.
I have been in the auto detailing business for the past 17 years full time and this is how I make my living. I have never sold my customers on the false sense of security that manufacturers would have you believe in the form of Teflon coatings. the car dealerships prey on our ignorance and our fears. We are ignorant to what really works, and we fear what will happen to our paint if we do nothing about it. This is a bad combination and a combination that is vulnerable to being taken advantage of. The manufacturers of car care products and car dealerships are riding the coat tails of DuPont Teflon and making big bucks on our ignorance.
What does work is wax/sealant products that are polymer based products. These products can be found at any retail location that sells car care products. Most manufacturers have their version of sealants that are polymer based products. These can be applied by yourself and will offer the same results as any manually applied paint protection sealant that auto dealerships apply. I would not waste my money on these dealer sold protection systems.
This is a subject that is very broad and encompasses way more than just addressing as to whether Teflon works or not.There are so many factors to consider when choosing a product to apply to your paint. I would seek the help and advise of a professional detailer; and one that isn't trying to sell you on their "Teflon Paint Protection System"! Darren Priest
- Brea, California
Here is a site that explains what a true teflon sealant is and how it must be applied to be effective: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4284668.html.
The tetrafluoroethylene monomer (teflon) must be combined with dispersion carriers, a fine abrasive, and a silicone compound. The key is buffing it to temperatures of approximately 150 °C to polymerize the teflon, and to continue buffing to assure that the silicone coating protects the softer teflon. The advantage of the teflon sealant over conventional waxes is its much higher melting temperature, which makes it more durable. I am considering it for a car I am about to purchase, because here in Minnesota, with temperatures that can range from -40 C to +40 C and with copious amounts of corrosive salt used on the roads in winter, the paint needs a lot of protection.
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
That's fine, Tom, and we thank you for it. But if the process is patented then only the patent owner can offer it and we are back, for the umpteenth time, to "my teflon works, nobody else's does", which is ridiculous to post on a technical discussion board in lieu of a technical discussion, and we've already had to remove a dozen such postings. Further, just because something is patented does not prove that it is of value (of course, I'm not saying that it isn't). Geez, some reliable testing organization must have tested this stuff at least once over all these years.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Greetings to all,
First of all thanks for such wonderful advise. Need your advise, I am planning to by new TATA SAFARI- DICOR by next week. Should I go for Teflon coating as dealer is charging Rs. 5000/-.
I stay in Delhi - India and can take good care of my SUV.
Post reading your suggestions all I need to do is to wash my car and apply wax at least monthly.
Please suggest as I am not planning to spend extra money.
Manager - Delhi - India
Hi all. I have no idea what to do - have a new Audi coming - to coat or not to coat?.
Its' a dark colour and I'm really worried about any swirly marks left from the application when it's done.
We had a dark car in the past and after a cut and polish the paint looked swirly and awful.....
please help!Narelle Davis
new zealand - Auckland, New Zealand
But after reading the above, Narelle, who do you want to offer this "to coat or not to coat?" advise -- the 100 people who feel that Teflon coating is a terrific idea or the 100 people who are telling you that it's a total waste of money? :-)
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
I bought a Santro Xing erlx about 2 months back.
I am cleaning the car everyday by using a soft wet cloth. I noticed that there are scratch marks all over because of cleaning like this. Why is this happening? What's the best way to clean? Does this mean that my car was not teflon coated? The dealer said he would do it but what's the proof that he has? How do I verify this?
Does anyone have any maintenance(cleaning) tips that you can give me?
Thanks in advance for your response.
- Chennai, India
I just purchased an 07 Jeep Wrangler. I just today took it to a "professional car wash company" here in the local area. For $99 they used an acrylic teflon sealant on my Jeep. It is applied just like a normal car wax after being washed however they Guarantee the finish for one year. It is supposed to protect your car's finish from acid rain, bird droppings, ect, ect, etc. If at any time with in the year you are not satisfied with the protection they will redo it at no cost. While this is the first vehicle I've ever done this to, I do know quite a few people that swear by it and their cars are always looking freshly waxed. The only up keep that is required is your normal washing a couple times a month. I hope this might help some people and I will try to keep the msg board updated as to my results over time.Eric Hafner
- Biloxi, Mississippi
Teflon coating to the car, especially a new car, is the best thing that I have ever had on my car. It is real.
I bought my car back in 1994. On the second day, a person knocked on my door asking if I would need a teflon treatment on my car. I said I just bought a new car so I wouldn't need such a paint treatment. He said that it was the BEST time to have the teflon treatment when a car was brand new. I was surprised to hear it. I talked to him and he explained how it worked. Unfortunately, I don't remember the details now. I remember seeing him "removed" the brand new paint on my car that scared me to death. He said not to worry as I would be very happy to see how it was like after he finished his work. In order not to see my new baby's paint all got rubbed off, I escaped inside my home until he finished the job. I was amazed to see such a shiny car afterwards. He said that if the car was old, there would have been a lot of stuffs on the paint that he had to completely take off before he apply his teflon treatment. He said that it was the treatment that was used on the airplane which says how sturdy it is.
I have had the car for 13 years, and today the car still looked like brand new, the paint is so shiny. Sometimes when I see it like a mirror, I wonder what happened to it that made it so beautiful that a mirror that had the reflection of the trees and the scenery around. Everybody thought I did something unusual to my car when in fact, as what that guy told me that all I had to do was to wash with water and nothing else - no soap and no wax. He said that if I wanted to use soap, it was okay but it was not needed. I sometimes use soap if it was really dirty. But I never had to use wax because teflon was strong and shiny like a mirror, what can wax do on it? Unnecessary. It saved a lot of hassle on my side.
That guy said that he would come around after a year to provide services again. But since I moved, obviously he could never find me. Unfortunately, I didn't keep his phone number. He has a very good attitude as he was willing to drive one hour to come to my house to do the teflon treatment when I need to, as he said. I have had my car for 13 years. and I have never had any wax service. But my car pain still shines like a mirror. It just has this reflection that even new cars don't have. New cars may have fresh paint. But my car paint is like mirror. It not only shines, but also reflects the scenery around like a mirror.
Today I got a compliment again on my car. So I got online trying to see if I could find this guy again, and happened to see this website. After seeing some questions at this site, I decided to tell you my real life experience about teflon treatment on the car.
For he last 12 years I rarely parked my car outside. But this last 10 months, I have been parking my car outside in the sun here in Southern California. I was very concerned in the beginning. However, the sun hasn't done any damage to the paint at all as it still shines like brand new. Nobody believes my car is 13 years old already.
I hope to find that guy again as he travels to people's home to do such service. But if the dealer can offer such service, if that's the same as what I have got, I would take it. It's well worth the money.
- Valencia, California
Guys guys guys!
This discussion should not have been so long...Me and my cousin purchased Santro XO cars at the same time, my cousin opted for the "Teflon coating" benefit given to him by the dealer...but I didn't. One year down the line, both our cars look exactly the same...his car does not have more shine than mine nor does it have less scratches than my car. The only smart thing that I do is to wax my car every three months....but even my cousin does the same.
Frankly I feel the "Teflon coating" is nothing but just a hype which cost my brother approx. USD 200$.
- Pune, Maharashtra, India
Dealer Claims he had applied teflon coating How I Confirm it is done or not? Teflon coating is not done in front of me then How I Confirm it is done or not. Is there any test or identification criteria.Shashank Deshmukh
Engineer - Rudrapur, Uttarakhand, India
Good point, Shashank. And thank you, thank you, thank you!
Now I know exactly what to say when that sleazy car salesman keeps hounding me for this "extra" after we've settled on price. "But, Mr. Mooney, this is so important that we automatically do it to every car we get in. If you don't want it, we'll have to look around in other dealers' inventory, and write up special papers to put a hold on the Teflon coating . . ."
My response will now be: "Okay, I'll take it, but only after we double check that your applicator did not miss any spots and just slap car wax there. What test can we use? After all I'd much rather have a car that fades and chalks evenly than a blotchy one that fades and chalks in any spots that he missed!" :-)
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
February 9, 2008
I bought avenger cruiser bike from my cousin and it's a little worn out. I have given to servicing and there was some third-party guy asked if I wanted to go for the teflon stuff, I was very skeptic and told him very clear that I don't see a big change I will pay you only half.
When I went to recover my bike I was amazed to see all the metal parts were absolutely scratch less. It was shining like new silver. I'm not sure how long its going to last but he offered me two more free coats in another 6 months. He charged me only 10$ for that.
When you call about paint job. I don't think its going to bring any change to the color coz color might fade after exposed to sun. But scratches were lost after teflon stuff.
I've asked for the solution which he applied on it but he said its not available anywhere. It may be his business secret.
- Hyderabad, India
April 23, 2008
A couple of years ago, there was a company with an infomercial showing people shooting lasers at car doors with no damage, and spray painting hoods then wiping it off with this Teflon-based polish. The product was called [brand name removed by editor]. But after personally trying this polish side-by-side with so many others, I have found Meguire's Gold Class paste wax to be the best choice for clearcoat finishes.Greg Minkwitz
- Lewisburg, West Virginia
April 24, 2008
After reading all these entries, I have one suggestion to the original question. You need to buy [brand name removed by editor] Polish. You will not be sorry!Kevin More
- Savannah, Georgia
Ed. note: and so it goes . . . with one reader calling a product worthless, and another reader the very next day calling the same product unequalled :-)
June 18, 2008
I perform the coating process and it does work to keep organic water-based contaminants from adhering to the paint,glass and brightwork. The nasty soot,pollen,oil,acidic bug guts and acids do not get the foothold that I've seen on clean paint.I can take a spray bottle of clean water and a microfiber cloth and usually clean a car in 7 minutes and buff up a wax feeling shine with a terry towel. The key to PTFE longevity is in the surface preparation.I pretreat the surface with detailing clay and the paint is super smooth but not slippery and then apply the resin and it stays on for years longer than water soluble waxes.If you don't pretreat the paint, the Teflon [Dupont trade name] product just sits on top of whatever substrates are present and wears away quickly because it was never really sticking to the clearcoat in the first place. Barry
- Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
July 7, 2008
I am a car lover from Bhutan. My priceless car had been
"SCRATCHED". I would like to know whether "TEFLON" can remove the scratches from my car?
Can any one suggest me a remedy. What product can remove the scratch? So that I don't have to re-paint my car.
hobbyist - Thimphu, Bhutan
July 14, 2008
I purchased a Hyundai Santro car from a dealer at Faridabad who told me that the vehicle was already done with one coat of teflon and they would apply two more coats at an interval of six months i.e. on second and the third services. On second service, I asked for the second teflon coating. The man in the workshop simply applied a substanse like any wax and rubbed it mechanically to give a better shine. I was not ready to accept that it was teflon coating. I took up the matter with the sales people who tried their best to make me understand or believe that it was teflon. I have asked them to refund the money charged against this item. This is also an unfair practice to indulge in forced sale. So do not accept any item from the dealers which you do not really need or want to purchase.
- Faridabad,Haryana, India
August 21, 2008
This is for information purpose only.
I have taken a new car, dealer told to me initially they will give Teflon coating to the vehicle it will give protection from rain and scratches. While parking my vehicle, back door was touched to the cement pillar. I really shocked paint was gone and 5 scratches was observed on the door. This means Teflon coating will not work for preventing the scratches it may work for rains.
- Hyderabad, India
October 13, 2008
I have purchased a new car and the dealer has promised to get it TEFLON coating during the free servicing after two months from the date of purchase. But, in between, some scratches have come up on the surface. May I know whether TEFLON coating can protect against such scratches? Kindly let me know what are the benefits of TEFLON coatings on car?
No relationship - Hyderabad, India
January 3, 2009
Hallo and happy new year all together !
we do have something like Teflon Coating in Germany and I have to say it works great!
I'm a my dad and I have a paint and body shop and from that side I need to say that I don't like because it's a lot off work you have to put in a car if you need to paint it ! like you must sand it all the way to the metall and have to be really carefully to not get silicon or fisheyes !
- Frankfurt, Germany
June 9, 2009
I've read all the posts re Teflon coating, but this is 2009, so maybe [[brand name removed by editor]] is different than Teflon? Question remains the same... is it worth it?
Mom just bought a new Milan and was offered [brand name removed by editor] ($319) w/a 7 yr. warranty, no deductible. She said no - if her car isn't running down the road, it is in the garage.
I was offered the same deal, only w/a 5 yr. warranty because my Buick is a 2005. I haven't decided... need more info!
[brand name removed by editor] supposedly "chemically reacts and cross-links to the surface of the clear coat to form a three dimensional network... clear, tough and durable ceramic film adheres so strongly to the clearcoat that not even organic solvents can remove it". I've tried to search sites like this one to get more info, but not having much luck.
Any thoughts? New product or just a new name/gimic?
- Grain Valley, Missouri
June 9, 2009
Listen to your mother, Kate. She's trying to tell you that spending $319 on a five year old car to protect paint that has already been exposed to the elements for 5 years is foolish.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
June 12, 2009
I kinda thought so, but since my car isn't garaged, I had to ask. So, just keep 'er clean and waxed w/non-abrasive waxes (READ THE LABEL!) and I should be good to go. Any advice on which brand of wax or how often?
Thanks.. there is nothing like getting confirmation of one's instincts!
- Grain Valley, Missouri
July 6, 2009
Kate, can I ask who was offering the service for $317? I think the local Honda dealer is asking around twice that. Thanks!Wayne Richey
- Lees Summit, Missouri
September 7, 2009
I am about to buy a new Toyota Prius. The dealer is trying hard to sell me [brand name removed by editor]. Is it worth the $600 that he is asking?Bob Reuter
- Westerly, Rhode Island
September 8, 2009
Not to me. To me it's a $600 pig in a poke. Have him show you in Consumer Reports [link is to product info at Amazon] or AAA magazine or something like that that it's a good idea.
But you will find videos about this product on youtube.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
April 20, 2010
I know this thread has been quiet for a while, but I wanted to post this to hopefully prevent someone from wasting their money.
I work in the aerospace industry, building brand new airplanes. We have looked into protecting our paints with Teflon based products.
I have put a considerable amount of time into this and found that Teflon cannot be applied on painted surfaces without a curing (i.e., baking cycle). Many products offer a sealant that contains Teflon, put it on and let dry.... won't work. Others are better at confusing you, stating that they have a special cleaning solution that will leave a positive charge on the paint. Their Teflon is then negatively charged and applied to the surface. It will be attracted to the positive charge and bond to the paint. Leave it on and it will expand and permanently bond to the paint. Systems selling this type of product are the same, they buy their product from a company who have a patent on this sealant system (US patent 5081171). Although everything they say is true (I checked their cleaning solution and it does contain cationic surfactants, i.e., stearyl dimenthylbenzyl ammonium chloride, which is a positively charged hydrophilic molecule) and the Teflon they use is a anionic colloidal aqueous suspension, the Teflon will not permanently bond to the painted surface. In the patent, they mention they use a negatively charged hydrophobic colloid with Teflon resin particles of about 0.05 to 0.5 micron in diameter with a 6% by weight non-ionic wetting agent. The resin has a viscosity of 20 centipoises and a pH of 10.
I found this very product on Dupont website. It is TE-3875. Here is a paragraph from their product sheet "DuPont" Teflon® PTFE TE-3875 fluoropolymer resin is a negatively charged, hydrophobic colloid, containing approximately 60% (by total weight) of 0.05 to 0.5 ìm polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) resin particles suspended in water. Seen as a milky white liquid, it also contains approximately 6% (by weight of PTFE) of a non-ionic wetting agent and stabilizer. Viscosity at room temperature is approximately 25 cP . Nominal pH is 10.5."
Look at Duponts recommended processing for TE-3875" Typical processing temperatures are as follows: application at room temperature, drying at 110° to 120°C, surfactant removal at 250° to 270°C and sintering at 360° to 380°C. The exact settings will depend on the particular process conditions, such as speed and loadings, on the product architecture and the equipment used." this is for application on metal subtracts.
Now unless a car detailer can put your vehicle in an oven to reach these temperatures (they are in Celsius... not Fahrenheit), the Teflon will not cure, thus not bond to the substrate. By applying these products to your car, you are effectively depositing Teflon particles on your paint. However without a curing cycle, these particles will simply be washed off.
Now you may ask... why does the car still maintain a shine after I wash it... the Teflon must have adhered to the car. Right? Well the sealant contains Teflon, but also different types of acrylic polymers such as methyltrimethoxysilane, aminodimethyl polysiloxane, phenyl propyl silsesquioxame,... and others. These are put in to "improve gloss and durability of Teflon coating" however, they are actually responsible for the gloss and shine that "Teflon-based" products give. Now, since these are acrylics, they will last longer than waxes, but will eventually wear off. Thus you would need to reapply, thus the "top-up" that most dealers recommend you do every 6 months to a year.
Also as for the 5-7 year warranty... check it carefully because if you don't do your top-up the warranty becomes void. Off course this is because the acrylics in the Teflon selants will be gone in about 6 months to a year, and dealerships know this!... the time it takes to be washed off will depend on their quality and quantity present in the Teflon sealant.
Hopefully this helps you out a little. Although I don't provide an answer to all those that want a showroom clean for years without maintenance, I do provide you a way to save yourself hundreds of $ on products that work partially but are deceptive.
- Montreal, Quebec, Canada
April 28, 2010
I purchased a new Lincoln Town car in 1999. I had Ziebart apply clear coat on the body. After nearly 11 years the finish on the car looks like new. I only have had the car hand washed so there are no swirls from car wash machines. However, Ziebart is no longer in business in Texas. Does anyone know of another company that applies a similar product? Thank You
- Spring, Texas USA
January 6, 2011
I think Teflon coating is worth the money depending on where you live.
I own two cars, one in the US and a new one I just bought in India. Its a black colored Suzuki Swift. I too had doubts about the Teflon coating but I wanted to get it since Black needs good maintenance.
I saw the dealer apply the coating. First, they applied a compound and let it stay for half an hour and then used a polishing device to polish off the car. Honestly I couldn't tell the difference between the Pre and Post Teflon coating.
Coming to the protection, if your car gets scratched by a really sharp object Teflon wouldn't be able to protect it, I doubt anything would!
But a couple of days back, some damn neighborhood kid, took a stone and scratched all over the car. I was horrified at the sight but when I examined closely, the marks that I saw on the car were not paint scratches but Teflon/wax like scratches. I tried to clean it but they were not coming off easily which kinda explained how hard the coating stuck to the surface. Of course, it would need another polishing job or regular cleaning to get rid of the marks but luckily its not permanent.
So, thats my two cents. The car in India would definitely need some kind of protection but I never did anything to my car in the US other than regular cleaning and it still looks good.
- Vizag, India
January 10, 2011
It is amazing the protection levels promised are five to seven years with a reapplication every 6 months to a year. The factory paint is good for a minimum of ten years; if it goes before that the paint was not applied correctly such as contamination or something similar.
I have a White 1989 Cherokee that had the protective coating put on when new; sure it shined when new but for the last four or so years it has a constant issue with the coating peeling. How you remove that without sanding the whole vehicle and buffing it out I don't know. I also have a White 1987 wrangler without any dealer coatings, just washed every week or two, buffed out any light scratches from brush and stuff and waxed once or twice a year, it still looks sharp.
I feel dealer coatings and dealer waxes are a waste of money if you add up what you would spend over the years it would pay for a full body repaint once or if the paint goes. Will the car be worth such an investment as repainting after 10 or 20 years; maybe not but you will still be money ahead.
- San Diego, California, USA
August 3, 2011
We read a few articles about teflon coating, but I say that most of customers not inquire about proper teflon coating product in car dealer so we say to our customer please make proper inquiry before buying teflon coating. most people sell product in name of teflon and they use wax polish and they charge teflon cost so please I request you our customer
always demand warranty card and check first product that they use on your car as per my knowledge in 1995 first miracle company start this in India they use teflon good quality product but nowadays everybody says teflon and use other different quality. most of dealers say to customer we gave teflon coating free but they not give you free just they use simple polish. please do not go for free and buy genuine product and pay its cost.
car care product - mumbai, india
A. I know something about this. 13 years ago I lived in Puerto Rico and that is how I made my living. First a pretreatment is applied with a commercial buffer -- they're orbital; after that Teflon is applied the same way. I've done planes, boats, golfcarts, cars, about anything with paint. It is a great product and does what it claims. Most times you can get away with hosing off your car and dirt will fall right off provided you do not leave the dirt on too long. If you can find the chemical, rent a heavy commercial orbital buffer and do it yourself. Be sure to use a pad on the buffer then a rag under that for final polish. Good luck.Rickey Lopez
- Tampa, Florida, USA
November 6, 2013
Q. In 1990 I bought a black 1984 El Camino from a Chevrolet dealer in McMinnville TN. It was bought there new in 1984 and traded in 1990 for another vehicle. The one owner car had a lot of things done to it to keep it in good shape by the owner who was a contractor. Never met the man. On both door windows was a sticker that said painted with teflon paint. The car always looked wet and was very easy to keep clean. It seemed that nothing would stick to the surface. In the last few years the paint has gotten thin. I have searched everywhere for that paint and have been told that it didn't exist.Michael Scott
- Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA