Teflon coating for a car/automobile
An ongoing discussion from 2002 through 2013 and beyond . . .(2002)
Q. I'm a car enthusiast. I would like to know how one would coat a car with Teflon? As I heard that Teflon coat on a car protects the car's painted surface from the so called environmental damages and it's a scratch proof treatment it seems. Is this possible and is it being implemented any where in the world?
Regards,Rajkumar [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Hyderabad, AP, INDIA
Ed. note: Enjoy this very long discussion, but you will not find brands compared. Time proved that it led to shills posting with fictitious names, bashing other brands and posing as satisfied customers of their own brand :-) For brand-to-brand comparisons look to AAA or Consumer Reports or some other independent testing service.
This is the 3rd or 4th time this question has been asked, Rajkumar, but, sorry, I've personally never heard of Teflon coating a car. The only place the inquiries have come from (yet) is India, so I have no experience in it. Sorry.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
I would like to point out that Teflon coatings are done in cars (at least that's what dealers claim) in India. I checked out the Dupont site and found 2 links who offer such services in North America:
- Mumbai, India
Like other people I was looking for authenticity for the people who claim to Teflon coat car paints. From your remark, there are only two possibilities
1) Either you are ill-informed or
2) Teflon coating thing is a big joke.
Well honestly I am not an expert in the field, but I came across this page
[Ed. note: this URL no longer functions] thought it might enlighten you and other readers.
Do let me know if you find anything more on it cause I just bought a new car and was wondering if the cost is worth it.Drumil Modi
- Mumbai. India
For the record, Drumil, I've already admitted to being uninformed on the subject, not ill-informed :-)
I do know that the paint system on most new cars is the best finish money can buy, and I hadn't yet heard of trying to improve upon it with a Teflon topcoat until these letters.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Seems there is a lot of ill informed people on this topic. I have just ordered a new BMW 525IA Touring 2003 model, and it's paint will be Teflon (8% PTFE) coated in Norway. This to ensure a stronger coating and of course make it easier to keep clean. Car makers only use water based paints today (environmental regulations), and thus is less resistant to impacts/wear than before.
For car owners who never travel outside inner cities, or in countries where there is no rain/snow or bad weather this should not pose a problem, as there is hardly any sand, gravel, salt or other debris in the roads/freeways. But when you use your car everywhere, high speed driving and sand in your "face" will damage the paint, hence a Teflon coating is an improvement. It will make repaint a pain, but that is a cost the insurance company will have to deal with.
Perhaps this is unknown to other car makers, but BMW does so in Norway, as well as well equipped service providers. I get it for free, but otherwise it will cost USD 500.- It will need to be checked/updated once a year. It has a 12 month guarantee too!
This is a rather new approach, and the Norwegian BMW dealer just recently invested quite a bit of money for the equipment. The second BMW dealer has chosen to use a partner for this (due to the high investment costs).
Thanks, Morten. But let us know when you can quote an independent study! Car dealers here are forever ripping the customer off for window etching, undercoating, and extras of all kinds -- and the instruction we get from the independent consumer testing organizations like AAA and Consumer Reports is to "never agree to any dealer-applied extra". Teflon coating might prove to be an exception, but I wouldn't base it on a dealer claim, especially a dealer who says cars are water-base painted, when in fact they have an electrophoretic prime coat and a heat cured clear coat sandwiching any water-based or solvent-based paint they may have.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Hi, No Teflon coating is not a joke. I specialize in Teflon coating vehicles. yes it does work and yes it is an expensive process but the end result is well worth it. It protects the vehicle from tree sap, acid rain salt spray.
- united kingdom
To those with the eternal question: "To Teflon Coat or Not"
To give a slight insight to my knowledge on the subject, I have owned and operated an auto detailing company for the past 15 years. Needing to be competitive in the industry (and wanting to keep my personal vehicles in immaculate condition) I have stayed on top of many different products, procedures, and processes pertaining to the upkeep of ones automobiles.
Now understand that the companies claiming protection from the "TEFLON COATING" (usually applied by the dealers) is a tactic to increase their own bottom line. Understand that the dealer is there to make Money...and as much as possible whenever the opportunity arises. Not that I have a challenge with profit.
I have had several clients purchase new vehicles over the years, and have had the "TEFLON COATING" applied to their vehicle, thinking that the process would in fact not only maintain the beauty of their automobile, but would decrease the cost of upkeep over the life of the car. With personal, long term accounts of a "TEFLON COATED" automobile, I feel I can make an educated assessment of the procedure, and if it does indeed hold up better than a vehicle without.
Again, remember that I have a soft spot for that beautiful word "Profit" and feel that in this Great Nation we call America, that life would no longer exist without it (profit). That being said, if I could "TEFLON COAT" a car, AND it did what they (Dealers and Teflon Coating Companies) claim it does, I would find a company, or start one myself that actually performed the procedure to have the process done to all of the hundreds of cars I have direct ties to (not to mention my own collection of automobiles). I would charge the $300, $400, or even $500 that it cost to have this procedure done, make all of my maintenance profit in one day, maintain the "TEFLON COAT" ANNUALLY (which most companies will tell you is needed, and which cost another $500) to where I would never worry about the paint for the rest of the year (with the exceptional regular washing) and be a happy camper with much more "PROFIT"
In conclusion I feel the best and most effective way to maintain the beauty and over durability of you car is to wash it regularly (weekly). Wax it frequently (monthly). Most reputable companies in the automotive protection (wax) business make several good products.
Hope this helps. And Good Luck with whatever you decide to do.Robert Rutherford
detailing - Camarillo, California
I have been curious about the Teflon coating stuff too, and here in India, every auto dealer offers to do it. Be it a 4-wheeler, or a 2-wheeler. It costs about 0.5 to 1% of the cost of the vehicle itself. I resisted getting it done for my car, but on a recent purchase of a 2-wheeler, I decided to try it out.
I was lucky to witness the coating process itself, at the dealer's workshop. The guy came with a compound, which looked very much like the auto-wax, applied it over the vehicle, and left it for some 20 minutes. Then he wiped it with a cloth, and that's it. I asked him if I could get hold of one such tin myself and do it for my car. He said that there might be compounds available in the market, but not the same "quality" as what he used. Whatever that means...
I really am not sure if this is worth it. The general belief here seems to be that the coating prevents minor scratches on the surface, and adds shine. This is surely debatable.Venkatraj M.
- Bangalore, India
I live in the north of CANADA WHERE A LOT OF SALT IS USED ON THE ROADS AND ALSO A LOT OF ROAD REPAIR SO MY NEW GMC CAR HAS BEEN GIVEN THE GMC Sym-Tech PAINT PROTECTION WITH TEFLON JAN FEB MARCH 2004 AND LOOKING GOOD
LET YOU KNOW IN 2009 HOW GOOD IT IS!John Macdonald
In my past research, I know several things about Teflon. One, as a product particle, it hates every other particle around it and is constantly in motion (so to speak) trying to get away. Why do you think it takes unimaginable heat and pressure to get it onto your frying pan? In a car coating, it is nearly worthless and the big firms are just cashing in on the name Teflon. Having Teflon in your coating makes it much easier to apply (the ball-bearing effect), but it won't stay on your car without baking it on at incredible heat, at temperatures that would easily melt your vehicle to a slag heap.
The real thing is almost here folks, trust me.Christian Van Schepen
car coatings - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I would just like to add my experience with Teflon coatings here. First of all, I am not too sure about the kind of coatings that are provided by car makers abroad. As mentioned by someone above about the precoated Teflon on his BMW, I am sure that would be of a higher quality as is being done here in India. I have got this done on two of my cars and a bike as well and I would say that the quality of coating that we get here in India is surely not worth the price. Once you get the coating done, you still wouldn't find any difference between the look of a freshly Teflon coated or a freshly washed, waxed car.
If you have that much money to spend on something that's just the equivalent of waxing, go ahead and do it. However I personally prefer waxing my car rather than Teflon because these coatings don't last the look more than a few weeks despite the year long warranty.Faisal Faraz
- Noida, UP, India
When Teflon is added to wax is it more durable than other waxes? I am in the business of marketing Simoniz paint protection products to auto dealers to sell to their customers. I am a little weary of the marketing that suggests that when Teflon is added to their paint protection wax, it is more durable then other waxes. I would like an unbiased opinion to support these claims. I have seen an article from "Professional Carwashing and Detailing" [link is to info about the book at Amazon] (January 1989) that suggests there is no data to support these claims from Simoniz.Jason Bayko
automotive paint sealants - Southborough, Massachusetts
Ed. note: I don't quite understand, Jason: You didn't feel the article in Professional Carwashing was unbiased? -- or am I misunderstanding.
I just ponied up $500 to my Ford dealer to have Teflon put on my 2004 Escape. I thought that, having a black car, I should do something to help maintain it's longevity.
Let me tell you I personally don't think Teflon is worth the money. After washing and drying the car I notice little sand-like grains on my car. This is probably from the area I live in. Lot's of sand and dust from development. Either way, I thought that having Teflon would prevent things like this.
I believe waxing the car only twice in the one year since I've had it would have given me better results. Is it a cash grab for dealers? Yup. If it were so good, you wouldn't need yearly "maintenance". (I think the only way that a Teflon coating on your car would be effective is if it was baked on the paint at the auto plant.) Don't be lazy like me. "Maintain" your car yourself. Wax it regularly. After all, you realize you're just paying $500 for wax with a fancy name, don't you? That being said. I would like to know if I could wax a car that has had Teflon applied to it? Please let me know? ThanksDave C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Toronto, Canada
RE: TEFLON paint coating I have a new 35 foot motor home with a gel coat surface. I had it Teflon coated last April by the dealer for $750. The warranty requires a yearly re-do (and re-pay, of course). I talked to one of the guys who applies the Teflon, and he offered to do it for me "on the side" for $150. Are the dealers making money? Do the math.
HOWEVER, I have to admit that, at this point, it is much easier to remove the bug deposits from the front than it ever was on the last RV I owned, which I waxed with one of the top line wax products. It is also easier to remove just about anything that has stuck anywhere to the surface. It wipes off with a little effort, but not a lot. It remains to be seen how long this ease of cleaning lasts. As the 4 months have passed since the coating I have noticed a slight increase in the effort to remove bug deposits, leaf stains, etc.Bill H Klabunde
- Germantown, Wisconsin
March 15, 2010
How can I remove Teflon that was sprayed onto plastic fenders on my ATV? It has created a milky colored finish that I can't get off.bill zemak
- Charlotte, North Carolina
March 16, 2010
Teflon was designed to offer total chemical resistance and outstanding heat resistance, and only a few very dangerous and powerful chemicals can dissolve it, which would almost surely dissolve your fenders as well, so I can't imagine any practical way to remove Teflon from plastic either, Bill. But if it was applied very thin, you might possibly be able to buff it off.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey