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Best Ceramic Coating for Tesla Model 3 in 2021 (Buying Guide)

I’ve procrastinated writing this guide for weeks as I researched the cr*p out of the internet to find the best ceramic coating for Tesla Model 3.

Model 3 owners have taken responsibility on their own hands while Tesla works out its paint quality kinks.

Many successfully.

Beautiful, mirror-like finish. Credit to Cf Tesla.

Others, not so much.

Below, I share my findings regarding the ceramic coating products that best protect your paint — and give your car a shinier look.

I’ll start by quickly addressing two questions Tesla owners ask often.

Ceramic Coating vs. Paint Protection Film: What’s The Difference?

While paint protection film (PPF, also called clear bra) prevents rock chips and most scratches from damaging your original paint —

Ceramic coating acts as a thin layer of glass.

It makes the paint repellent to water, dust, mud, and other contaminants.

It doesn’t provide as much protection against impact as PPF does,

But it does make your car easier to clean — while giving it a glossy, new car-like look many people love.

Both typically work better together.

Credit to AvalonKing.

While both are time-consuming (and therefore expensive to hire out),

Ceramic coating is simply a liquid solution, making it the easier do-it-yourself (DIY) project.

Many Model 3 owners looking to save money either:

  1. Get a partial front-end PPF through an XPEL installer and then do the ceramic coating themselves.
  2. Or, roll up their sleeves and DIY both.

Read more on Paint Protection Film (PPF) »

Tesla Model 3 Ceramic Coating Cost

To ceramic coat your Model 3, local shops may quote you $800 – $2,000 USD, most of which is labor cost.

However, the essential materials and preparation tools will cost you less than $200:

  • A clay bar & luber kit to eliminate contaminants and smooth the surface ($20 – $40)
  • A DIY ceramic coating kit ($25 – $150), which includes:
    • 30 to 50 ml of ceramic coating solution
    • An application sponge
    • One or more application suedes
    • (Optional) A pair of gloves to avoid fingerprints
    • (Optional) A microfiber cloth
  • And most notably, 4 to 8 hours of your time

Thousands of people have coated their cars without prior experience, proof that it does NOT require as much skill as applying a paint protection film.

What makes ceramic coating so time-consuming is the preparation — and the need to apply the solution one section at a time.

Want to save hundreds of dollars?

If you’re up for the challenge, read on. I’ll discuss the best products to purchase, including videos on how to use them successfully.

Best Value Clay Bar & Luber Kit: Chemical Guys Light Duty

Many of the shops that charge thousands of dollars use Chemical Guys’ products — and for good reason.

Their clay bar + luber kits ensure a contaminant-free surface as smooth as ice that looks brand new —

(Exactly what you want before coating you car.)

Make sure to remove the thin plastic film the clay bar comes with to avoid micro-scratches.

Also, don’t drop the bar; it MUST remain clean to serve its purpose or otherwise be thrown away.

(This isn’t as easy as it sounds due to its slippery material.)

Consider cutting the bar in half — or having a clean container right below the section you’re working on.

Grab the light kit fo newer or garage-kept cars with little use.

For older vehicles (or cars that used to park outside), the medium kit is the best choice.

One bar, although deceptively small, is more than enough for 3-4 vehicles.

If you had plans to ceramic coat multiple cars in your home, either kit should suffice.

Pros:

✅ Recommended by professional ceramic coating installers
✅ Smooth-as-ice finish
✅ Brand-new look
✅ Won’t scratch your car when properly used.
✅ Enough for 3-4 vehicles

Cons:

❌ Bar becomes useless if you drop it.

Best Ceramic Coating for Tesla Model 3 Overall: AvalonKing’s Armor Shield IX

Best ceramic coating for Tesla Model 3
Look at that packaging…

Here’s another product that the actual pros rave about.

It came up as THE recommendation whenever the best ceramic coating for Tesla Model 3 topic was discussed.

In fact, the first thing I saw in their Reviews section was a Model Y.

What a coincidence!

Their all-in-one kit comes with all the tools needed to do the job.

If you’re looking for a product that will get a well job done, last long, and work right out of the box, this is the one for you.

Digging deeper to find downsides, I heard some customers saying that AvalonKing’s final look isn’t as shiny as some competitors.

Others said the bottle was too small — but honestly, 30ml ceramic coating bottles is the standard.

You don’t need as much as you think for one car. Customer reviews confirm that “30 mL goes a LONG way when applying.”

One thing that really bugged me is that, according to their quantity quiz, you need 2 bottles for a sedan.

SAY WHAT?!

That can’t be true. To me, it’s a B.S. way to get you to buy a second bottle — just in case.

One bottle should be enough for a Model 3.

Here’s proof:

CF Tesla only used 1 bottle. Jump to 1:54 to watch his preparation process and 5:58 for the ceramic coating application.

It is enough for this guy — and other brands recommend a 30 ml bottle for 1 or even 2 cars.

Aside from that pet peeve of mine, though, you can’t go wrong with AvalonKing.

Their tutorials will make your work much easier.

Take a weekend to coat your car in one day and let it sit for 48 hours for long-term results.

Pros:

✅ Recommended by professionals
✅ Includes all installation tools
✅ Awesome tutorials to make your work easier
✅ Best word of mouth from the Tesla community

Cons:

❌ May not be as “shiny” as other competitors.

Runner-Up Model 3 Ceramic Coating: CarPro’s CQ.UK 3.0

Second best ceramic coating for Tesla Model 3.

Although not frequently mentioned in the Tesla community, CarPro’s ceramic coating has some extremely happy customers.

With a whopping 4.8 stars out of 5 average, I’m surprised more people aren’t talking about this product as an AvalonKing alternative.

The main difference I found was a lack of instructions.

(That shouldn’t be an issue for you as the video instructions should suffiice.)

And the vast majority of 1- and 2-star reviews are from people who didn’t receive an optional “reload” bottle the company advertised.

The product page has an option without the reload bottle, though.

Whether this was a shipping or a consumer error is anyone’s guess.

Just in case, however, I’d suggest you check out the more affordable kit that excludes the reload bottle. It’s just an ice in the cake after all.

The goods news is that the product quality was never a complaint.

This is an equally high-quality product that may be seen as a second choice due to its less popular brand and savvy packaging.

But if you want to save money and still have top-notch quality, it’s certainly a great choice.

Pros:

✅ ~20% more affordable than main competitor
✅ Soft, slick feel and look
✅ Includes all installation tools

Cons:

❌ Some didn’t receive their optional “reload” bottle.

Premium Pick: Nasiol ZR53

This product justifies its premium price tag in a few ways:

  1. It provides nearly twice as much ceramic coating solution material (5o ml vs. 30ml).
  2. Customers confirm 2.5 to 3 years of reliable use before showing any signs of decay in effectiveness.

Besides, people talk a lot about its “deep gloss.”

Could this the competitor customers were referring to when complaining that AvalonKing’s coating wasn’t glossy enough?

It may actually be.

The drawback is that the bottle’s top end doesn’t have a stopper to allows the solution to drip.

Also, the seller’s instructions aren’t applicable to all scenarios:

They recommend you wait for bubbles to appear before wiping out the coating solution.

What many customers have found is that is best to wipe out the solution within 3 to 5 seconds to avoid streaks.

All in all, this seems to be one of the shinier and longest-lasting products.

If looks and durability is what you’re looking for, have a look at Nasiol’s compelling proposition.

Pros:

✅ Shinier, glossier look
✅ Proven to last 2.5 to 3 years before any signs of decay
✅ Includes all installation tools
✅ Can be used in Model 3’s piano black interior

Cons:

❌ Expensive
❌ No top-end stopper to drip the ceramic coating

Best Ceramic Coating for Tesla Model 3 On a Budget: Nano Bond

Best ceramic coating for Tesla Model 3 on a budget by NanoBond.

Undercutting most by half, I had to figure out the difference between this product and other competitors.

Two arguments came up:

  • The product is sourced from a high-quality China manufacturer.
  • The seller claims a 80% purity of its main constituent.

Although other brands, unfortunately, don’t disclose this purity percentage,

Multiple customers noticed Nano Bond took longer to dry. That leads me to believe it’s more “watery” so to speak.

The vast majority of customers are happy with the results regardless.

Some go as far as saying it “outperforms coatings that cost $300+.”

If you can’t justify a higher expense because your car is used (3+ years) or you’re looking to save money,

This highly affordable product is worth considering.

Although I wouldn’t expect 3 full years of effective life as no customers have reported on longevity yet,

The value is unbeatable at such a low price point.

Pros:

✅ Very affordable. ~30-60% cheaper than other products.
✅ Works as advertised.
✅ Includes all installation tools

Cons:

❌ Arguably less pure
❌ Longevity remains to be seen

Notable Mention: Opti-Coat Pro+

If you’re a Tesla content sponge like I am, you’ll be familiar with Matt from Undecided, a Tesla & clean technology YouTube channel.

Jump to 4:40 to see the end results.

He decided to coat his Model 3 in a shop from Massachusetts called Craft Detailing.

They recommended and used Opti-Coat Pro+, product which has been tested not only for automotive but for aeronautical purposes.

If you’re going the shop route and happen to be in the MA area, consider checking them out.

Frequent Buyer Concerns

  • How long does ceramic coating last?

Seller usually promise 3 to 5 years.

However, this isn’t the effective life necessarily.

Although the material may technically be there for 5 years, very rarely will it hold its properties for that long.

After 2 years (3 for high-quality products under favorable conditions),

Expect a decay in the coating effectiveness, regardless of what the seller claims.

Pay attention to your car’s gloss levels and the self-cleaning & hydrophobic properties.

The moment those start to fade off you know the product’s effective life is in decay.

  • How does ceramic coating works — in simple terms?

Paint has a porous structure microscopically.

A ceramic coating solution bonds with the paint to create a flat, glass-like protective layer which prevents particles from sticking to the surface easily.

To geek out on the chemistry and physics behind ceramic coating’s effects, check out this 2-minute video:

Funny animations, to be honest. But they illustrate the point. Credit to AvalonKing.
  • Is a ceramic coating really that necessary?

No, it’s ultimate your choice.

It’s important to note that besides ceramic coating’s obvious benefits,

Tesla owners protect their paint to resell their cars at the highest price possible when it’s time to upgrade.

Used car buyers appreciate a car with its original paint in good condition.

If you’re under a lease agreement, a ceramic coating may also help you avoid penalties from fading paint or small scratches.

  • Can I combine paint protection film with ceramic coating?

Yes.

In fact, they help each other in many ways.

Echoing my suggestions at the beginning of this article, you may consider getting a partial PPF first through an XPEL installer.

Their XPEL Ultimate Plus is the way to go for a glossy look.

Here’s an excerpt from the brand’s site about the subject:

Can I Apply A Ceramic Coating On Top Of The Film And How Does It Affect The Self-Healing Feature Of XPEL?

Yes, coatings can be applied to films.

Adding a coating does not stop the film from self-healing. Coatings can add a protective layer over the film, which depending on the coating can provide different properties. Once the coating wears down and deteriorates, the self-healing qualities of XPEL Ultimate Plus will remain.

Taken from XPEL Frequently Asked Questions.

So What’s The Best Ceramic Coating for Tesla Model 3 After All?

The more I researched, the more I leaned towards AvalonKing’s Armor Shield IX as the best choice.

Tesla owners love the product and have had a terrific experience. It’s the way to go — especially for a relatively new Tesla.

If you can’t justify the expense but still want the glossy look plus self-cleaning and hydrophobic properties,

Then NanoBond, at half the price, may be enough for your needs.

By Zac Ludicrous

Mechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.

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