Years ago, I bought a new car at the dealership and they suckered me into buying their “protective coating” that would help the car stay clean and help protect from nicks and scratches. That coating cost me hundreds of dollars and frankly … I’m not sure it did anything. Flash forward a few years and the folks at AvalonKing sent me their Armor Shield IX DIY Kit to try out. For under $100, this is a great solution for anyone looking to keep their car looking like new.
How Does Armor Shield IX Work?
Armor Shield IX is a glass-like protective ceramic coating that you can apply to your car’s paint in a similar way that you might normally add other protectant layers such wax. However, instead of wax – Armor Shield is a nano-technology based ceramic coating that bonds to the paint and creates a surface that prevents other stuff from sticking to your car. This includes: mud and dirt, bird droppings, and even ice.
It also provides protection from scratches! Creating a ceramic sealant, this works as a sacrificial layer that absorbs light scratches and can be buffed out – rather than brush or other items damaging the paint itself.
You might not realize it, but paint isn’t smooth. Sure, it looks that way to the naked eye but it has a texture and that texture is what causes dirt to stick as well as rain spots to form. Since Armor Shield bonds with the paint and forms a smooth layer, everything else just falls right off.
What’s Included in the Armor Shield XI DIY Kit?
This is what I LOVED about Armor Shield IX – everything you need is included. For small cars and motorcycles, you can buy a single 30 ml bottle for $69.99 and it includes the coating as well as application sponge, applicator suedes, nitrile golf, and microfiber buffing towel.
A single bottle was sufficient for my Kia Soul. For larger vehicles, you will want to buy additional bottles. Likewise, if you want the ultimate result, I’d recommend doing more than one coating.
How Do you Apply Armor Shield XI?
Unlike that coating that I paid the dealership for – Armor Shield is a DIY solution. The ceramic coating can be applied relatively easily but it does take some time to get it perfect.
Step 1 – wash your car thoroughly. You may want to run it through a car wash and then do a second cleaning by hand to make sure that you get everything off that might be clinging to the paint. You may also want to use a degreaser such as Dawn dishwashing detergent, a clay bar, polish remover, and then alcohol to further clean the car and remove any wax or other substances that might be there.
I won’t lie to you – this is a significant amount of work. However, if you skip this step … the auto ceramic coating won’t be able to bond to the paint and it won’t last as long.
Step 2 – Wrap the applicator sponge with the suedes and add a few drops of Armor Shield IX to it. Then wipe horizontally and then vertically so as to cover each car panel completely from multiple different directions. Be sure to not over apply though. Ultimately you will want to do multiple coats but finesse is the name of the game right now.
Step 3 - Once you have it applied, wait 1-5 minutes (depending on temperature and environment) or so for everything to set and then buff smooth with the black microfiber towel.
Make sure to wait at least 24-48 hours before getting the car wet or dirty, just so the product has time to fully dry and bond with the car.
If properly applied, Avalon King says that Armor Shield IX will last 2-5 years.
Why Use Armor Shield IX ?
While I own a Kia Soul – a car that really isn’t the target for a product like this, I found that the car looks “like new” after having applied Armor Shield to it. This helps make the car look great when I drive Lyft and it would most certainly make the car look better to a potential buyer when it comes time to sell it. That $69.99 investment and a few hours will net hundreds of extra dollars and days, weeks, or months of time sitting out for sale.
Typical Cars …
The real value here for a “typical car” like mine is that because it doesn’t attract water spots, mud, and street grime as easily – I can save money with car washes. In an environment like Southern California where water is precious that not only means I’m saving money … but I’m also helping reduce my impact on the environment.
Show Cars …
The core market though is clearly sport cars. I talked with a few of my buddies that own Corvettes and they all agreed that this is something they would be interested in too. With a car like that, you always want it to be ready to show off.
During the process of reviewing Armor Shield IX, I started to think about it’s benefits for those of us who also love to go off road. This is an inherently dangerous activity for nicks and scratches and I’ve never brought a truck home clean.
It struck me that in fact, this would be a phenomenal solution for helping to prevent brush strokes from damaging the car’s paint since once protected it wouldn’t even touch the paint. Similarly, while it can’t protect the undercarriage, mud, dust, and other stuff from the trail wouldn’t collect the way it does normally.
Plus … your truck will have that coveted shine when you drive it around town between expeditions.