Nowadays, dozens of appearance protection gadgets are available in the market, and choosing the right product has become a pretty challenging task. Of course, you can’t try every product that’s available out there, but an unbiased and honest review can help you make the best decision possible.
By reading this article, you can have an in-depth Armor All SmartShield review, detailing all the pros and cons associated with it. I have also included the installation cost of this product and its possible influence on the car’s resale value.
General Overview of Armor All SmartShield
Armor All SmartShield is not a single product, rather it’s a whole package and takes care of both interior and exterior of the car. Also, this package is not available to the general public and it can only be found at the selected and authorized New Car Dealers.
Armor All SmartShield solution consists of three different products, and each product is designed to protect a specific element of the car. Those elements along with the product details are:
- Paint Protection:
Due to strict EPA regulations, modern cars have much softer paints, which get damaged relatively easier. These paints are prone to everyday things like tree sap, acid rain, ultra-violet radiations, decaying insects, and road de-icing material.
Armor All SmartShield paint protection repels these things by forming a protective layer on your car’s paint.
Chemical Composition: All Armor paint protection formula is based on a polymer called polysilazane. It is not a regular wax, polish, or sealant coating, rather it is a ceramic-based coating. Polysilazane reacts with oxygen and hydrogen to create a protective glass-like coating on the paint.
Application Method: It is highly recommended to first clay the vehicle before applying the Armor All SmartShield paint protection coating. By doing this you can avoid sealing in containments into the paint. After claying the vehicle, apply the protective solution for up to 20 minutes using a terrycloth pad, and then buff it off using a cotton towel.
Also read: Are Leather Seats Worth it? Pros and Cons
- Leather Protection:
Your car’s leather seats are constantly exposed to things like fast food meals, coffee spillage, and pet waste. Armor All SmartShield solves this problem by providing an excellent strain and dye resistance coating on your leather seats.
Chemical Composition: Armor All SmartShield leather protection spray is an acrylic coating that forms a strain-proof barrier and helps keep your seats spotless.
Application Method: Spray the product on a cloth or pad and then gently apply it to your leather seats. The solution dries very quickly and just after a minute, you can wipe your seats with a cotton or microfiber towel. Do not apply it on suede or any other non-finished leather product.
- Fabric Protection:
The third and final product is for the protection of fabric material, floor mats, and other carpeting items. Just like the leather product, Armor All SmartShield fiber protection spray prevents any liquid or dirt from penetrating the fiber of your car.
Chemical Composition: It is a unique water-based chemistry that protects the fabric by causing any liquid to bead up instead of penetrating it. This makes the permanent straining virtually impossible, as nothing will be absorbed by the fabric.
Application Method: Firstly, vacuum clean your car and bring carpet mats outside of the car. Shake the Armor All SmartShield fiber protection spray for at least 30 seconds and then uniformly spray it on all the fiber items of the car. Make sure to keep a towel with you to wipe off any overspray.
How Much Does Armor All SmartShield Installation Cost?
As discussed earlier, the Armor All SmartShield products are not directly available to the public, and you can only get them through selected New Car Dealers. The complete package for a new car costs around $800.
The cost of Armor All SmartShield for used cars is a little higher than $800 as it takes some extra cleaning and scrubbing to prepare it for the protection. The overall procedure takes 1-2 hours to complete.
Some car dealers may offer it for free in case you are purchasing a new car from them. While other dealers may offer you a discounted or reduced price so that they can increase the overall sales volume.
Is Armor All SmartShield Coating Worth the Price?
It is worth the price only if you are truly concerned about keeping the shine of the car. The cost worthiness of Armor All SmartShield protection also depends upon your use case and priorities.
If you have multiple young kids and enjoy taking regular road trips, then you should consider getting the Armor All SmartShield protection. But still, I think paying $800 for the protective coating is way too much.
Therefore, I will recommend you to go with some other cheaper option if you do not have the previously mentioned reasons and frequently keep your car in a garage.
Perks of Armor All Smart Shield
The Armor All SmartShield appearance protection package has a lot of benefits as it protects the both interior and exterior of your vehicle and increases the resale value of your car. Below, you can find a detailed description of these perks.
More than anything else, the Armor All SmartShield protection preserves the physical appearance of your new car. It protects almost everything including the paint, seats, and carpeting of the vehicle.
Resale Value of Vehicle
Armor All SmartShield helps you maintain the resale value of the car. It keeps the car’s interior and exterior spotless and strain-free and makes sure that the vehicle is worth more when you sell or trade it in.
Exterior Paint Coverage
The polysiloxane-based formula of Armor All SmartShield provides a thin layer of glass protective coating on the car’s exterior paint. You aren’t even supposed to visit any car wash service area, as you can easily wash your vehicle in your backyard.
Are There Any Disadvantages of Armor All SmartShield Coating?
If not done properly, the Armor All SmartShield protection can cause some damage to the car’s exterior and interior. Therefore, it is highly recommended to visit an authorized dealership to get the coating done.
One thing you should remember is that to get any paint correction job, you will have to remove the protective coating. Some people have also complained about the shiny, greasy look on their car’s interior after getting the protective coating.
Another major downside is the high installation cost of Armor All SmartShield as other alternatives that are available on the market cost much less than this solution.
One thing that separates Armor All SmartShield protection from other competitors is the fact that it comes with a warranty period.
Meaning in case of any damage to the vehicle’s interior or paint Armor All will cover 100 percent of parts and labor costs to repair and replace any covered damage with zero deductible.
- Brand New Car: If you get an Armor All SmartShield protection for your brand-new vehicle, then there is a lifetime warranty period included in the price.
- Used Car: Armor All SmartShield protection covers a six-year warranty period for previously owned or used cars.
Resale Advice from the Experts
The physical appearance of your car plays a key role in determining its resale value. Any added feature like Armor All SmartShield protection will ensure the potential buyer that the car has been well protected.
- Kelly Blue Book: Kelly Blue Book (KBB) is a premier source of used car values and it says that “A top factor in determining a vehicle’s worth is the interior and exterior condition.” The executive editor of KBB states that a little time and care into the vehicle could result in a $1000 in car’s worth down the road.
- NADA Guide Book: For a maximum resale value, the NADA Guide book on auto values recommends maintaining the vehicle’s exterior, interior, and mechanics. There should be no stains and water/smoke damage to the vehicle because the resale value of your car directly equates with its condition and maintenance.
Armor All SmartShield protection covers three main aspects of a car, and there are tons of competitors manufacturing protection products for these elements. Some key competitors for exterior paint and car sear protection are listed below:
- Exterior Paint Protection
Adam’s UV ceramic paint coating kit is a top-rated paint protection product. It is extremely durable in even the toughest conditions and has a 9H rating on the 1-10 Moh scale of mineral hardness. It provides an ultra-high gloss finish and guarantees 5+ years of protection. The kit can also be ordered online and it costs around $80.
Chemical Guys ceramic coating hyper wax is another cheap and reliable alternative to Armor All SmartShield paint protection. It offers advanced water-repelling properties and protects your paint from oil, solvents, and other environmental elements. It is relatively cheap and priced at $40.
- Car Seat Protection
For seat protection of your car, Dodo Juice supernatural fiber sealant can be a great alternative. It is very easy to apply and successfully repels any liquid from penetrating the car’s seat. Dodo Juice offers great results and its 500 ml bottle only costs $20.