Car modifiers follow all kinds of ways to make their creations stand out, and one of these ways is by applying a chrome layer or “chromium plating” as it’s called. Chrome cars happen to also be a celebrity trend in our days, so it’s gotten quite popular lately. While this substance isn’t anything new for the automotive industry, applying thin layers of chromium to certain parts of cars and motorcycles for corrosion resistance and decorative purposes was all that manufacturers did. No one applied chrome plating to the whole car body, so is this a good idea? Let’s see by taking a look at the pros and cons of doing it.
- The durability of the outer paint layer is greatly increased even when applying very thin layers of chromium.
- Your paint will be extremely resistant to corrosion due to humidity in the atmosphere, etc
- The surface hardness of your car body will be dramatically increased. This will make it less prone to get scratched, etc.
- Your car will be easier to clean as the smooth surface will only need a dry wiping most of the time. Good chromium finishes are non-porous, so dirt can’t accumulate.
- During hot days, you will be able to cook eggs on the bonnet or roof of your car.
- You will attract the wanted attention. People will think you’re a celebrity of some kind, so if you enjoy this kind of attention chroming your car is a good way to get it.
- Chroming your car will cost you a lot. Depending on how many layers are required, and what level of finish quality you want to achieve, it goes from a few thousand US dollars to quite a lot of thousands of US dollars.
- To make it look shiny enough, you will most probably need to apply a nickel plating first. This costs quite a lot in addition to the chromium plating.
- Chromium is generally toxic, especially the “hexavalent” type. EPA lists it as hazardous air pollutant so you may get in trouble with it, or simply harm your own self in the long term. Prefer the “trivalent” type if possible.
- The chromium coating will add a bit to the weight of the car body as it is a hard metal of high specific weight. The increase of the weight won’t be much, but it is a disadvantage nonetheless.
- In Singapore, Chrome isn’t a valid and legal vehicle colour that you can register.
- Your car will look too shiny, creating high glare, possibly blinding other drivers depending on the sunlight intensity and position.
- During sunny days, the car body will get really hot as the metal will accumulate large amounts of energy.
- You will attract unwanted attention. If you are someone famous anyway, why would you want to attract more attention? It should already be overwhelming as things are.