With the summer months upon us your paint takes a beating, so we need to think about the wear that our vehicles paint experiences when parked out in the elements. Imagine yourself laying out in the sun at home or trying to catch that perfect summer tan on the beach, we know that our skin needs some type of protection from the sun, right. The same is true when it comes to our vehicles paint. Between being parked under trees and having sap or birds making a mess on the outside, the harsh weather and heat can also cause damage.
What does wax do for my car? Wax is like a rain coat for your car’s paint. It keeps everything mother nature can throw at your car away from the paint. This layer of protection can fade with time and repeated washings. Like anything, a little time and money invested in a quality wax job will pay off in the end. So how do I keep the paint clean.
Thoroughly wash your car and remove all contaminants from the surface. If your paint has not been cleaned in a while, now is the perfect time to bring the shine back. Waxing your car is not a substitute for paint cleaning, and the wax job will only be as good as the base layer of your paint.
Since you just washed your car, it should go without saying that your car is cool and out of direct sunlight. I like the follow the same sequence that I washed the car and start at the top. Just a habit, you might want to tackle it differently.
Choosing the right wax for your car is not as hard as some might think. With today’s technology, there are many great products on the market.There are two main categories of waxes, Carnauba and Synthetic. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. For every fan of traditional carnauba wax, you can find another enthusiast who swears by synthetic wax. It really a personal preference, and what you feel works best for your paint. Let’s go over the basics…
- Carnauba Based Waxes: Made from the leaves of the Carnauba Palm tree grown in Northeastern Brazil, carbauba wax is usually light yellow and fairly hard. When applied to your car, it leaves a relatively clear layer of protection which can fade with heat and repeated washings. Thus the need to reapply several times per year. Better waxes will have more carnauba with a higher quality (clearer) base stock. The waxes can come in paste or liquid form.
- Synthetic Waxes: A recent development in the past 20 years, synthetic waxes are typically a little easier to apply, but sometimes do not give the depth of shine that a carnauba wax can.
I personally use Adams Polishes and then there’s Meguirers who has a large selection to choose from as well and Johnson Wax has been in this market for years. This really is a personal choice. I constantly have customers asking me what type of wax should I use on my antique vehicles? My cabinet is full of several different products depending on what type of paint I am waxing. Are you just going to detail it for a show or do you need to give it a good waxing? This depends on your cars needs. Adams Polishes makes a wax called Butterwax which can be applied in direct sunlight or in the shade. Removing it is as easy as wax on wax off.
How often you wax is up to you, your environment and where your car is stored. If you car is stored indoors, you live in a cooler climate, and don’t put many miles on your car, you could wax as little as once a year. Live in a hot climate and store your car outside, plan on 3 – 4 times per year.
What should I use if I have Chrome on my vehicle. Again, this is a personal choice, but I find Mothers works great for chrome, but my ultimate choice is Glass Wax.
The Internet offers some great information on many of the great waxes that are out in the market place today. I teach my students that if your vehicle stays outside most of the time, then waxing it 3 to 4 times a year is a must, to help keep the paint looking it’s best. If kept garaged, then 2 times a year can do. You also need to take into consideration your climate, which could add another waxing to your yearly duties. The products that Wax as you Dry seem to work pretty well. I have been using this type of product since I heard about it a few years ago. I like trying these so called fast products to see if they hold up to their advertisement. In this case, I was impressed. So remember, if you take care of your car, it will surely get you where you need to go and look great when you get there. It could just be a show stopper. If your paint does take a beating, people will faint when they see your paint.