How often should I wax my car, and why?
At least Twice a year and preferably Four times a year for dark colors.
Why? Countless environmental factors, catalytic emissions from the cars in front of you are depositing hydrochloric or sulfuric acid particles on your car's upper surfaces. All of these contaminants take a toll on your car's paint if the finish is not properly maintained.
Imagine what would happen if you only brushed your teeth once a year. The buildup could lead to costly dental repairs. And your teeth might never look as good as they did before.
Your car's paint is constantly exposed to the elements and needs regular care to keep looking its best, too! If you neglect your car, a good paint job could cost up to $4,000. If you decide to sell your vehicle without a new paint job, it could cost you anywhere from $500 to $5,000 in lost trade-in value, depending upon the age and type of automobile you have.
Should I prep my paint before waxing?
Evaluating the condition of your finish will let you determine the steps needed to prepare it for waxing. Just because your paint has no major scratches or other obvious signs of damage doesn't mean its surfaces are as flawlessly smooth as when they were new. There are many kinds of subtle surface defects that, if not corrected, can prevent you from restoring that perfect gloss.
There are two kinds of surface defects to look for. Those above the surface of the paint includes: road film, bugs, tar, tree sap mist, dirt, dust, fresh bird droppings, and fresh bug splatters. Those below the surface include scratches, swirl marks, oxidation, and stains and etching from acid rain, old bird droppings, bugs left for a long period of time (bugs contain acids that are harmful to clear coat), and other deposits.
How do I accurately evaluate my paint finish?
You'll want to inspect the surface visually, as well as by touch. First, look along your paint surface at an angle. While noting the depth and richness of the color, search for:
Swirl marks - Scratches - Etched areas
To find adhered contaminants that your eyes may have missed, slowly slide your clean, dry hand along the paint. The surface should feel as smooth as glass. Any irregularities you do feel are surface defects that must still be removed before waxing.
What is the difference between a polish and a wax?
Today there is a lot of confusion about the difference between a polish and a wax. Many manufacturers are marketing waxes as "polishes" and the terms have become almost interchangeable.
Professionals know there is a big difference. A polish is machine application compound that eliminates fine scratches and creates incredible high gloss not possible with waxes. Waxing protects the shine and extend the life of the polishing process.
If you own a dark-color car, you'll see a dramatic difference if you purchase a polishing process.
When should I polish?
Clear coat paints make it more difficult to determine when your car needs polishing. It may need attention far sooner that its appearance would indicate especially with medium to light colored cars. For dark cars...well you almost always can use a polish to enhance the paint if you don't have strong maintenance plan in place.
A simple test can tell you if your car needs polishing:
After washing and drying your car, take your hand and run your fingertips along the surfaces of your car's hood and trunk. If you detect rough spots or feel and HEAR drag, you also know you could use a polish. Or if the problem is more severe, you may need to Clay Bar the surface of your paint prior to polishing and waxing.
The best solution is to get on a regular maintenance schedule. Your personalized paint care prescription will suggest one that's right for your car. You always need to wax your car after a polishing process!
Are polymer sealants good for my car?
Quality polymer sealants are noted for their long-lasting abilities, commonly 4-6 months. But in recent years there have been many inferior formulations marketed at extremely high prices. These products are mostly hype, and lull a car owner into thinking one application will last for years-only to discover later that their finish has been damaged by the lack of care. Remember 4-6 months!
What is Carnauba wax?
Carnauba is the hardest natural wax available, harvested from palm trees in Brazil. Yellow Carnauba wax is the most costly and highest quality grade.
Do waxes have UV protection?
Some waxes do contain UV-protection agents, but the amount of protection is limited. The main goal of a wax is to protect the upper layers of paint that do contain UV-protection agents.
If your car is waxed regularly, your paint will be protected and you should suffer no major UV damage.
I hope this information has been helpful for you! If you have questions that you would like us to post information for or having difficulty finding an answer to your specific problem, please feel free to contact us either by email or phone. (859) 229-0509