One of the most common questions we hear is exactly what the headline asks, ‘do you need to wax a car?’. People think modern car finishes are made to not be waxed, but it simply is not true. You should wax a car to protect the paint and clear coat. When you wax a car you preserve oils in the paint helping to prevent oxidation.
It’s not uncommon for car owners to be diligent with regular engine maintenance of their vehicle and ignore the exterior completely. This can lead to a great running car with a dull finish, or even worse, a finish with ugly, uncorrectable blemishes. These blemishes actually are spots or areas where the finish has been compromised. Reduced protection leads to oxidation, rust and overall failure. And, if you think your car is not exposed to damaging elements, think again. Listed below are common, everyday threats to a car’s finish that should motivate car owners to wax a car.
• Bird droppings
• Acid Rain
• Tree sap
• Ultraviolet rays
How Often Should You Wax A Car
All of the elements listed above can wear down a car’s finish. Some of them have an acidic composition which can literally eat through the wax, clear coat and paint, leaving obvious marks on your finish. Bird droppings, insects, tar and tree sap, for example, will all leave ugly, untreatable blemishes if left unprotected.
Harsh conditions also include excess rain, salt or snow, gravel or dirt. Cars driven in colder climates such as Madison WI require more waxing than cars in warmer climates. Road residue and climate combine to make it a necessity to wax a car to maintain its finish, its protection and good looks.
As far as how often a car owner should wax a car, suggestions range somewhat. Many wax manufacturers recommend that you apply a new coat every 45 days to three months under normal conditions. If your car is exposed to particularly harsh conditions you can wax a car more often.
However, there are additional factors to consider. For example, cars parked in garages can go longer without a wax as those parked outside, exposed to the elements.
Or, some newer synthetic waxes claim to provide protection for up to one year.
And, cars consistently waxed for years will hold a shine and wax longer than those waxed only occasionally.
The bottom line is there are good reasons to wax a car. The only reason someone would not wax a car is they do not care about how the finish looks. This is a surprising choice when you consider cars cost tens of thousands of dollars and represent one of the largest purchases average people make.
The Mechanics Of Why You Should Wax A Car
Lubricity of your finish is the short answer. Lubricity is the primary protective quality of a car wax. It makes the finish slippery so it is difficult for anything to stick to the finish. It makes washing your car and the removal of unwanted substances easier.
A second protective quality of wax is that it does leave a very thin protective layer on top of the finish of your car. It is one more obstacle for an acidic substance to compromise before reaching you paint. It is very thin and is not much different than when you apply suntan lotion to your skin. Imagine scratching your skin prior to applying the lotion – the result is scuffed, dry skin. However, after applying the lotion, the same type of scratch is undetectable. The protective coat of wax on a car operates much the same way.
Tests To Determine When You Should Wax A Car
Often people ask us when they should wax a car. Below are two simple tests.
Water Beading Test – while washing your car, take a close look at how the water behaves on the surface. If the water beads in less than ½” diameter beads you don’t need to wax. If the water doesn’t bead at all and forms large “sheets” on the surface, it’s time to wax a car.
After WashTest – Another quick test is performed after your car is washed and dried thoroughly. Fold a 100 percent cotton terrycloth towel until it’s hand-sized and thick. Apply firm pressure to the car’s surface and twist the cloth back and forth in a clockwise and counter clockwise direction. If you hear a squealing noise, then you’re due for a wax job.
Personal preference factors into how often someone will wax a car – some people like removing road residue or just like a shiny car.
The Main Benefit When You Wax a Car
People who enjoy their cars the most all know the main benefit when you wax a car is the rich, luxurious and high gloss finish shine it has. It is a shine setting it apart from most vehicles on the road. It is also a shine instilling pride in the car owner.
AutoColor of Middleton – Madison provides a wide variety of car waxing and polishing services. We also specialize in complete, professional detailing and other services that refresh and refurbish the interior and exterior of cars. For more information how AutoColor can help your car look great, call 608-831-9554 or email for an appointment.