Even with vast improvement in the quality of automotive paint, you still need to protect your car’s thin clear coat finish from oxidation and environmental damage. Regular waxing can protect your car from damage caused by sun, rain, air pollution, road grime, tar, bugs, and the inevitable bird droppings — keeping it looking shiny longer.
If you’re going to polish your car, make sure to do so before you wax it. Also make sure you wash your car before applying polish or wax. Polishes contain abrasives that “exfoliate” unwanted contaminants from the paint surface. Be careful using these products since rubbing too hard will result in damage to the clear coat. Polishes are applied in a similar manner to wax (see below), but don’t apply too hard since the abrasives in polishes can cause damage if not applied properly.
Wax at least two times a year. If water does not bead on the painted surfaces of your car, it’s time to wax. Be sure to look for nonabrasive waxes that are safe on clear coats. Many car enthusiasts prefer carnauba-based waxes because they are one of the purest and hardest of natural waxes, producing a deep, lustrous shine. For best results, it is recommended to apply the carnauba-based wax product in the shade. If a car’s surface is too hot, polishes and waxes may dry too quickly.
Armor All Shield is also a great option. The US patented formula is even better than wax. It forms a protective shield that prevents dirt and grime from sticking to your car and each wash reactivates shine and protection. Lasts up to 10 washes.
You don’t need to apply a thick coat when waxing. A thin and even coat will protect your car’s paint work. Divide the car into small segments. Apply a small amount of wax to one segment of the car at a time to ensure that the wax or polish does not dry too long before buffing.
When applying the wax, unless product usage instructions state otherwise, you may prevent streaking by using a side-to-side motion that’s parallel with the seams.
Buff in overlapping circular patterns to remove the residue and expose the shine. The longer you buff, the better the shine. If you are finished buffing and still see some residue patches, park the car in the sun for 10–15 minutes. By heating the wax, buffing becomes more efficient. Just don’t let the car become so warm that the wax will soften in the sun.
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