The interval you choose for getting your car waxed is really your own decision. Some people like to have the showroom finish all year round and go for the recommended range of every four to six months while others either choose to get it done once every year or maybe even never.
One cannot change their mind based on what the recommended range is. But it may be intriguing to know why it is important to have your car waxed periodically.
Having your car polished and painted is no less than bringing a brand-new car home. However, it would be incomplete if there was nothing preserving that fresh clear coat of the paintwork. A car wax not only helps in protecting a body’s paintwork but also affords a glossy finish to the overall shine.
While a car wash is generally required on a daily basis to keep your car clean and hygienic, wax on the other hand is a more robust coating, protecting your car against blights and rust. When the wax starts to fade in its effects,
the vehicle’s paint becomes vulnerable to all sorts of things that can tarnish the finish of your car. So, what does the car wax process exactly involve and how is it different from car washing?
Before we delve deep into the topic of a clear coat let’s understand more about car wax-
Table of Contents
What is a Car Wax
Wax is a protective coating made from a natural compound carnauba wax (from a Brazilian palm tree) and other types of natural and synthetic polymers that provide exemplary detail and shine to the paintwork that is otherwise impossible to achieve.
Another product on the market today is a paint sealant. A paint sealant is similar to wax but is a completely synthetic blend of polymers made by chemists. Both products enhance the appearance of your car and protect it from elements such as acid rain, road salt, UV rays, corrosion, tar, bug guts, and bird droppings.
Characteristics of Each:
- Warm Shine
- Adds Depth to the Paint
- Shorter Life Span (1-3 months)
- Slick, Glassy Finish
- Increases Gloss
- Long-Lasting (6-12 months)
How Often Should You Wax Your Car?
Waxing a car is generally recommended every 5-6 months, though this period depends on a number of things, from the change of seasons, type of paint used to human err and even sun exposure.
To better understand and properly assess your paint requirement, you can use the two methods for testing how often you should wax your car- Surface check and Bead Test.
How To Tell When Your Car Needs Waxed?
There are two ways to check if your car needs to be waxed. The first method is to, feel the surface of your car’s paint. Does it feel rough and gritty? If so, you should get your car waxed or at the very least have it washed.
The second way is to test a small area of the car (let’s say the bonnet). You can test for this by pouring a small amount of water on the area to see if water beads on the surface.
Note- Clean the selected area first as dirt and contamination sitting on top of the wax can prevent the water from beading and provide inaccurate results.
How To Extend The Lifespan Of Wax?
Car waxes have a lifespan of 1-3 months and sealants of about 6-12 months. Several factors come into play when determining how long a product will last. First, make sure your car’s paint is completely clean. Give your car a thorough wash and then feel the surface of the paint again.
If it still feels dirty or gritty, it indicates that there are bonded contaminants on the surface that can only be removed using auto-detailing clay. It’s incredibly important to apply wax to a clean surface because the products are made to bond to paint, not to dirt and contamination.
Once, you have a completely clean surface make sure you apply the product correctly and evenly. Generally, the manufacturer knows their product the best and it’s a good practice to read the instructions for the product application and their estimated product lifespan will be listed on the label.
A car cover is a great way to store a car long-term.
Another factor lifespan factor is the climate and how your car is stored. The less time your car spends out in the elements and in the sun the better. Hot and humid climates really take a toll on wax and can drastically shorten its lifespan.
When Should A New Car Be Waxed?
Do new cars need to be waxed? Yes, new cars are no exception. The best way to keep your car looking brand new is to keep it protected from the elements. Think back to the beach trip example. The best way to protect your skin from the sun is to apply sunscreen and stay in the shade;
both apply to protecting your new car. If possible keep your car out of the sun as much as possible and always keep it waxed. A regularly washed and waxed car will stay looking brand new year longer than if you just washed your car.
When Can I Wax A Freshly Painted Car?
The next wax of a freshly painted car is determined by the type of paint the auto body painter used. It’s best to contact the painter and follow their recommendation, as they will know their paint product the best.
If you’re unable to get in touch with the painter a general rule of thumb is to wait 90 days. It’s also recommended that you only wash the car with water and immediately get any dirt, tar, sap, bug guts, bird droppings, etc. off the paint to prevent any paint defects.