Restore and Protect Your Car’s Paint
Polish and Wax
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. And 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.
Types of Wax
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.
Paste waxes are the most difficult to use, but they provide great protection for a long period of time. Armor All® liquid and spray waxes are easy to buff and have excellent durability. Most paste waxes come with a foam applicator pad, but in the absence of the pad, a terry cloth towel will do the job.
Synthetic waxes are also a great option. They provide ease of application and durability.
Whatever type of wax you use, apply the product in the shade. If a car’s surface is too hot, polishes and waxes may dry too quickly.
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.
If a car’s surface is too hot, polishes and waxes will dry up too quickly.
Buffing the Wax
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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