Whether your car still has its original paint job, or you’ve had to have auto paint repair done because of a fender bender or other damage to the paint, taking good care of your car’s exterior will ensure that the paint remains in good shape for years to come. The best way to protect your car’s paint is to wax it regularly — three or four times a year, say most auto paint repair specialists.
If you don’t wax your car properly, however, you might not be getting the protection you think you are — or even worse, do more harm than good. Here are a few tips to make sure you are getting the most out of your wax job.
Only Wax Clean Surfaces
Never, ever wax your car without thoroughly cleaning it first. This will only serve to wax in the dirt and imperfections in the paint, making them harder to remove later. Here are the steps you need to take to ensure that you are waxing your car properly.
- Wash your car thoroughly. Don’t use dish soap or other household soaps, no matter what you have been told! These are designed to remove oils, and may actually damage your car’s paint. There are many great car wash soaps on the market that you can use instead.
- Use a clay bar to remove stuck-on dirt. Once your car is clean, its paint should feel as smooth as glass underneath your fingertips. A clay bar is a great way to remove any rough spots — just rub it over the entire car, section by section, kneading and turning the bar periodically to ensure that you are working with clean clay.
- Polish if desired. Once you have removed all surface soil, imperfections in the paint can often be smoothed away via polishing.
How to Wax Your Car
Once your car is clean and dry, you can wax it. Waxing your car properly is important if you want to protect your paint. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Always wax your car in the shade. The sun will essentially cook the wax onto the paint, making it much harder — if not virtually impossible — to remove.
Wait for your car to dry completely before you wax it. Water will cause streaks, and will make the wax difficult to remove.
- Apply wax using circular strokes. Using a foam or terrycloth pad, available at most auto parts stores, smear some wax on the pad and rub it on the car, spreading it into a thin coat with small, circular motions. Don’t put it on too thick — this will make it unnecessarily difficult to remove.
- Remove wax by buffing with a clean towel. Terrycloth or microfiber towels work great for removing wax — preferably something that leaves as little lint behind as possible. Have several towels available, as they will get caked with wax, and turn to a clean portion of the towel frequently as you work.
- Work section by section. Don’t try to apply wax to the whole car before buffing it out, unless the package instructions specifically say you can, or it will be harder to remove!
Once you are done waxing, cleanup is easy — just throw the applicator pads and towels in the washing machine, so that you can use them again the next time. If you have used paste wax, you should be able to wait a few months before waxing the car again. You will know when it is time, as the water will stop beading on your car as noticeably when you wash it!
ColorMate Auto Appearance Specialists provides same day car paint repair services including paint perfecting, paint and bumper repair, headlight restoration, rim repair, and car interior repairs in Miami-Dade, Broward and West Palm Beach County. Schedule an appointment for a free estimate on quality car interior and cosmetic repairs.