You may think that car waxing is something you do only in the summer – to make your car shiny and beautiful when the sun’s rays shine upon it, but it’s actually more necessary for winter car protection. It provides your vehicle a protective layer against the elements – snow, sleet, ice on the streets, as well as the salt used by road crews to melt said ice. It likes to stick to the undercarriage, wheels and brakes of your car and lead to corrosion of metal parts exposed to it.
But, how to know which type of car wax is the right product for you? Stick with us to find out!
If you have a clear base paint job on your vehicle, you have to find a compatible product using the following guidelines. First, you must know why you are using car wax and what kind of results you expect from using it.
1) Paint job color
The color of the paint job is important because there are car waxes made to be used on specific hues. There is a definite purpose to using waxes that have colors. For instance, if you accidentally scratch the enamel on your car you need something to cover it. Some car waxes are specially made for this, and have agents in them to help cover scratches up. If you have a red car, buying the same color wax can offset the scratch.
The older your vehicle becomes, the less the paint job on your car will remain. Some vehicles may actually rust or the paint will look dull. Car wax can help restore the shine the vehicle once had. Older vehicles tend to benefit the most from car wax applications.
2) Weather conditions
The weather conditions where you live can determine how often you have to apply wax. UV rays from the sun can damage the paint job. If your vehicle is exposed to direct sunlight throughout the day, it is necessary to get a wax that will allow you to reapply as often as possible.
Secondly, car wax and auto paint sealant ingredients vary greatly between manufacturers, so choosing high quality products will help assure long lasting protection and shine.
A traditional car wax formula usually consists of a blend of carnauba wax and other waxes, such as beeswax, natural oils, and will sometimes also include petroleum distillates. Many newer formulations also contain special polymers and resins which are used as both a car wax hardener and shine enhancer.
Car wax comes in spray, paste, and liquid varieties with formulas suited for various paint types. The majority of car waxes are in paste form. As car wax tends to be sticky, with a low melting point, it tends to attract dust to the paint surface.
Auto paint sealant is manufactured from synthetic waxes and is designed to better protect the surface of the car from the elements. In addition, most paint sealants consist of polymers and silicones which adhere to the surface of the paint and thus offer better protection than wax, but they also tend to provide less shine. Many newer formulas of paint sealant contain micronized ingredients which allow them to more easily penetrate the paint surface, providing longer lasting protection and improved shine.
Most paint sealants are in liquid or spray-on form. While most car waxes require that it be applied, allowed to dry, and then buffed, many auto paint sealants require only that it be applied with a soft cloth – no drying or buffing required.
These are the most common car wax ingredients and their uses:
1) Carnauba wax is a hard wax obtained from the leaves of a Brazilian palm tree which produces a glassy shine. Carnauba-based waxes must be reapplied frequently in order to maintain shine, but it has the best shine of any wax and is easy to apply and remove.
2) Beeswax is a durable wax found in honeycombs and used in car wax formulas to provide a protective barrier.
Natural oils, such as linseed oil, are emollients used to provide added shine, luster, and protection to the painted surface.
3) Synthetic wax can be created from certain plastics or silicones and is used primarily in auto paint sealants. These waxes are considerably more durable than carnauba wax but produce far less shine. However, they are usually designed for use in sunnier parts, as they provide great protection against sunlight and UV damage.
4) Petroleum distillates are solvents derived from crude oil that make the wax easier to spread and to clean the paint, particularly suitable for those car owners who have to do all of this work themselves.
5) Resins and polymers are plastic like substances that adhere to the paint surface offering longer lasting protection than wax. They are most frequently found in auto paint sealants.
Car wax should only be used on clean, dry surfaces, in the shade. Car wax should be applied to one surface at a time, allowed to dry, and then gently removed using a soft cotton cloth or automotive style microfiber cloth.
Many auto enthusiasts recommend first using an automotive paint cleaner, followed by an automotive paint sealant, and then several coats of a high quality wax. This will provide a longer lasting, higher level of protection and the maximum level of shine. Only use products intended for automotive applications and do not apply them to glass, plastic, rubber, or vinyl surfaces.
If you need help taking care of your car, come to our repair shops in Hamilton. We are expecting you!