Why do I need a car wax?

My Car is New, Why do I need Wax?

Wax is “Sunscreen” for your paint. 

I am asked all the time, “Does my car need wax?”  Vehicles that have good paint should always have protectant on them.  Having protectant on your paint works to protect the paint in the same way that sunscreen can protect your skin.  Not only does it protect your paint from sun damage but it can also help to protect your vehicle from contaminants like sap, bugs, bird droppings, and tar.

Contaminants can damage paint even if it’s new. They can bond to unprotected paint very easily and begin to break down the clear coat. Most of these contaminants have acidic properties and when left on the paint (especially if not protected) can cause permanent damage.  Without a protective coat, effects like “Sun Fade” can happen quickly to some vehicles, especially in the summer!

New vehicles are an investment, and good paint holds its value!

There are several ways to protect your paint:

Hard wax

This is a wax that contains several ingredients that help the wax bond to the paint and stay on longer.  Many dealerships sell waxes like this with new car sales. These waxes are good and they do last long but often times they are sold under a general umbrella of protection that would include “scratch resistant.”   In my experience, these waxes do not protect the vehicle from scratches and often times do not last as long as advertised. These products typically contain products like ceramic coatings. These products can help to bond the product to the vehicle and protect for longer but most products last less than 1 year and the investment in them can be as much as $2,000.00.  The average hand wax and wash is around $80.00 and when services are kept up to date can protect the paint just as much.

Carnauba Hand Wax

This is the “tried and true” method and the preferred method of our detail staff for their vehicles.  Keeping your vehicle waxed twice a year can protect the paint and help to keep contaminants from doing permanent damage to your vehicle’s paint.  Oscar, our detail manager, has a 1999 Chevy Silverado with original paint. He waxes his vehicle twice a year and the paint still looks great after almost 20 years.  This method allows for better attention to the vehicle because if you have any hard sap or road tar on the vehicle it can be treated instead of left on the vehicle for years if you had a “hard wax” that was sold as a “5-year protection.”

Synthetic Waxes

This method we call our “30 day protection”.  Often times this service can be added to a normal wash package as an a-la-carte service.  This is a great service when you don’t have time for the full hand wax but you want your vehicle to have a great shine.  This service does not offer the same amount of protection you could get from a hand wax or hard wax service because it doesn’t bond to the paint in the same way but offers some protection from contaminants like sap and bugs while at the same time offering a great shine.  I prefer this method if I have an event or I just need my car to have a great shine but I don’t have time for a full wax.

Keeping Your Vehicle Clean

Although having protection on the paint is best, it is also very helpful in prolonging the life of your paint to keep the vehicle clean.  Allowing contaminants to remain on the vehicle’s paint for weeks or even months can cause irreversible damage to the paint. For example, dead bugs on the paint can begin to eat the clear coat.  The longer these contaminants remain on the vehicle the more damage they do. Keeping your vehicle clean is the first step in protecting your paint and extending its life.

A wax 2X per year can extend the life of your paint by years!

At Five Star Auto Center we provide affordable detail and wash services to keep your vehicle looking new for years.  We also provide maintenance and repairs to keep your vehicle running like new for years. We are a small, locally-owned and operated company that has been a productive community business for over 20 years.   Make an appointment today for your detail or maintenance services!

From your auto detail expert,

Kieran Griffin
Five Star Auto Center General Manager