Wondering if you should wax your car? A trip to an auto parts store, like those listed on the DexKnows site, will reveal a multitude of waxes and polishes, and some claim to do the job in minutes. But why bother waxing at all? Here’s why.
Protecting paint, adding value
The gleaming paint of your car or truck is under attack from the moment it leaves the factory. Sunlight is enemy No. 1; over time, ultraviolet (UV) rays, the same ones that cause sunburn, will make the color of the exterior and interior fade. Then there are bird droppings and tree sap. Both eat into the paint, causing irreversible damage. And that’s not to mention the road salt, squished bugs, fall leaves and other detritus that lands on the bodywork throughout the year.
A good coat of wax forms a barrier over the paint. That makes it shine, but more important, it provides protection, keeping the paint in good condition. Wax also helps water run off more easily. Slide a hand over the surface of a newly waxed car and then over a surface that hasn’t had any wax for a year or longer. The waxed surface feels smoother. That helps the car or truck stay clean and makes it easier to keep clean.
But waxing your car is about more than taking pride in its appearance. Paint condition affects the value of a vehicle, so a car that has been waxed regularly will probably be worth more when you sell it.
Does it need waxing?
There’s a simple way to tell: the water bead test. Just splash some water on the surface (or wait for it to rain). If the water beads up, there’s a good coat of wax on the paint. If it spreads out, it’s time to get some wax on.
Waxing made easy
You can find detailed advice in places like Popular Mechanics, but here’s a summary: Park the car in the shade and wash it thoroughly. Use a proper car shampoo, not dish soap, and start from the top. (Water runs down, right?) Then rinse and dry with a microfiber towel. Now it’s time to apply the wax. Buy a quality product – Mother’s, Meguiar’s and Turtle Wax are all good – and work around the vehicle. Treat one panel at a time, buffing and polishing before moving on to the next. It takes time, but it’s worth it.
The simple answer is, wax as often as needed. The water bead test will show you when it needs waxing, or you can follow the advice of Consumer Reports magazine and wax every two to three months.
Worth the bother?
Waxing a vehicle properly does take time and effort, but it’s worth doing. When you come to sell, well-maintained paint work can mean getting hundreds, or even thousands, more for your vehicle. A well-waxed car is also easier to take care of and it’s something you can take pride in.
Time to track down a parts store on DexKnows and load up with wax!