Most car detailing tips just plain suck! And just like most every other area of life, when it comes to car care and auto detailing most of the information is either wrong, misleading, and in many cases... both!
Unlike days of past where we actually had to go searching for information, today we are on information overload as we are constantly bombarded with marketing, messaging, and advertising. As society we need to now spend time unlearning all the bad information before we think of learning anything new. With that said, many of my car detailing tips will turn accepted opinions on their heads.
Myth: You can wax your car too much.
Fact: This depends. Waxing should be reserved for protection and visual enhancement of paint. Therefore, any car wax product you would be using would not contain any form of abrasives or chemical cleaners, so unless you are so OCD and neurotic as to want to wax your car every day for years, the idea of waxing your car too much is just not true. We must also remember that many people wax their cars simply for visual perfection, so wax as often as you like and keep your car looking its best; those around you will appreciate your efforts. See what I recommend as my best car waxes.
Myth: If you wax your car too much, you will get wax build up.
Fact: There is no such thing as wax build-up; unless a person is referring to wax build-up within seams and crevices due to sloppy application and removal of wax itself. Once again, this is one of those topics that people will use as an attempt to elevate themselves to some form of “expert” by creating specialness to an area of discussion. The so called "expert" in the moment will talk about how you need to worry about wax build up if you wax too often, and you need to take special measures to remove old wax. ta
Myth: I heard that new cars don’t need to be waxed.
Fact: New cars need to be waxed just as any car needs wax on the paint. New cars get no form of protection applied to the paint from the factory or at the dealership. Not to be confused with clear coats, waxing is ongoing paint maintenance that needs renewing as wax wears out/off over time. Clear coat is un-pigmented paint that is applied at the factory as part of the original painting process and needs protection and visual enhancement just like old-school single stage paint jobs.
Myth: I heard you must buy products specially formulated for clear coats.
Fact: This is a myth started by car care manufacturers and perpetuated by people trying to appear as experts. In an attempt to sell more products, car care companies started to apply specialness to their own products by claiming their products are clear coat safe, or specially formulated for clear coats. A marketing tool that exploits the ignorance of consumers, it automatically creates doubt by claiming to be safe for something that most consumers have no ability to verify. The fact is that every paint type is going to come with its own inherent vulnerabilities. Just as no brand is exactly the same as any other brand, the same holds true for paint types, clear coat types, etc. Many will argue that clear coats are unique in that they are “softer” than traditional or other paints. Whether this be completely true or not, is mostly irrelevant. As a rule, a person must always apply appropriate use of tools, products, pressure, etc., when doing any area of auto detailing. As far as any form of unwanted chemical reaction between clear coats and products, this is untrue and one need not be concerned with shopping clear coat safe products.
Myth: You only need to wax your car once a year.Fact:
Depends. With modern day clear coats, most clear coat finishes (which is any new car today) will last 2-4 years without doing a single thing to them; no washing, waxing, or polishing. Of course with that said, your car will not be looking its best (waxing also serves to visually enhance, not just protection) and you (or the next owner of your car) will now be forced to make up for lost time due to your neglect.
Myth: I had a paint protection system applied to my car at the dealership so I don't need to wax my car.
Fact: These are nothing more than over-priced paint warranties. What you are really buying is nothing more than false security, permission to be lazy, and a warranty that is virtually useless due to the fact that modern day clear coats will last, once again, 2-4 years without doing a single thing as far as washing, waxing, polishing, etc. What people also forget is that these paint protection systems sound like a good idea when thinking of protecting their paint, but forget that waxing a car also enhances the beauty of it. Suddenly you are considering waxing your car for looks and you realized you spent all this money on some glorified paint protection system which you thought would allow you to never wax your car again.
Myth: I heard that carnauba wax is the best.
Fact: There is no such thing as best as this is an individual call to make based on your specific situation, and expectations. It is also an oversimplification as to whether you are referring to the best in protection or the best in visual performance. There is also no such thing as a pure carnauba wax, as Brazilian carnauba wax is impossible to use in its natural state, and a wax product must be “blended” and processed with other ingredients to make usable.
Myth: I heard that synthetic waxes are the best.
Fact: Once again, this is an individual call to make. Waxing is about protection and appearance, and just like most things in life, you must trade off one benefit to receive another. The same goes with wax products. Synthetics will outlast carnauba blends for durability, but suffer from the inability to “cover” or “hide” surface blemishes as a carnauba paste wax can do.tips
Myth: I know a guy who kept his car for three years and never washed or waxed it the entire time. Just before he sold it, ran it through the car wash and it was fine.
Fact: It is true that most modern day paint finishes can last about three years with absolutely no maintenance. Unless you don’t care what your car looks like during that time, or don’t care about the next owner of your car inheriting problems of your neglect, then by all means, do nothing. Proper paint care does include regular washing, use of the clay bar, and waxing for protection and beauty.c
Myth: It is necessary to apply wax in a strict back and forth method, as applying in a circular motion will create swirl marks.
While this sounds logical, it is a false statement. Since all wax is
not created equal, it is possible to put in unwanted marks by using a
wax that has abrasives, or using excessive pressure and/or dirty rags.
Waxing once again is for protection and enhancement. When using a wax
that has no additional cleaners or polishes to it, simply apply the wax
with a clean applicator, and any form of application motion is
acceptable; a person needn’t become overly concerned with creating
unwanted patterns in the paint. The same holds true for wax removal. But
if it makes you feel like a rock star, then by all means make sure you
apply and remove in back and forth motions.
Thank you for visiting my car detailing tips. Make sure you pass them along to your blissfully ignorant friends now that you have become informed yourself!