Monday, March 10, 2014

Wax Away

Angie's ListMarch 10, 2014

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To wax or not to wax?  
Wax says the pros, especially if you want to do your utmost to protect your vehicle's finish from the harsh effects of sun, road debris, tree sap, bugs and more.  According to a group of highly-rated auto detailers, failing to occasionally apply wax or another protectant to your car's exterior finish can lead to the breakdown of the clear coat that protects the paint. Your car than becomes more vulnerable to exposing the paint to damage from oxidation, road salt and other factors.
The detailers say that the clear coat that manufactures provide on the car is not enough to prevent this kind of damage.  The protective boost of polymer or Teflon that is found in wax or other protectants or sealants can act as the temporary barrier to take the abuse that might otherwise damage the clear coat. The wax when applied correctly can cover up small scratches and small blemishes as well.
So how often to wax?
At a minimum, twice a year.  However the pros go on to recommend increasing the frequency to three or four times a year if you live in a hot sunny climate or where road salt is used. Over time, say detailers, oxidation - which occurs when heat and oxygen combine - will break down even the highest quality vehicle paint. 
How to wax?
If you decide to wax your vehicle yourself, the pros recommend that you make sure it's freshly washed, rinsed and allowed to thoroughly dry.  To wax, apply a thin layer of wax, buff off the excess, and repeat. Be careful not to over-apply as a thin application will bond and cure better.
If you decide to pay a detailer to wax your car it will cost $50 to $95 to apply wax or other sealants. A more extensive exterior detail includes cleaning, buffing and waxing, and can range from $150 to $300.
Now to wax...

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