Car Wax and Polish – At Home or at Fisher Auto

June 28th, 2011 by

Keep Your Paint Job Looking Like New; Wax and Polish Your Car

Why doesn’t the paint on your relatively new car look as shiny as the day you bought it? Environmental factors that are never going to go away like UV rays, bug splatter, bird droppings, hard water minerals, winter salt and more are attaching themselves to your paint and damaging the finish. Over time this causes the paint to lose its luster and make the finish look dull. This can be avoided by creating a barrier against the elements and applying a wax or sealant on a regular basis. Bring your vehicle into Fisher Auto for a professional car wash, and they’ll wax or polish your car to a showroom shine.

How Often Should I Wax or Polish My Car?

Most car wax will break down after two washes (since it’s just sitting on the surface of your clear-coat) depending on the quality of wax you’re using and the detergents you’re using to wash the car. If you wash your car and the water is no longer beading up on the paint surface, it’s probably time to apply more wax. Polishing your car can last much longer; sometimes up to a year!

What’s the Difference Between Wax and Polish?

Car Wax

Usually containing Carnauba and other waxes, car wax provides a clear barrier between environmental elements and the clear-coat over the paint on your car. Car wax is usually applied by hand, then wiped or buffed off and lasts anywhere from 1 week to 4 months depending on the product (synthetic vs. organic) and the elemental strains put on your car. Waxing is best to use on paint jobs that do not have any major bumps, cracks, or irregularities, as wax will only fix minor surface flaws, not major flaws with the paint itself.

Car Polish

Instead of leaving a coating like wax, car polish usually contains mild abrasives that actually removes dirt and toxins that has settled into your paint, but it also removes a bit of the actual clear-coat from your car.  Eventually, the polish could remove all of your clear-coat and begin to remove the paint itself to the point that the entire vehicle will need to be repainted. For this reason it is best to only apply polish by hand (not with a buffer) or leave it to the professionals. Polish is best used on cars that have bumps or irregularities in the paint; this indicates that the problems with the finish are below the surface and cannot be remedied with waxing.

Wax Your Car - Fisher Auto - Denver Boulder ColoradoHow to Wax Your Car Properly

Make Sure the Car is Clean – Wax bonds better to a clean, smooth surface that is free of contaminants.
Apply a Thin Layer of Wax – The wax has to be removed after it is applied anyway.  The more you put on, the more you have to remove.
Don’t Use a Circular Motion – Whether you’re applying wax by hand or using a machine, applying wax in a circular motion just increases the chance of seeing swirl marks when you are finished. Use a straight back and forth motion to work the wax in.
Prime Your Sponge – Using a foam pad is usually recommended for applying wax
whether by hand or using a machine. Whatever you use, apply a bit of it to the sponge first to get it wet so the wax itself doesn’t get sticky or clumpy on the vehicle.
Don’t Let the Wax Sit Too Long – If you let the wax sit for too long it will start to get hard and be more difficult to remove. If this happens, you may have to reapply the wax in order to remove it. Therefore, work panel by panel instead of waxing the entire car at one time. Remove the wax residue by using a thick microfiber towel, and buff to a shine.

How to Polish Your Car Properly

Clean Your Car – As with waxing, polishing works best if the surface is clear of dirt and debris.
Tape Off Any Non-Painted Areas – Since car polish contains abrasives, it can dull or damage any plastic or rubber areas if applied. Use painters tape to protect these areas from the polish.
Do Not Apply Polish Directly to Paint – Polish contains abrasives, so you don’t want to put it directly on the paint. Using a buffing machine, use a low setting to create enough friction, but to prevent paint burning, or using a foam pad by hand. Keep the surface wet and cool, and remember that the more highly abrasive the product, the faster it will work.
By Hand or Machine – Either way works, but using a machine is faster. However, while using a rotary buffer is the best way to remove all surface imperfections, it can be difficult and can lead to paint damage if not used properly. These are best left to the professionals. If you’re using a machine, a dual-action buffer is safer to use for the inexperienced.
Don’t Overwork It – If you keep buffing a dry panel, you could burn the paint. As the polish begins to buff out, and the shine on the paint begins to come up, the polish and buffer have done their work. Remove residue with a microfiber towel.
Bring your car into Fisher Auto for your professional car wash and wax or polish. They’ll have your car shining like it did the day you drove it off the lot. Visit Fisher Auto online to print a coupon for a free car wash with any other car service. Fisher Auto serves the greater Denver metro areas of Broomfield, Erie, Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville and beyond.