1995 BMW M3

Front left 1995 BMW M3 Car Picture

Should You Wax Your Car?

by Donnie Jones

If you own an older car, you probably keep the appearance looking new with a few coats of wax each year. This is a standard practice for most "vintage" car owners. New cars today, however, are usually given a coat of what is called "clear coat" which you can think as a thin coat of clear colored paint. The clear coat helps ward off dirt, grease, salt, ultraviolet light, dead bugs, and bird droppings which every car owner has to contend with. Most car dealers will tell you there is no need of waxing your car your car but will require you to come in each year and have another application of clear coat. Most likely this will be at your expense too.

The clear coat does offer the paint protection and gives a nice shine to the car body. The only thing is it is very easy for the clear coat to get scratched or chipped and it still continues to oxidize. When that happens, it exposes the paint or, in some cases, the metal used for the body panels. If you do not wax the car, this clear coat will eventually fade and definitely lose its ability to offer the paint protection where it is scratched or nicked and a faded paint job will cost you later when you want to trade the car in or sell it. People favor a nice shiny car which looks like it was well-cared for.

So even with a new car, it is a good policy to apply a coat of quality wax at least 2 - 4 times a year. The new waxes have additives that help further protect the clear coat and the paint on the car. The manufacturers are making it easier to apply and polish these waxes. If you can apply a wax coat once in the spring, a couple of times during the summer months, and once late in the fall before the winter weather sets in, you will have an excellent protection for your car. Even applying one coat in the spring and another coat just before winter will help preserve your car body. The test is, when it rains, if you fail to see little bubbles in the water on your hood, you should apply a coat of wax.

You should consult the body shop of your car's dealership to get their opinion on waxing your car in case they might want you to do something different so as not to void the warranty on the paint. Take a look at your car body carefully and see where the paint might be scraped; hence, the clear coat will be worn off too. Ask the dealer's advice regarding your particular situation. Keeping it waxed offers a guaranteed cheaper and easier protection.

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