Many of the commonly known facts about auto detailing are valuable bits of knowledge to have, but many are relics from a time long past when automotive paint and clear coats were very different than they are today.Many of the commonly known facts about auto detailing are valuable bits of knowledge to have, but many are relics from a time long past when automotive paint and clear coats were very different than they are today.
The Facts & Myths of Detailing
Some things to know, and some things to forget.
Many of the commonly known facts about auto detailing are valuable bits of knowledge to have, but many are relics from a time long past when automotive paint and clear coats were very different than they are today. Below we look at a list of commonly held beliefs to see if they are facts or myths. Some might even surprise you.
Myth: You can over-wax your car.
Fact: Proper waxing protects the look and quality of your vehicles paint. So as long as you stay away from scouring agents, abrasives or chemical cleaners, waxing your car at regular intervals will never cause a problem.
Myth: Too much waxing, equals wax build up.
Fact: If you’re getting wax build up, it means you’re doing it wrong. Proper waxing application and removal won’t result in left over wax in the seams and crevices.
Myth: My car is new, so it doesn’t need to be waxed.
Fact: The clear coat on your new vehicle is an un-pigmented paint coating applied at the factory. This clear coat is protecting your paint, but your vehicle’s exterior still has no form of protection. New cars need to be waxed as part of ongoing paint maintenance.
Myth: Don’t I have to buy products specially formulated for clear coats?
Fact: You can’t fault car care manufacturers for their desire to move product, but that’s the foundation of this myth. Car care companies claim exclusivity, saying their products are “specially formulated” for clear coats. The fact is, all vehicles today are topped with clear coat, and all over the counter detailing products are made with that in mind. As long as the consumer uses proper tools and technique for any auto detailing project, they shouldn’t concern themselves with brand wars.
Myth: You only need to wax your car once a year.
Fact: Waxing preserves and protects your vehicle from harsh elements. It increases resale value at trade-in time and it’s easier to clean between waxing. Doing so 4 times a year, or every three months, is a good rule of thumb.
Myth: I had a paint protection system applied to my car at the dealership so I don’t need to wax my car.
Fact: If you had a liquid paint protection coating applied, you will still need to wax regularly. If you had a paint protection film applied, it probably doesn’t cover the entire vehicle, so you still need to wax the exposed parts. You can even wax paint protection films to keep them shiny and to give them a nice bead when it rains.
Myth: I heard that carnauba wax is the best.
Fact: It’s important to come to terms with your own expectations on what “best” means, whether it’s the best in protection or the best in visual appeal. Each product has a different goal in mind with a completely different set of criteria. Match up your needs with products suited to your application and find the one that best fits your budget.
Myth: Only synthetic waxes are the best.
Fact: There is no “best”. Synthetics win out in durability, but carnauba pastes outperform in the area of minimizing and obscuring blemishes.
Myth: I know a guy who never washed or waxed his car for three years. Then he put it through the car wash, and it was fine.
Fact: As we’ve already discussed, modern day paint finishes can withstand your neglect when it has a healthy clear coat. However, if you care even a tiny bit about the appearance of your vehicle- please wash, wax, and use a clay bar for protection and beauty. A stained and discoloured clear coat will be beyond a simple car wash if you let it go that far.
Myth: You must apply wax in a strict back and forth method, as applying in a circular motion creates swirl marks.
Fact: This really depends on the product and situation. Waxing is for protection and beauty, and any form of motion works. Avoiding unwanted swirl marks is as simple as ensuring the wax you use is free of abrasives, and that you’re applying adequate pressure with clean rags.