In this article you will learn:
Clear coat paint protection, like car waxes and sealants, isn’t just for collectible cars, grandfathers or vain guys named Biff. Protecting the paint on your car will help prevent it from looking old prematurely, and that’s not just about aesthetics.
Don’t get us wrong. We love a beautiful paint job with high gloss. But more importantly, anything that protects your vehicle also protects its resale value. And with the average sale price of a new car inching close to £30,000 (£40,000 for an SUV,) protecting that investment should be at the top of your car care priorities.
So what kinds of protectants are available, how do they work and how often should you apply them? Let’s dig into the facts about car wax and sealant and get you started.
Whether your car was painted at the manufacturing plant or at a repair shop after an accident, the paint job included at least one coat of a coloured base layer of paint and a protective layer of clear coat on top. That clear coat is extremely thin, only about 1.5 to 2 microns thick. While clear coats are formulated to withstand a fair amount of abuse and exposure, they’re thinner than a sheet of paper. Protecting against the sun’s UV rays, road debris and the occasional bumps and scrapes is a tall order for such a thin coat of paint.
Without the added protection of a car paint sealant or wax products, paint can oxidise and fade. It’s more vulnerable to swirls at the car wash and scratches in the parking lot. Stubborn contaminants like bird droppings or tree sap can permanently stain your paint. Basically, to keep looking their best, your paint and clear coat just need a little extra care and protection.
Protective coatings such as car wax and paint sealants create a sacrificial barrier on top of clear coat layer on your car. When you apply the sealant, you build up a temporary layer of protection that can deflect or absorb damage, so that the clear coat underneath doesn’t have to endure the punishment. When the temporary layer wears away, you simply replace it with a new layer of wax or sealant, and your clear coat remains sparkling and shiny like new.
If you stay on top of this care, your car’s paint can look showroom fresh 10 or 20 years down the road.
With a fresh layer of wax or sealant, washing your car becomes far easier. That’s because the slippery shield of protection helps your car resist and repel dirt. Mud and grime wash away easily while bird droppings, tree sap and bug residue don’t have the chance to embed themselves into the clear coat. Once the car is clean, drying is easier, too. Thanks to the hydrophobic properties of wax products and sealants, the water you use to rinse will bead and roll off the surface of your car, helping to prevent streaks and water spots.
Your freshly washed car will truly look spotless and sparkling with far less elbow grease.
Paint protection products wear away over time, and, when they do, they leave your paint and clear coat exposed. To ensure that your paint continues to look its best, we recommend that you apply routine, additional coatings. The frequency should be based on the product you choose. For instance, natural car wax products formulated with substances like carnauba wax wear away in several weeks or up to 3 months, while DIY ceramic coatings and graphene-infused waxes can last up to 12 months.
Wash your car frequently, and each time you do, pay special attention to how water reacts on the finish. If you notice that it doesn’t bead like it did when you first applied the coating, it’s time to apply a new layer.
Pro Tip: You can extend the life of your paint protectant between applications by using supplemental products like car wash shampoo with integrated wax or topper sprays that boost the coating after a wash.
At Turtle Wax, we recently introduced a couple of scientifically advanced wax products that last far longer than most of their predecessors. Hybrid Solutions PRO Flex Wax and Hybrid Solutions PRO to the Max Wax combine natural carnauba wax, synthetic polymers and pure graphene for incredible shine, protection and durability up to 12 months. Alternatively, our Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating brings the protection of silicon dioxide to the party for up to 1 year.
Having a car that looks showroom-fresh is one thing, but, with rising purchase prices, preserving the value of your car is a very real and practical matter. With a regular paint protection plan and the right products, you can do both in one simple shot. Your 2-micron-thick layer of clear coat will thank you for it!
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