You can vastly improve your car exterior's lifespan by polishing it regularly. Yes, yes. That's stating the obvious. However, most people neglect doing this, thinking that the clearcoat paint will save the day every time.
Ever since the 1980s, waxing and polishing went from being essential to car maintenance to optional due to the use of clearcoat paint that has a glossy layer of film over the paint in order to give it a polished look without polishing it.
However, it's better to polish even cars with clearcoat paints because the extra shine is worth the effort, it helps protect your investment, and the wax seals in that polished freshness the same way the clearcoat seals in your paint's color integrity.
Protect Your Investment with Polishing
There are several methods of polishing you should be aware of in order to protect your vehicular investment by fighting off corrosion and dust-related degradation.
- Hand Polish
When applying polishing cream by hand, you should use a foam applicator pad that won't scratch the clearcoat surface and the paint underneath. You usually only need a small amount of polish before polishing your car with the pad using a circular motion. This method does take a bit of time to work, but the obvious advantage it has is that you can polish hard-to-reach areas this way.
You can also use the hand polish technique "hand-in-hand" with machine polishing. The idea here is to use machine polish to cover the larger areas of your car then use hand polish to go through the smaller areas it can't reach. After polishing a layer on, use a microfiber cloth or another foam pad to wipe down the whole vehicle. Then you can apply wax to preserve the shine.
- Machine Polish
When you're polishing by machine, it typically involves a polishing machine that has a foam pad attached to it like the manual foam pad you use when you're polishing by hand. Put the machine on setting 3 or 4.
This is the best setting for polishing. The other settings are for scouring like sandpaper, which is bad for paint-bonded dirt that requires a clay bar. Your machine will also recommend the right polishing setting anyway.
Rub a bit of polish into the car as recommended by its label then bring the machine to the car surface before turning it on and moving it around in a side-to-side then front-to-back pattern. Do this for every car part.
For the hard-to-reach areas, as mentioned earlier, you can polish them by hand. Afterwards, apply the wax then buffer it to make that wax layer as shiny as the polished paint underneath.