Waxing is not an aesthetic luxury. It's a worthwhile investment that will protect the longevity of your car. It's not something you use to make a car extra shiny after car detailing or washing and polishing.
Rather, it has a more crucial purpose involving the extension of the lifespan of your vehicle's paint finish. Wax has evolved from being a necessity to a luxury largely thanks to the development of clearcoat or clear coat paints back in the Eighties.
With them, the paint now has a waxen gloss to them that protects them from dirt and debris as long as you wash your car regularly. Thanks to clearcoat, carwashes are enough to bring out your car's showroom shine.
What Does Waxing a Car Do?
- The Short Answer to Wax Capabilities: Wax is protection or pasty Saran wrap that keeps your paint safe from the outside elements, whether they're sandpaper-like brake dust or bird droppings. Thanks to the sleekness of today's clearcoat finishes, you can hose down a car then wipe it clean and you're through. However, just as it's important to know who watches the watchmen, so too should the motorist know who protects the clearcoat.
- A Thin Layer Goes a Long Way: The wax is there to do what the clearcoat is supposed to do, which is protect the paint. Because the clearcoat layer serves as the first line of defense against dirt and grime, it pays to have a layer above that layer to afford extra protection or skin for the underlying finish. You should keep the wax layer thin in order to not waste it and to let it set easier when you buff it though.
- A Shield from Most Anything: The layer of wax you apply on your car finish can shield it from sunlight, grime in the air or mud from the road, squished bugs, water, bird droppings, tree sap and small fruit splatter, and so forth. In other words, the things that the clearcoat defends against for the sake of keeping the paint finish safe are the same things that the wax defends against for the sake of keeping the clearcoat safe. It's multilayered defense.
- A Bonus Benefit to Waxing: There's a bonus benefit from all this wax-based protection as well. Wax is a dirt and water repellant. This allows you to go longer between car washes compared to the regular washing you have to do with an unwaxed car. This reduces damaging contact between your paint and the gritty nature of dirt particles when you hose or wipe them away. Furthermore, it extends the life of your paint job and even your vehicle in its own right.