Most people need to wax their car but only some of them bother doing the waxing. With that said, do you really need to wax your car? Maybe. It depends on you.
Waxing usually makes many a car extra shiny. That's the point of wax; it's a glossy "Seran wrap" for your vehicle until the next time it needs a carwash.
Wax also used to not only give paint a good gloss, but also serve as the only line of defense your car has against scratches. However, modern paint jobs and wax formulas have become better in the last few decades or so.
The Addition of Clear Coat and Its Connection to Wax
- Clear Coat: Back in the 1980s, manufacturers began added a cleat coat layer on top of the paint to add shine to the vehicle. This coat is able to take environmental abuse, thus safeguarding your car from dings, tiny scratches, and water stains. The coat protects your car from bird feces, bug guts, rain, dirt, road salt, exhaust, ozone, and ultraviolet light.
- Aging Paint and Haze: As this new type of paint with clear coat ages, the surface damage ends up becoming hazy, with the shine subsiding and whatnot. However, there's no damage to the color layer below the coat. This is why you should wax your car because not doing so will have it end up dull, with the clear coat ending up vulnerable to accelerated wear-and-tear.
- The Consequences of Not Waxing: If you'd rather just wash your car and not put wax products on it, then it should look reasonably nice as long as the clear coat holds out. Make sure to use gentle liquid soap or foamy carwash soap to clean up your car, because detergents can hasten the aging of the clear coat.
- Sacrificial Layer: While the clear coat is supposed to protect the paint underneath from scratches and dings, you can wax your car to add a sacrificial layer against the elements. The beauty of using wax is that, unlike clear coat, it's cheaper to put in new layers of wax every time your car is washed. Your clear coat is safeguarded by the wax and it's a renewable way to protect it.
- To Wax or Not to Wax? The advent of the clear coat during the 1980s has allowed car owners to not need to wax their cars as much as their counterparts in the 1970s and before. They can simply wash their car regularly and get the same effect as a classic waxed and buffed vehicle. However, in order to take care of this clear coat innovation or have extra insurance against paint damage, you should still wax your car.