How often should I wax my car? To begin with, we would advise waxing twice a year as an absolute minimum – once in spring before the summer temperatures increase, and once before winter to protect against rain, snow and hail. You’ll be able to tell when the car needs waxing by watching how water runs off it – if it doesn’t form nice beads then you need to wax your car again, or top it up with a quick detailing wax.
If you want to keep your car protected further, we’d recommend waxing four times a year, or every three months. However often you choose to wax, it’s worth considering some sort of regime – failing to do so leaves it open to cosmetic damage and fading paint, which could mean your car’s resale value might take a hit.
Caring for the paintwork
Waxing your car is not just about making it shine, it’s about caring for the paintwork, protecting the exterior and helping to maintain the car’s value.
Paints are the last line of defence for your car’s bodywork. Automotive paints are designed to be tough, durable and flexible, but modern cars use water-based paints which can be softer than older paints. Abrasion due to weathering and washing creates swirl marks and minor scratches that can drastically reduce the gloss level, leaving the paintwork dull.
Using a good quality paint restorer, minor blemishes, oxidation and swirl marks can be easily removed. Applying a wax on the top layer will improve the gloss and give a brilliant shine that can last for a whole year.
When to Wax?
Deciding whether a car needs waxing can be tricky because the protective layer and shine will reduce very slowly and is imperceptible to the naked eye. Expert valeters and detailing specialists may use gloss measuring devices to help make the decision for them. Luckily we have decades of experience in car care, and we’re here to pass on the knowledge. Here are some key factors for the driveway detailer to help you decide when it’s best to protect your car’s paintwork.
- Season: The time of year plays an important role in waxing your car, too. Adam Tudor-Lane, of Carwitter, was kind enough to give us some words of his own:“Summer months give wax a far longer lifespan, the weather is often warm and
mild with less rain. You can get away with waxing your pride and joy every four
months or so.” Conversely, the winter’s harsh weather means you might need to step up that waxing regime. Adam says:“Nature’s worst is being thrown at your car on an almost daily
basis. Road grime, salt and screenwash will all degrade that ultra-fine
protective layer at an increased rate. Ideally, you should be waxing once a
month, or at the very least every two months when the weather is bad”.
- Environment: The first factor that will affect how often you need to wax your car is the environment. If your car is parked under trees, you’ll want to keep the wax topped up to protect it from the sap. Salt is also harmful to paintwork, so if you live near the coast you should be more careful and wax regularly. Smog, dirt, UV rays and cold temperatures can all harm the exterior as well.
- Type of wax: The second factor is the wax you use. Some last for months and withstand many washes, others will come off when you shampoo the car. Quick detailing products, for example Simoniz Quickshine Detailer Wax, go on easily to provide an instant shine, so they’re easy to use after washing, but the effects only last for a few months.Hard waxes like the Simoniz Original Wax contain carnauba, one of the hardest naturally occurring waxes known to man. Adam says:“The higher the percentage, the harder the wax, and the more difficult it is to apply. It’s a fine balance between ease of use and longevity”.Liquid waxes are quicker and need to be used more regularly. Waxing can be an investment and a little time spent with Simoniz will help your car care regime between washes and beyond.
Age: The third factor is the age of your car and how well it’s been looked after. New cars shouldn’t need much work as the paintwork will be new and in good condition, so it will just be a case of making sure it’s suitably protected. If you’ve bought a used car which is a few years old and the paintwork is dull and scratched, it’s probably not been cared for. Regular polishing and waxing, and maybe using a colour restorer, will help bring it back to life.
Wax on, wax off: Things to consider
- Take your time – waxing your vehicle is a disciplined process that requires care.
- Before you start, do you have everything you need? You should make sure the car’s clean before applying wax, so have a bucket, water, wash mitt and your non-abrasive high-quality auto wax of choice ready. Consider using a microfiber towel and microfiber applicator pad for best results.
- Park the car in an area that’s shaded so the wax won’t dry too quickly.
- Ensure the wash mitt is rinsed often to remove debris. Use the microfiber towel when drying the vehicle, this stops unsightly water spots – you want your car looking as freshly buffed as possible.
- Likewise, a vertical or horizontal waxing method prevents swirls from forming.
- A light coating of wax should be enough to do the trick. Heavy applications make the whole process a little tougher, and if it gets into cracks and crevices, it’ll be difficult to remove.
- Make sure there’s an even application and gently buff the wax off with a microfiber towel when you’re done.
- Something of a motoring myth: you don’t need to wax in its first year. Actually, this isn’t necessarily true. While dealerships in the past advised leaving the paint and undercoats to completely set, your motor should be good for a waxing after only a few weeks.
With a fantastic range of waxes and polishes to keep your car looking its best, Simoniz cleans and protects your car all year round with shine guaranteed. To browse the full range of cleaning and detailing products, visit our homepage.