There’s no shortage of car waxes available to consumers, and picking one out is so confusing it might as well be a drinking game. You’ve got thousands of companies in a virtual bidding war for your attention, and, unfortunately, this leads to a whole bunch of misconceptions when it comes to selecting the best paintwork protection product for your car. To ease the pain and complication, I’ve laid out five simple tips that will help you weed out what matters and what’s just marketing.
#1: Don’t sacrifice durability for shine.
It’s 2012 and people are still buying waxes without realizing there are products on the market that give you the best of both worlds. A great shine is always desired, but I for one would like that shine to last more than a week or two. And lets not forget what a wax is supposed to do: protect your finish. I personally recommend sealants or synthetic waxes because they last longer than a traditional carnauba and still give you that great shine that everybody looks for.
#2: Stay away from cleaner waxes.
Without naming any of the culprits, I want to share with you the dangers of a cleaner wax. Lots of times you’ll find an $8 bottle of liquid cleaner wax at your local gas station and expect it to be the ideal solution for your paint. Wrong. Most of these discount waxes use overly powerful solvents to “revitalize” the surface, yielding adverse effects. Solvents contribute to a weaker bond, meaning cleaner waxes do not last long at all. They don’t shine too well, and you NEVER want to get a drop of that stuff on your rubber trim – it will stay white for months. The bottom line is that there are much, much better options on the market… even if it’s a cheap carnauba I’d still pick it over a cleaner wax.
#3: Easy isn’t always better.
Almost every wax product out there claims to be “easier” and “faster” than the next. While sure this may sound great, is that really what you want out of a protection product? It doesn’t really matter what aspect of life we’re talking about, but typically when things are easier and quicker, they are also worse. While there are certainly some exceptions to the rule, you want to be sure you choose quality over convenience. Technology is the only thing that will make a quality product easier to use, and if your “speed shine” protection product lacks concrete reasoning to back it up, it’s probably not the right choice for your car.
#4: Don’t consult the forums.
Too often we get people saying they were displeased with a product they tried based on a forum review. Along the same lines, a lot of people steer clear of certain products based on what a third-party has to say on an unmonitored forum. The problem with forums is that you can’t trust who you are talking to, and much like Yelp, people post when they have reason to. Those bad reviews you’re reading are typically fueled by a certain motivation, and whether that be poor customer service or a simple miscommunication, take it with a grain of salt.
#5: When in doubt, pick a paint sealant.
There are few things better than providing your paint with the proper protection. With a paint sealant, that’s exactly what you get. Long-lasting, durable protection from environmental fallout, debris, UVs, and more. Most paint sealants utilize polymers to shield the surface, so it withstands high heat and tough weather much better than a natural carnauba paste wax would. A common misconception is that automotive paint sealants don’t give you a good enough shine, but with modern technology that’s completely false. In many ways paint sealants have positioned carnauba wax as obsolete, though I’m sure that will never happen. Do your car right and try one out.
When it comes to choosing paint protection products, don’t prematurely pull the trigger. There’s nothing more displeasing than a terrible wax, and believe me, there are plenty of big brand chemical companies getting away with subpar products. Do your research, assess the situation, and above all else, just make sure your car is protected at all times. Choosing the right product can add months of durability, luster, and protection… so what are you waiting for?
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