Regular waxing will keep a car looking new for many years. A ten-year-old car that hasbeen waxed twice a year will probably have a better shine then when it was new. It willalso command a higher resale value and be easier to sell.
If rain water does not bead on the painted surfaces of your car, it's time to wax it.How often you have to wax your car is dependent on the type of wax you use and how goodyou want your car to look. Some of the new synthetic waxes will last more than a year.
Obviously, there are two ways to get the car waxed: have it done by someone or do ityourself. If you don't mind spending about $100.00, check out an auto detailer. They willclean the entire car inside and out, cleaning and waxing the body and shampooing theinterior, right down to using a toothbrush to clean the seams in the dashboard. They willdeep-clean the wheels and tires and make sure they remove any wax residue around thenameplates and emblems. Check with your local car wash or look in the Yellow Pages under"Automobile Detailing".
If you decide to wax the car yourself, make sure you start with a clean car and neverwork in direct sunlight on a hot day. Before you start, run your hand over the surface, itshould feel smooth like glass. If it feels rough or gritty like there are bits of sandembedded in the paint, then you should first use a non-abrasive cleaner to clean the paintbefore waxing. One of the best methods that I have found uses clay to smooth thesurface. Products such as Clay Magic & Meguiars Clay Detailer work beautifully withamazing results. Make sure you only use products designed for automotive finishes andfollow the instructions on the container. After you finish waxing the car, you should goover the entire surface to look for wax residue, especially around trim and body seems. Atooth brush or Q-tips work well for this. If your car has black trim, try to keep the waxaway from it. Some waxes may leave a chalky film on dull black trim, such as rubber andsome plastics, that can be hard to remove. Look for products that are made for cleaningblack trim. I found them to work well and really let the black stand out.
Before beginning the job, examine the paint closely for chips and scratches and touchthem up. Touch-up paint is available at most auto supply stores for the most popular paintcolors. If you can't find your color there, check with your new car dealer. If they don'thave it you may have to go to an auto body supply where they can match any color you mighthave (for a price). I always ask for a tube of touch-up paint when I buy a new car. Thattube will usually last a few years if you only use it for chips and small scratchesand keep it covered. Make sure that you wipe the paint off the bottlebefore you put the lid back on or you will never get it off again. (I speak fromexperience)
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