For many car owners, getting a regular car wash now and then is more than enough to keep their car looking good. Still, some people prefer going above and beyond by investing in car waxing as part of their vehicle's upkeep.
Car wax, especially if applied by a professional, can increase the overall cost of maintaining a car throughout the year. But is it worth it?
Well, that’s what we’re going to explore in this article. To understand if car waxing is worth the price tag, we’ll look at its primary purpose and benefits, as well as other aspects of car waxing that you might want to take into consideration.
Let’s get started.
What Is the Purpose of Car Wax?
Suppose you walk up to an average person on the street and ask them what they think is the purpose of car waxing. The chances are high that they’ll say it’s so that your car looks shiny and lovely. While that is indeed one of the benefits of using car wax, the truth is that there’s much more to it than aesthetics.
When you wash your car with regular car soap or car shampoo, you see that it helps remove any dirt on your car’s surfaces. However, car shampoo doesn’t do much to protect the paint from further staining or damage.
That’s where car waxing comes into play.
Once all the dirt, oil, and other nasty stuff have been removed from the surface of your car paint, car wax can be applied to the car’s surfaces. Basically, the wax becomes an additional layer between your car’s paint job and the environment surrounding it, somewhat like what a paint sealant might do.
Is Car Waxing Good or Bad for a Car?
Yes, waxing is good for your car. Here are a few crucial reasons why car waxing is an excellent investment to protect your vehicle.
Car waxing does the following:
- Repels water and prevents water stains
- Protects against damage from the sun and harmful UV rays
- Some types of car wax protect against scratches
- Acts as a shield against dirt
- And, of course, keeps your car looking shiny and new
To be fair, certain drawbacks come with using car wax. They include:
- Price: Here’s one common factor that discourages many people from getting their cars waxed: the cost. Whether you do it yourself or take it to a professional detailer, car waxing does come at an added cost. That price can go even higher if you decide to hire a professional who uses high-quality car waxing products.
- Lots of work: Even if you decide to do it yourself at home, car waxing involves a lot of work. It’s not as simple and straightforward as washing your car in your driveway. Firstly, car wax must be reapplied from time to time, requiring stripping off the previous layer before applying a new one. It can be frustrating if you’re DIY-ing it and costly if you’re hiring a pro detailer.
- Requires a bit of homework: Before waxing your car, you need to ensure that the products being used are indeed car wax. Some products utilise the term ‘wax’ even though they don’t necessarily offer the actual benefits of proper car waxing.
How Long Does a Professional Car Wax Job Last?
Typically, a quality professional car wax job will last you at least six months. Over time, car wax will experience wear and tear from exposure to sunlight, rain, and other natural elements. To continue protecting your car's surfaces, it's essential to reapply car wax before the previous layer wears out entirely.
Still, it’s important to note that the 6-month average timeframe will depend largely on the professional you work with and the products that they use. Simply put, a cheaper wax job will not last as long, while a high-end car waxing may last even longer than six months.
How Often Should a Car Be Waxed?
There is no fixed answer here, but we’d recommend getting your car waxed every three months. Yes, we did mention earlier that decent car waxing could last around six months. However, it would be wise not to wait for the wax to wear out entirely before finally getting a new layer applied.
You see, as the car wax wears thin, so does its protective properties. To continue enjoying the benefits of having that car wax protect your car’s paint job, it’s always best to renew it well before it wears out.
Again, your car waxing frequency will depend mainly on the quality you’re paying for. A professional car detailer using high-end waxing products will cost you a fair bit. Still, it’ll also let you go for longer without redoing the wax.
Detailing vs DIY Car Waxing
So, should you take your car to a professional detailing service provider, or can you simply wax it at home? That’s something that depends on your personal preference.
Professional Car Waxing
With a professional detailer, you can rest assured that the people doing the waxing have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience. Plus, they have the correct tools and manpower to quickly wax every inch of your car without missing a spot.
The drawback here is obvious: hiring professionals will cost you much more. But always remember that you’re not paying for nothing. In exchange for your money, you’re getting plenty of value in the form of quick and proper car waxing.
DIY Car Waxing
Yes, you can absolutely do your car waxing all by yourself. As a matter of fact, you could probably head to your nearest supermarket or hardware store and get a bottle of affordable car wax and get the job done right in your driveway or garage.
You’ll save a lot of money, but at what cost? Well, firstly, you’ll have to do all the work yourself. Waxing your entire vehicle from top to bottom and front to back is a labour of love. So, unless you’re exceptionally passionate about your car (or saving money), you might want to hire someone else to do it for you.
Besides, most of the cheaper, widely-available car-waxing products don’t provide the same protection that high-end brands do.
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By Ray Hasbollah