Sealing, polishing, waxing… A lot of names are thrown around when it comes to this process which we call paint protection. Being in the industry, I try to define each for what they are. This is not as easy as you may think, due to the marketing men stepping in when the chemists step out. So the lines between these types of product are well and truly blurred.
A protectant, such as those used by many "paint protection" companies, is supposed to be as tough as nails. A real one has to be machine applied and baked on by professionals and I would only recommend it for a new car that has had the time to let its paint cure. This time frame varies with each manufacturer, but most are cured by the time they are delivered to the dealer. We have seen over the last few years just about all these paint protection systems really go backwards in quality and actual protection, so we could never recommend any of them any more.
A sealant or “polish”, relies mostly on synthetic ingredients to create its protective barrier. As with synthetic oils now taking over their respective market, we believe one day synthetic waxes probably will too. But until they are proven (or is that when we are convinced?) we will stick to what we know is safe for regular long-term use. Every synthetic wax system we have tried is generally fussy with numerous opinions being given as to why they have not worked in our specific application; from the Queensland climatic conditions, to the solar flares being in the wrong phase of alignment with Uranus. When things do finally come into phase, you should see us having some products that will work in our range!
Auto Body Wax, your right choice in paint protection
Waxing is pretty self-explanatory - it is the act of putting a sacrificial protective barrier over the surface of your car. This protective barrier should contain a degree of naturally sourced wax, hopefully of the carnauba type. But this is not necessarily always the case. We are big fans of waxing our cars. We used to use top European and USA made waxes (that make out they are European), but the bills for the collection were horrendous and in our opinion, a lot of the other generic products you can get off the shelves at the local auto store are just horrendous, full stop. All of our products are aimed at matching the top European brands for quality and equalling the rest for price. That is what you get with our wax.
EXPENSIVE DOES NOT MEAN BEST
One of those European based companies starts their “How To” section by stating how your car’s finish says a lot about you, as a person, so you should take extra care with what kind of products you use. While I think they were pandering to a slightly more vain market than Australia with that little ditty, I do agree with them to a certain degree. What they omitted though was that the majority of the waxes on the market will do the same job their $1200.00 tub of wax will. (Yes, that is how much some can cost there are others that are crazily priced at 10 times that!). It is what is going into the waxes, to achieve this great public perception that makes all the difference, not the direct results.
Most waxes on the market rely on silicone for gloss and durability. Not all silicones are bad; unfortunately the more dangerous ones work the best! They are the real “easy on – easy off” type and deliver the best “wet look” shine. Unfortunately they are also dirt cheap, so you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out what most people are rubbing all over their cars every weekend. The biggest drama with the oil based silicones used is that they stay in your paint and it requires pretty aggressive cleaning products or total stripping of the paint to remove them from it. So we stay away from these ingredients in our products, something many panel beaters will certainly appreciate if they ever need to touch up a mark or ding on your car.
Norms Monaro, Auto Body Wax and Serina, cannot get any more Aussie than this!
Another grievance is that we really do LOVE cars and anything to do with them, so to watch huge multi-national companies come in from overseas with their cheesy marketing and nasty product, in flashy bottles and then monopolise our car care industry really gives us the shits. That’s putting it lightly I might add.
MORE THAN JUST A CAR
We would like to think that the average Bowden’s Own customer sees their car as more than just a means of transport, something that is an expression of their taste and beliefs. Something that you will go that bit extra for, just to do the right thing by it. If you have ever stood back from your four wheeled friend after an afternoon’s cleaning and with a kind of goofy look on your face, thought: “WOW……. how good is that?!” then we are proud to say you are one of us.
HOW WE WAX...cars.
This is the easy bit!
What, you say? Isn’t waxing correctly a mysterious and difficult procedure?
No, it is not.
Believe it or not, cleansing is the hardest bit. If you put in the hard work cleansing and preparing a smooth surface for the wax, it should be an enjoyable walk in the park. Ensure that your car has been thoroughly washed and cleansed with Bowden’s Own Auto Body Gel and Auto Body Cleanser respectively. If it feels rough in any way, give it a go with our Fine Clay Bar. No matter how good we make the wax, if it is not applied to a correctly treated surface, it will neither look very sharp, nor bind to the surface correctly to offer adequate protection. So try and do the preparation work first and get the best possible finish.
Serina really gets into waxing, quite often actually.
Ensure the car’s surface is out of direct sunlight and cool to touch. Remove any rings, belt buckles, chains or anything else from yourself as they can potentially scratch your paint. Shake the bottle really well and apply a 50-cent size amount of Auto Body Perfection to the Microfibre applicator pad. Work on one area of the car at a time using either the favoured by the show-car fanatics- back and forth motion, again imagining the manner in which the paint was applied to the car and mimicking this. Or you can think of how air travels over the surface of your vehicle - both will achieve the same result. Or, as our wax has no abrasives, you can also use the more normal circular application method as well. Try and spread the wax as far as possible. The less you use, the better the results and your dollar stretches much further. Remember this simple rule; Less is Best!!
Let the Auto Body Wax dry to a haze, before removing with a clean Microfibre cloth, again using the same side to side motion. TIP; to ensure that the entire car is worked upon, do about one square metre, or one panel at a time. Inspect the car to ensure all the residue is buffed away. Now step back and have a look at that beautiful shine, then put a grin on your face, as you know you have just done something truly great for your precious mate’s long term health and well being.
Buffing off the wax, is an easy, no mess affair.
LAYERING OUR WAX
Want a little bit more oomph in your cars depth and shine, maybe just need a little bit extra protection? Good news, as our wax utilises carnauba it is able to be layered. Basically all it is, as the name suggests, layering a film of wax on top of another. To do it, wash, cleanse and then wax your car, then let it sit for at least 8 hours, this allows our wax to cure. Make sure the car is kept in a sealed area (like a garage) so no extra dust or residue settles into it during those 8 hours. Then, go over it again with another layer of wax, to increase the shine and protection.
We have done a lot of testing and find that 2 coats is fine, 3 coats is for those really pedantic people out there, but any more than this does not do anything more than burning away some extra calories as you apply the wax… Personally, I use two coats on my everyday car and notice the difference it gives. But we know most people are usually happy enough with the results the one coat by itself can give. We are all different in what we want and need, so give it a go and see what you think.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I WAX AND CLEANSE?
If the wax you are using is of a high quality (like our wax), and the car is garaged most of the time, then you could get away with maybe two to three times per year. Some of our cars NEVER see the elements and are garaged out of direct sunlight in a cool dry area, they only need to be waxed once a year max. On the other end of the spectrum, our work van, ute and regular race cars need waxing every other month. More frequently in the hotter and usually wetter summer months as the environment and heat does a good job at breaking it down.
The trick is to be honest with yourself and assess how much you use your car. If it cops all of the elements, lives outside and is driven every day, then you will only keep it looking its absolute best if it's waxed every month. You could get away with every second month, but then it wouldn't be looking too sharp after a few years. Another plus for waxing the car regularly is that you don't have to cleanse every single time. I do the bonnet every time with both cleanser then wax, as it cops the most heat, bugs and grime on the car. But the rest of my cars get by with a good wash and loving wax. If you let the wax deteriorate away you will need to re- cleanse.
With no abrasives or harsh cleaners in our wax, have no fear using it on the most delicate of cars paint.
To tell if your wax is still on the paint there are a few different methods, we recommend these three. First telling sign is the easiest, the shine, how does it look? If it is getting dull, re wax her (and most likely cleanse as well). Another is if water is still beading tightly on the paint, if it is, there is still wax there, but we have found that this is not always a 100% true indicator. So a final test is to run your dry finger with a reasonable amount of pressure over the dry paint surface, if it slides and has no “squealing” noise, there is most likely something still there. If not, give her some wax!
KEEPING IT SIMPLE
Every day cars, Cleanse the car at least twice a year (daily driven cars get more embedded dirt than most), wax a minimum of every 2 months especially in the warmer summer months.
Occasional use cars that live in a garage, Cleanse once a year, wax every 3 to 4 months, remembering to show it more love when it gets warmer.
Garage and show specials, Cleanse once a year, or cleanse and wax before each show or once a year to keep it looking show-car special.
The average car, stored under "normal" (Is there such a thing?) conditions, would benefit greatly from being waxed every second month.
Be honest about the action your car sees and from the information above find the balance that matches! Simple huh?
One of the most valuable cars in our collection getting the good gear, it's safe for all cars and paint types.
I hope you have survived through all this, yes it can be a bit time consuming to wax your car, hard but nothing good is ever that quick or easy. With this system of our car care products, your paint will look fantastic and most importantly last over the long term. The Auto Body Wax and all the other products in this article can be located either on our website by clicking here or through our great network of stockists here.
Some other articles you might like to read are;
Using the Cleanser
Using the Fine Clay Bar
If you have any questions about this anything in this article, please feel free to email me email@example.com
Love your car,