Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted June 11, 2014 16:56
Tips on how to do a proper DIY wax job for your car
Protecting your car's paint finish is one of the many important steps to maintaining its fresh appearance and value. Waxing your car is just as necessary as having an oil change or tune-up. With the hot summer slowly slipping away and as the rainclouds start to creep in, it is even more important that you protect your car’s finish with a good wax.
Contrary to popular belief, regular waxing does not only give your car that perfect shine, it also protects your paint finish by giving it a protective coating to prevent surface oxidation, which will eventually cause it to dull and break down.
It also protects from the daily elements we encounter like bird droppings, tree sap, smog, rain, and from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Waxing also acts as a dirt and water repellant by providing a protective coat on your paint.
When to Wax?
Knowing when to bring out your car wax and giving your arms some exercise can be determined by some simple indicators.
Water bead test - A tried and tested process that can even be done while washing your car. Just look at how your car reacts when you spray water on it. If the water forms sheets or water patches instead of small beads, it’s time to wax your car. Otherwise, your last wax job is still fine.
Feel of the hands test - Feel through your car’s paint surface with your hand, if it squeaks and feels like your newly washed dinner plate, it’s definitely time to wax.
What you need
To make the process more efficient, you’ll need to prepare some 'tools' so to speak. We prepared a quick checklist on the essentials:
For washing - SONAX Active Shampoo 2 in 1, bucket of water, car wash sponge, and a good quality chamois for drying.
Good quality car wax for the appropriate application. The SONAX Xtreme line has three levels of waxes with Nano Pro technology depending on paint condition.
Wax applicator like a SONAX Applicator Sponge.
A good quality microfiber cloth, like the SONAX Microfiber Cloth Exterior or an ergonomic P-Ball to buff off the wax and give your car that 'mirror gloss' like.
While not required, we recommend that you use a detailing clay kit like the SONAX Spray & Clay to remove heavy dirt build-up, dead bugs, bird droppings, tree sap, and road tar. The spray also doubles as a glass cleaner for your windows.
After preparing the things you need, start off by giving your car a wash. We wrote about the proper way of washing a car in a previous article. It is important to move your car away from the sunlight or to a shaded area if possible, because direct heat dries up whatever products that will be used.
*It is recommended to 'clay' the surface before applying wax to make sure you don’t bond in unwanted dirt that might end up damaging your paint. Using the Spray & Clay kit is just as simple as it sounds, just the spray on the surface and rub away with the detailing clay. Make sure the surface is wet when you clay. If you pick up significant amount of dirt with the clay, fold it. Take care not to drop the clay, if you do, cut away that portion of the clay and discard.
Give the car a final rinse with running water and dry completely. Make sure you completely dry it before applying wax. It is difficult to apply wax on to a moist surface than a clean and dry one.
Pour a moderate amount of wax on the applicator sponge and apply on the surface with a circular motion. Work by panel to avoid drying up the wax and making it hard to remove.
Buff off the wax with a clean microfiber cloth after finishing each panel to bring out that brilliant shine and gloss.
Proper wax for the right job
SONAX Xtreme Wax comes in three different grades for different paint conditions.
(Images below are side-by-side comparisons on the hood. On the right is the condition before, on the left is after treatment with Sonax.)
Brilliant Wax 1 - used for new to nearly new cars. This particular wax does not contain polishes. it will bring out a nice gloss and leave a coating of protection to your new car.
Polish + Wax 2 - used for fairly new to slightly worn paint with minor swirl marks and light scratches. It contains mild polishing abrasives which break down into nano particles removing light scratches and haze to bring out the deep shine and gloss for that new car look.
Polish + Wax 3 - used for paint finishes that have become dull or extremely weathered due to neglect. The nano-based powerful polishing abrasives penetrate deep into the paint pores polish out fine scratches to freshen up dulled out colors and remove the shine haze. The result is a renewed mirror shine and lasting protection.
There’s nothing like a car that’s clean inside and out. Use a SONAX Microfibre Interior & Glass Plus to run through the dust in your interior and dust off the floor mats. Finish it off with a couple of sprays of the SONAX Car Breeze to leave a fresh scent.
We mentioned that the lubricant spray of the Spray & Clay kit doubles as a glass cleaner, it would be nice to give your windows some attention. For light water stains, the SONAX Xtreme Glass Clear Nano Pro cleans while leaving a protective nano coating to repel dirt and water from the glass.
Now that your car looks nice and shiny, it would be appropriate to give your tire sidewalls some care as well. A good coating of SONAX Xtreme Tyre Gloss Gel will help protect the tires against cracking and restores its faded color.
The steps we detailed above may sound very tedious, but you'll feel good about driving your refreshed car once it gets the proper wax job. Having peace of mind that your paint is protected from the elements by a good wax is also a plus.
Remember to maintain it with a proper car wash to prolong the wax. Repeat the waxing process as necessary.
To know more, visit the SONAX Philippines website or call +63927-5595170.
SONAX Xtreme products are available at the following outlets: ARC Automotive, Blade Asia stores, Car Kreative Technik, Formula Sports, Frau Auto Services, Roadstar Enterprises, SNY Customs & Car Accessories, SpeedyFix, Startire Autocar & Accessories Cebu.