In order to maintain the shine and color of your vehicle it is a good idea to consistently wax a car on a regular basis. But how often is too often, or not often enough? While a number of factors can dictate how often you want to wax there is one way to determine if you need a wax, perform a bead test. A bead test is simply done by splashing a small amount of water onto your vehicle, if the water beads in less than Â½" diameter beads you don't need to wax, if it doesn't then it is time to wax your vehicle.
How Often Should I Wax?
Generally it is a good idea to wax your vehicle once every three months. If your car is exposed to particularly harsh conditions you can wax more often. Harsh conditions include, excess rain, salt or snow or dirt. Typically cars in colder climates will require more waxing than those in warmer climates.
Not All Car and Waxes Are Created Equally
It is important to note that not all waxes, or cars for that matter, are created equally. Some newer synthetic waxes can last almost a year. In addition cars that have been consistently waxed for years on end will hold a shine and wax longer than those that are only occasionally waxed. Trial and error will probably be the best method to determine how long your particular car in combination with your wax will last before you need to re-wax.
Car Waxing Tips
Before waxing your car you should know the proper way to apply the wax in order for it to be effective. Always wash and dry your car prior to waxing.
Run your hand over the vehicle searching for rough or gritty spots that may hold dirt or grime. If this is the case you a non-abrasive auto body cleaner to clean the rough spots and dirt prior to waxing. The car should feel smooth (like glass) before you begin to wax.
When applying wax it is a good idea to use a clean, dry cloth. Apply the wax in a thin layer using a circular motion. In addition you should never apply the wax under direct sunlight. It is best to wax the car in a shaded area or garage. The reason for this is that if the wax dries too fast it can become difficult to remove. Once the wax is applied let it dry before buffing it off with a clean, dry towel or cloth.
It is a good idea to be careful not to over wax the car. Using a thick coat of wax won't extend the life of your coat of wax, instead it will just make the car more difficult to buff.
Fix Problem Areas
Often times when you wax a car you will be left with several hazy, spotty, or streaked areas where the wax has dried too fast or built up too thickly. If you have any problem areas you can fix them fairly easy. First you will need to mist the area with a spray bottle that contains a mixture of distilled water and isopropyl alcohol. Then you can wipe the area clean and re-wax the problem spot and buff it clean. Repeat this process as needed.