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Exterior Car Care

Paint and Finish Maintenance - If It is Too Good To Be True, It IS

As many of you may already know the National Car Care Council some time ago named the month of April as “Car Care Awareness Month”.

As many of you also know I am one of the owners of Jax Wax and car care and vehicle maintenance is something, just as all car buff’s, something that is near and dear to my heart.

Unfortunately, even in this day and age, many people still don’t feel that washing and especially waxing a vehicle is all that important when in fact it is one of the most important things you can do to help preserve and enhance your cars paint and finish.

Too often this process is overlooked during regular automotive maintenance and that can have a direct effect on not only your cars appearance and resale value but your cars overall performance. People seem to have misconceptions about

modern paint processes and chemicals, like clear coat, and feel that these processes make paint and finish care a thing of the past.

Well my friends just as our parents taught us – If it is too good to be true, then it probably is. You still need to wash and wax your vehicle not only to keep it looking great but also to maintain the durability and protection that the paint and clear coat provide.

Over the past decade, car manufacturers have developed different paint systems to improve durability. In the 1980's domestic cars had conventional finishes, that is, a pigmented enamel coat on top of the primer.

Today, 96% of all new cars have a base coat/clear coat finish, which is comprised of a thin color coat covered by a clear acrylic or enamel urethane coat. This clear coat finish is only 2 mils thick and that is about the thickness of an ordinary plastic trash bag. Daily wear and tear on a car's clear coat finish may leave it with swirl marks or signs of oxidation.

To the eye, it means a dull and hazy looking appearance. This is sometimes referred to as "clear coat haze." There are other environmental factors that bombard a car's paint and cause erosion. Things like sunlight, UV radiation, acid rain, salt, dirt, and air pollution.

To prevent damage and ill effects to your vehicles paint and finish frequent washing (once a week) and vehicle waxing (once every 6 months) are recommended not only by Jax Wax but also by the Car Care Council. More frequent waxes are needed if your car is red, black or white because these colors are more susceptible to acid rain and UV rays. These are small steps that can go a long ways towards protecting your investment.

Keeping your vehicle consistently clean clears away the buildup of damaging chemicals and dirt that may attack your car's finish.

One of the most critical times to wash your vehicle is immediately after a rainfall because of the ill effects of acid rain. Even though the water evaporates, the acid stays behind and can eat into your vehicle's finish. While you may not be able to prevent acid rain, you can stop its damaging effects with preventative and frequent washing and waxing.

If you drive on muddy roads, consider an undercarriage treatment every time you wash your car. Undercarriage treatments, offered by most car washes, remove caked-on mud that holds moisture to metal and causes rust and body rot around hard to reach underbody areas like wheel wells.
A foreign material like tar and tree sap can stain newer paint finishes.

The longer these sit on the car's surface, the more difficult they become to remove and the more likely they are to cause permanent damage. You should use a product like Jax Wax’s Body shine to remove the tree sap immediately before any lasting damage is done to your finish.

Jax Wax’s cleaners, waxes and polishes, just as other high end products, serve three purposes - cleaning a car's finish, improving the shine, and protecting the surface against the offensive effects of foreign materials. Most waxes and polishes contain very mild cleaning agents; along with shine ingredients, lubricants and waxes.

All of the ingredients safely work together to renew that showroom-new look to your vehicle with out leaving smears or residue and, since regular waxing and polishing also sets up a protective barrier against hostile attacks from the environment, your vehicle's appearance will be protected for years to come.

The time spent cleaning your vehicle is an investment in its health and beauty. If anyone has any vehicle paint or finish questions or would like some tips to clean and detail like the pros please feel free to email me at or give us a call at 586.604.2078.

Todd Burek is Vice President of Signorello Distribution, LLC Authorized Distributors of Jax Wax Products. He is also a columnist for The Cruis' News Magazine and online contributor for the Cruis' News Online.

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