What's the difference between polish & wax?
Polish has some light abrasives and is used to remove light surface scratches and car wash swirls. In general terms, it shines the paint up and makes it look nice. Wax is the final step in an exterior detail. It protects your paint finish from the nasty elements and gives it a nice shiny luster. If your paint looks anything like the horrible condition in the pictures below, you will need much more than just wax
What's the difference between wax and sealant?
Paint sealants are man made from polymers, thousands of synthetic particles that are bonded together. When a sealant is applied to your vehicle’s paint, it forms a rigid shell. They are glossy, slick and far more durable than Carnauba wax. In fact, The big difference between a sealant and a wax is the duration of the protection it provides.
Carnauba wax is the preferred car wax of collectors and concours enthusiasts because it creates a rich, warm glow. It transforms the paint giving it a rich and brilliant look. The more carnauba wax, the more shine. The wax is produced by the Brazilian Tree of Life, a palm tree. The wax provides protection from the sweltering sun and it sheds water so it falls onto the ground and is absorbed by the tree’s roots. By nature, the carnauba wax will give you a warmer, deeper looking paint however it does not last nearly as long so that is the trade off.
What is paint correction?
A labor intensive process through which a vehicle's paint is properly compounded, polished, and restored to bring back it's original look and luster. When your paint finish looks like the pictures below, simply car waxing will not fix the problem, these compounding steps are what is needed. Sadly most detailing places do not offer true paint correction or even understand the art of paint correction.
How long will my wax/sealant really last?
The truth about wax/sealant longevity is that it all comes down to you as the car owner. Any kind of contact with your paint can begin to wear away your protection. Washing and drying, especially automatic car washes can do it. How much sun your car gets, how much weather like rain and snow it sees all play a part in diminishing your wax protection. Obviously if you were to leave your car in the garage and never drive it, the wax would last for a very very long time. Since that is not an option or a desire for most of us, the only answer to the protection wearing away is to have it reapplied.
How often should I have my car waxed?
This completely depends on you. The answer has to do with how often you drive your car and in what kind of weather. Does it sit outside 24 hours a day or is it garaged? Is it a sunny Sunday car ? Are you the type of person who goes to the automated car wash 3 times per week. All of these factors can play a huge part in the longevity of your wax/sealant. Our suggestion is a minimum of twice per year. Maybe fall going into the winter and spring time to get ready for the summer. For daily driver cars, you may want to look into 3 times per year about every 4 months or so. This is realistically the only way to ensure a good amount of protection on your finish.
What about these super sealants that claim to last for years with no attention needed?
In our opinion the saying "if its sounds to good to be true then it probably is" comes to mind. Even if those sealants did what the companies claim and lasted years, you still need to polish the car often to remove ugly swirls marks and surface scratches. The sealants does not protect your car from those normal occurrences. We have fixed countless problems in the past few years for customers that were promised these products would last for years and there was no attention needed. They claim things like bird droppings will never be a problem. BIRD DROPPINGS are so acidic that it will eat right into your main clear coat on your finish. If it can do that, it will certainly eat through any sealant if left on long enough to bake in the sun. Its a shame that these companies promise everyone these long amounts of time that. The truth is as stated in the answer above that it completely depends on you and your lifestyle with your on vehicle. These sealants are applied at a high cost many times and in many situations we view those people as throwing their money in the garbage. Our advice is to stick with normal maintenance at least twice per year to ensure the entire car is cleaned and protected the proper way.