Make Your Oldies Last
Whether you’re a high school student dreaming about your first car, or a collector looking for that elusive vintage model, there is no denying that older cars have always claimed a certain place near and dear to our hearts. In fact, according to the latest survey by IHS Markit, the average age of vehicles on the road has risen to an unprecedented 11.8 years.
Part of the reason for this rise is technological; even though we still haven’t figured out a way to put together a time-travelling DeLorean, car manufacturers are now equipped to produce better and longer-lasting vehicles. This is obviously great news for the economy-minded; instead of scouring the market for a new car every 5 years, car owners can now rest assured that their investments will last for a decade or more. However, these aging vehicles do present their own set of problems, namely the maintenance and care needed to keep them in tip top shape.
Even though the modern-day car is designed to function for years, it is inevitable that some manner of repairs will have to be done to both the mechanisms and detailing work of the vehicles over their lifetime. After all, no one wants to drive around a car with a broken gas gauge or rusted-over paint. To maintain a certain level of luster on their car paint, most car owners will resort to a common tactic; waxing. Available in paste, liquid, and even spray form, this trusty compound is a surefire way to instantly add some shine to otherwise dull and worn paint work. Although reliable and relatively cheap, this simple way of detailing is not without its downfall.
One of the most important steps in waxing a vehicle is the preparation of the paint surface itself. Anyone can put wax on a paddle and polish, but do that before the paint is thoroughly cleaned, and you run the risk of damaging the paint and introducing countless swirl marks by smearing micro particles around. That’s why professional detailers usually take painstaking care in cleaning and claying the car paint before the wax is applied. Combined with the waxing itself, this will usually take around 4-5 hours to complete the work. Going by the general recommendation of waxing your car every 3 months, that adds up to around 236 hours of labor over the lifetime of your vehicle. That’s almost 10 whole days, spent just on waxing!
If you’re anything like us, you won’t mind spending a little extra time if it means that your car will get the best care. But wouldn’t it be ever better if you can keep your car paint in the same condition, without all that hard work? With that idea in mind, manufacturers went into hyperdrive and came out with hundreds of different sealants and paint protection films over the years. The end goal is simple, to give car paint the same protection and sheen as wax with as little maintenance as possible. For the most part, coatings and paint protection films pass this particular test with flying colors. That’s not to say that you can get away with absolutely neglecting the state of your car paint; film or no film, coating or no coating, regular cleaning is still crucial in maintaining a respectable outlook for your car. However, with good practices like weekly car washes and indoor parking, coatings and films can go a long way to helping you keep your car looking great for longer.
This is especially important if you’re planning on keeping your car for a long time, or re-selling it after a few years of use