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Discussion Starter #1
I had a bad experience with a VW and wax too often (i think). I was then told to wax twice a year.

Took that advice for my 91 Accord and paint is in great shape. Waxed it once in the spring and once in the fall.

Just got an 02 MB EX. When should I first wax and how often (to protect the paint)?

TIA,
Warren
 

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OK, sure -- I'll take the first bullet.

The car's paint was baked on. It does not need to cure or anything. Wax it as soon as taking delivery.

As far as how often, I do twice a year or so.
 

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"Wax" is a very wide open topic. What you use and how you apply it influences how often you need to apply it. What people choose is guided by desired outcomes, time and cost.

If I may....

Is your motiviation to protect the paint (actually, protecting the ultra thin layer of clear coat paint protection)?

Are you most most interested in the effect your "wax" has on appearance?

I am no expert, but I have learned that "wax" as in popular carnuba wax, has great optical properties, but is not long lasting. (Like a couple of washes, definitely less than a couple of months.) Waxes generally are not the strongest finish protectant.

If you want a higher level of protection, you'll want to go with polymer-based polishes. There is a growing number of these polish types, with varying degrees of abrasiveness (for cleaning) and protection longevity. Car enthusiasts tend to recommend brands not available in retail outlets, such as Zaino or Klasse. These tend to take more preparation and time to apply (multiple coats) for maximum effect and appearance. These brands cost more than the Nu Finishes and Zymols too. Polymers provide significantly better and longer lasting UV and other protection in addition to offering a depth of shine from good all the way up to a shimmering wet look.

It is important to apply and remove whatever you decide upon correctly. Finish care and polish longevity are also influenced by the frequenncy and way you wash and dry your car. Bottom line, don't use dish soap -- use only car wash soap/shampoo designed for car washing, and avoid the ones that claim to have wax or polish in them. (Do use dish soap to strip wax off your car if you want to start fresh, or want to switch from a wax to a polymer polish.) Be careful what you dry your car with. There are a lot of opinions about this too. The general consensus from enthusiasts is you won't go wrong using clean 100% cotton towels of good quality (i.e, Fieldcrest Charismas or Supimas.)

I apologize if I've gone overboard. The bottom line is always your decision.

Cheers,
-doug-

[This message has been edited by KCDoug (edited 09-18-2001).]

[This message has been edited by KCDoug (edited 09-18-2001).]

[This message has been edited by KCDoug (edited 09-18-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info Doug. I'm still admiring the new car finish (btw, my color is Metallic Beige). Just don't recall seeing finish without any scratches or swirl marks. I know its not going to last forever.

Just washed it for the first time - car wash liquid. It beaded a lot and I'm going to hold off waxing until Nov or Dec. In Maryland, its a hit or miss on the weather at that time of year but we'll get one good indian summer.

I'm going to also invest in a nice 4 step ladder. Cleaning and drying the roof is tough. I can't imagine waxing and buffing up there.
 

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It's hard to say what the dealer prep work was on your new Ody, but generally most dealers use a quick polish that does not wear well and does not provide much UV protection.

I would suggest you get a good polymer polish on as soon as you can. Before applying your first coat, you should wash the Ody thoroughly with Dawn or equivalent dish soap soap, approx. 1 oz/2.5 gal. water. Be sure to rinse well because dishe soap can leave a film. It will not hurt the finish, but is alkaline enough to remove residual polish that will enable you to put on a virgin base coat. Thereafter, use only a dedicated car wash soap. If you have aluminum wheels, be sure to clean them well and use the polymer polish regularly on them too.

I've mentioned in another topic thread in the detailing forum that the autopia car enthusiast detailing web site forum is a great resource for discovering the various products and tips and tricks for protecting your car inside and out. I discovered it a few months ago and highly recommend it to others.

Good luck with your new Ody. My wife's is a '99 and she loves it - already has 55k miles and has had people stop her in parking lots to look at. She loves to demo the hiding 3rd seat, using the sunken space for grocery bags, and the convertible 2nd row seats.
-Doug-
 

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Go ahead and wax it but check the paint first because you want to make sure the dealer removed the cosmoline fully. that's the stuff they put on the car to protect it during shipment. If you see some kind of smeary gooey stuff on the paint bring it back to the dealer and have them remove it completely. As for waxing, a majority of people here seem to go for the Zaino stuff which is good. But if you are straight forward like me if after time the car seems rough use some light cleaner wax or clay bar, carnauba wax, then glaze or polish. It seems long but it works. You don't have to do it in one day. Take about every other day to do each step. If you do do it in one day make sure you rinse the car down thououghly before each step and always wash first. To make it go faster buy an orbital buffer. Use orbital unless you are a professional then use a full on polisher. The orbital does the same thing as hand but 100 time faster. I'd better stop or I'll get lost in my words so good luck and enjoy your Ody, I am. Van.
 

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I wax my 00 Ody once every few months, in between using a car wash soap and spray detailer as often as possible, then twice a year I machine polish it to remove any contaminants and old wax, swirl remover and finish wax.

I do paint work, so use alot of 'body shop' stuff. but for the everyday waxing I use Meguires ALOT! stuff lasts long and is easy to use...and the Ody looks like brand spanking new!



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