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BellaOnline's Auto Polishing and Detailing Editor

Car Care Questions, Part 5

How Good Are Waxes Sprayed On At Car Washes?

Because these waxes have to be diluted with water to be sprayed on your car, you are getting minimal protection. Not to mention, if it was durable, the wax would be visible on your windows. It is far better to apply your wax by hand to insure maximum protection. Plus, if you use a one-step cleaner/wax, it will also deep clean the paint and remove contamination and oxidation. These things cannot (or should not) be removed by an automatic car wash. But many times they are.

For those owners whose vehicles I polish professionally, I tell them I DO NOT recommend adding wax at the automatic car washes because it will lay on top of my polish, which has a high gloss, and tend to dull that gloss.

What Is Acid Rain?

Emissions from chemical plants, fossil fuel burning power plants and the internal combustion engine are transported and altered in our atmosphere. When deposited onto your vehicle's surface in a dry state it may seem like simple dust, but mix it with a little bit of dew, sprinklers, or rainfall, and you have a mixture of sulfuric acid on your paint finish. Left on the surface for any period of time, and especially if placed in direct sunlight, you will have etching on your paint finish. Typical acid rain damage may first look like water droplets which have dried on the paint and caused discoloration. In some cases, damage appears as a white ring with a dull center. Severe cases show pitting.

Depending on the level of defect, you will need to use a cleaner to restore the finish accordingly. In many cases, a professional high speed buffing job will probably be the only way to remove the problem. I have worked on this type of defect and it is not only unsightly, but very difficult to remove--it's best to catch Acid raid in the early stages.

How Can I Keep Acid Rain, Diesel Exhaust, And Hard
Water Spots From Attacking My Car's Paint Finish?

This is a daily battle and the question cannot be answered without asking how often you are willing to spend taking care of your car. A simple mist-n-wipe product can save a lot of time and leave your finish in a beautiful state. The faster you can remove the contamination the better. I recommend using Meguiar's or Turtle Wax Detailing Mist.

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