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Old 02-25-2011
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Thumbs up FAQ: New Car Paint Care Myths

One of the most common questions we receive here is, "how do I care for the paint on my new vehicle."

It's a great question and it makes sense because you just laid out a good sum of money for your exciting new ride and you want to take care of it "right" from the beginning. Perhaps you neglected your previous vehicle and the realization that your trade-in didn't bring as much money because it didn't look it as good as it could. Or you've simply just got a fresh dose of pride.

New car care is straightforward, but it can also be confusing because of two common myths:
Myth: "I hear new cars shouldn't be waxed because the paint has to cure."

While fresh paint applied at body shops should be left to cure for up to 90 days, factory paint is cured at the factory under much different processes and conditions, so you can wax your new car as soon as you bring it home.

Myth: "My salesman told me because my new car's paint has a clearcoat, or it has a special dealer-added coating, I don't have to wax it."

All paint must be periodically clayed, cleaned and waxed to protect it from damage due to contamination, dirt and UV rays. Many consumer advice publications recommend against dealer-added paint protection programs, as they are often overpriced synthetic wax and are only as good as their installation, which can vary greatly with regard to attention to detail. They still have to be maintained with routine applications.
Simply put, the answer of the question on how to care for a new car is pretty much the same as for an old car: wash, clay, wax routinely, and make sure your process is sound.

Here are videos that illustrate these simple processes to get you started:

Wash with a quality concentrate using a soft mitt. An added tip for dark-colored paint, use a second bucket to rinse the dirt out of the mitt each time before dipping it into the suds. Dry with a soft waffle-weave microfiber towel...

Claying the paint safely removes contaminants stuck to the surface. It's easy and it can be done as often as you wax, or at least two times a year...

Waxing can be done simply by hand or by machine, and a new car with paint in good condition (without dealer-added spiderwebbing, that is) will do just fine with a one-step product...

Follow routine washing as well as waxing with an easy-to-use instant detailer or spray wax. We especially recommend either our California Gold Spray Wax, FX Spray Wax or Reflections Spray Wax after a wash as a quick and easy way to aid drying and add extra gloss and protection...

If after every few washes your coated factory wheels or hubcaps start to build up brake dust, use a product like our Wheel & Tire Cleaner to make the chore easy. Follow with a spray wax to help keep the dust from sticking...

See our other How To videos to address routine car care, including protecting your trim, cleaning glass, and removing scratches.
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