If you’ve ever watched a movie or show set in any decade from the 50s through the 70s, you may have seen a dad waxing the family car. It used to be a weekly ritual that the car needed to be waxed to keep it protected and shiny. Now, with advances in painting techniques and wax formulas, it’s rare to see the whole of Miami out waxing their cars over the weekend. Car wax used to be a necessity to keep your car looking new and to protect the paint job. But now, is it still a requirement or have technological advances made it obsolete?

A Little History

When cars first hit the streets, they were simply painted metal boxes. There was nothing to stand in the away of the paint being scratched, chipped, or stained. When you bought a car, if you wanted to keep the color looking whole and fresh, you had to buy car wax to do it. The wax would not only give the car a shiny finish, but it would protect the paint from minor scrapes and gashes that might lead to a more serious problem later. Then, car companies started added a layer of clear paint to the cars. Now, when you buy a vehicle to cruise the streets of Miami, it come with several layers of colored paint and a top coat, if you will, of clear paint. This clear paint acts a lot like wax used to. It protects from minors scrapes and environmental damage that your car is subjected to on a day to day basis.

Does That Make Wax Obsolete?

Not really. The thing with the clear paint on your car is that the damage it takes is hard for you to see. When a car is painted, it gets several coats of primer, to help the paint adhere to the car’s surface. Then it gets several layers of color to help get the saturation and richness right. Lastly, it will get several coats of the clear paint. This serves as a sealant and a protective barrier. When your car sits out in the hot Miami sun, the clear paint keeps your color from dulling. When your car goes through rough weather or abrasive wind, that clear paint protects the color from being rubbed away. If someone bumps into your car, either with their door or with their purse, your clear paint keeps the colored paint from being scrapped off. The problem is, while your clear paint is keeping visible damage from happening to your car, it is still taking that damage. So while you can’t see that those layers of clear coating are wearing thin, they can only provide protection for your car for so long. Eventually, those layers will be gone and your car’s paint will be exposed and at risk.

But You Can Slow It Down

There is some good news, however. While car wax is no longer required to give your car a nice shiny finish, it can still provide that layer of protection. Now, instead of protecting the colored layers of paint, you will be protecting the clear paint. This added layer will stretch out the life of your car’s clear coats. This means that your car will look newer longer and this will increase its resale value. According to ProbstAutoBody.com, all it takes is a good waxing every 2-4 months to keep your car in fighting shape. Some sites have even suggested only doing it twice a year. You can look at it this way, though, any extra protection is better than none.