Mothers Car Care Products. Click image to enlarge
The car care aisle is a war-zone of products competing for your dollar with the biggest claims and flashiest packaging. The selection process can be daunting – but Jim Dvorak, a car care specialist from Mothers, helps sort things out in an interview with Justin Pritchard.
Cleaning my car sucks. What sort of procedure do you recommend for new car owners interested in keeping their finish looking great, but that don’t have a whole lot of time to spend?
Maintenance is key, and preventive maintenance on your finish is as important as changing your fluids and filters regularly. Spending a little time each week or weekend to protect your finish will pay off when it comes time to sell or trade in your car.
If all you do is a basic car wash to remove light dirt, you’ve protected your investment to a degree. Following the wash with a spray-on, wipe-off spray wax, can help boost the shine quickly and easily, while extending the intervals between traditional waxing.
Hood segments before & after – note the richness, uniformity and gloss of the colour after the three-step process, especially on the lower right of the photo. Click image to enlarge
My older car’s paint is starting to look faded and aged, and I don’t want to repaint it: can it be saved?
Oxidation can eventually destroy paint beyond the restorative capability of any polish. Caught in time, a 3-step system with a pre-wax cleaner can polish away oxidation to reveal a fresh surface that’s ready to shine with a glaze. This process can be finished with pure wax.
Waxes? Sealants? Glazes? What’s the difference? Do many people get confused shopping for paint care products?
There are a lot of products out there named to catch the eye of the consumer more so than to communicate their actual function.
A “sealant” is essentially a synthetic form of a pure carnauba wax, and can require extensive preparation and drying time – so they’re generally sold in the “enthusiast” community to people who don’t mind spending all weekend working on their cars.
A “glaze” adds depth and shine while helping to fill in minor defects that normally reflect in the sun and cause a spiderweb-like appearance. A glaze should always be followed by a pure wax.
Side panel before & after – note deeper, richer and more lustrous colour. Click image to enlarge
“Wax” has become a segment of products designed ultimately to protect your paint. They traditionally have contained carnauba, though in recent years they might instead contain a synthetic wax or polymer. Some contain cleaners or polishes (which strip off oxidization), while some are just pure wax.
Most of your choice in products will depend on what challenges you have with the paint. On paint in good condition, you could use most anything, but a higher quality product will generally yield a better, longer-lasting result.