Arizona sun is especially hard on dark cars such as the green, black, and red ones shown here. Dark colors look great when clean and shiny, but the also absorb more heat from the sun. If not protected properly this slowly breaks down the paint and clear coat, the finish begins to fade and show white areas and eventually the damage gets too deep and the clearcoat flakes and can’t be fully repaired.
How do you protect your vehicle from this fate? Dirty cars deteriorate faster because they reflect less light and heat. Keeping your vehicle clean and waxed not only makes it look better and shed water and dirt better, but it helps reflect more light and heat from the surface. But a wax is not a wax is not a wax. Cheap waxes not only don’t reflect and shine as well, but they don’t last as long because heat and friction from blowing dirt breaks them down faster. High quality Carnauba in the wax makes the difference in both shine, silkiness to shed dirt and water, and ability to withstand higher heat without breaking down. “Paint protectant” is an even higher heat tolerant product that lasts longer, and we offer that also.
But Buyer Beware! There are no labelling standards in the car wash industry like food and drug, so someone can say they have Carnauba in their wax if they have a teaspoon full in a 55 gallon drum. That’s why we are very careful of the brands and types we use to ensure our customers are getting only the best quality products available rather than a cheaper imitation.
Having the right materials and equipment and knowing how to use them is critical to restoring the finish. When the clearcoat is heavily damaged by the sun it is not always possible to completely restore it and that is why we always insist on examining it first to assess whether it can be improved significantly and advise the client accordingly. However, it’s usually impossible to tell exactly how much effort will be required to restore the finish because we can’t see below the surface to see how deep the damage goes or how uneven it is. Even our paint thickness guage doesn’t tell us that, just how much thickness is left for us to work with. Therefore we rarely give a fixed quote for this work. We normally recommend starting with a standard clay, buff, and Carnauba wax. Often this will go a long way, if not all the way, to improving a finish as well as taking out the small swirls and scratches that reduce shine, hold on to dirt, and leave too uneven a surface for wax to get a good bond and last longer. If, after the normal claying and buffing, there is still additional work needed to get the finish restored as much as it is possible before the final waxing, then we do the remaining work on a time and materials basis, typically based on an estimated minimum charge and a “not to exceed” without consultation with the client before going further. Sometimes getting the final amount of “perfection” takes much longer and may not be worth it to the client since small remaining damage may be visible only under close-up scrutiny so we have the client make that call.
We love doing this kind of work because the results are usually so dramatic and we love having happy customers.