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Paint Protection

Discussion in 'tC Knowledgebase' started by Alex8181, Nov 20, 2005.

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  1. Alex8181

    Alex8181 Administrator

    May 16, 2005
    2005 Flint Mica
    Written By: Alex8181

    Owning a new car like the Scion tC, our first concerns are usually with protecting the paint. With so many different products for waxes to sealants, the question is what is best for you? As clich? as it may sound, there is no clear winner. Your protection is going to be based on several different factors such as your climate, the look you?re trying to achieve, and the amount of time you?re willing to spend protecting your vehicle. To find out what?s best for your application, you need to understand how each protection works.

    The most common type of application you will see is some form of wax. The majority of waxes are compromised primarily of carnauba, but no wax is 100% carnauba. Carnauba in its natural form is extremely hard. The wax needs to be melted down and treated with several different chemicals before being used at all. The amount of carnauba included in waxes will range from appx. 5% to 50% depending on the quality of wax. The more carnauba the wax contains the more shine and protection it will apply to the paint. The reason carnauba wax is so popular is because it gives paint a deep rich look. This look is hard to replicate with non-carnauba wax. Now the drawback to carnauba wax is that is has a relatively low lifespan when compared to other applications like sealants, usually between 1-4 weeks.

    Sealants are the second form of paint protection. The difference with sealants, are that they contain no carnauba at all. Sealants are synthetic blends made primarily of acrylic polymers. Sealants generally give much better protection than carnauba waxes because they are man-made synthetics. They are usually slightly thicker in body and therefore protect better against rock chips and debris. They also have excellent durability and generally last 1-6 months, again depending on the quality of the sealant. Now the reason that carnauba wax may be preferred over sealants is that sealants provide a different type of shine. Instead of a deep wet look, sealants tend to give more of a polished glassy shine. Now there are those that may prefer this type of look, so it all depends on your own tastes.

    In the market there are also polishes and polish waxes. Polishes are not really a type of paint protection. They are designed to be more of a cleaner than to provide protection. They help remove small imperfections and scratches in the paint. Now polish waxes try to combine both in one bottle but tend to do neither well. Almost all professionals will tell you to use both a polish and a wax/sealant as part of the detailing process but never together in one product.

    As mentioned earlier at the beginning of this article, no one product will be better than the other. It all depends on preference and convenience. Depending on your weather during that time of year, your availability to detail your car, and your own preferences in shine, those factors will ultimately decide your paint protection for you. The most important thing is to understand what you are purchasing and consequently applying to your car.
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