Car Care

Now's the time to shine!

Many of us are finding ourselves with a lot more time on our hands due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now is the perfect time to do those jobs that we keep putting off.

A comprehensive wash, polish and wax will help protect your car from the harsher weather that we expect over the next four months.

Let’s start with a wash

Giving your car a weekly wash stops dirt from embedding itself in the clear coat, but once in a while you should give your car the full treatment.

When washing a vehicle, it can be easy to ruin a finish by not taking the proper steps to eliminate swirling patterns and paint marring.

Make sure you use clean water and your brushes/cloths are soft and clean. Avoid washing in direct sunlight, as the vehicle can often dry before it has been fully washed which leaves soap and dirty watermarks on the paintwork.

If you don’t have the time to complete the next two steps - an extensive polish and wax - after washing your vehicle, a combined wash and wax product can be used to give some added shine to the paintwork.


Polishing will help to tackle the scratches that have accumulated over time - this is something you can do yourself quite easily, but it shouldn’t be rushed.

A good polishing cream should be carefully applied to the vehicle by using a very soft polishing disc or pad, or with an electric polishing tool if you have the luxury of owning one (although if you do, you probably won’t need to read this guide). The purpose of doing this is to heat-up the clear coat so that it’s evenly distributed across the car, which fills in any scratches on the surface and helps it to shine.

Mild rubbing compounds can be used to remove deep scratches, but extra care should be taken during this step as too much pressure can cause swirl marks and ‘burning’ of the clear coat. Be mindful, however, that this has a tendency to damage or wear through the clear coat, so it’s not something that we recommended doing often. This process may also help to remove sunscreen or hand sanitiser marks from paintwork.

Finish with a wax

After a polish, your deep clean process should be finished and a good waxing helps protect your car’s paintwork. Typically, a natural carnauba product should be used which comes in a paste form.

A wax is not really for repairing paintwork, so it has to be applied to a properly prepared and polished surface.

An alternative to a wax is a synthetic sealant, which usually comes in the liquid form in a bottle, but can also come in paste form. Just like a wax, a sealant protects your car’s paintwork after polishing, although they tend to be slightly more durable than a natural wax.

You may be surprised by how much you can improve your vehicle’s finish by taking the extra time to give it a really good going over. It will not only improve the look of your car, but improve its durability especially with many Kiwis living on the coast.

Remember, a car that’s been well looked after over the years equates to a better price when you come to selling.

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