Practicing Moderation In Auto Detailing
You will often find many users on detailing forums asking which wax is better. Many even go to buy a number of waxes to compare and only find very marginal differences. However, this excessive need to find for the best of something is actually a hindrance to true and practical auto detailing.
As with all things in life, moderation is important. One should not be at the extreme end of a scale.
An example is that our cars need engine oil, not using enough engine oil will result in lack of lubrication and increases wear. Filling up engine oil over the maximum limit will cause the engine to be sluggish.
A second example is in giving praises and compliments. If you praise one person too much, that person might become egoistical, if you don’t give that person any praises at all, he/she will be unmotivated and lacking of self-confidence.
Then come auto detailing. Gone are the days where washing and waxing is all that is done to make a vehicle shine. These days, you have polishes, glazes, pre-wax cleaners, clays, quick detailers, waxes and sealants. All these contribute to making a paint finish look its best.
If a person only wash and wax the paint, it might not be enough as the surface might still feel rough and swirls and scratches are still on the paint. Therefore, more steps are needed, such as claying and polishing with an abrasive polish to remove swirls and scratches.
However, some people get too deep into the details until they forget the basic purpose of detailing the paint.
Many types of paint protectants have emerged in the market. You have your basic carnauba wax, then comes your synthetic sealants, then your spray on waxes/sealants and your wipe-on-walk-away sealants. Not to mention that there are different brands or manufacturers in a product category.
Now let’s remind ourselves of the basic function of a paint protectant, i.e. car wax.
A car wax acts as a sacrificial barrier to protect the paint from harmful contaminants such as acid rain, bird droppings, industrial fallout and traffic pollution. Of course, waxes also add to the look by filling some scratches, and oils add that wet look to the paint, giving it a glossy shine.
These are the basic functions. Now, those who go into detail will often compare waxes and sealants of different brands, most of the time, trying to hunt for the best. Let’s focus on carnauba/synthetic paste waxes. Firstly, you have your famous brand, Megu**r’s, on the other end of the scale, you have your boutique brand, Zym*l. Megu**r’s have their own paste waxes.
Zym*l has many more different varieties to choose from, since that is what their main product offering consists of. For Zym*l waxes, the higher the percentage of carnauba is in the wax, the more expensive it gets. The benefits of a higher percentage of carnauba is? More protection? Better looks?
I do not know, as I’m not a chemist or a professional detailer. But if I were to apply an RM500 Zym*l wax beside an RM70 Megu**r’s wax on a well prepped surface, would one be able to see any discernible difference? I highly doubt so. If I happen to know that the volume of carnauba in the RM70 Megu**r’s wax is ten times lower than in the RM500 Zym*l wax, does this mean that the RM70 Megu**r’s will perform ten times lousier?
Speaking of which product is better, on internet forums, I’ve observed that many people like to compare which wax is better, myself included. Is Finish Kare 1000P better than Collinite 476s? Which one shines better? Which is more durable?
I am guilty to be in the same camp but I try to tell myself not to care about too much of the details. Most of the time, I fail, as I tend to analyze and criticize different products of the same category.
This is bad as it will result in overspending in products. Just because people on the internet say that Collinite 476s is better than Meguiar’s #16, do I have to go buy it? No I shouldn’t, but I did, and only to find out that there is not much of a difference!
The bottom line is, a wax is a wax, a sealant is a sealant, a paint coating is a paint coating. What we should focus on instead is the process in getting the paint detailed and the proper techniques involved. Not because I used this so and so wax, it will shine better.
What is the point in using costly products if the main problem is user error? It’s like giving a high-end computer to a computer-illiterate person.
So I would like to remind all fellow detailers out there that we should always keep it simple.
Enjoy the process of detailing and not delve too deep into details.
These are solely my opinion and anyone can freely disagree with me. There is no intention to defame anyone or any company.
What are your thoughts?