Cultivate the habit of giving your car a regular wax or polish and you’ll be happy.
Regular car waxing will help improve your vehicle’s look and increase the life span of its paint. Learning how to wax and buff your vehicle properly can save you a bunch of money over time.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
You’ll require an electric orbital buffer, which can be bought for as little as $40 (a higher-end model will run you closer to $300). You can also use a high-speed angle grinder with a buffing wheel attachment for around $50 on the low end and $500 on the high end. Buffing pads begins at about $5 each, plus you’ll start buffing compound. You can buy car polish, car wax, and microfiber cloths in kit form for $10 to $20
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A high-speed angle grinder with a buffing wheel will offer you the best result, but be warned: It needs practice to master the technique so you don’t unwittingly damage the paint. An orbital buffer is easier to use for the inexperienced, but it won’t be as effective—the rotational speed of the buffer isn’t able to strip back the paint as quickly. Deeper scratches and oxidation will need working the affected area for longer with an orbital buffer to achieve the same results as with an angle grinder.
Thereafter pply a generous amount of buffing compound to any heavily weathered or scratched surface. Buffing works by stripping away a fine layer of paint and showing the fresh paint underneath, and the compound acts as a paint stripper. Waxing your vehicle immediately after buffing will replace the protective properties of the original clear coat.
Spread the compound out evenly across the area with the buffing pad (while the buffer is not in motion) to ensure that the compound doesn’t splatter onto adjacent surfaces. Do not get the compound on chrome, rubber, or glass.
Turn the buffer on and work the area in circular motions, holding the pad completely flat at all times. Turning the buffer at an angle or applying too much pressure can burn the paint surface and create swirling. Work one quarter of a panel at a time until you get a bright gloss. The surface should feel smooth and look new.
If the paint is in good condition and needs only some freshening up, follow the same method as above, but use car polish instead of buffing compound. You won’t require as much polish as you would buffing compound because polish can cover a greater area and will strip away less paint. Follow the process across the entire surface of the car until the paint is restored.
Buffing should usually be handled once a year. If your car is stored in a garage and its paint is in good condition, use only polish rather than a compound. If you live in a coastal region and your vehicle is stored outside, it may need more frequent buffing. This is because of the high salt content of sea air, which causes paint to oxidize faster than it would in an arid climate. vehicles parked under trees will typically be covered in tree sap and bird droppings, which can also damage paint. Your car could need buffing two or three times a year in these circumstances.
Apply car wax using a clean buffer pad. Spread evenly, gently pulsing the trigger of the buffer (instead of keeping the buffer turned on continuously). This will ensure that the wax doesn’t cake on the surface. Cover one-quarter of the panel at a time before removing the wax. Some waxes will need a set time before removal, so refer to the directions on the bottle. Use a microfiber cloth to remove the wax, using circular motions to achieve a high gloss.
Repeat the process across the entire surface of the paint.
Because it’s generally advised that you wax your car every three months (but don’t buff every time you wax), car waxing is a good skill to have. Your car will look great, and your wallet will thank you.