Winter is coming, and your car’s paint needs to be ready. What do you choose: wax or ceramic coating, and which should you use?
There’s a lot to consider when selecting the best coating for your vehicle in winter.
Whether it’s just a winter coating or a full-on paint replacement, your car needs preparation for the icy weather ahead. That means finding out what type of coatings will provide the best protection against harsh weather conditions.
During winter, your car is under constant attack from various elements. Wax and ceramic coatings provide a barrier against acid rain, bird droppings, salt, and more.
Wax can coat both metal and plastic surfaces. You can apply wax to any vehicle without the need for primers.
It differs from conventional wax in that it’s a paste instead of a liquid. Unlike other kinds of wax, car waxes tend to contain several types of carnauba wax—a natural chemical compound derived from manures.
Carnauba wax has a high melting point and is easy to apply to the surface of the paint. It is both waterproof and highly slippery.
That makes wax valuable for protecting the paint finish on cars because various dirt particles are likely to fall into the paint during use. These particles are made up of different materials (soaps, oils, salts—and even some metals) and are unlikely to “dissolve” into the vehicle’s finish.
It’s also one of the reasons why it’s crucial to choose the best type of wax for your vehicle.
For example, carnauba wax is a good choice for your car’s exterior because it can stand up to the sun and block out UV rays. That means the color of the paint will stay true longer with a good car wax—even in places where you can’t do anything about oxidation.
In terms of longevity, the advantage goes to ceramic coating. In addition to being resistant to abrasion from sleet or whatever else may fall from the sky this season, it also provides more consistent protection against oxidation—which is why many people choose it as a way to extend their vehicle’s lifespan.
A bonus? It won’t run or drip when temperatures drop below freezing. It’ll retain all the benefits of a traditional wax application but won’t allow any moisture to condense on it.
However, there is something about the ceramic coating that isn’t as desirable. It only has a four-year lifespan, as opposed to 15 or 20 years for standard waxes. It needs replacement sooner, and that’s a problem.
Not only that, but the process can take several hours—and sometimes several days—depending on where you’re taking the vehicle in and the amount of surface area involved. That means you’ll likely need to schedule an appointment with your car care specialist—or take it yourself if you want to get it done.
And since the ceramic coating is applied directly over paint (especially metal), there’s no way around having other materials like clear coats damaged by the application. Use this link here to learn more.
You can’t go wrong with wax. Then again, if you want something longer-lasting and less vulnerable to oxidation, a ceramic coating might be better for you.
It’s a personal choice based on several factors—but it’s a decision well worth making before winter begins.