The Problem

Not all of us has the time or can be bothered to give our cars' paintwork the care and attention that's needed to maintain a 'showroom' shine. It isn't just about making your car look good either. Studies have shown that dull or dirty paintwork really has a detrimental effect on your car's aerodynamics which in turn, leads to an increase in fuel consumption.

What To Do

The car polishing market is full of products claiming to be more effective and longer lasting than their competitors. Separating the best from the bogus can be daunting but keeping a few facts in mind should help.

Firstly, it is important to know the difference between a polish, wax and coating.

A polish is usually used in tandem with a wax and is the first step towards restoring your car's paint lustre. It has microscopically abrasive properties that remove a few microns (1 micron = 0.001mm) off the paint's surface. The process is not unlike undergoing an exfoliation or body scrub. It will do wonders if done occasionally but excessive applications will leads to disastrous results. As paint does not regenerate like skin, polishing to often or too much can remove the paint.

However, a proper polish reveals a new layer of paint which will of course look much better as it has been protected by the old layers of paint.

Next you'll want to protect this layer from oxidation and the elements with a wax or clear coat. A hard-wearing substance is desirable if you want a long-lasting shine.

As with everything else in life, the general rule of thumb is, there are no short-cuts and you get what you pay for.

Patience, skill and experience is just as important for getting the best results as the choosing right product so you might want to consider taking your car to a reputable professional.