Wednesday, 14 January 2015
Do You Need Paintwork Coatings For Your White Vehicle?
Most owners of white vehicles are accustomed to a horrible-looking vehicle if its not washed very frequently, especially during the current rainy spell. If you can't stop looking at any great looking white car on the road, and you don't know the car owner/s, you wouldn't know what they did to maintain the vehicle in such a condition.
Many car owners have been led to believe that all those paintwork protective coatings (PPC) will "keep their cars looking nice". The only way for your vehicle to "look nice" consistently is to wash it as many times as possible weekly regardless whether its waxed or coated.
To get straight to the point, you can consider PPCs for your white vehicle IF:
1. Vehicle is washed with car shampoo 3 times a week or only with water daily. This is almost impossible for most office-dwellers/corporate guys and gals....OR
2. You can only wash once weekly, don't care about light stains and demand the "best possible layer of something" on your paintwork just to make yourself feel great. And when you wash the vehicle at a car wash, you don't care how its washed as long as it looks bright, white and clean after washing.
What can these PPCs do for your white vehicle?
1. More durable and more intense water repellancy vs regulars waxes and sealants.
2. Reduce the presence and build-up of blackish/dark stains after exposed to rain vs regular waxes and sealants. Due to the formulation of certain waxes and sealants, some of them can cause more staining which is most noticeable on white vehicles.
Yes, there's only 2 points above because in reality, the PPC cannot do anymore for you, regardless of the grandiose marketing stories you have read. You have to wash very frequently to enjoy a nice-looking coated vehicle. This is the most high-end "final layer" of stuff you can apply on your paintwork.
For genuine car enthusiasts who will do anything for their white/light-coloured vehicles, I suggest the following unorthodox approach which not many detailers will mention to you. I am talking to you from a consumer point of view. If I own a white vehicle, and appearance is important to me, this is what I will do to my own car.
1. Correct and optimise the white paintwork for the best looks possible.
Most new local, Jap and Korean vehicles have sub-standard paintwork lacking in visual gloss and is usually blur (Protons, Mazdas, Subarus, Fords etc). Use the bulk of your budget to partially/fully correct this problem first. It's laborious, time-consuming and certainly not cheap. Always strive to correct the paintwork to the highest degree that your time and budget will allow BEFORE applying any waxes, coatings etc. On a daily driven vehicle, you don't need maximum correction. This effect will be very long-lasting, and each time after a good wash, HEY!...your corrected paintwork looks way better than a non-corrected blurish paintwork that's been coated. Do not allow anyone to lead you into showcar levels of "paint correction" unless its for a super expensive genuine showcar that remains indoors most of the time and professionally cared for.
2. Your final layer.
After the above step, what you apply as your final layer will depend on your budget, time and hidden motivation/aspiration. Some owners love super expensive carnauba waxes, some are contented with locally-made waxes, and some will go for sealants. The others will only talk about all the above while feverishly scouring the Net for info on coatings instead but not daring to take the plunge. Our Singaporan neighbours have totally different preferences.
The simple answer: On a white vehicle, it's not an important issue.
Once your paintwork has been corrected to a certain extent, it'll look as good as the quality of the clearcoat will allow it. Now, even if your "final layer" is a very high-end coating, it will never produce a substantial, jaw-dropping , eye-popping visual improvement on a paintwork that already looks great. Don't fall prey to video clips on YT.
We have a white Myvi owner (Robert) who washes his paint-corrected car daily. He doesn't blindly accept Meguiars "teachings" and all the brand-centric "advice" in detailing forums. He uses only a cheap RM20 product on his Myvi (very embarrassing to many enthusiasts) Wow!....what a gorgeous looking white car. Consistently clean and looking great. Of course, using a paint protective coating (PPC) will make his car washing more pleasurable looking at the water beads dancing away like crazy. But since he is washing daily, he feels no need for such a product. And he is 100% sure he can wash daily cos he's a retiree with loads of time. He comes to my place daily.
To sum it up, the secret to a consistently great looking paintwork (especially on white vehicles) is frequent WASHING.