Well, it is officially Fall, and that means one thing… Winter is right around the corner. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area of the country that has temperatures above freezing all year round, you can stop reading now, and just know that many of us are not as fortunate as you and are eternally jealous!
For the majority of us who have to deal with the hazardous winter conditions such as road salt, sand, snow, and ice, the cool Fall weather is the last real chance we have to get our vehicles cleaned and protected. There are many, many choices for paint protection, so how do you know which one is right for you?
There are really 3 major categories of paint protection products: waxes, sealants, and coatings. These have all been discussed in some way in previous AAP Blog articles, so we will not spend much time on it right now. However, here is a quick summary strictly from a durability point of view (some of these statements are general and do not apply to all products within each category). In general, pure waxes are traditionally the least durable form of protection, sealants are usually more durable than a wax, and a paint coating is typically the most durable form of paint protection. Each type of product has it’s own pros and cons, and one product is certainly not the best choice for everyone. With that being said, I have chosen 3 of my personal favorite products (1 from each ‘category’) for durable paint protection for the winter months.
For wax, I have chosen the Collinite 845 Insulator Wax. This wax is a great choice for several reasons. First, the price is right. This is certainly a budget friendly wax that performs nicely from a durability standpoint. It has a loyal following for a reason! The liquid product can easily be applied by hand, or as I prefer it, by machine. When used properly, the product is easy to work with, and you can layer it for even more protection!
My sealant of choice would have to be Menzerna Power Lock. This sealant offers great protection and gloss that lasts for many months, but is quite a bit more expensive than the Collinite 845. Power Lock is also very easy to use, and can be applied by hand or by machine. I prefer to apply by machine using a blue fine finishing pad. Simply spread a thin layer of Power Lock onto the entire vehicle, and then remove with a high quality microfiber towel.
A paint coating is the ultimate form of protection for your vehicle and will last years with proper maintenance. CQuartz UK is a fantastic option for anyone seeking durable protection with incredible gloss. This is also one of the most budget friendly coatings on the market, which is great! One thing to keep in mind, however, is that there is a significant amount of prep work that is required before applying a paint coating. With any form of paint protection, wax, sealant, or coating, the vehicle should be thoroughly washed and decontaminated if needed. For a coating, however, you will also want to correct the paint to remove any surface defects and then cleanse the surface with isopropyl alcohol (or similar product) to ensure the surface is completely clean and swirl free prior to coating. The prep work is critical, and if it is overlooked, you can certainly not expect the coating to bond properly and therefore durability may suffer greatly.
Take advantage of these remaining warmer days and get your vehicle protected for the winter!