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Meguiar's Q&A
Page 3

You Have Questions...Meguiar's Has Answers!

Can I get rid of stains, spots and smears on my car?
The best way to get rid of stains, spots and smears is to remove them as quickly as possible, before they have a chance to bake into the paint. It pays to carry a product like Meguiar's Quik Detailer or Final Inspection in your trunk, along with clean toweling so you can instantly remove contamination before any damage can be done.

If you have stubborn stains, spots or smears, you will need to wash your car and then use a paint surface prep that will safely deep clean the surface and remove the contamination.

Can I hide fine scratches in my paint?
If you are like most car owners, your car has clear coat paint. Its clear layer magnifies scratches because it refracts the colored base-coat layer below. Don't be fooled by claims that color-matched waxes can hide these scratches. Since your surface paint is clear, pigmented wax will obscure its transparency, look strange and won't do the job.

A surface prep/polish can help reduce the visibility of fine, hairline surface scratches. ScratchX or Mirror Glaze Swirl Remover do a great job of hiding these imperfections in your paint surface. The polish will restore valuable oils to the damaged paint and help reduce the optical refraction that makes scratches noticeable. For even greater swirl-mark reduction, apply several coats of polish. And make sure you protect the surface by following up with a coat of wax. This process can handle most minor defects. But if you can catch your fingernail on the scratch, you'll probably need to see a professional detailer for help.

How long does wax last?
The life of a wax finish depends on many things:

  • Type and color of paint
  • Condition of paint
  • Local environment (normal conditions and extraordinary events)
  • Number of hours exposed to outside conditions
  • Quality of the wax used and method of application


Your best choice in all cases is to rely on the highest quality surface care products available. That's why Meguiar's guarantees that under identical conditions, "Our wax will outlast the competition." Click here to get your free Paint Care Rx Prescription.

Are many coats of wax beneficial?
Environmental conditions today do demand more frequent waxing to prevent costly damage to the outer layers of paint. However we don't recommend applying two or three coats of wax at one time. While there is some slight incremental protection with each application, you'll gain greater benefits by spreading the same number of applications over a longer period.

Why must I wax so often?
In addition to countless environmental factors, catalytic emissions from the cars in front of you are depositing hydrochloric or sulfuric acid particles on your car's upper surfaces. All of these contaminants take a toll on your car's paint if the finish is not properly maintained.

Imagine what would happen if you only brushed your teeth once a year. The buildup could lead to costly dental repairs. And your teeth might never look as good as they did before.

Your car's paint is constantly exposed to the elements and needs regular care to keep looking its best, too.

If you neglect your car, a good paint job could cost $4,000. If you decide to sell your vehicle without a new paint job, it could cost you anywhere from $500 to $5,000 in lost trade-in value, depending upon the age and type of automobile you have.


"You can expect from $500 to $5,000 more at resale time from a well-detailed, sharp-looking vehicle, instead of one that's 'showing its age.' (Actually more for exotics and collectible cars.)" -Detailing Cars & Trucks, Do-It-Right Publishing, Inc.


How often should I wax?
There is no standard answer regarding how often you should wax. Many variables influence the life of the wax:


  • Type and color of paint
  • Condition of paint
  • Local environment (normal conditions and extraordinary events)
  • Number of hours exposed to outside conditions
  • Quality of the wax used and method of application


That's why Meguiar's is the first to provide car owners with a personalized paint care prescription that takes into account all of these factors. What is right for a car kept outdoors all day in the Midwest is not right for a car kept 80% indoors in San Antonio.

When should I wax or polish?
Clear coat paints make it more difficult to determine when your car needs waxing or polishing. It may need attention far sooner that its appearance would indicate.

Two simple tests can tell you if your car needs waxing:


  1. Wad a clean, dry terry cloth, and rub it along a clean upper surface of your car. If you hear squeaking, that's a sure sign you need to wax.
  2. After washing and drying your car, take your hand and run your fingertips along the upper surfaces of your car's hood and trunk. If you detect rough spots or feel drag, you also know you need to wax (using a cleaner wax). Or if the problem is more severe, you will need to deep-surface prep the paint prior to waxing, using a product such as Meguiar's Body Scrub.


The best solution is to get on a regular maintenance schedule. Your personalized paint care prescription will suggest one that's right for your car.

Do waxes have UV protection?
Some waxes do contain UV-protection agents, but the amount of protection is limited. The main goal of a wax is to protect the upper layers of paint that do contain UV-protection agents.

If your car is waxed regularly, your paint will be protected and you should suffer no major UV damage.

Is hand vs. Machine better?
While hand application of surface preps, polishes and waxes achieves brilliant results, professional detailers prefer a power buffer for some very good reasons. Machine application:

  • Is nearly twice as fast as by hand.
  • Is much less fatiguing to your arms and back.
  • Applies a thinner coat that's easier to wipe away.
  • Spreads product more evenly, for a more uniform gloss.
  • Uses less product, for greater economy.
  • Cleans deeper and removes oxidation more thoroughly.
  • Does a more complete job of hiding swirl marks.
  • Works more polishing oils into the surface, for an even glossier sheen.


Either of the two power buffers Meguiar's offers will give you an impressive finish, without any risk of burning your paint--even if you've never used a buffer before. And for expert advice on getting the most from a machine, we invite you to check out the online buffer clinic.

Orbital buffer vs. rotary buffer?
A good orbital buffer should last many years. It's specially designed to run in an eccentric circular motion. This safe, random pattern doesn't apply torque to the surface, and assures the buffer never concentrates its energy in one spot, unlike your hand or a regular rotary buffer.

If you use a rotary buffer and are not skilled in its use, you can easily apply too much pressure to the paint and burn right through it, requiring a new paint job. For the same reason, do not use buffers that are attached to power drills.

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