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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone. I recently just became a WRX owner this past weekend and want to make sure that my Crystal Pearl White paint job is maintained all year round and prepping it for the harsh North East weather (Philadelphia, PA). While I have seen some videos of what to do to wash the car and clay it to remove any embedded contaminants, I am unsure where/when in the process I should polish/wax/seal/maintain. I also decided to forgo the Xzilon paint protection that the dealership was offering, so I do not know where in the process my new car lies; is it sealed or waxed? Luckily, I am able to store my car in a garage overnight, but the environment will get to it while it sits in the parking lot at work.

If someone can point me in the right direction then that would be great. Also, if I am missing some information, what questions should I follow up with the dealership that I purchased the WRX from? So far, this seems to be the most extensive video and information that I have on car paint maintenance - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFXfSBR5Q9w, but do I really need to go that far immediately or can I jump in on the sealing portion, etc..?

Side note - the Premium trim came with popular package #1 meaning it has the protective film on the rear bumper. Would this affect my paint maintenance procedure?


-SlyG07
 

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Here is a good info-graphic on what to do when.



Before any detail, you always want to clay to remove any surface contaminants.

Compounding will remove deeper scratches, but will need to be followed up by polish to remove the compound haze.

If you don't have deep scratches, you can polish, to remove lighter scratches.

If you don't have any scratches or swirls, you can skip to Wax/Sealant/Coating.

With the cost, ease of application, and availability of today's coatings, there is no excuse to use anything else. Their Protective, longevity, and Water/Contaminant repelling abilities are revolutionary. I would recommend Optimum's Gloss-Coat. I have more details on my thread here:

2016 WRX Limited ISM New Car Prep and Optimum Gloss Coated!

For the protective bumper cover, you can't do anything to the paint underneath, unless you remove it. It will be fine keepin it on there, and working around it, however it will look different then the paint.

For my car, I clayed, and only polished the few scratches on my car, then coated. I ordered my car new, and removed all of the plastic protective coating myself, so there were few paint imperfections. If you have the dealer to the "New Car Prep" they will likely install swirls and scratches in your paint from bad technique, that would require an entire car polish before the Wax/Sealant/Coating Step.
 

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Wash it.
Clay it with soft clay.
Seal it. I recommend Jet seal.
Let the sealer cure for 12 hours.
Pull it out of the garage and wax it. I recommend Pete's 52.

I seal once a year, usually before winter for protection, and wax about 2-3 times a year (including the seal). People love to use polish, but I don't understand the need to start cutting away the clear coat right away. It's really not necessary for a few years, at least. I use the above method and it does two things:
1) It makes the car look better than 99% of the cars on the road year round while protecting the paint.
2) It doesn't exhaust me from constantly cleaning the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So is everyone implying that my car isn't already waxed and sealed from the dealer? Or is it possible to seal over a wax and then wax over that seal?

Also, how do you spot clean your paint? With what product? Since I have been driving the vehicle, I want to already clean some spots while I wait for the weekend to come up, so I can do the paint maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I have done some research and I am hoping someone can confirm my thinking...

My '17 WRX from the dealership most likely came with a clear coat on it and most likely some sort of wax; thus, I am planning to only wash it weekly/bi-weekly because of all the bugs I hit up here in rural PA (non-wax stripping soap).

As the winter nears, maybe in about a month or so, I should strip that dealer wax by washing the car with Dawn dish soap and apply a stronger protective wax coat (or sealant) to shield me from the rocks/salt that would be soon to come. From my research, wax and sealant basically do the same thing by adhering to that top clear coat layer and acting as a barrier to the elements; they have different finishes and different lifespans.

Polish, on the other hand, is only applied when you have some scratches on the clear coat (wax/sealant did not protect as well). After stripping the car of the wax/sealed layer, one would buff out the scratches using polish then re-apply a new layer of wax/sealant.

Here are some questions that I have come up with:

1. How are the results if I applied a wax followed by a sealant on top of the clear coat? These seem fairly redundant.
2. Is it suggested to wash my car in cold temperatures throughout the winter or is that not advised?
 

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So I have done some research and I am hoping someone can confirm my thinking...

My '17 WRX from the dealership most likely came with a clear coat on it and most likely some sort of wax; thus, I am planning to only wash it weekly/bi-weekly because of all the bugs I hit up here in rural PA (non-wax stripping soap).

As the winter nears, maybe in about a month or so, I should strip that dealer wax by washing the car with Dawn dish soap and apply a stronger protective wax coat (or sealant) to shield me from the rocks/salt that would be soon to come. From my research, wax and sealant basically do the same thing by adhering to that top clear coat layer and acting as a barrier to the elements; they have different finishes and different lifespans.

Polish, on the other hand, is only applied when you have some scratches on the clear coat (wax/sealant did not protect as well). After stripping the car of the wax/sealed layer, one would buff out the scratches using polish then re-apply a new layer of wax/sealant.

Here are some questions that I have come up with:

1. How are the results if I applied a wax followed by a sealant on top of the clear coat? These seem fairly redundant.
2. Is it suggested to wash my car in cold temperatures throughout the winter or is that not advised?
Always seal THEN wax. Never wax then seal. Sealant basically glues itself to the paint for lack of terms. Wax just sits on top. Sealant cannot bond to paint through wax, so don't waste time by waxing then sealing. Wax last step.
 

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Wash it.
Clay it with soft clay.
Seal it. I recommend Jet seal.
Let the sealer cure for 12 hours.
Pull it out of the garage and wax it. I recommend Pete's 52.

I seal once a year, usually before winter for protection, and wax about 2-3 times a year (including the seal). People love to use polish, but I don't understand the need to start cutting away the clear coat right away. It's really not necessary for a few years, at least. I use the above method and it does two things:
1) It makes the car look better than 99% of the cars on the road year round while protecting the paint.
2) It doesn't exhaust me from constantly cleaning the car.
If you don't polish, I guarantee your car has swirl marks or micro marring and spider webbing assuming you drive your car. Look at an angle under fluorescent light. No use in sealing in swirl marks. Polish with the least aggressiveness polish on a soft pad; don't start by cutting with a firm pad. If the mild polish doesn't work, move up to more aggressive and a heavier pad with the buffer on a slightly higher speed.
 
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