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New Car Clear Coat Finish

Just purchased a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe & dealer says not to wax it because of the “clear coat” finish. Any advice?

Forget what the dealer says. What does Hyundai say in the owner’s manual? However, clear-coated finishes need wax less than those without it. But waxing is still a good idea to protect the finish.

Clear coats do a very protective job of the paint.

That said, most people still add a protective coat (or 2) of wax over that. It won’t hurt anything.
Like all waxing jobs, turn the rag or other applicator frequently and change it often to avoid picking up and rubbing foreign material into the clear coat.


While it is best to avoid waxing the paint on a new car for at least a couple of months, once the paint has aged a bit, it is really a good idea to wax it, whether it has clear-coated paint or not. Just be sure that the wax that you buy does NOT have any cleaners or abrasives in it, follow the package directions, and do the polishing/waxing in the shade with a large supply of clean cloths so that you can frequently exchange a used cloth for a new one.

That is yet another reason not to accept any car advice from a car salesman. By all means, keep your car looking new for many years by regular waxing.

(In the salesman’s defense, he may have actually advised you not to use polish. Unlike wax, polish contains small abrasives which makes it less suitable for clearcoats. You may have misunderstood.)

Clear coat is just paint without a pigment added. So you have to protect it just as you would with paint. And that’s to wax it on occation.


Wax it. It’s hard to say without knowing the salesman but it’s very possible the salesman may have said this, not with an effort to deceive, but may honestly think clear coat is a permanent wax so to speak.
Many car salesmen know absolutely nothing about the hows and why of cars except what’s printed in the sales brochures.

Some of them are not even familiar with the information printed in the manufacturer’s sales brochures!

When I had body work done, the repair shop said not to wax it for at least 2 months after I picked up the car. It was to ensure full curing of the paint. If the truck was build more than two or three months ago, you can wax it. Check the plate inside the driver’s door. It will have a date of assembly on it. The 2008s should have been assembled earlier than June of 2008.

Guess you’ve got a good point there! :slight_smile:

That reminded me of a post on this board a few years ago, or at least I think it was this board. A car salesman stated in regards to a query from a potential customer that turning the Electronic Traction Control on made the car heavier and increased traction. Pretty innovative engineering I would say!