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Waxing cars

Do modern cars still need waxing?

Yes. I try to wax ours twice per year. The sun, chemicals in the air, dust, salt, rain, everything is hard on your paint job. If you want the paint job to stay looking good, keep it waxed.

Yes, I give our cars a waxing once a year. It protects the finish from oxydation and also makes the car easier to wash.

I wax my cars once a year, but they are garage-kept.
If they were parked on the street, I would wax them twice a year.

No car “needs” waxing, but if you want your car to look better and maybe fight off rust and various environmental negatives, wax is a good idea. I wax about twice a year.

While I agree waxing is good to do, I must admit to having waxed my 14-year-old Lexus ES300 once, maybe twice, ever. It’s garage kept, and the finish looks fine. Would it be a bit better if waxed? Sure, but it’s not degraded to any significant degree.

Absolutely. I wax fall and spring and use the clay bar when needed to smooth the finish. Even though a finish can look ok, after a couple of years, I polish with an orbital buffer with two different grits before waxing, and the difference is obvious.

At least a couple times a year is best, I do it 3 or 4 myself. The car wash applied wax does not last and doesn’t provide as much protection. Paste wax is best but liquid is easier. If you don’t mind the extra elbow grease and only want to wax once or twice, use paste. Use soft clean terry cloth or microfiber towels, apply the wax, let it haze up and wipe off with a seperate towel. Be sure NOT to do it in direct sunlight!

Kudos to all you washers and waxers, it almost inspires me to do it. Sure I do a 25 buck clean once a year or so, maybe wax every few years, I am a 10 year and out vehicle guy, 03 no rust yet, still looks good after a free thunderstorm car wash.

I know if you don’t wax a bikini line, it can start to look ugly!

Wax protects the clear coat. Which is paint without pigments applied at a different stage.

Ever see a vehicle with the clearcoat peeling off? That vehicle probably wasn’t waxed on a regular basis.


A car doesn’t “need” waxing. It comes down to your priorities. Do you car about what it looks like? Might you want to sell it some day? If so, you should follow the advice others gave.

If you, like me, just want the car to go and don’t care about what it looks like, or plan to sell it to anyone other than a salvage yard, you might look at things differently. I’ve never waxed a car, and never wash it except after the roads are salted, which is rare in Texas. I don’t care if the paint looks bad, but it is important to touch-up when paint is chipped and bare metal is exposed before rust forms, or after sanding off rust.

If you live in an area where road salt is used often, body care may be more important. Almost everyone I know, here in Texas, never waxes their cars, whether old or new, and they look fine for 20 years. In other places it may be more important.

It comes down to how much you care about the car’s appearance, and what hazards it’s exposed to.