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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am wondering what everyone thinks about waxing a car that has been factory painted within three months? I have read several places (including bottles of wax) not to use wax within six months of the vehicle being painted ... although they do not specify if that applies to the factory paint. How long do you all wait? Thoughts?...

Typically I use Meguiar's Carnauba Wax on my vehicles.
 

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Hi Yogi,

The process involved at the factory is simply not possible on a fully assembled vehicle let alone most "body shop" facilities. The following is a decent article explaining today’s factory paint finishes that provides a decent explanation:

OEM Auto Paint Finishes

....and an excerpt from that article directly relevant to your question:

WHEN TO WAX?

A topic for consideration, about which many people are misinformed, is when you can wax the vehicle or apply paint sealant. Looking back at the curing process, both the 1K and 2K systems are 90-95% cured upon cool down, after the bake process, in the factory spray booth. The additional 5-10% will cure within 3-7 days. This means that by the time any vehicle reaches its destination at a dealer, the paint is fully cured. By not applying some sort of protection to the paint surface upon delivery or shortly after, the customer is actually hurting the paint instead of helping it. Salesmen that say don't wax a car for 6-12 months are misinformed. This is a huge problem in our business because customers will tend to believe a salesman who knows nothing about paint, rather than a trained professional. This is often why fairly new cars are in such bad shape even after a short period of time.
Here is another (more technical) article you may find interesting:

Detailing Bliss Forum

....and an excerpt from that one that is directly applicable to your concern:

B) New cars - Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM oven cured) Paint

Original equipment materials (OEM) specified materials are very different from refinish paint products and materials

The most often asked question and a subject that results in a great deal of confusion regarding polishing or waxing OEM paint. Paint curing process; new cars go through the painting and baking process without any of the rubber, plastic, and cloth components installed. This is why they can expose the cars paint to such high temperatures, these high temperatures and special paints used at the factory level ensure the paint is fully cured by the time the car leaves the assembly line.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) water based paint and its clear coat is cured at high temperatures; OEM paints are cured in a paint oven at around 320. °F (160. °C) for 20 minutes, in multiple oven zones where the paint is baked with radiation and convection heat so that 90-95% of the paint systems out gassing has taken place, the additional 5-10% will cure within 2-3 days and the vehicle’s paint can be waxed the moment it is rolled out of the manufacturing plant.

By not applying some sort of paint protection soon after purchase the customer is actually damaging the paint surface instead of helping it. Salesmen that advise a customer not to wax a car for 3-6 months are relying on old paint methods and are misinformed about the latest paint technology. The newer paints are catalyzed (a chemical reaction that cures the paint) lacquers and enamels needed an extensive time for the solvents to release, with modern water based paints this is not necessary.
This is a huge problem in dealerships because customers tend to take the advice offered
by a salesman who usually knows nothing about paint, rather than a trained paint professional. This goes a long way to understand why fairly new vehicles paint surfaces are in such bad shape even after a relatively short period of time.
In a nutshell, you can clay, polish, wax, etc. as soon as you take delivery. Hope this helps.
 

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You SHOULD wax a new car IMMEDIATELY upon taking delivery. That way it protects the new finish, and KEEPS IT that way. Some people think that's silly. But any detail professional will tell you it's the appropriate thing to do, if you desire to maintain and protect your factory paint finish. Now quit reading and GET TO WORK ON IT!!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys! Great info. Fortunately, I have only taken it out of the garage about four times now and never in weather so its close to when I took delivery as far as condition. A little dusty ... but not anything to cause alarm for me yet lol. Car only has 360 miles.
 

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A new car is already a couple weeks out of paint by the time you get it in your hands, there is no reason not to wax it at that time. Plus the paint was cured by lights/heat after being painted at the factory.

If you re-paint a vehicle, its advisable to wait 2-3 weeks minimum before waxing to allow the surface to cure, but i'd never consider doing that on a new car from a dealership.
 

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If you re-paint a vehicle, its advisable to wait 2-3 weeks minimum before waxing to allow the surface to cure, but i'd never consider doing that on a new car from a dealership.
Actually, the standard for most body shop paint jobs seems to coincide with what our friends at BASF also recommend, which is 90 days.

You can usually go by what the painter said, and if they don't say, wait 90 days just to be sure or bad things can happen.


And yes, a new car can be clayed/polished/waxed immediately upon delivery so long as no panels were touched-up at the port or the dealer, and legally that's disclosed to you if it's over $500.
 
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