Should I Wax My Car in Cold Weather?

If you live in an area of the US that goes below freezing in the winter (which is almost everywhere), you wouldn’t dream of going outside without a coat, would you? Of course, you wouldn’t. You know that your skin needs protection. 

The paint on your car isn’t all that different. Even the tires, rubber, and plastic parts will benefit from some type of protection against the cold, snow, freezing rain, hail, and salt that is often applied to the roads. 

It’s interesting to note that most people only think of the burning summer sun when it comes to protecting the paint on their beloved rides, but to be honest, the winter weather probably does more damage to your paint than those hot summer days do. 

Seal the Paint Before Waxing

Wax is a terrific way to protect the paint, but it doesn’t last forever. This is especially true if you must leave your vehicle parked outside. 

Using a good quality paint sealant (sometimes called synthetic wax), such as Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze in the fall and you will have the best possible protection. 

Why don’t most people use a paint sealant, rather than a wax? Let’s face it, nothing gives your ride that showroom shine like a good carnauba wax. 

The good news is that after you use the paint sealant, adding a carnauba wax will not only make the car shine, it will last for months. 

Is It Safe to Wax My Car in the Winter?

Up to a point, yes, it is. 

In the fall, before those freezing days and nights hit your area, you should give your vehicle a protective layer of wax. This would include coating the wheels, rubber trim, and even those exposed plastic parts. 

If you usually wax your car yourself, you know that a coat of wax tends to last only about 4-6 weeks. By using a really good quality wax, such as Collinite Super Doublecoat Ax No. 476S, you can prolong the life of your wax job. Many people claim that a good coat of Collinite will last nearly all winter long. 

Why Wax My Car in the Fall?

Most paste wax will harden and become impossible to apply or remove in weather under 40 degrees. Some wax manufacturers recommend not using their wax in temperatures below 50 degrees. 

If you are lucky enough to have a heated garage, of course, you can wax your vehicle any time you like. 

One other option is to have it detailed by a professional. 

But why pay for that when you can apply a good quality wax in the late fall and be set until spring?

How to Make Your Wax Job Last

During the fall months, pick a time when the weather is supposed to be between 50 and 80 degrees. Wash your car thoroughly, but don’t use anything that will strip or remove any of the wax that might be on the car. 

Use the paint sealant according to directions. 

Wait until the next day to apply the carnauba wax. This will not only give you the shine you want, but it will fill in any tiny scratches or spider marks in the paint. 

With any luck, this combination of sealer and carnauba wax should last 5 to 6 months. 

For Touch Ups

If you notice that certain areas of your vehicle are looking less than perfect (such as the rocker panels or the tailgate, but the winter cold prevents you from using a carnauba wax, this is where a quick, liquid wax can work wonders. 

We like Car Guys Hybrid Spray Wax. This is a spray paint sealant infused with liquid carnauba wax. Put your car in the sun if it is below 50 degrees or wait for a warmer day. Wash your car, then spray the areas that need a touch-up. 

One of the great things about Car Guys Hybrid Wax is that you don’t have to worry about getting it on the trim or plastic pieces. This is perfectly safe and will help to protect those parts. Not only that, but Car Guys guarantees your satisfaction. Don’t like the product? You can get your money back. Not questions asked. 

The Bottom Line

It’s best to seal and then wax your vehicle in the late fall before temps fall below 50. Using a good quality sealant and then a carnauba wax will help to keep your car protected and looking good for at least 5 to 6 months. 

If the car requires a touch-up in some areas, using a hybrid wax spray will take care of those problem areas, such as rocker panels, until spring. 


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