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Is it better for your car's finish to use a car wash that is just soap or one that has both soap and wax combined? How about if you go through a car wash or a diy wash bay? Does the "wax" cycle really help protect your paint?
 

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Hi Trav4. To protect your cars finish- here is the short answer:It is best to wash separate, wax separate. Use a car wash that is soap only, car wash soap made for cars that will not strip wax. Dish wash soap will strip off most car waxes. Going through a car wash or diy car wash- that liquid wax mixture will break down quickly and maybe last a day. Going through a car wash with brushes or using the brush at a DIY car wash will destroy your clear coat. Wash car with something made from microfiber. Get a good synthetic wax (there are many), wax separately.
There are auto detail forums, auto detail products web sights, you tubes, etc. for you to spend hours and hours to decide what products to use and techniques to use. Sorry but it is going to take some work on your part. Of course there are also auto paint coatings that last years but it will cost big bucks for a pro to apply like $1000- $2000.
 

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It's true that you can do lots of research on products. For me it came down to purpose and time. I like to have a clean, well-maintained car but realize that as a daily driver, her days of being show room pristine ended the day I drove off the lot. To keep her looking sharp, I use Mequiar's Gold car soap and Mequiar's NXT 2.0 Tech Wax. I apply the synthetic wax every 2-3 months and use Aerospace 305 for interior and exterior plastics. Hope that helps.
 

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I use Turtle Wax Zip Wax car wash. I apply Meguiar's "Ultimate" pure synthetic polymer liquid wax in Spring and Fall. No more drive-through car washes for this new RAV4.
 

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Using dawn to strip wax has long since been debunked. Never go to an automatic wash. Use 2 bucket method for washing and use a good soap, Mother's and Meguiars are fine. Combo wash/wax products can work but wax doesn't last long compared to a good standalone wax/sealantIf you want a clean slate then use clay or AutoScrub/Nanoskin. An inexpensive long lasting and great looking sealant is Collinite 845. Be sure not to over apply it or it's a bear to remove. Collinite 915 or 476s are also good options.

3yrs and 40k miles later the finish is still like new



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Using dawn to strip wax has long since been debunked. Never go to an automatic wash. Use 2 bucket method for washing and use a good soap, Mother's and Meguiars are fine. Combo wash/wax products can work but wax doesn't last long compared to a good standalone wax/sealantIf you want a clean slate then use clay or AutoScrub/Nanoskin. An inexpensive long lasting and great looking sealant is Collinite 915. Be sure not to over apply it or it's a bear to remove.

3yrs and 40k miles later the finish is still like new



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Collinite #845: The Definitive How-To Guide For This Legendary Wax
 

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A question for all of you if I may...how in the heck do you deal with the black plastic that is allllllll over the Rav4? I am looking at the picture in the above post and that black trim looks great, but how do you guys get it that way? Do you use the same product you use on the paint?
Any help is appreciated!!
 

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A question for all of you if I may...how in the heck do you deal with the black plastic that is allllllll over the Rav4? I am looking at the picture in the above post and that black trim looks great, but how do you guys get it that way? Do you use the same product you use on the paint?
Any help is appreciated!!

There are many products marketed to restore and protect black trim. I tried many, including Carpro DLUX which is a coating, Poorboys Trim Restore, Aerospace 303, Carpro PERL and the list goes on. The Rav4 drove me to find a more permanent solution with all its plastic.

If you want the best looking, longest lasting, easy to maintain black trim, the try out Turtle Wax Jet Black, Black Enduro Shine Trim coating. It's a process to apply and you have to be careful, but once applied your trim will look like new and STAY THAT WAY. I'm going on a full year on the Rav4 and it looks like the day I applied it. It's an amazing product.

Prep is key to its success. Scrub the trim with an all purpose degreaser to get it super clean and remove any previous dressings. Follow the introductions on the box. It's actually black, and really watery, and it will stain whatever it gets on if not removed immediately.

Car washes and heavy rain have not effected it any.

If you like detailing your trim every week then stick with 303 or related product. If you want a 'one and done' product then try out the Jet Black coating.

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No need to 303 every week. 2-3 times per year works great here in the Pacific NW.
 

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To achieve a 'just applied' look, equivalent to the Jet Black, in my experience you do.

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OK, I'm talking about maintaining the new look of plastic trim, not a "just applied" look of another product.
 
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