How to Protect Your Challenger's Paint

How to Protect Your Challenger's Paint

Written By: John Linden

When you’ve invested in a great car like the Challenger, you’ll want to keep it looking great for years to come. You should take steps to start protecting your car’s paint right when you buy it so it stays looking pristine. Some dealerships offer detailing services for their cars prior to purchase. If that’s the case with your dealership, you may be able to get away with waiting a week or two before waxing your new car. If your dealership doesn’t offer waxes, you should start taking steps to protect your paint within a few days of purchase. You’ll want to protect that beautiful factory finish. Here’s how to protect your Challenger’s fresh coat of paint.

How often should I wax my car?

Regardless of where you live or how much you drive, you should be waxing your car on a quarterly basis. You should also be washing your car every few weeks to get rid of the dirt and debris that collects as you are driving. You may need to wash and wax even more often if you live in a very snowy area that uses a lot of road salt. Road salt breaks down the paint on your car very quickly, so you’ll need to be particularly vigilant about waxing and other protective strategies.

How to Wax Your Car

It’s fairly easy to wax your car at home when you have the right supplies. It’s always satisfying to see your car looking great right after a wax. Here are the steps to follow when waxing your car.

  • Clean: First, you’ll need to clean your car’s exterior so that the wax can go on fresh. If your car is relatively clean already, use a gentle cleaning product that won’t damage the car’s paint. If your car has collected some dirt and debris, you might need to use something stronger. Use a soft sponge to apply your cleaning product, and after you’ve washed and rinsed, use a microfiber cloth to dry. This prevents the water from streaking on the car.

  • Buff: Before you apply wax, go through with a buffing tool to remove any scratches or other paint imperfections. Make sure you’re using an effective buffing compound and buffing pad for the most efficient results.

  • Wax: Now that you’ve prepared, it’s time to give your car a wax. There are several different waxing methods to choose from, which we will discuss shortly. Take your time and really pay attention to detail while waxing to ensure a nice, even finish. Be sure to follow the directions on the wax to the letter - they will tell you how long to leave the wax on, and how to apply and remove it. The layer of wax protects your car’s paint, making it less likely to scratch and chip.

  • Polish: After you have let your wax set, finish off the detail by polishing your car. This will finish off the wax and help it set properly, so it will protect your paint for a longer period of time.

Which wax should I choose?

There are a few different styles of wax that you can use to protect your car’s paint. The classic wax style is Carnauba wax. It is an organic wax made from a Brazilian plant, and it’s affordable and easy to use. However, there are some downsides to Carnauba wax. It doesn’t layer as well as other styles of wax, and you shouldn’t use it in direct sunlight.

Synthetic waxes are an easier option for most people who want to detail at home. Synthetic waxes are engineered so that they can be applied in the sun, and they are much easier to layer than Carnauba wax as well. You may also want to keep some spray wax in your garage to use as you are working on your car. Spray waxes are great for touch-ups and are very efficient. You can use them for an entire wax, but it’s harder to address the small details on your car with a spray wax.

Other Paint Protection Options

When your car is parked, consider using a car cover to keep your paint safe. Car covers wrap over the entire car, so any debris will end up on the cover instead of potentially damaging the car. Car covers are particularly helpful if you park your car outside, because they will protect your paint from sun, rain, and snow damage. They can even minimize damage from hail if that is a problem in your area. Make sure you choose a car cover that offers UV protection, so the sun’s rays can’t filter through the fabric.

You may also want to consider adding a front end bra to your Challenger. This is a cover layer that adheres to the front of the car, protecting it from bugs, flying debris, and anything else that could cause damage. There are many different types of front end bras, ranging from clear film to a thicker material that’s similar to a car cover.

If you’re really serious about protecting your car’s paint job, you may want to invest in a paint protection film. These can be very expensive, but they are arguably the most effective way to ensure your paint job stays intact. These are custom-made films that adhere to your car’s surface to protect the paint. They have a clear, glossy finish. They also need to be applied by a professional, so you will have to find an outfitter in your area that offers them.

You take pride in your Challenger, so it’s worth investing in paint protection so it stays looking brand new. At the very least, you should make sure you are waxing your car several times per year. Waxes are fairly easy to do on your own, or you can opt to pay a local detailer to have your car waxed for you. You should make sure you are checking your car for scratches and scrapes frequently. This way, you can address any problem areas right away and keep your car looking great.

Featured Image Credit: Nadeem / Pixabay