by Pat Goss
Believe it or not, this innocent looking droplet of water could be very damaging to the finish on this car. How so? Well, it might contain all of the elements necessary for acid rain damage. You know, acid rain doesn’t necessarily have to fall from the sky. See the car collects dust on the surface of it, then maybe dew or a light rain comes along. That collects the dust into droplets of water. Now the sun comes out. The droplet of water acts like a magnifying glass. It superheats the paint underneath it. And these chemicals, which can be very harmful and very acidic, are etched into the surface of the paint, and you have acid rain damage. So what can you do to take care of it?
Well, first thing, you might want to consider using a baking soda wash. You want to mix baking soda and water and wash the car, but that’s a royal pain because you have to rinse and rinse and rinse to get rid of the baking soda residue. Well, one thing that we found that was very interesting is the Zymol auto wash. It’s PH balanced so it helps to neutralize acid rain damage, and it’s certainly a lot easier than the baking soda wash.
Now once you have the acid neutralized on your car, of course you want to keep it neutralized on a regular basis, but you then have to protect the finish. And the best way to do that is with carnauba, or you may call it ‘‘carnooba’’ wax. It’s an exotic wax from palm trees from South America. Very expensive Ð about $100 per pound. Now what they do with it is they chop it up into these little flakes like this, and this is what is used to be mixed into the wax. Now the higher the carnauba wax content, the better it is for the car.
Now run-of-the-mill waxes are usually going to be 2% to 6%. The problem is you can’t tell what the concentration is from the label. Also remember that there are some exotic waxes that you can buy. They may have to be special ordered, but they could be up to 60% carnauba. Another thing to consider is what the base of the wax is. This Zymol product, well it is water-based, and it’s the only cleaner wax on the market that is water-based.
If you have a question or comment, write to me. The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.