A waxing time of year

Corsa lr


By Tim Saunders

It’s that time of year when cars need waxing. That’s not strictly true if you’re the owner of an ageing Vauxhall Corsa though. Because in that case it’s always the time for a waxing! Why? Because this model especially is lacking in the finish department, which means the paint is really prone to fading – probably the worst thing that can happen to a car because no longer is there any feel good factor for the driver. If you’re not careful your car becomes an embarrassment. You’ll know what I mean when you look at most 2002 to 2007/8 Corsas. They all suffer. There’s a 2007 former Royal Mail red Corsa van down the road and it’s in a really dire state. No wonder Royal Mail got rid of it. But I have seen newer Royal Mail vans suffering the same problem and they’re not Vauxhalls, so it might be an issue with the particular shade of red the company uses or they’re just doing things on the cheap to please the shareholders... It doesn’t look professional.
I have discovered that a regular waxing protects the paintwork and prevents this dreadful fading, which certainly makes the driver feel much better. But it’s a lot of hard work. Initially I applied coats and coats of Simoniz hard wax from a tin, which requires a whole lot of elbow grease. It smears and smears and it’s only sheer determination that eventually gets it looking acceptable and delivers that all important deep lustre to the paintwork. That result makes it all worthwhile. I applied three coats of this in autumn and it protected the car through the winter and spring – it’s not garaged. It’s so smooth to the touch – the children can’t resist putting their fingerprints on it! When it rains it’s somehow satisfying to see the streaks of water running off the paintwork in uniform lines. As soon as the warm sun breaks through, the driver’s side particularly, suffers from bad fading so I dash back out and start the job all over again. Lack of time has recently seen me try Autoglym spray wax that is applied to wet paintwork, saving time. This is very user-friendly because it means you don’t have to worry about chamoising down after washing. Just spray the wax on and then buff it up with a dry cloth. It sounds easier than it is because as with any wax application it takes time to get the finish you’re after. There is no rushing, which can be therapeutic if there’s time. With my wife’s Corsa it is necessary to carefully assess the paintwork to see whether there are any hidden faded areas, particularly on the bonnet, and to then re-apply the wax and buff. After a while the paintwork is as you would wish. So far the shine has lasted for two weeks in hot sunshine. I anticipate needing to re-wax it at the end of the summer and then the whole process starts all over again. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s worth it because this 2002 model still only has less than 44,000 miles on the clock and if we wanted another model in similar condition it could cost thousands of pounds more. We took it to Guildford the other weekend to go to Guilfest and returning to the car a youth was paying particular attention to it, even going so far as patting the bonnet… We couldn’t work out whether this was a sign of appreciation or was he sizing it up to hotwire later?... Whatever, it looks good for its age, I like to think the same is true of my wife and I….


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