As we are into a new century, it is easy to reflect on the advancements that have occurred since 1900 and how significant advancements are in science, medicine and technology that are reported virtually every day.

        Just a few decades into this past century several of the world’s most visionary individuals used to spend hours together camping and recreating away from their stellar careers.  As they were enjoying the chances to witness their achievements reaching the masses, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone used to sit for hours together socializing in the humble outdoors. During those visits, each one of them reportedly coveted their shared openness to ideas about what the future of technology would bring for humanity.

To a certain extent, the contributions of each of these individuals helped prepare subsequent generations for the incredible succession of inventions and “possibilities” that would follow in this century.

So, what’s this have do with waxing and automobile paint finishes? Well, it seems that Edison and his sidekicks did such a good job of opening up our expectations that we’re almost too easy on “new inventions.”

Take “clear coat” paint finishes, for example. Some people have believed that if a car has one of these clear coat paint jobs on it, it never needs waxing.

Well, hey, why not a no-wax car paint? We’ve walked on the moon — been there, done that! And some cars can go ‘100,000 miles between tune ups’ today. I like the idea, too, of never having to get out there and rub that wax again. But it isn’t so — at least not yet.

Even ‘clear coat’ paint finishes need the protection afforded by periodic waxing — and, of course, so do so-called “conventional” (regular enamel and lacquer) paint finishes. But let’s move in for a closer and more specific look at today’s topic of car wax and preserving your car’s paint finish.

The Enemies

It’s not that clear coat finishes are not helpful on automobile paint finishes, they are a great improvement in paint “technology.” And we’ll come back to clear coats in a moment. What’s more important right now is recognizing that the foes to your car’s paint, with or without a clear coat finish, still haven’t changed — and they’re pretty formidable. Let’s start with the biggest one:

Oh, yeah, the sun. UVA rays and all that stuff. Thought you’d heard enough about how important it is to protect your skin from the sun? Good. Now it’s holistic car care — cars have skin, too, you know. And your car’s paint finish breathes and even has pores! In the hot sun the paint’s pores expand and can absorb more dirt and moisture.

From that gargantuan ball of fire to those pretty little tweeting birds. When we go out for picnics we look for nice shade trees with no ants and no … birds (at least above us). Great. How about when parking that car? Bird droppings are highly acidic and can erode paint and clear coat paint finishes. A couple of my exotic-car owner pals have even made cracks about watching out for “low altitude air-to-surface missile” raids when driving by Santa Barbara’s lovely bird sanctuary!

It’s easy to think about those times you’ve discovered the clear sticky blotches of tree sap. They seem like magnets for other particles of dirt, dust and grime — unless you remove them quickly (which you should do!). But more importantly, a lot of trees can drop small mist-like droplets on your car’s paint — the kind of sap that you can’t see unless you look very closely. Again, in hot sun this stealthy foe of tree sap will bake into the pores of the paint surface and can leave stains. That is why it is important to remove tree sap from cars.

“But I love the smell of that ocean air!” OK, but do you know what your car’s paint thinks of living in Santa Barbara? “Nice views and great weather, pal, but this salt in the air isn’t doing much for that ‘mirror-like’ sheen you expect from me!” your paint would tell you. “Especially when the sun’s out and with that ‘terrific ocean breeze’ combined with salt in the air, boss,” it would go on to say. “Salty moisture all over me — yuck!”

Even though Santa Barbara has much higher air quality than many larger metropolitan areas, there are airborne particles in our air that can damage our cars’ paint surfaces. By-products from construction, small manufacturing operations and even your own home chimney can contribute floating elements into the air that threaten your car’s paint finish.

The Friends

Any time you can park your car in the shade (without that shade coming from a sappy tree) you’re contributing to longer life for your car’s paint finish. If you’re a stickler for protection and are willing to take the time to use one — a car cover made of cloth or synthetic material is a great investment, especially if you don’t have access to a garage.

Back to the clear coat paint finishes. Since the late 1980s and with increasing prevalence since about 1990, car companies have been using so-called clear coat paints as final “sealers” on new cars. As the term indicates, the clear paint is used as a protective film over the pigmented (colored paint) base paint layer. When applied at the factory, the clear coat paint is applied as the final step to the car’s finish to enhance paint luster, depth and protection from the elements. Yet, it is not a substitute for wax because it can still (1) breathe, (2) erode, and (3) absorb moisture, collect grime and stains (tweeting and sappy tree droppings) on its surface.

Good ole wax. Through the test of time, there’s that loyal and humble friend to your car’s paint. It works — it helps clean, enhance and prolong luster, creates a thin protective film to help insulate from the elements … and some waxes even have, yes, sunscreens!

Service hours: Monday-Friday 8AM-6PM / Saturday 9AM-3PM 

Contact Texas Auto Service (281) 938-2059



Why Isn’t My Car Heater Working?

If your car heater starts blowing cold air and suddenly stops working in the middle of winter, it can make it downright miserable.

 If your car has no heat, not only would the inside of your car feel like an ice box, but a broken heater can prevent your defroster from blowing warm air to your windshield to eliminate ice and fog, which can pose a hazard while driving. Not having a working heater in your vehicle could even become a dire situation, if you end up stranded.

Why is my car heating not working?

 A car heater can stop working for a number of reasons, including:

• A low antifreeze/water level in the radiator due to a leak in the cooling system.

• A bad thermostat that isn’t allowing the engine to properly warm up.

• A blower fan that isn’t working properly.

• Coolant that contains rust particles or becomes otherwise contaminated and is blocking the heating core from circulating air into the cabin properly.



Maintenance can prevent car heater failure

Several components make up the heating system, so unless you have experience with car maintenance, it’s best to have Texas Auto diagnose the problem.

In general terms, a heating system works when the vehicle receives heat from the engine’s coolant system. Once the engine reaches its operating temperature — controlled by the thermostat — it heats up the coolant and water mixture, passes it through hoses and valves and into the heating core, which resembles a miniature radiator.

A blower fan then pushes the warm air from the heating core through the cabin filter and into the vehicle.

The No. 1 tip, mechanics say, is to have a mechanic asses your car heater regularly by having a mechanic checking the coolant level and the other components.

Have your heater checked today- schedule a service appointment now

Service hours: Monday-Friday 8AM-6PM / Saturday 9AM-3PM 

Contact Texas Auto Service (281) 938-2059


Why Isn’t My Car Heater Working?