2017~2021 Question about outer care of new CX-5

brownbearuva

2020 CX-5 Touring
Should I wait to re-wax my new CX-5? I got a 2020 in Machine-Gray back in July, and it needs a wash by now. I'm trying to decide if I should just wash it, or if I should strip whatever factory wax treatment the car comes with and wax it anew. Relevant details, I live in the DC area, first time car owner, and I have never actually waxed a car before. So definitely inexperienced. Should I even attempt my first waxing on a new car? Or practice on my roommate's old Ford Fusion first? Haha

Apologies if something like this has already been asked, I couldn't find it after searching a bit.
 
It isn't as if your car was just painted, your paint isn't soft anymore. As far as stripping the factory wax off of it I wasn't aware that the factory or dealer did put wax on cars. As far as I know they clear coat it and bam its moved through the assembly line. That being said you live in an area with a lot of air contaminants and I would certainly wax it before the winter.

If you have never waxed a car before I would certainly not do your first wax job on a new car. Let a professional do it, tell them it is a new car and they will know what to do with it. It might just need a sealer until the spring.
 

erhayes

Contributor
:
Mazda CX-5 FWD Touring
Practice on the old Fusion. Not rocket scientist but, common sense like using clean towels/rags and washing the vehicle first. Maybe a friend who has experience can help. Ed
 
Get a nice spray wax easy to apply and buff with a single wipe and try it out on a small element :) Focus on 'spray on wax' , not polishing not detailing. Those are totally different procedures.

Use good microfiber on a clean and dry car. There is no wax from the factory. its just shiny new paint and clear coat on top.

Be careful with the washing and drying. This is when micro scratching on the clear coat actually happens and is more critical than waxing itself.
Some auto wash machines are terrible.
 

The ManLaw

The Manlaw of Want
:
15cx5 soon 20cx9
I'd do a solid clay and then only use some rubbing compound if you have any fine scratches from the transport and it sitting in the dealer. Then do a good wax by hand. I was down in the DC area for years, those highway guys love using lots of salt.
 
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Phoenix
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2020 CX5 signature
For most people a good spray wax, if washed regularly, is all you really need on a bi-weekly basis and it will look good for years.

For a starter, get some Iron-X, then clay, then a polish like Duragloss 105 which also has sealant properties. Then bi-weekly wash and spray wax - Even Turtle wax makes a highly reviewed spray.

Those 4 steps may seem like lot, but google each video and you'll see how easy it is over a day or weekend.
 
Should I wait to re-wax my new CX-5? I got a 2020 in Machine-Gray back in July, and it needs a wash by now. I'm trying to decide if I should just wash it, or if I should strip whatever factory wax treatment the car comes with and wax it anew. Relevant details, I live in the DC area, first time car owner, and I have never actually waxed a car before. So definitely inexperienced. Should I even attempt my first waxing on a new car? Or practice on my roommate's old Ford Fusion first? Haha

Apologies if something like this has already been asked, I couldn't find it after searching a bit.
If you want to go down the rabbit hole, check out AMMO NYC's youtube channel.
This guy is psychotic (in a good way) when it comes to car care.
Yes, he tries to promote his products throughout his videos, but he gives great advice.

 
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2019 CX-5 GTR
@brownbearuva you told us that you are a first time car owner, and never washed a car -- so here are some VERY high level tips

1) clean / new microfiber wash mit and rags
2) two buckets (at least; some people use 3 buckets) (wash / rinse / optional wheel); I personally just wash the wheels first and then dump the bucket and do the vehicle
3) decent war wash soap
4) dry with clean / new microfiber towel
5) a spray wax

as suggested by @Ceej007 for the very first wash, you ~might~ want to take it to a local shop for special attention.

check out this forum resource; and the "Car clean / detailing" section:

I'm gonna give you a warning.. if you are OCD or triggered by tiny flaws and imperfections going down the rabbit hole of car detailing is gonna be a VERY long and possibly expensive path for you.

some light forum related reading:

ok that should get you started :)
 
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sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
:
Canada
:
'18 CX-9 Signature
Should I wait to re-wax my new CX-5? I got a 2020 in Machine-Gray back in July, and it needs a wash by now. I'm trying to decide if I should just wash it, or if I should strip whatever factory wax treatment the car comes with and wax it anew. Relevant details, I live in the DC area, first time car owner, and I have never actually waxed a car before. So definitely inexperienced. Should I even attempt my first waxing on a new car? Or practice on my roommate's old Ford Fusion first? Haha

Apologies if something like this has already been asked, I couldn't find it after searching a bit.

The CX-5 doesn't come with any paint protection/coatings from the factory, but some dealerships do offer their own protection packages. If you did not pay for any such package, your car probably has no protection on it.

If you're interested, I started a Car Care thread back in Sept last year.


The most important thing, as mentioned by other members previously, is learning how to wash your car correctly. There are a ton of videos on YouTube that can show you how. Here's a good one:



Waxing does not have to be complicated. You don't even need a machine, you can do it by hand. What I would suggest:

  1. Buy a paste wax from your local auto shop. Meguiar's and Turtle Wax have some decent over the counter options in their product lineups.
  2. Hand wash the car yourself, using one of the many variations of the 2-bucket method.
  3. Dry the car off with a clean microfiber.
  4. Get the paste wax and apply a few drops to a clean microfiber towel. You don't need to use a lot.
  5. Apply the paste wax as if you were applying lotion to your skin. You don't need to use elbow grease to "work it in", all you need is a very thin layer.
  6. Leave it to dry. This can vary depending on the wax used. Most waxes will "haze over" when they are dry, but I've found that if you take your finger, wipe a small spot, and the wax smudges, it hasn't dried yet. If it wipes off clean, you're good to go.
  7. Wipe off the dried wax with a clean microfiber, and you're done. Follow the instructions on the bottle of wax to find out how often to reapply. Usually this is around 2-3 months.

Or, if you want to keep it even simpler:

  1. Buy a spray on wax from your local auto shop. Again, Meguiar's has some decent over the counter options in their product lineup.
  2. Hand wash the car yourself, using one of the many variations of the 2-bucket method.
  3. Dry the car using a clean microfiber towel, but before you dry each panel, spray it with the wax. Then wipe it off, turn to a clean side of the towel, and dry the panel completely. Repeat until the entire car is clean. Refer to the instructions on the bottle to find out how often to reapply. Usually this is every 3-6 weeks.
 
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2020 CX5 Signature
Wait, you bought your car in July and you are just now thinking about washing it? Take it back and buy a Toyota. Please.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
Wait, you bought your car in July and you are just now thinking about washing it? Take it back and buy a Toyota. Please.

Please be respectful. Everyone has different priorities, and there's no reason to dig at someone who doesn't wash their car as often as you do.
 
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Occupied Calif.
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2019 CX 5 GT-R
Start by getting a soft microfiber wash mitt and an assortment of microfiber towels, including one of the "waffle weave" types for the initial drying. And get two wash buckets, one for the soapy water and another for clear water to rinse the wash mitt frequently while soaping up a section at a time. And get a clay bar kit and some good car wash soap.
Wash the car with Dawn dishwashing soap. That will strip any dealer applied wax. Clay bar the car. Wash again with car wash soap and dry.

Now, apply Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating. For decades I turned up my nose at Turtle Wax products believing that they were K Mart mass market products for the common man but other boutique makers had better product.
But Turtle Wax has upped their game and the Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating is now one of the best performing products out there.


Next time you wash your car, apply another treatment of the Turtle Wax. You should then be good with regular washings with a good car wash soap. I like Meguiars Gold Class. Reapply the spray coating a couple times a year. You don't need to strip the old wax and clay bar again. Just wash and spray according to the directions.

I used to use paste wax, then the very labor intensive but excellent Zaino products, and switched to the Hybrid Ceramic product. Extremely easy to apply, inexpensive and the results are impressive.
 
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Phoenix
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2020 CX5 signature
Machine gray is going to be a beeeaatch. The best advice is to keep it clean regularly, always using microfiber and maybe a good waterless detailer if you can't give it a proper wash. Something like Ultima waterless wash Plus. Google it
 
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The ManLaw

The Manlaw of Want
:
15cx5 soon 20cx9
Machine gray is going to be a beeeaatch. The best advice is to keep it clean regularly, always using microfiber and maybe an inexpensive detailer if you can't give it a proper wash. Something like Ultima waterless wash Plus. Google it

My cx5 was machine grey. It was fairly easy to keep clean looking, if you stood more than 10 feet away that is. But one good thing is that that color hid rock chips on the bumper like a champ.

Honestly, find what works for you with washing and waxing. If just blowing through the drive thru ones that shoot on a crappy wax at the end makes you happy, then do it. If you want to go nuts and buy hundreds of dollars of products to make it shiny for a few hours till dust settles on it (like I do), do it. Gotta start somewhere and learn what works for you.
 
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Occupied Calif.
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2019 CX 5 GT-R
I have a Machine Gray CX 5 and it looks great. I don't find it any harder to take care of than any other colors. But I haven't been to a machine car wash in more than 18 years and I hand wash my cars only.
Believe it or not I use one of those California Car Dusters to remove light dust. If used properly and on a well waxed surface it doesn't scratch.

I forgot to mention that something else to have is an aluminum step stool or one made of a material that won't rust and is high enough to stand on to reach across the roof. Be careful that it is only used on a flat level surface of course.
And I bought one of these to clean the roof and I love it. It telescopes and you can also wrap a MF towel around the business end to dry the roof after washing it with the mop head.

 
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2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
Lighter color vehicles (white at the top of the list) are far less likely to reveal scratches in their clear coats. If you have a dark color vehicle, you WILL see many scratches when under the sun. Water in southern California is priced like gold, so I use a car cover and clean the painted surfaces with 3D waterless car wash/wax. My days of spending an hour or more every weekend are gone (but may increase slightly after I retire and have more time) so I tend to keep my cars fairly clean.
 

brownbearuva

2020 CX-5 Touring
Wow thanks everyone for the replies! Didn't expect to get so much advice. Will try and respond to a few common points:

I am a new car owner, and the last time I washed a car by hand was before Homecoming senior year of high school. Had no idea what I was doing and the result was pretty middling. However, I am a responsible adult now and have been able to DIY a lot of things successfully, so I am hoping to add washing my car to the repertoire. Been watching a lot of ChrisFix on youtube and was planning to roughly follow the method in this video: How to SUPER CLEAN Your Car (Best Clean Possible)

I definitely didn't get any pre-treatments from the dealership, but I guess I just assumed there was some type of coating put on at the factory. But knowing that there isn't makes me feel more comfortable because if I do it right (or close to it), the result will provide better protection for my paint job than the zero protection I have now.

@JSB33 haha I definitely understand the sentiment. I have put off the first wash because I've been afraid to screw it up, but once I get the hang of it I do plan to take good car of the car!

I also think another barrier has been not being sure which products to get/how much square feet of microfiber cloth I need (probably a LOT more than I have right now). Will I need to sink a good $100 in materials/supplies before doing this? Should I just get cheap microfiber cloths from Advance Auto, or does quality matter there?

Thanks again for all the advice everyone, I promise I am reading it all and will watch the videos after I get off work. Sounds like a good strategy might be to do the first one on my roommate's Fusion, and maybe go someplace to get mine done and just ask them a ton of questions before trying it myself in a couple months.

Open to any more input y'all feel like providing.

Go Hoos
 
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2019 CX-5 GTR
$100 sounds about right if you have nothing.

Don't cheap out on microfiber.

At least get the Costco ones if you can.

Wash your microfiber separately; don't use any liquid softeners, and do NOT dry them on high heat. Here in AZ, I simply set them on top the dryer for a hour.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
If I'm being honest, I would recommend Meguiar's Ultimate Quik Wax, Turtle Wax Ice Seal 'n' Shine, or Mother's Hybrid Ceramic Wax. I think the Turtle Wax and Mother's products last the longest - you could probably go 2-3 months easy before needing to reapply (maybe even longer).

For microfiber towels, the Kirkland-branded yellow microfibers at Costco will work just fine. I spent a bit more and bought a bunch of the grey microfibers from The Rag Company (I think 350 or 400 gsm) and they work very, very well on my MGM paint. I use the grey microfibers for the paint, and the yellow ones for the bumper trim, wheels and interior door jambs.

One thing to remember is not to use a microfiber that you've dropped on the ground. They can pick up and hold onto bits of dirt than will then scratch the paint when you use the towel.
 
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