Mercedes-Benz: How to Protect Your Paint

Protect the paint on your Mercedes-Benz from oxidation, bugs, and road grime with these handy detailing tips. There's more than simply washing your car.

By Charlie Gaston - May 8, 2015

This article applies to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and E-Class (2002-Present).

Your vehicle's original paint can develop heavy deposits over time, creating that vintage look for your latest generation Mercedes-Benz. Obviously no one would want this, so the best way to protect your vehicle's natural color is with an effective car care cleaning kit. This includes high-performance wax or polishes as well as some extra protective coating products with great reviews. You won't need to break the bank when attempting to achieve excellent showroom results; however, you should choose products that are specifically formulated to deliver optimum results for clear coat car finishes, such as the one on your C-Class or E-Class. Continue reading to provide your vehicle with the best protection.

Materials Needed

  • Bucket and water
  • High-quality car shampoo and polish
  • Microfiber cloth and sponges
  • Foam applicator pad
  • Opti-Coat paint coating
  • Spray bottle
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paint protection film
  • X-ACTO knife
  • Squeegee

Step 1 – Wash your car

The first step in protecting your vehicle's paint is using a high-performance car shampoo. Wash your car as normal (twice if necessary), and make sure to rid the paint of all dirt, debris, old wax, etc.

There are a number of car wash products to choose from; however, those specifically formulated to boost shine while conditioning your vehicle's paint is recommended. The top picks include:

  • Formula 1's Wash and Wax: Ideal for cleaning dirt, bugs, tar, and road grime from your vehicle's paint.
  • Meguiar's Gold Class Car Wash and Conditioner: Ideal for washing and conditioning your C-Class or E-Class in one easy step.
  • Zymol HD-Cleanse: Ideal for removing heavy deposits (including light oxidation and road film) from your vehicle's paint.
Figure 1. Don't miss a single spot when washing your car.

Step 2 – Polish and wax the paint

Always polish your car before waxing, and try to do this at least every three months to protect your car's finish.

  • Apply a moderate amount of polish to a microfiber cloth.
  • Wipe one section of your car at a time, and do so in small, circular motions.
  • Allow the polish to set for at least 10 minutes.
  • Before the polish dries, wipe away any remaining residue using a clean microfiber cloth.
  • Follow the polishing with a high quality wax product.
  • Wax your paint as you did with the polish.
  • Allow the wax to dry, and wipe away the remaining residue with another clean microfiber cloth.
Figure 2. Mercedes-Benz waxed with Chemical Guys Vintage Butter Wet Wax.

Step 3 – Apply Opti-Coat

Opti-Coat paint coating can be applied to exterior glass, metal, and plastic surfaces. This ceramic clear coat offers long-term resistance against scratching and damage from the elements.

  • Apply a moderate amount of Opti-Coat to your foam applicator pad.
  • Wipe one small section of the paint in short, back and forth motions.
  • Continue with the rest of the car, applying Opti-Coat one section at a time.
  • Allow the coating to completely dry before moving on to the following step.
Figure 3. Opti-Coat protection applied.

Pro Tip

Opti-Coat is not a wax or sealant. It is a professional grade product that offers protection against degradation from cleaning and other chemical processes.

Step 4 – Apply paint protection film

Installing a paint protection film provides your Mercedes-Benz with superior protection from road debris, rock chips, grime, bugs, and other contaminants. Make sure to purchase enough film to cover your entire car, and start with the largest panels first to avoid wasting film.

  • Spray one panel of your car with a water and soap mixture along with rubbing alcohol.
  • Wipe the panel with a clean microfiber cloth until it is completely clean and dry.
  • Spray both the paint protection film and the panel with the water/soap mixture.
  • Apply the film, and make sure it covers the entire panel.
  • Run a squeegee across the top of the film to remove all of the air bubbles. Work your way from the center of the panel to the ends.
  • Once you reach the edges, lift the film and apply additional water/soap solution as needed.
  • With the film tightly adhering to the panel, use an X-ACTO knife to cut off the film hanging off the edges.
  • After covering the entire car, allow the protective film to sit overnight.
Figure 4. Apply paint protection film.

Pro Tip

The Xzilon protection film brand is guaranteed to last for five to seven years.

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