FAIL (the browser should render some flash content, not this).
Over the past decade, car manufacturers have developed
different paint systems to improve durability. In the 1980's domestic
cars had conventional
finishes, that is, a pigmented enamel coat
on top of the primer. Today, 96% of all new cars have a base coat/clear
coat finish, which is comprised
of a thin color coat covered by a clear acrylic
or enamel urethane coat. This clear coat finish is only 2 mils thick—about
the thickness of an ordinary plastic trash bag. Daily wear
and tear on a car's clear coat finish may leave it with swirl marks or signs of oxidation. To the eye, it means a dull and hazy looking appearance.

This is sometimes referred to as clear coat haze.
Your car's finish provides more than beauty. Over time, a car's paint erodes due to the effects of sunlight, UV radiation, acid rain, salt, dirt, and air pollution. Wax your car every six months with a quality wax or polish. More frequent waxes are needed if your car is red, black or white because these colors are more susceptible to acid rain and UV rays.

We’ve all been told that a good wax job on your vehicle will protect the finish. Regular waxing will protect your automotive investment over time. Many car owners equate this regular waxing process to spending hours in the garage sweating over the car applying every ounce of elbow grease available. Not pleasant.

The use of modern polishers and high speed orbitals has since eased the intensive labor of hand waxing the entire vehicle. It still requires lots of work to take faded oxidized paint and return the appearance to clean and shiny.

The key of course is to be consistent with regular washing and waxing maintenance as to significantly reduce the physical labor required for each cleaning. What needs to be understood is the fact that wax on our vehicle does not last too long.

In fact, several types of waxes with different levels of protection and wear are available (Carnuba, Polymer, Bayberry, Wool Wax, etc). Additionally, synthetic waxes and associative compounds are available and growing in abundance as well. Chemists have, and will continue to attempt to produce the highest quality and longest lasting waxes for our car, truck, SUV, boat and RV needs.

As an experienced detailer, I will tell you every three to six months is a reasonable time span between a full polish and wax. Weekly washing and monthly polishing make for optimal waxing conditions with minimal effort expanded.