After several years of neglecting my car's paint job, I decided it was time to spend the same time polishing my four wheeled ride as I spend caring for my bikes. A discussion with my mechanic at the local Toyota dealership led me to a bottle of Zymol Cleaner Wax. One trip through the car wash later, and few hours spent practicing "wax on, wax off" with clean microfiber wipes, and my car (a 2007 Toyota Camry) was glimmering like new.
All of the paint scars left by careless people at the supermarket were gone, as were all the little micro-scratches left by Texas road debris. The next time I drove through a heavy rainstorm I got to enjoy watching all the water bead up and slide off the windshield; by the time I parked, the car was completely dry.
The most interesting effect of waxing, however, was the effect on my gas mileage. The mechanic had claimed that waxing would, "make the car feel like it's slicing through the air" a little bit better. To test this, I drove a route that I've driven before - between Houston and Round Rock, TX (~350 miles). Every trip I've taken since purchasing the car in 2006 I've recorded the mileage, which allowed me to test my post-waxing mileage against the average mileage over the lifetime of the car, and the average mileage over the same distance on the same road.
* Average milage over the past 24,300 miles: 25.1 MPG
* Last trip to Round Rock: 31.2 MPG
* Post-waxing trip to Round Rock: 33.2 MPG
Last time I tied this milage the car only had only been driven 3500 miles.
More testing will be required to see exactly what effect waxing has, and if these results are reproducible, but this preliminary result suggests that waxing may actually have a measurable effect on more than car cosmetics.
Although the beautiful shimmer alone is worth the elbow grease.