How to Maintain Your Car Paint?

When you take the time to properly maintain your car paint, not only will the paint last longer, but it will increase the resale value of the vehicle.

How to Maintain Your Car Paint?

A lot can be learned about the owner of the vehicle simply by looking at how well it is maintained. A person who truly cares about their car and how it's perceived by others will spend the time to detail every single inch of the car, inside and out.

Using A Car Cover

One of the easiest steps that any vehicle owner can take to maintain their car paint, is to simply use a car cover. When there are so many things in the world around us that can damage the finish of any car, it just makes sense to spend a few extra minutes covering the car wherever you park it.

Uncovered cars become the target of a bird's ire, and even a few drops are enough to wreak havoc on any automotive finish. The droppings from a bird contain high levels of nitric acid which makes it to be extremely corrosive. The longer that bird droppings stay on a car, the more damage they can do to the car paint finish.

At the same time, many vehicle owners will go out of their way in order to find a parking spot under a tree. By parking under a tree, the owner can rest assured knowing that when they get back in their car, it will not be unbearably hot. But trees can also damage a car paint job. Some flowers and seedpods can be very acidic, and if left exposed for too long, that acid will eat through the outer layer of the car paint job.

Washing the Car Regularly

Washing a vehicle at regular intervals is an important step in maintaining a car paint job. It is highly recommended that a car is washed at least once per week. Don't worry, it's not possible to wash a car too much. As long as you are washing the car by hand with a soft cloth, it's virtually impossible to cause any harm to the car's finish. Read this on How to Keep your Car Clean.

Use car cover to protect your car paint from corrosive bird’s ire.

When you live and work in a city, pollution is everywhere. The emissions from a vehicle's tailpipe can be highly corrosive. When you live in an area that is more densely populated, the number of exhaust particles in the air increase dramatically. When coupled with the fine dust particles that are kicked up by passing vehicles, an oily film of corrosive dust can form over the surface of a car. If this dust is not washed off on a regular basis, it can quickly damage any car paint job.

It's important to remember that when it comes to washing a car, you should stay away from automated carwashes. The action of an automated carwash creates a lot of friction and is more likely to result in the development of micro-scratches all over the exterior of a car. At the same time, using the brush at a self-service carwash can also damage the car paint, even if it has been thoroughly sprayed down.

Washing by Hand

The only way to truly wash a car is to wash it by hand. Washing a car by hand is a time-consuming process, but it is the best way to ensure that every inch of the car is cleaned properly. Unlike going to a carwash, when you wash by hand, you are in complete control over the cleaning agents that are used. At the same time, you are also able to ensure that all of your equipment is soft and free of any debris that would otherwise scratch the car paint.

Many vehicle owners who choose to use a self-service carwash, immediately grab the power washer in order to spray down the car. Without even thinking about it, they pulled the trigger all the way in and work the high-pressure spray across the entire surface of their car. Their goal is to remove as much grime as possible without having to physically touch the surface. However, when you use too much pressure on a car, you run the chance of stripping layers of car paint off of the surface.

Waxing the Car

Regardless of whether you choose to use a soft bristle brush or a washrag, it is important to seal the car's finish after every wash. It's virtually impossible to ensure that there is no dirt or sand stuck on the surface of a rag or in between the bristles of the brush. Even a minute amount of sand is enough to scratch up the surface of any car paint job.

Waxing a car seals the paint and protects it from dirts or grit scratches.

The paint job on a car is composed of many different layers. First, the manufacturer primes the metal surface before adding a basecoat. Several other layers of paint will be sprayed on top of the basecoat, before finally finishing off with a clear coat. As you wash a car, any dirt or grit that is caught in your towel or brush can scratch up the clearcoat, exposing the underlying layers of paint. The only way to seal these scratches is to wax the car after you wash it.

Waxing a car seals the paint and protects it from these elements. But., the wax has a limited shelf life, and the longer it is exposed to the elements, the quicker it wears out. If you keep your vehicle parked inside of the garage, you won't need to wax as often as someone who parks their car under the hot sun. As a general rule, if water beads form evenly on the surface of the paint when it rains, and quickly roll off then the wax layer is still intact.

Polishing the Finish

No matter how hard you try to keep the surface of your car paint job in pristine condition, you will eventually need to polish the paint. While waxing can cover up small scratches on the surface of any paint job, over time small scratches become larger and more visible. Polishing is a process that uses an abrasive cream to buff out any scratches on the paint surface.

When you wax a car, you generally apply the wax and let us sit for a while before wiping it off. However, publishing a car is a very different process. The polish is a cream that has microscopic abrasives in it, that are rubbed into the surface of the car paint. When done properly, polishing can remove most small scratches as well as restore that shiny finish the car had on the day it was bought.

Touching Up the Paint

Unfortunately, not all scratches can be fixed by polishing the paint. If there are still visible scratches on the surface of a car after a has been thoroughly polished, then the next step is to touch up the paint. As long as the car paint is original from the factory, you will be able to find a variety of spray cans and pens that match the OEM color.

As a general rule of thumb, a paint pen is all you need to touch up small scratches and dings. If the scratches are too big to be touched up with a pen, you should speak with a specialist before deciding to use the spray paint.

Dealing with Matte Finishes

Matte black finishes are all the rage these days. A matte finish is rough to the touch and does not reflect light like a traditional paint job. As a result, caring for a matte finish is a lot different than a traditional finish. Because the car paint is designed to look rough, it should never be polished or waxed.

Cars with Matte finishes should only be washed by hand.

The microscopic abrasives that are used in polishes will quickly remove the rough look of a matte finish. Even taking a car to an automated carwash is enough to smooth out the finish over time. As a result, the only way to truly maintain a matte paint job is to use a pressure washer and the right cleaning products. Cars with Matte finishes should only be washed by hand.

Working with Metal Surfaces

Although some will insist that chrome makes a car go faster, a chrome finish merely adds weight to the vehicle. Keeping a chrome finish shiny can be a time-consuming task for any vehicle owner. Over time, the surface of chrome can become dull, and will eventually need to be polished. A true chrome finish should generally be polished using a superfine grit of steel wool and some polishing cream.

Cleaning alloy surfaces is a different story altogether. Aluminum alloy is a softer material than chrome. As result, it tends to scratch up easier than the heavier metal finish. Polishing alloy rims for example is a more difficult task because of how soft the metal is. It's very difficult to polish aluminum to a mirror finish. In most cases, you won't be able to simply use steel wool to buff out any scratches, rather you will need to take your time going through finer grits of sandpaper before finally finishing off with a polishing cream.

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