One thing that instantly grabs everyone’s attention and makes your vehicle attractive is its body paint. To keep your vehicle always looking fresh, it is essential to preserve its appearance and maintain its condition over time.
However, harmful things such as environmental hazards and oxidation could ruin your car’s paint over time. So, how can you take care of its paint to prolong its life and preserve its like-new luster? Read on below as here are some ways to take better care of your car’s paint job to keep it looking shiny and new.
Regularly washing your car is still the best way to protect the paint job. Use a good quality car shampoo and apply it with a foam sponge using straight lines, not circular motions. Rinse with clean water and dry using a microfiber towel.
Basic steps to a great wash
- Step 1: Spray down the whole car. Check to see if there are any stains or dried bird droppings. This should be loosened up or removed before applying the car shampoo.
- Step 2: Starting on the roof, begin washing your car. Use a sponge to work in small sections down to the glass panels and the sides. Rinse continually, do not let the soap dry on your car.
- Step 3: Clean the wheel wells and tires. Use a wheel brush and soapy water to scrub. Be sure to rinse the brush frequently to remove grit and small stones.
- Step 4: Dry your car working in long sweeping motions that follow the contours of the car body. Drying is essential to prevent water spotting and streaking. Water with high mineral content will leave small deposits on your car’s finish.
- Step 5: Treat special areas as needed. Tires: Like shiny tires? Use a tire lubricant. These are for the sides of the tires only. Do not get them on the tire treads, paint, or brake rotors.
Washing Tip: Immediately dry your car with a microfiber towel, allowing it to air dry leaves behind minerals from the water, which can be harmful to the paint
The outermost layer of the car’s exterior paint is called the clear coat. It is often mistaken for some super high-tech protectant; it is simply clear paint and therefore needs to be protected. The solution here would be regular waxing of the entire exterior.
Basic car waxing steps
- Step 1: A dampened special foam applicator pad will be invaluable when applying liquids and pastes. Apply a small amount onto the foam polishing pad and buff using circular motions.
- Step 2: Reapply if needed using the same motion.
- Step 3: Use a clean, soft microfiber towel to give the bodywork a thorough wipe over and buff, checking reflections and gaps from all angles to ensure you have removed every last trace of product.
- Step 4: Make another pass with another clean microfiber towel to ensure you removed all of the wax from each panel.
Waxing tip: Always wax your car every few months
What intervals should wax be applied?
The expert’s rule of thumb is that as long as rainwater drips off the car paint normally, there is no need for any fresh waxing. However, the weather is also a significant factor. If the car is kept inside a garage, the wax stays on longer, but if it is parked in the open, it requires more frequent waxing.
Keep it out of the sun
Harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun pose a threat to our skin and your car’s paint job. Sunlight can oxidize and prematurely fade the paint on your vehicle, making it look much older than it is. Invest in a good quality car cover that can protect the exterior from sunlight and other harmful contaminants.
Parking tip: Whenever possible, park your car in the shade or under a covered space.
This refers to removing imperfections in a vehicle’s finish and restoring it to a better-than-new finish. These imperfections include swirl marks, light scratches, water spots, and dull spots. Expertly done by trained technicians, this involves several steps and utilizes machine polishers with different polishes and graded pads.
When viewed in direct sunlight, a fully corrected vehicle will show only accurate reflections and the absence of swirl marks, scratches, or blemishes.
For all you DIY fans out there, the following steps offer a generalized glimpse at basic paint correction procedures:
- Cleaning/Removing debris via clay bar
- Wet sanding/Leveling
- Resealing the Paint
Ceramic coating, or paint sealant, is an alternative to wax that bonds and permeates to the pores of your car’s paint to form a protective seal. This lasts longer than wax but is also more expensive. A ceramic car coating is a second layer of skin on the surface of your car. It utilizes nanotechnology, tiny particles that come together to form a very thin and transparent layer that is completely invisible to the naked eye.
This layer seals the pores on your car’s paint, producing superior hydrophobic properties and more resistance to ultraviolet rays, scratches, chemicals, and extreme heat. The ceramic coat forms a semi-permanent bond with the surface of your vehicle, meaning that it will not wash away or break down over a short period of time.
Use paint protective film
The paint protection film is a transparent, multi-layer sheet covering a vehicle’s entire body. The primary objective of protective paint films is to maintain the condition of what’s underneath from UV exposure, chemicals, light scratches, toxins, and road grime.
This layer of film protects the paint against environmental hazards and, more importantly, against deep scratches. What’s great is that the scratched area can be replaced with another new layer of film.
No paint will last forever, but you can keep that fresh paint job looking great for longer periods of time if you take care of it properly. This includes the methods above one would like to use. What’s important here is that all these methods are meant to keep your vehicle’s shiny paint continuously gleaming.
Whether you want to keep up your vehicle’s resale value or keep the car looking great for visual appeal alone, focusing on paint protection is a good thing. If you love driving, there’s no way to avoid picking up the dust and debris on every road. So to keep your car’s paint fresh and clear, make all of this a habit.