How to Keep Car Paint Looking Like New
Driving your shiny new car for the first time is an amazing feeling. Everyone has the desire to keep their cars looking brand new for as long as possible. Maintaining your car paint requires a bit of effort. Read further if you are wondering how to keep car paint appearing new for a long time to come. The secret to keeping a car looking great is to keep the paint in good condition. Give your car a good wash once a week, polish with wax, and apply clear coating whenever needed. You should also take your car to body shops for professional cleaning and painting jobs. In this article, you will learn about the different ways to maintain car paint and a little detail behind the preventative measures.
Why Does Car Paint Go Bad?
One of the main causes of car paint damage is the harmful UV rays. And there is no shortage of those here in sunny Southern California. When you leave your car in the parking lot under the heated sun, the paint immediately goes through chemical reactions. This weakens the paint, and thus, the paint eventually flakes. Dirt, rain, and other environmental pollutants also affect the exterior of your car. Does dust and dirt sound familiar in our region? YES. So washing your car often is the first step towards taking care of your car paint. Polishing and waxing is also important. Without it, it is not possible to protect the car paint. Think of the wax and polish like a sunscreen.
If you are washing regularly, you must also wax regularly. Waxes only stand up to a certain number of washes before they themselves become weakened and need to be re-applied!
9 Ways to Protect Car Paint
Want to keep your car sparkling? Here are some ways you can do it:
1. Wash Your Car Regularly
Your car faces all kinds of dirt and pollutants every day. So, washing your car at least once a week is important to protect your car paint. Use a high-quality car wash soap and sponge. Use straight lines to clean the car with the sponge and avoid circular motion. This reduces the possibility of swirl marks in the top coat. Then wash the car thoroughly with clean water. Do not leave any soap on the car.
2. Dry Your Car Properly
Leaving your car open in the air or under the sun to dry is a big mistake. The water and soap residue can react with air and damage the paint. Dry your car with a special absorber foam/sponge or microfiber towel. They can soak in water, and you can wring them to squeeze the water out of them. Besides, foams or microfiber towels have no possibility of scratching the paint.
3. Clean Splotches Immediately
Bird droppings are annoying problems all car owners have to face. Bird dropping or deposits can harden and become difficult to scrub out from the paint. They often have chemical bonding with the car paint if left unattended for a long time. So lean bird droppings and other deposits on your car as soon as possible. Use only water to wash off the splotches. If it does not work, use a microfiber cloth, mild soap, and lots of water to clean the spot.
4. Polish with Wax
Waxing your car can help maintain its lustrous look and make it look brand new. High-quality car wax also works as a protective layer against all kinds of pollutants, such as UV rays, bird droppings, dirt, and rain. You can get car wax in liquid or solid. Spray wax is also available for quick detail work. Both natural and synthetic types are available. Wax not only protects the paint but also covers minor scratches on the exterior of the car. Car wax is simple to use and affordable. You should apply wax on the car paint every four to six months.
5. Use Paint Sealant
Very similar to wax, paint sealants also provide paint protection and gloss. However, paint sealants are often synthetically made. A high-grade paint sealant will be safe on the car paint as well as on other areas of the vehicle. It works as a synthetic wax. Paint sealants fill in the pores of paint and protection. Paint sealants typically last for five to nine months. Some polymer and SiO2 based paint sealants can last up to a year depending on paint quality. Paint sealants work well with wax polishing. The use should read the details of a paint sealant before using it on your car exterior or use a professional auto detailer.
6. Ceramic Coating
Ceramic coating is one of the modern methods of protecting car paints, providing a glossy look that sheds dirt and rainwater. You can also wash the car faster. Although it has been around for quite some time now, it has evolved. When you apply a ceramic coating, it will lock in the car paint with the surface. It works as an extra layer to take all the damages like water, UV rays, dirt, deposits, and other pollutants. So, the ceramic layer protects the surface rather than the clear coat of your car. Take your car to a body shop for this treatment. There are also consumer-grade coatings to apply by yourself, but you should avoid them, as many are just gimmicks and a proper job requires significant prep work by a professional.
7. Park under Shade
To protect your car from natural damage, always try to park it under a shade when you are not driving. Keep your car in a well-maintained garage at home. In case you do not have a garage, set up a temporary shed for the car. When you park outside, look for parking spaces that have full or partial shade.
8. Invest in High-Quality Car Cover
Have you ever parked your car in long-term parking at the airport? This is terrible on paint! 24-7 exposure in a hot, unshaded asphalt parking lot, baking your paint. Use a car cover to protect your car paint. They can protect your car paint from UV rays, rain, and bird dropping. But make sure the cover materials are high-grade and soft enough not to scratch the car paint. The cover should cover the car completely. It should not be too big. Otherwise, a strong wind can turn over the cover, and expose your car.
9. Get Help of a Body Shop
Take your car to a professional car body shop for paint protection and repair. Professionals in the shop understand which coating or polish can work best for your vehicle. They fix all kinds of paint damages, scratches, dents, and other problems with utmost care. You will find your car back to its original look in a few hours or days.
Quality Assured Collision Center has been serving the Long Beach, CA community since 2004. We specialize in collision repair, body work, dent repair, car restoration, and mechanical work. We can offer towing, drop-off and pick-up and even perform a free 15-point inspection on your vehicle. As experts on all insurance situations, we will help guide you through the process and we work with all types of financing situations for those paying out of pocket.
Call us now or text us a picture of your vehicle to (562) 599-0766.