Automotive Paint Maintenance

Regardless of the type of finish, the exteriors of all vehicles are subject to environmental wear and tear. With just a few years on the road, a car loses its original colour and showroom shine due to various environmental factors. If you don’t do your part to maintain your car’s paint, it will pretty soon look old.

Ironically, this component of the car that affects how it looks is also bombarded most by the elements. Ultraviolet rays, heat and contaminants like sulfur and nitric acids in the air combine to oxidize the paint and clear coat, dulling the finish and producing the swirls that you see after a while. And in countries where winter is a seasonal reality, road salts trigger chemical reactions that accelerate the pitting and rusting of the car’s paint and undercarriage. Washing you car regularly is a best practice to maintain your car’s paint.

With regular washing, contaminants and debris which are harmful not only to the paint but also to other components like the suspension are not allowed to build up. Washing your car on the driveway doesn’t allow one to reach a lot of components under the car, so take it to a gas station or detailing shop with a lifter for a pressure wash from time to time.

When it comes to waxes and polishes, everyone will recommend something different to maintain your car’s paint. And each individual swears by a particular product. For every product that is someone’s favorite, there is some other guy who hates it. There are even arguments about using liquid waxes or paste because of the residue they supposedly leave behind. In the end, it’s a question of what is good enough for a particular car owner. Most commuter type car owners will not bother with the two-bucket wash method or go through the clay bar routine to maintain their car’s finish. A simple wax job would be enough every 2-3 months. But if you’re talking about a luxury car, a sports car or a classic restoration project, then maintaining a car show finish is justified. The array of products used to detail cars like these can fill a whole cabinet and their types and use is beyond the scope of this article. There are entire forums devoted on how to maintain your car’s paint and that is where you need to spend time if spending a day cleaning and polishing your car is your type of thing.