If you want to keep your car looking healthy and new, maintaining its paint job is what you need to do. Check out our tips to see how you can protect your car paint from scratches and keep it from getting a dull appearance. There’s nothing quite like the looks of a finely painted and polished new car. Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to help those looks last a good long time.
Safeguard your new paint job
Now that you’ve made the investment in a shiny new paint job, you want to do all you can to keep it looking as fresh as it does right now. You have a few things working against you, though, when it comes to safeguarding your new paint job. Knowing what they are and how to defend against their damaging effects is the key to keeping your car’s finish in showroom shape for years to come.
4 ways to protect your new paint job
- Wash and Wax
The most basic, yet effective, measure to hold the enemies of your car’s paint job at bay is this simple two-step process. Maintaining a routine of washing its surface will eliminate paint abrasives like salt, grit, grime, bugs and bird droppings, which can all erode your car’s finish. Once inside the protective clear coat, further damage to the paint and even the metal beneath is only a matter of time.
- Periodically apply a coat of wax that will offer an added layer of protection against the elements. A good quality Carnauba wax or a sealant that offers sunscreen protection is one of the best investments you can make for your car. You’ll add luster and protection to your car’s finish with a regular wax treatment.
- When washing, waxing or drying your car, stick with microfiber mitts or towels to avoid scratching the finish. They’re gentler than terry cloth or chamois and often cheaper to purchase. Stay away from soaps and household cleaners that can strip the finish from your car, and use only automotive washes formulated to prevent damaging your car’s paint.
Your choices for wax or paint sealant have never been greater, and the right one for you depends on how long you want each treatment to last, the type of finish you want and of course, price. Sealants last longer and offer a glassy, protective finish. Some car owners prefer the deep, rich glow of a carnauba wax finish, and are willing to apply it more frequently to get that unique look. If your car has a clear coat finish, be sure to select a wax that is designed for use on clear coat paint.
- Car Covers
Whenever possible, store or park your vehicle in a covered shaded area. For times when you can’t, you may want to invest in a quality car cover. Find one that is waterproof, and offers UV protection to prevent premature fading from the sun’s damaging rays. It will also keep your car clean, frost-free in cold weather, cool in warmer weather, and hidden from the prying eyes of potential car thieves.
- Paint Protection Film
Some areas of your car are more susceptible than others to damage from the elements. Front end fascia, bumpers, hood, fenders and rocker panels typically take the brunt of damage from things like road debris, rock chipping, bird droppings and bugs. To protect these vulnerable surfaces, a “clear bra” is available. This car paint protection film resists scratching, chipping, stains and yellowing. It’s easy to remove, and can help save some elbow grease when it comes time for a wash.
- Polish or Glaze
This optional step can be done periodically before waxing to restore your paint’s natural oils and preserve its shine. A once-a-year polish or glaze treatment applied with microfiber cloth will maintain a mirror-like finish that will look like your car just came from the paint shop. Top it off with a protective wax or sealant and you’re ready for anything Mother Nature dishes out.