While keeping all the parts under your hood in working order should be a priority for all car owners, ensuring that your car looks presentable is important as well. A vehicle with a number of dings and bumps on the outer surface, or scratched paint, can leave a person with a lasting image for how you take care of your property.
To that end, learning the most common causes of damage to the exterior of a vehicle, along with how to prevent that damage, can help any car owner keep their vehicle looking like it just rolled off the lot.
Most Common Causes for Paint Damage
The first step to protecting a vehicle from exterior damage is learning what causes that damage in the first place. Below are five common causes of paint and body damage to a vehicle:
- Sun Damage
When the sun beats down on your vehicle, the interior temperature can get as high as 195 degrees Fahrenheit on surfaces in the heat of summer. While this exposure to sunlight can damage the interior of your vehicle, the exterior won’t be left unharmed. Extreme heat can cause paint to fade or it can create sunspots on the paint itself. This can create a blotchy look that isn’t appealing to the eye.
- Infrequent Washing
If you don’t wash your vehicle on a regular basis, dirt and grime will start to build up on the paint and body of your vehicle over time. As these harden, they can become difficult to remove with a standard wash and can even lead to paint chipping over time.
- Bird Droppings
Most drivers are unaware of the fact that, beyond being a nuisance, bird droppings are also highly corrosive to vehicle paint over time. Specifically, they contain Uric Acid which is corrosive enough to cause damage to wax or paint sealant. This is another reason why getting a car wash frequently is so important.
- Using Dirty Washcloths
While you may not see the harm in using a dirty washcloth to dry your vehicle manually, the past grime that has built up on the towel can cause issues to your vehicle. Specifically, this grime can scratch the surface paint of your vehicle or simply smear more dirt onto the exterior of your car.
- Low Quality Cleaners
Some cheaper products may have chemicals built in that can cause damage to the exterior of your vehicle when used over time. They may also be too abrasive in nature to be used with the paint on your vehicle, which can lead to scrapes and general spottiness over time as well.
Consequences of Paint Damage on a Vehicle
By not learning how to protect auto paint on your vehicle, there are a number of consequences that may occur to your vehicle. Most notably, paint damage can cause:
- Costly paint job repairs or replacements
- Cheaper looking vehicle as a whole
- Rough surface from chipped paint can potentially cut you
- Large contamination particles may be released when the paint is chipped
Overall, there’s no reason to settle for a paint job that doesn’t look perfect on your vehicle. To that end, there are a number of prominent tips that all drivers should keep in mind in order to keep their vehicle sharp.
Protecting Your Auto Paint: Tips to Keep in Mind
While the below tips are effective at preventing issues with auto paint, they aren’t foolproof. Don’t hesitate to take your vehicle into the shop to have the paint job repaired if you notice issues that are beyond your skills to fix:
- Get your car washed once a week or once a month at a minimum
- Only use clean rags when detailing your vehicle
- Use a sun cover if you don’t park your vehicle in a garage
- Get a protective coating over the paint on your vehicle
- Avoid using any harsh chemicals meant for other purposes
- Pay attention to where you are parking your vehicle
Protect the exterior of your vehicle
All vehicle owners should place an emphasis on keeping the interior and exterior components of their vehicle maintained properly. Doing so can extend the life of your vehicle while also showing others you know how to care for your car. Don’t settle for a vehicle that has damage on its exterior when you can actively take steps to prevent that damage from occurring in the first place.