When it comes to maintaining and repairing your car’s paint, prevention is everything. Your vehicle’s paint takes the worst of the road; sand, mud, salt, grime, and sun are hard on the finish. Over time, clearcoat failure and rust may appear. By then, repairing the damage will cost thousands of dollars and require professional help.
Here are seven things to avoid (or remove quickly) when they come in contact with your vehicle’s paint. Doing so will help prevent you from spending thousands on expensive repairs, and it will help preserve your car’s paint.
1. Soda and coffee
If you can’t imagine how a car gets covered in soda or coffee, you may not be one of those forgetful drivers who sits their favorite to-go cup on the roof and then drives away. Any liquid that’s high in acid can cause corrosion to paint surfaces over time. Remove acidic liquids from your car as soon as you can. Even a quick rinse with plain water is better than leaving the substance to dry.
A few drops from the gas pump won’t ruin your car’s paint. If you frequently drip gasoline down the side of your car, it will break down the clear coat. Be sure to wash gasoline off of your car when spills happen, and pay special attention to the area around the gas door when washing your vehicle.
If your car is parked near wildfires, a house fire, or even a bonfire party, a fine layer of ash and soot could settle on the surface. When moisture from rain or high humidity hits the surface of the car, the calcium and potassium in ash can leave a gray stain. Wash an ash-covered car gently; the grit could etch the clearcoat.
Driving through fresh asphalt sprays tiny chunks of tar up into your car’s wheel wells. This sticky material is difficult to remove if it has enough time to dry. Check with your local auto parts store to find a product that will dissolve tar without hurting your paint.
5. Road salt
Salt is commonly used in areas where snow and ice cause slick roads. While it may seem pointless to wash your car during the winter months since it’s just going to get dirty right away, doing so helps prevent salt from building up. Wax your vehicle before the first snow each year to help add an extra layer of protection. Road salt speeds the corrosion process and can cause premature rust.
6. Silly String, Shaving Cream, and other unnecessary decorations
It’s a tradition to decorate the vehicles of newlyweds and personalize vehicles during Homecoming, but mind the paint job. Silly string and shaving cream can discolor paint. Don’t leave them on the vehicle for even a few hours. Silly string that doesn’t come off with normal washing can be gently removed with the help of WD40.
7. Bird droppings
If you’ve parked under a shade tree to protect your car from the sun, you may find some unwelcome surprises dried onto your car’s paint. The acid in bird droppings can leave behind a permanent mark on your car. Wash them off right away, but don’t apply extra pressure to the droppings. Grit can mar your paint’s surface. Use a mild detergent and a microfiber cloth.
While any of these things could ruin your paint job, the good news is that washing them off as soon as possible can mitigate damage. Modern paint compounds are durable, and common hazards of everyday driving don’t pose nearly as much of a threat to your car’s paint as they did to drivers twenty years ago.
Another common type of damage happens to nearly every driver. Scratches and scuffs that break through your car’s clear coat let moisture and oxygen in and eventually compromise your car’s finish. You can fix clear coat scratches by removing them completely with the Quixx Paint Scratch Remover kit.
The kit comes with everything you need to permanently remove scratches in a simple two-step process. Using Plastic Deformation, a special compound applies great pressure to the scratch, causing the paint to flow back into the missing area. Quixx is trusted by a leading German car manufacturer to fix the damage to their vehicles.
For deeper scratches that need to seal, the Quixx Paint Repair Pen offers just the right amount of genuine clear coat in an easy to use pen with a fine tip, keeping rust and oxidation away from your car’s finish.
You can find both products at your local big box store or auto parts store; just look for the box with the double “XX”.