Protecting your car’s exterior is important to both maintaining the value of your vehicle and to feeling good while driving behind the wheel. Although the exterior of your car is exposed to all the elements, changing environments, as well as rocks, tar, sunlight, snow, and tree sap, there are ways to protect your paint job and keep your vehicle looking like new.
Wash your car regularly
Key to maintaining your car’s exterior is washing it regularly. The longer dirt, grime and environmental stains remain on a vehicle’s paint, the duller the paint becomes. Keeping your car clean helps the paint retain a vibrant color and shine. Keep your car out of direct sunlight and rinse it thoroughly before beginning to wash it. This will remove any loose dirt or debris that could scratch your car’s paint when you scrub it down. You also want to scrub and clean your car tires. Because they are so close to road and all the debris on the road, your car’s wheels and tires collect the most dirt, dust, and grime. Over time, brake dust can over time be harmful to both your wheels and car’s paint.
Use cleaning products designed for car exteriors
Clean the exterior with quality car soap, plush sponges, and wash mitts made of soft material. Do not use detergents and avoid using household cleaners when washing your car, as they can be harsh, remove your car’s wax, and possibly cause stains or damage the vehicle’s paint job.
Wax your car regularly
Like washing, waxing your car consistently can help minimize any damage done to your car’s paint. If you wax your car often enough, you can prevent dirt and debris from sticking to your vehicle and avoid causing long term damage to the exterior. Car wax can also restore the shiny finish to your auto’s paint job. If your car is exposed to extreme weather, such as snow and salty roads or hot sun, you should apply wax to it several times a year.
Store your vehicle outside of the elements
Keep your car sheltered from the elements as much as possible. If you drive to work every day, you may have difficulty finding a parking spot that will be completely protected from the sun throughout the entire time you’re at work. If this is the case, then it’s best to try to use a parking garage. If you don’t have a garage or access to a parking garage, it’s a good idea to use a car cover that will keep it safe from UV rays, falling debris, and extreme weather like hail or snow.
Fix scratches or chips quickly
Although they may happen often, especially if you drive on the freeway, you should not ignore chips and scratches on your vehicle’s paint. Your car’s finish is in place to protect the steel beneath it, and even shallow scratches that don’t reach the metal can lead to rusting if they are not repaired quickly.