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How to Maintain Your Vehicle’s Paint Over Time

by Dutch Silverstein January 24, 2017

One of the first things you notice and most eye-catching parts of a car is the paint it has and nothing makes a car look older than a worn out and faded paint job. Constant exposure to the elements and weather will accelerate the wear on your paint, as will things like tree sap and even sunlight. For those reasons, taking the right precautions and knowing how to properly care for your paint will help keep your car looking as good as new for as long as you have it and likely for years to come after that as well. These are just a few of the most common and easiest ways to preserve the paint on your vehicle.

Ways to preserve vehicle’s paint

  • Keep Your Car Clean– One of the best ways to preserve the entire exterior of your car is to regularly wash and shampoo your vehicle. Using a pressure washer from a safe distance, you can wash the exterior of your car every few months to prevent buildups of dust and debris. Avoid using a pressure washer too close to your vehicle though or you may cause damages to the paint that way.
  • Paint Conditioner– Another option to consider if you have a freshly painted vehicle or have just purchased a new car is using a non-abrasive paint conditioner. These are typically sprayed on in small amounts and will treat the paint and help it maintain its’ shine.
  • Undercoat Your VehicleWaxing and polishing your car will have great results it is also important to protect the car from long-term damage by undercoating and rust proofing it. When the metal on your car is oxidized, rust will set in and can then destroy the entire surface of your car. Undercoating and rust proofing your car will prevent this from happening and it is especially a good idea if you live in an area of high or constant humidity.
  • Repair Scratches Immediately– Other than rust proofing the vehicle, small scratches in your car should be fixed immediately. If the scratch isn’t too deep then you should only have to touch up the paint and shine it with a rubbing compound. A deeper scratch will need the surrounding paint sanded off; you’ll then need to apply primer before repainting the area.
  • Regularly Wax Your Car– Using wax is a surefire way to help preserve your paint. It works by creating a thin film that will protect the surface from the elements and light and shallow scratches. Find the right wax for your base and type of paint and apply the proper number of coats every few months to maintain the brightness and health of your paint.
  • Indoor Parking and Car Covers– While not a step you can physically take to help your paint, taking advantage of shady parking spaces or indoor parking structures will help shield your vehicle from things like birds and the bright sun, both of which can have harmful effects on your paint. If you don’t have any access to a garage at home, a heavy-duty car cover will help keep your car looking mint while you’re at home and not using it.
  • Clear Coat Finishes– A final step when performed at factories, clear coat paint is applied after the colored paint layer and will enhance the shine, depth and provide added protection to your paint. However, don’t consider applying clear coat to be an alternative to wax because clear coat paints can still breathe, erode and absorb moisture and dirt that will affect the surface of your car and the paint.

Car Detailing


There are numerous things out in the environment that can damage your paint over time, sunshine, salty air from a nearby beach, tree sap and other airborne contaminants can all wreak havoc on a beautiful paint job, accelerating the aging process and making your car look more worn out than it may actually be.

Fortunately, by following any of these or other maintenance habits regularly, you will be able to not only protect your vehicle from these damaging factors, but you will have your paint looking vibrant and bright throughout the lifespan of your car, ensuring you have a vehicle that continues to turn heads for all the right reasons.

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