Your car’s sparkling finish made it through the salt, sand and harsh temperatures of winter. But your car’s paint faces year-round hazards. According to Autoblog, a car with faded paint and a dingy look sells for 10-20 percent less than an otherwise identical vehicle that just looks nicer.
Start with a good coat of wax, then be on the lookout for these common problems:
Parking Under A Tree
Trees may provide shade, but they also produce sap and can drop twigs or branches on your car on a windy day. Your best defense is to make sure the paint is waxed. If you find tree sap on your paint, get some bug and tar remover from your auto parts store to dissolve it. Then, rinse and wax the area again to remove any residue.
Another Hazard From Above
Without going into the science of bird droppings and their reactions with paint, you can just trust us that it can wreak havoc. When a bird mistakes your vehicle for a giant portable toilet, the best thing you can do is remove it quickly. A wet cloth will usually do the trick, but be careful to wipe with a lifting motion so that you don’t grind it into the paint.
At The Gas Pump
You know the gas station rules: No smoking at the pump and don’t touch anything in the restroom (although that’s more of an unwritten rule.) But spilled gasoline isn’t just a safety hazard, it can cause long-term harm to your paint.
To prevent stains and rust, avoid topping off your tank, and clean up any accidental drips immediately.
Someone With A Bad Sense of Humor
Using your finger as a writing utensil to draw “Wash Me Plz” in dirt isn’t as harmless as you think. Dirt can act as sandpaper when dragged across your vehicle’s paint, leaving the writer’s message behind permanently.
To avoid this, get your car washed frequently to eliminate abrasive dirt from your car’s surface. Light scratches can sometimes be removed with polish or scratch remover after the car is clean.
High Speed Bug Collisions
Bugs hitting your windshield on the highway are gross, but relatively harmless. The real problem is the bug that makes your paint its final resting place. They are extremely acidic, and not easy to remove. Have your car washed regularly. For the most stubborn guts, use bug and tar remover as soon as possible.
Washing Your Car
We’ve suggested washing your car frequently, but be sure to do so carefully. Using dirty sponges or towels can do more harm than good.
Some older automatic car washes still use abrasive brushes rather than a soft cloth, which can scratch the paint. Another safe bet is a “touchless” car wash that uses high pressure water jets to clean your car.
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