ATD Blog

3 Mistakes That Can Harm Your Paint Job

Car enthusiasts want to maintain that glossy fresh-off-the-lot look as long as possible. Unfortunately, many aren’t aware of the daily hazards that threaten their paint. 

Proper care and cleaning are key to maintaining an attractive finish and safeguarding against rust and corrosion. Avoid these common maintenance mistakes, and you can preserve your vehicle’s shine while protecting its resale value. 

protecting paint 1. Leaving your vehicle exposed to the elements

Over time, the sun’s rays can fade your car’s interior and deteriorate your paint. Parking in a shady spot may ward off UV damage, but vehicles that aren’t garaged will still be vulnerable to acid rain, especially in the Northeastern US. 

In certain regions, environmental pollutants can change the pH of rain and snow, causing it to leave hard-to-remove marks on your car’s surface if it is allowed to dry. The same is true for a number of other common irritants like:

  • Bird droppings
  • Tree sap
  • Bug splatters
  • Ash
  • Spilled coffee and soda

It’s virtually inevitable that your car will come into contact with caustic substances from time to time, and there is no cause for concern as long as they are removed promptly. Paint damage tends to occur when environmental hazards have time to chemically react with your car’s surface. 

2. Being careless at the pump

When you’re filling up, take care to ensure that gas doesn’t drip on your paint. Because gasoline evaporates so quickly, it’s easy not to notice that a few drops have escaped the tank. Over time, however, spilled fuel can react with your car’s finish and leave noticeable stubborn streaks.

If you suspect gas has come into contact with your paint, clean the area quickly with mild soap and rinse thoroughly.

Another common culprit? Brake fluid. Certain varieties of brake fluid can strip your vehicle’s paint, so be cautious and thoroughly clean any spills as quickly as possible. 

3. Infrequent and improper washingwashing to protect paint

Regular washing prevents abrasives like dust, dirt, and grime from building up on your car’s surface. For this reason, we recommend a wash every two weeks.

However, bad washing and drying techniques can do more harm than good to your paint job. Use the two-bucket technique: keeping your wash and rinse water separate helps prevent you from scrubbing debris into the surface of your paint. 

Similarly, drying with a microfiber towel rather than a cotton rag can guard against small, unintentional scratches that dull your car’s surface. Microfibers do a superior job of trapping particles, so they don’t scrape your paint job as you wipe. 

Protect your car’s paint.

Whether you intend to get top dollar for your vehicle at resale, or you just want to enjoy the experience of ownership as much as possible, paint protection services are a worthwhile investment for auto enthusiasts. 

Depending on your goals and driving habits, paint protection film, ceramic coating, and window tinting can work together to preserve your finish for years to come. Reach out to an automotive detailing specialist to determine the right level of protection for you and your vehicle. 


Share this article: