How To Care For The Paint On Your Car.

How to Care for your car’s paint and why it matters

 

The paint on your car can make it look like something to be worshiped or something to cry over. Unfortunately caring for the paint is something that many people either do not know how to do right or just don’t care. it’s really not as easy as taking it through a car wash tunnel and calling it done. sure they are cheap and fast but the cost to repair the damage outweighs the convenience factor. the paint is delicate and there isn’t much of it on your car from the factory. I would like to cover some options on how to care for your paint and why you should.

this is how thick all three layers are!

this is how thick all three layers are!

The first thing that I would like to talk about is how little paint there is on your car. There are three layers of paint on your car; the primer layer, the base coat, and the clear coat. it is important to know that all three of these layers are about as thick as a post-it note … COMBINED. so that means your clear coat is only a fraction of that, but yet it is by far the most important layer. manufactures only spray enough clear coat to just cover the car. They do not spray it on thick enough to make sure that it lasts forever. considering that the clear coat is such a crucial part of your car, it is hard to believe that there isn’t much of it.

The clear coat not only makes the car look good, it’s main purpose is to serve as a protective layer. This protective layer helps maintain the value of the car by a few different methods. this layer is literally a coating that prevents the metal from rusting out by being a barrier from moisture and the metal. Clear coats also contain UV protection that will help prevent the paint on the car from fading, making it look newer for longer. However the UV protection only lasts about 3 to 5 years. clear coat also protects from everyday pollutants, dirt, and bugs from harming the car as well. luckily this protective layer also allows us to remove light scratches and oxidation by polishing it, enabling us to keep it looking good.

an excellent sealant option

an excellent sealant option

The very first point in caring for the paint i want to make is to get to it as soon as possible. knowing that the clear coat only has about a 3 to 5 year UV protection means that it is just that much more important to use a quality sealant on the car to extend out the UV protection of the clear coat from day one. Waxes, sealants, and ceramic coatings all have UV protection in them and will help block the sun from fading the paint. Not only do these products have UV protection but they also serve as a protective barrier between the elements and the clear coat itself. they will help block out everyday pollutants and dirt from harming the clear coat. these products also help with the bigger stuff such as water spots and bugs from etching into the paint, also to some extent help with minor scratches from washing. the only downfall is that these do need to be applied routinely to have consistent protection.

Swirl marks on black paint from improper washing

Swirl marks on black paint from improper washing

after you’ve decided on what to put on your car for protection, now you need to actually keep it clean. again the worst thing you could do to your clear coat or the wax protection is take it to a car wash, especially one with any type of brushes. The brushes in car washes cause scratches in your paint, literally stripping away that ultra thin layer of protection. You can actually see the fine lines of damage that they inflict, you will know them by the term swirl marks. also the soaps that car washes use are pretty harsh. they are designed to remove road grime and to do that they need to be pretty aggressive, usually on the alkaline side. This means that the soaps will strip away the wax layer fast and is also pretty bad for the bare clear coat as well. So what can you do to keep your car clean? there are a few ways to do this.

Two bucket wash

Two bucket wash

You could always wash your car yourself at home using the two bucket wash method and a PH neutral car soap. Never use any type of dish soap! When you wash your car always wash in straight lines and with no pressure on the mitt. You are only getting the dirt off, not grinding it into the paint! if getting out the hose, buckets, and doing the whole thing isn’t something you feel up to then you may have a few options. if your car isn’t horribly dirty you could always use a rinseless wash using something like ONR or Wolfgang Uber Rinesless wash. This is a quick and easy way to keep the car clean. If you only have some light dust on the car then a quick detailer along with a few thick and soft microfiber towels would be ideal. NEVER ever use a dry microfiber towel on the paint! if you are not familiar with these options, then I highly suggest typing these into google or youtube and seeing what they are about. no matter the options you go with, always make sure that you are keeping up with applying a wax, or better yet a sealant to the car every few months or so. It can be helpful to use a spray wax every time you wash the car to extend the protection of the wax or sealant. lastly it is usually recommended to wash the vehicle every week to two, depending on the dirt build up. Never let the dirt just stay on the paint for long periods as this can cause damage to the paint over time.

Thanks for reading! if you found this helpful at all then I would really appreciate you help me out by sharing this, giving it a like, or both!

Richard Mark