Maintaining your vehicle is an integral part of being a car owner. Whether your vehicle is your prized possession and you want to keep it looking good or would like to maintain the resale value – the car’s exterior has to appear new. This means you must take good care of your car’s paint job.
While the car’s exterior paint is made to last through brutal weather and road conditions, it still has weaknesses. The acidity and PH levels in things like bird excrement, sap, dust, and dirt, can erode your car’s paint. Here are the top five hazards that can damage your vehicle’s paint.
1. The Sun
While car paint lasts just fine in most situations, individuals that live in scorching and sunny places should take care. Every vehicle owner should avoid parking their car in direct, bright sunlight for extended periods. If you’re unable to find shade and live somewhere with bright sunlight or if you’re unable to park in a garage, you may want to get a cover for your car
Sunlight oxidizes paint. After repeated exposure to an overabundance of the sun, you may find your car’s exterior to start cracking and peeling.
2. Tree Sap and Pollen
Most cars across the Northeast United States have to deal with tree sap and pollen covering their car every spring and summer season. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but these substances are quite sticky and attract even more dirt, dust, and debris. In addition, the chemical compounds contained in tree sap may eventually start to erode the paint. The best way to avoid that is by taking your car to get washed regularly. Only the proper soap and sponges can break up tough, sticky sap.
3. Bugs and Bird Droppings
You may not realize it, but bugs are constantly splattering on your vehicle as you drive it at high speeds. You may not even notice small bugs splattered on the bumper and hiding on the windshield, but their little carcasses contain chemical compounds that help to eat away at car paint. Of course, this only happens if you leave your car unwashed and allow the insects or bird droppings to stay on the paint for a long time. Bird droppings are sticky and contain chemicals that make your car’s paint oxidize, crack, and peel if not taken care of.
4. Ice and Cold Weather
Ice is something that car owners worry about every winter. It’s not enough to dig your car out of snow. It’s usually iced over and needs to be heated before it runs. At that moment, your paint and windshield are likely covered in ice. Do not scrape the ice off your car! Scraping ice with improper tools can cause scratches to appear. Cold weather also brings storms and hail. Rocks and ice flying at your vehicle can, of course, be a hazard to the paint.
5. Dish Soap and Other Cleaners
Always use water and car-specific soaps if you have to wash your car yourself or keep it clean between washes. Dish soap, though easy to find and cheap, can damage the coat of paint. It’s not noticeable at first, but the compounds in dish soap are corrosive to the transparent protective coats of paint on the outside of your vehicle. Repeated use will eventually visibly damage the car’s paint.
Some of these hazards are avoidable. Of course, you cannot do much about ice, hail, and rocks chipping away at your car. You also can’t control pollen, or bug splatters. However, most hazards that corrode the car’s paint can be avoided with regular washes. Visit any of the 12 Flagstop Car Wash locations in and around the Richmond area to keep your car’s paint looking new.