After a visit to the collision shop, your vehicle will come home with a newly painted surface. A skilled auto body mechanic uses a meticulous process to match the fresh paint with your existing color. This process involves applying several layers of primer, paint, and clear coat. Once that is completed, the finish is buffed for a glossy appearance.
After all that work, you need to protect the new paint for the first 30 to 90 days. During that time, the paint needs to cure and harden. If you don’t protect the paint, it can lead to noticeable imperfections on the surface. Those blemishes are not covered by the auto body shop’s warranty. In other words, you need to protect the finish of your vehicle after any collision repair. Here are a few tips for maintaining the beauty of your fresh paint job.
Avoid Car Washes
After you have been driving your vehicle, you might notice that the surface is dirty. Many drivers want to take their car to the nearest commercial car wash. However, you need to think again. Most commercial car washes use stiff sponges and brushes that will scratch the paint, especially if you just applied new paint to your vehicle.
While you shouldn’t drive your vehicle through the local car wash, you still need to rinse away the dirt. Regular washing is good for your car. However, it needs to be washed by hand. You want to use a very mild car wash solution and cool water. It is not good to use dish soap on the vehicle since it can leave a film. Apply the solution with a foam sponge and only work in straight lines. Circular motions can actually damage the paint.
Even direct sunlight can ruin the paint. For that reason, you want to wash your car in the shade. Once you are done with the washing process, use clean water to rinse off the soap.
After that, you should use the proper drying methods. If you allow the car to air dry, it can leave behind minerals on the surface. Those water minerals can harm the paint. You want to take a microfiber towel and softly wipe the surface. It is important to use a microfiber instead of a rag or paper towel. Those drying fabrics can leave scratches on your fresh paint.
Along with these washing and drying methods, you should avoid polishing or waxing your vehicle for 90 days after a new paint job. Wax can damage the surface of your car and cause discoloration in the paint.
Don’t Scrape the Surface
If you live in an area that experiences snow and ice, you need to be careful with your vehicle. You might want to scrape the ice and snow off the windows and body surface. However, never take a hard tool to a newly painted surface. You are guaranteed to end up with new scratches on the paint. If you need to remove ice and snow, try a soft brush or use your hand. A little warm water on the painted surface can help to melt away the ice.
Stay Out of the Sun
Those ultraviolet rays from the sun can harm your skin and the paint job on your vehicle. Sunlight is known to fade a vehicle’s paint. In turn, your vehicle will look dull and dingy. If it is possible, park your car in the shade. No matter if your paint is new or old, this advice can help preserve the appearance of your vehicle.
Watch Out for Chemicals
If your vehicle needs work after a new paint job, you will want to make sure to keep away any automotive chemicals or solutions from the surface. Gasoline, oil, antifreeze, and transmission fluid can all damage your paint. Windshield washer fluid is even known to harm your new paint job.
When you bring your vehicle to a shop for routine work, you should take some time to point out the newly painted areas to the technicians. You even want to be cautious when filling up the gas tank. If it gets on the vehicle’s surface, take a soft wet cloth to wipe off any gasoline. Leaving any of these chemicals on your painted surface will cause damage to your new paint job.
Avoid Any Gravel Roads
When you have a freshly painted vehicle, you will want to avoid any loose gravel roads. This is good advice for any car. However, gravel roads can be unavoidable, especially if you need to drive through a construction zone. Your paint’s finish is vulnerable to flying rocks. In turn, you could notice chips on the surface, especially if the paint doesn’t have time to harden. A deep chip to the surface of the paint can expose the vehicle’s metal frame. As a result, the metal is exposed to water and can begin to develop rust.
Take Care of Your New Painted Surface
When you bring your vehicle to a shop for repairs, they will use the latest techniques to properly match your existing painted surfaces. After you take your car home, you want to protect all that hard work. It is important to follow the auto body shop’s advice so that you can enjoy your vehicle for many years to come.
For the first few months, you will have to do a little work to protect the surface of the vehicle. In some cases, you might have to change your routine to prevent damage to the new paint. All these tips are good advice that can preserve the appearance of any car or truck. You don’t need a new paint job to protect the surface of your vehicle.
Find an Auto Body Shop Near Me
If you need a professional paint job for your vehicle, make sure to take it to an experienced auto body shop. Elmer’s Auto Body uses all the latest techniques to restore the finish of your car. You will be delighted with our work. If you want to schedule a consultation, please call the shop at (856) 218-0202.