Unfortunately, paint damage to your car is unavoidable. Yes, you can try to prevent it, but damage can occur to any vehicle. Those dents and scratches are unsightly, and they can lower the vehicle’s resale value. If you don’t get the damage repaired, you have a higher risk of developing rust on the exterior. There are several ways that the paint can become damaged, but you can avoid these problems with a bit of precaution.
Common Causes of Paint Damage on Cars
While you do your best to keep the paint looking great, many factors can damage it. Here are some of those common causes of paint damage.
Most cars spend time outside. The paint can contract and expand with temperature changes. As a result, the paint develops small cracks where salt, moisture, and other chemicals can enter, causing rust. No matter the season, your paint is at risk for paint damage.
Polishes and Creams
People write messages in shoe polish or shaving cream on a vehicle’s window. While the sentiment is nice, that can severely damage the paint on the car. When those elements get on the paint, they can be difficult to remove, leaving permanent stains and marks. Shaving cream and shoe polish remove the vehicle’s wax, making your paint more vulnerable to damage.
You never want to leave your vehicle in a construction area. These spots have a high concentration of dust. Plus, there is always the possibility of concrete, wood, or other materials hitting your car. After an accident, you could have dents, scratches, and damaged paint. You will need to have the section repaired by a professional in those cases.
Bugs, Bird Droppings, and Eggs
Bird eggs, splattered bugs, and animal droppings have the potential to damage your vehicle’s paint. These elements have natural chemicals that erode paint, exposing the underlying layers. Clean it up as soon as possible when you see a mess on your car. While you cannot prevent bug splatter, you never want to leave it on the vehicle. After a while, it can be challenging to remove those splats from the paint without causing damage.
Gasoline, Brake Fluid, and Diesel
Some liquids are needed to operate the car, but they can damage the paint’s surface. Diesel, gasoline, and brake fluid can cause the vehicle’s paint to peel. You want to be cautious when fueling up your car. If anything drips on the surface, wipe it away. You also want to be careful when refilling other fluids, such as brake fluid. Once again, if that fluid gets on the surface, it will slowly eat at the paint.
Scissors, knives, razor blades, and keys can all cause damage to the paint. Unfortunately, some people want to cause damage to your vehicle. You need to repair any scratches or dents before problems develop with the paint.
Rocks and Stones
Driving on the highway can be hazardous to your paint. Vehicles can kick up rocks, stones, and other small objects from the road. A small chip might seem insignificant, but it can lead to paint disintegration.
Abrasive Cleaners and Dirty Cleaning Cloths
Yes, you want to clean your vehicle. However, you should avoid dish soap and dirty clothes. Stick to those high-quality vehicle cleaning products. You also never want to use abrasive materials on the car, like dirty rags. These materials can destroy the paint, leaving your vehicle vulnerable to rust. A dry cloth can cause friction, causing scratches and other damage to the paint.
Steps To Maintain Your Car’s Paint Job
Now that you know what causes damage, here are ways to prevent it.
Watch Where You Park
Keeping your car outside will only lead to paint damage. While you might get lucky, accidents are waiting to happen outdoors. If you have a garage, park the vehicle inside. Use a cover that can protect against UV rays and snow if you don’t have a covered spot. Shady areas will help to protect your paint from the sun. Consider having your vehicle waxed, washed, and detailed by a professional auto body shop. Wax can be the first line of defense to protect the paint’s integrity.
Wash Your Vehicle
A dirty vehicle is more prone to paint damage than a well-maintained one. For example, bug splatters and bird droppings can be hard to remove after setting into the paint. These elements can be acidic and eat away at the vehicle’s wax, clear coat, and base color. While you might want to scrape away the debris, always use a soft, clean microfiber cloth to remove the mess.
Washing your vehicle also gives you time to inspect the paint. Make sure you are using high-quality products and the correct type of cleaning cloth. Bring it to a certified auto paint specialist if you see any damage.
Keep the Vehicle in Well-Lit Areas
Vandalism is a big problem. You can deter these criminal acts by parking in a well-lit space. Choose a spot that can be clearly visible to others. If you cannot find the ideal location, do not keep your car left unattended for too long.
Stay Away from Trucks and Other Vehicles
Keep your distance from dump trucks and other construction vehicles when driving down the road. In some cases, they are hauling rocks, stones, and debris that can fly off and scratch the surface of your paint.
In addition to that, stay away from other cars in the parking lot. Drivers who are not careful can hit your vehicle. That can leave behind scratches and dents. Even a high wind can blow a cart into your vehicle’s paint. If you want to be safe, park the car away from others.
Get Paint Damage Repaired By a Trusted Auto Body Shop
These tips can help you maintain the appearance and integrity of your vehicle’s paint. If you need a repair, reach out to Elmer’s Auto Body. Our certified and trained paint specialists have the expertise to repair and color match your paint. We will work hard to get it back to the pre-accident condition. Need an auto body shop near you? Schedule a consultation by calling 856-218-0202.