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What Causes Damage to Car Paint?

What Causes Damage to Car Paint?

The paint on your car is important, because it not only protects the metal from rust, it also adds appeal. No matter if your car is brand new or getting on the older side, you will still want to protect your car against any paint damage possible. In this article, we will explore the most common causes of damage to your car’s paint.


What Are The Most Common Causes of Damage to Car paint?


Here is a list of the top ten external factors that can cause damage to your cars paintwork and some helpful tips to prevent them:


1. Bird Droppings

Protecting your car from bird droppings is a challenge, especially if you are leaving your car in outdoor car parks and visiting areas where wildlife is more common. Bird droppings can permanently damage your car’s paintwork if left for some time due to the droppings being highly acidic. The bird droppings are more likely to damage your paintwork, especially if the car is left in the sun as they will then begin to harden onto your paint. It is best to remove the bird droppings with a damp cloth as soon as you can in order for the droppings to not have enough time to damage your paintwork. If you find that you are still struggling with bird droppings, purchasing a car cover could be a simple way of preventing damage to your paintwork.


2. Sun Damage

During the hot summer months, it is important that you protect your car from the sun as the UV rays can cause the surface of the car and your paintwork a lot of damage. The UV rays from the sun can cause a change in your paint appearance which is described as chalky oxidation. The UV rays will break down the clear coat of paint and will then chemically react to the metal. If this kind of damage occurs, it may not be able to be corrected. To avoid damage from UV rays try to park your vehicle in shade or covered parking if the car is being left for a longer period of time.


3. Stones

One of the most obvious factors to cause paint damage is stones. Stones can cause small chips to the car’s paintwork. The clear coat of paint is not strong enough to protect from the sharp edges of the stones.


4. Cleaning Products

Not every cleaning product is the right cleaning product. It is best to avoid products like washing up liquid or any household cleaning products when you are cleaning your car as you will not want to create a lather when cleaning your paintwork. Household cleaning products can break down the protective clear coat of paint, making your car prone to more paint damage and corrosion.


5. Coffee

One of the least expected substances to cause car paint damage is coffee. You know on TV shows or in movies when someone puts their coffee on the roof of the car and drives off, having forgotten the coffee was there? Maybe it has happened to you, or you have seen it in real life. However, you shouldn’t make this a habit. The reason why coffee can stain your car’s paintwork is because it has high acidity levels. These high acidity levels can corrode the top protective layer of paint on your car.


6. Gas

When you are filling your car’s tank up with gas, make sure that the gas does not leak or drip onto the paintwork of your car. If the gas is left on the paintwork of your car, you may find that it will evaporate leaving a distinctive pattern on your paint which can then have a damaging effect on the clear coat of paint. A great way of preventing gas from affecting the clear coat of paint on your car is to have your car waxed each time you wash it.


7. Tar

Even though tar is a less common obstacle that you may face when looking at paint damage, it is still one you should consider trying to prevent, especially during the summer months. As the temperature rises during the summer months, tar and asphalt can stick to the paintwork on your car. Once this tar dries into your car’s paintwork, it will be very hard to remove. There are professional products you can purchase which will help with the removal of tar without damaging the clear coat of paint that acts as a protectant.


8. Salt

It is very common for salt to be used on busy roads in order to protect cars from the ice that may form in the winter months and colder temperatures. Unfortunately, even though salt is a cheap and effective way of protecting against ice, salt on the road can have negative effects on your car. The salt on the road can cause your car to rust quickly. The best way of preventing this is to wash your car regularly and treat your car with wax before the winter temperatures begin.


9. Tree Sap

Tree sap will show very small brown spots on your car and ideally should be washed off with water regularly in order to not cause damage to your paintwork. Luckily, tree sap will not damage your car immediately but if it is left over time it will begin to damage the clear coat of paint which will show as discoloration. When the temperatures are higher in the summer, this can cause the tree sap to damage your car more quickly. Using a wax treatment on your car every three months can help prevent any tree sap damage to the clear layer of paint on your car.


10. Bugs

After a long drive, you may notice that your paintwork has gathered a few small dead bugs. Even though this seems harmless, dead bugs are very acidic and can be damaging to your paintwork. Dead bugs can also be very challenging to remove from your car and we would recommend investing in some professional cleaning products. If you leave the dead bugs on your paintwork for some time you may notice discoloration in your paint. Simply using microfiber cloths and water will remove these bugs and make sure that the paintwork remains the correct color.


Protect Your Paint Before Damage


Protecting your car against external factors that may damage your paintwork is the best method to use as repairing against scratches and damage can be challenging. Using wax and sealants on your car can help protect the clear top coat of paint. If you need any repairs to your paintwork, call or get in touch with our friendly team at one of the three Elmer’s Auto Body locations today. The teams at our auto body repair shops in South Jersey are ready to repair your paintwork back to its original form.

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