Things that can mar your automotive paint job
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 by Keith Bahlmann
Most people purchase a car for its looks and performance. However, unless the auto is kept in a garage and never driven, it is impossible to keep it in pristine condition. In many cases, damage to the clear coat or enamel paint on the car is something vehicle owners expect.
A car owner who decides he or she wants the car to remain in the best shape possible will have to take an active role in maintenence and damage prevention. One of the key things to remember is to never allow any substance to remain on the paint for too long; otherwise the risk for damage increases. Also, it may be very difficult to clean if the offender is allowed to sit on the paint. Here are some other factors to consider.
* UV light: Just as UV light can affect skin, hair and other parts of the body, it also can affect the paint on a car. UV rays oxidize the paint and cause a white, powdery film to form on the car. Washing the car frequently enough and applying the best quality wax will help keep UV rays from penetrating through the paint.
* Over sprays: Life does not stop to allow cars to drive through, particularly when it comes to construction zones. It's possible for a car to be doused in paint spray, tar, concrete, and other chemicals that are routinely used in construction. Do not allow these substances to harden on the car. Rinse promptly with automotive soap. Try to avoid construction zones whenever possible.
* Rain: Both acid rain and regular rainwater (and other sources of water) can dissolve paint over time. The U.S. Geological Survey has said that water is a universal solvent because it can dissolve more substances than any other liquid. Whenever the car becomes wet, it should be dried with a towel or chamois and not allowed to air dry.
* Natural substances: Tree sap, bird droppings and splattered insects contain compounds that can erode the paint on a car. Avoid parking under large trees where sap and bird droppings may be prevalent. In terms of bug splatter, try to wash it off as soon as possible to alleviate damage.
* Eggs: Oftentimes, rambunctious children think it is funny to egg a car. However, the enzymes and sulfur content in eggs can cause paint and clear coat to dissolve, leaving white spots in the wake of the egg. Because egg can be sticky and very hard to remove once dried, it is helpful to wash it off as soon as possible. It takes only a few hours for the damage to be permanent.
* Bleach: Although a bleach-and-water solution is often heralded for its ability to clean many things, it should not be used on a car. Bleach is an oxidizer and it will pit metal and discolor paint. Be careful with pool chemicals as well, as chlorinator is usually regular household bleach.
There are many things that can damage a car paint job. Although it's impossible to shield the car from everything, there are precautions that can be taken.