We’ve talked before about how maintaining your car for the long haul makes great financial sense. But as your Honda, Acura, Toyota, Lexus or Scion ages, how do you keep it looking new? Just like the rest of your car, a little preventive maintenance goes a long way with your car’s paint. If you keep up with it, you can keep that “showroom shine” for years to come. Here are a few quick tips:
Park your car under cover
The number one “paint killer” is the sun. UV rays, over time, break down the protective coating on your car’s surface. They also cause your headlights to get cloudy. The best way to avoid this kind of damage is the park your car in a garage. Of course, not all of us have that option. A car cover (designed for outdoor use) can preserve the paint. Or you can simply find shady spots to park your car when possible.
Remove bird droppings and other debris immediately
Birds are a fact of life. For whatever reason, they love clean cars! Bird poop by itself doesn’t hurt your paint, but you’re more likely to damage your paint trying to remove it after it hardens. Wet leaves can stain the finish and tree sap, once hardened, also leaves marks that are hard to remove.
Wash your car!
Dirt, dust and environmental contaminants in the air settle on your car over time and can also damage the finish. It’s important to wash your car on a regular basis, but make sure you avoid abrasive cleaners that can scratch the paint.
After you’ve washed your car, make sure you wax as well. This can help ensure that anything that does fall on your car doesn’t do as much damage to the paint. It can also extend the time between washes.