7 Ways You’re Ruining Your Car’s Paint
Don’t Mess up a Good Paint Job
The paint on your vehicle isn’t just there to look nice. It’s there to protect the vehicle from the elements. By providing a protective layer against rain, sun, and whatever else Mother Nature throws your way, the paint helps your car last for a long time. Plus, it looks good (at least it should).
But too many people don’t respect the paint on their car the way they should. Instead, they end up causing a lot of damage (although not usually on purpose). Keep reading as Big Sky Collision Center, your best choice for auto body repair in Billings, shows you 7 ways that you’re ruining your vehicle’s paint job.
Here’s the dilemma: your vehicle is dirty and needs to be washed. A hooligan, feeling witty, inscribes “Wash Me” into the dust and dirt that has accumulated on the vehicle. The goal is that in order to remove the temporary graffiti you have do indeed have to wash the vehicle. It’s a little funny, but it’s destroying your paint.
When you swipe your finger along the dirt that’s on the car, it doesn’t just wipe right off. It drags along the surface of the paint putting micro-scratches in the paint’s surface. While one instance isn’t going to cause catastrophic failure, it will wear down the protective layer. Over time, big problems can ensue.
Driving around in the spring, summer, and fall means that you are going to hit bugs. Unless you’ve just returned from a long road trip, you likely don’t even notice the bugs stuck to the front of the vehicle. You let them sit, and vow to remove them the next time you wash the car; which could be weeks away.
The problem, however, isn’t that the bugs are unsightly. The problem is that bug guts are mildly acidic. The longer they stay on your car (until dried of course) the longer they have to etch into the paint. At least hose them off regularly to ensure your vehicle isn’t ruined by a bug.
If you park outside, even just for a few minutes, a bird will relieve itself on your car. It is one of those laws that can’t be broken (like Murphy’s Law). It’s gross, it’s annoying, and often we don’t get the bird doo off of the vehicle very quickly. After all, you likely just washed the car, and you’re not about to wipe it up with a paper towel.
Just like bug guts, bird excrement is slightly acidic. Unlike bug guts, the bird poo is big and will cause more damage than a tiny little gnat will. If your vehicle has the misfortune of becoming a bird’s toilet, get the droppings off as soon as you can to prevent further damage.
Parking under a tree in the summer is nice. It keeps the car cool so you don’t have to leave the doors open before you can get in. But it’s also a risky move. If you happen to avoid the birds call of nature (see above), you risk a tree “leaking” onto your car. Tree sap is annoying.
Tree sap isn’t acidic the way birds and bees are, but it is sticky and it will harden. Try to get it off when wet and it smears, try when it’s hard and it’s… well hard. Here’s the trick to take care of sap. Using a rag with a little bit of mineral spirits you can dissolve the sap enough to wash it off. But now you have a vulnerable area on your vehicle that needs to be waxed right away. It’s best to just avoid parking under trees.
Most people will top off their tank. After filling up the pump clicks off, so we squeeze in a few more drops. It helps us go longer between fill-ups right? What often happens, though, is that the fuel leaks out and dribbles down the side of the vehicle. We let it dry instead of washing it off.
The dribbles will stain the paint and are incredibly hard to get off. The best way to prevent this is to be more careful, but if you do spill, get it cleaned off right away.
Many people don’t have a covered area where they can park their vehicle. Sure, they might have a garage at home that provides a safe place to store it over night, but all day at work it’s left out in the sun. It’s annoying to get into a hot car at the end of the day, but what can you do?
Unfortunately, sunshine is bad for your vehicle. The sun’s rays will cause your paint to fade over time, and it will deteriorate the clear coat. While parking in the shade may not be an option, you do have recourse. Regularly waxing your vehicle (after a thorough washing) will deflect most of the sun’s rays and prolong your paint’s life.
Montana Forest Fires
We suffered one of the worst fire seasons in a long time. Well over a million acres of our forests burned, and there wasn’t much we could do except to wait for the rains to come. In the meantime ashes were sent into the air, and they drifted down onto us. Much of that ash landed on our vehicles.
When ash gets wet, it sticks to cars. Wet ash is basic (as opposed to acidic) and can etch into a car’s paint job. Fortunately washing it off is easy; unfortunately many people didn’t do that and this year their vehicles have been damaged significantly; even if they’re hundreds of miles from the fire.
Big Sky Collision Center Paints Vehicles
If your vehicle has had the unfortunate experience of having the paint job damaged, then you’re in luck. Big Sky Collision Center can repaint your vehicle and provide all new protection. If your paint has been damaged by any of these, or if it just seems to have gotten old, give us a call at 406-259-6328 and we will get it fixed up to like-new status.