Perhaps nothing ages a car or truck more than a lackluster exterior finish. Even if vehicles are only a few years old, failure to maintain the paint, tires and chrome accents can make them look worn beyond their years, potentially affecting resale value.
The environment can be a vehicle’s worst enemy. Protecting a car means being mindful of substances and habits that can compromise the exterior finish.
Over time, the sun can damage a vehicle’s paint job through oxidation and premature fading. People who live in areas with especially warm climates may see the paint on their vehicles suffer considerable damage thanks to the sun.
One of the easiest ways to protect a vehicle from the sun is to use sheltered parking or park in the shade whenever possible. This can help protect the paint, headlights and trim. Drivers should store their cars in their garages overnight and during daylight hours when they are home.
Wash and dry
It’s important to routinely wash vehicles to protect their exterior finish. Use a mild cleanser designed for automobiles and a clean rag or sponge so as not to cause scratches that can cause further damage. Because minerals in tap water can be left behind through evaporation and may oxidize and damage the paint, it’s best to wipe away as much residual moisture as possible with a chamois.
Waxing can prevent bird droppings, berries, splattered bugs, and more from sticking to the paint and wearing down the finish. Waxes come in paste, liquid and spray. Each type has a different reapplication schedule, so drivers should consult the product instructions.
Vehicle owners also can invest in spray films to further protect painted surfaces. Do-it-yourself products are applied like a spray and then dry to an invisible, durable film. This helps protect against insects, gravel, sand, winter salt, and even road grime. Different manufacturers offer protection films.
It is important to safeguard the exterior of a vehicle to help it look newer longer, protecting the value of the car or truck while also protecting it against the elements.