If there is one thing car owners universally love, it is keeping their cars in pristine condition. Anything from the slightest of scrapes to big dents in the car’s body is concern for anger and frustration. Which is why it is imperative that you as a car owner keep your car’s looks as immaculate as possible. After all, how your car looks is important for first impressions, whether it be on the road or parked in your driveway.
There are a number of ways one could go about keeping their car in spotless condition, starting of course by not bumping it anywhere. But car paint is a fickle thing, and loves to get damaged by the slightest of nudges. This can prove problematic if this is something that really grinds your gears. So, we’re going to help you keep it not just okay, but looking its best using the best and easiest ways available to the average consumer.
Remember to Wash Your Car Every Week
Let’s start with the simplest of all the tips on the list; cleaning your car regularly. Car paint might at first seem like some special concentration that would be impervious to everyday filth, but that is not the case. Just the dust, dirt, and the grime that your car picks up driving through the streets every day is often enough to eat away at its paintjob and completely corrode its looks. Fortunately, this can be easily prevented if you just clean your car regularly, preferably at least once a week. Knowing how to wash your car can help maintain your car’s paint.
For the best results and to not unwittingly damage your car’s paint, be sure to gently clean off the dust and grime with either a soft cloth or by spraying the car with water. For bird droppings and other stubborn stains, you will have to gently work on them and chip them away bit by bit with a cloth. As for the next step, remember to not use common soap or detergent to clean your car; these will only further ruin your car’s paintjob. Use specialized car cleaning chemicals for this purpose. Also, remember to always clean your car in the shade, as direct sunlight during cleaning it can also harm its finish.
Waxing Your Car is a Great Way
Waxing a car is generally seen as something that you do to make your car shine even brighter and look absolutely dazzling on the streets. But if you use the right type of wax, it can also be something that can protect your car’s paint from harm. Car wax comes in a variety of different applicable types; like fluids or pastier forms. Some only go as far as giving your car a brand-new sheen. Others will protect your car’s paint from all sorts of harmful things, like the UV radiation from direct sunlight exposure.
Car wax is not a one-time thing however. It needs to be reapplied every month or so. It’s not foolproof either; owing to its gluey nature it’s not uncommon to have dust get stuck in the wax. If this dust isn’t cleaned out quickly, it could damage your car’s finishing as well. Paint sealant might be a better alternative to car wax for you. Though it requires more careful prep work before applying it, it only needs to be reapplied every half year.
Ceramic Coating: Expensive, but Worth It
The ultimate wax-like protection for your car would be ceramic coating. Also sometimes known as synthetic coating for your car, this takes wax and paint sealant to the next level. Ceramic coating is a sort of liquid polymer coating that, when applied to a car’s body, results in superior shine, superior protection from UV radiation, superior water resistance, and superior protection from other stains like bird droppings or mud. It can also last up to a staggering five years.
The downside to getting ceramic coating for your car is that it is quite expensive. You will have to get it professionally installed, otherwise you’d have to do a lot of research on how to apply it yourself, with much room for error. And in a bit of a catch-22 situation, it’s more expensive to get it professionally applied to your car. So, there really isn’t a win-win scenario here. But if you have the money this is by far the best option in all the wax-like alternatives.
A Snug Waterproof Car Cover Might Do the Trick
Car covers are quite useful; they protect your car’s finish from the elements and from careless neighborhood children and other cars that might ding your door. But don’t cheap out on a car cover because low-quality covers are made of poor materials that very easily leave behind scratches on your car’s paint.
Instead, invest in a car cover that doesn’t scrape the paint, and is a snug fit over your car. Loose car covers flap in the wind and can scrape the paint even if under normal conditions they wouldn’t have. Furthermore, waterproof covers are a bonus because moisture and acidic rain can be very harmful to a car’s paintjob. And if you don’t have a garage, try to always park your car under some sort of shade. This completely eliminates the UV radiation problem, and almost gets rid of the possibility of bird droppings and raindrops hitting your car.
Add Extra Protection with Car Glaze
And lastly, we come to car body glaze. This material leaves behind a glassy film and gives your car a brilliant glossy finish. Applying this after polishing your car and before waxing it gives your car’s paint yet another additional layer of protection. Furthermore, car glaze can be used to hide small imperfections in the paint at a moment’s notice. Car glaze is only a temporary solution of course, and it also doesn’t work quite as well as a proper polish at hiding small scratches or swirls in the paintjob. But additional security is additional peace of mind and is never a bad thing.
Following the steps given above, you’re all set for keeping your car looking as if it just rolled off the factory floor. And maybe some already existing marks can be hidden too if you invest in a good enough polish and polish your car until your arms fall off. Applying polishes and waxes and ceramic coatings is hard if you do it yourself to save yourself some money, but boy is it worth it when you step back and feast your eyes on your pride and joy.
And while you’re still here, be sure to check out our other posts on car maintenance. We’ve got a ton of helpful lists and guides like our post on mobile car detailing and our guide to restoring and maintaining the chrome finish on your car. And we’ve got other fun articles about automotive history as well. Check out our post on the history of the rivalry between Lamborghini and Ferrari or our post about the oldest car manufacturers in the world.