Keeping the paintwork of your car looking as good as the day it came out of the factory, can be a challenge. Weather conditions such as hail can leave dents in the bodywork, grit and dirt kicked up by other drivers can cause dings and scratches, not to mention airborne packages left by the local bird population. Fortunately, there are a few top tips that will help extend the life of the paintwork on your vehicle so let’s look at the three most important ones.

1. Use The Correct Washing And Waxing Procedures

If the body work is looked after properly, regularly washed and polished, this will provide a protective coating that extends the life of the paint. Oil and debris can land on the skin of the car when travelling the roads or even when parked, due to passing traffic for example. Using the correct detergent and car polish is very important as some washing liquids can contain chemicals that may cause more damage to the paint work.

It is also important to use the right equipment when washing the bodywork of the car, so make sure that if using a carwash, you check that this is kept clean and well maintained. Some car washes use roller brushes and some use cloths, both of which are fine for cars, provided they have not been contaminated with grit or sand. The effect then would be like having an emery board pass over the paint work so take a look at the brushes to ensure they are not torn or ragged. If handwashing at home, then use soft clothes and turn down the pressure on the water hose, as too forceful a jet can be damaging as well.

Using a car wax will also extend the life of the paint because it seals the top coat and any debris that falls onto the bodywork, will then roll off. Waxing is not needed after every wash, so keep an eye on the paintwork and as long as, when it rains for example, the drops slide off there is no need to wax. However, waxing the car twice a year, once in the spring months and again before winter, is recommended.

2. Remove Dents As Soon As Spotted

Dents and dings are going to happen but fortunately, a professional panel works company can use techniques such as paintless dent removal to pop the dent back into shape without cracking the skin of the paint. If these dents are left, then over time, the surface of the paint will crack, and water will start to get in. This will lead to rust and resprays, and further body work will need to be undertaken. It is far better not to compromise the paintwork and have the dents removed.

If you sustain deeper scratches or damage due to weather conditions such as hailstones, then make sure the car is booked in to have these removed as soon as possible. Choosing a company who offer paint matching services and hail damage car repair services, means that the overall look of the paintwork is not going to be compromised and will be virtually impossible to detect where the old paint finishes and the new one starts.

3. Protect From The Elements

Urine and droppings from birds contain uric acid, and acid and metal do not mix. If you have the space to park the car in a garage or carport when not in use, then keep the car under cover. As soon as you see any bird or animal excrement on the car wash this off immediately as it is corrosive. Extreme temperatures will fade and blister paintwork over time so in a climate like ours, parking in shady areas or again undercover during the heat of the day makes sense.

There are some trees that at certain times of the year can also cause problems for car owners. Either they drop berries with sticky seeds that stick to the paintwork and may cause some damage or the aphids on the trees secrete a sticky sap called honeydew. If this falls onto the vehicle, the film of honeydew can burn into the paint in direct sunlight causing irreversible damage.

As drivers, we will collect our fair share of insects as we go along and again it is important to use a specialised insect remover to get rid of the remains that cling to the vehicle paintwork. Then follow this up with washing the car on a regular basis. If you have any concerns about the best methods for keeping your car paintwork looking as good as new, contact Brighton Panel Works, a trusted body repairer for over 50 years servicing Melbourne’s inner city and the bayside precincts.