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How to Maintain Your Car’s Paint in Top Shape

Older man cleaning and giving finishing touches to a car as part of its maintenance.

Whether you’ve just purchased a new car or painted an old one, your car’s paint job is perhaps the biggest cosmetic factor that makes it look. In some ways, a car’s paint job is like our skin – you have to treat it well to maintain its good looks. But in order to take care of it, you should know the various factors that affect the condition of the paint.

Following are three simple ways to help you keep your car’s paint job looking radiant.

Sunlight is not your car’s friend

The sun’s ultraviolet rays take the biggest toll on your car’s paint job, which lead to fading over time. There’s not much you can do when you’re driving during the day, but if your car will be parked for long periods of time under the sun, it’s best to find a shaded spot. If this is not an option, consider purchasing a car cover with ultraviolet protection.

Wash your car…the right way

Washing your car is one of the best ways to keep your car’s paint job in top shape, but you must do it right. Remember to always rinse your car before you soap it up. This will remove the dirt that might otherwise scratch your car. When you’re ready to scrub, be sure to use cleaning supplies meant for a vehicle. Use a paint-safe mitt and a car wash liquid, which should have a non-detergent formula. Resist using your dishwashing liquid as this can damage the wax. Finally, dry off your car to prevent water spots. But try to use cotton cloths or sheepskin chamois, which are gentler on the surface. Using a towel made of polyester or microfiber cloth may scratch the paint.

Don’t polish your car – wax it

While polishing and waxing your car will both give it a nice shine, there is a big difference. The downside about polish is that it contains abrasives that essentially remove parts of your car’s paint job. Waxing, on the other hand, adds an extra layer over your car’s finish, which provides more protection. Keep in mind that too much waxing can build up too many layers, which will eventually compromise the look of the paint.

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