How to Maintain the Paint on Your Car

Maintaining the paint on your car can prevent a lot of other problems. Not to mention, you'll look great! Washing and drying your car, as well as taking great care in polishing and waxing, will add a protective coat to your car and prevent aging and rusting. 

You also need to monitor the weather carefully and know when to wash and wax appropriately based on the driving conditions outside. If you wax too often, you can dull the finish instead of brightening it. If you polish too often, you'll find that you strip the paint quickly. Conversely, if you don't wash often enough, you have a dirty car that ages more quickly.

Washing Your Car 

Wash your car on a regular basis to keep it clean and free of dirt and other residue that builds up over time. Once a week is a good goal. Wash your car from the top down, so that excess dirt gets washed away as you work toward the ground.

Make sure you use a soft brush and work in circular motions to break away grease and other stubborn stains. Don't use household cleaners like dish soap or laundry soap. Because they are designed to remove grease and oil, they're bad for your paint and can strip away the wax coating.

Rinse the soap away as you go, so it doesn't dry on the car. You should select small areas at a time, such as the top of the car, the hood, or the trunk, then wash and rinse that area before moving on. If you let the soap dry, it can leave behind mineral deposits and water spots.

Polishing Your Car

Polish is meant to correct the paint on your car. It works by removing a microscopic layer of the paint to reveal clean and unblemished paint underneath. Polishing your car should never be taken lightly and should not be done very often. Because it removes a very fine layer of paint, the more often you do it, the less paint remains.

However, you may find that in order to restore some of the worn areas of your paint, you need to polish it. If that's the case, do this after you wash your car, but before you dry or wax it. Work a small amount of polish back and forth, parallel to the car's surface. Use a damp cloth.

As scratches disappear and the paint brightens, stop and move to the next area. Rinse the cloth as needed, so the polishing compound doesn't build up. When you're done, rewash your car, and then move on to drying.

Drying Your Car

Dry your car thoroughly after washing it to eliminate water spots. This leaves your paint sparkling and makes it easier to wax later on. Use a microfiber cloth that is meant for absorbing water. Don't drag the towel across the paint because any dirt trapped underneath could scratch the paint.

Always park in a cool, shady spot, so the sun doesn't dry your car too quickly. Once you have removed most of the moisture, let it air dry the rest of the way before moving on to the next step. Keep it in the shade, so it doesn't get too hot.

Waxing Your Car

Once your car is clean and dry, you can seal it with wax to keep it clean and protect the paint. While you don't need to wax your car every time you wash it, you should aim for waxing it every three months or so to protect the paint and make it easier to wash in between waxes.

You may also choose to use a paint conditioner instead of wax. You may also want to use a buffer, but be careful not to over-buff your car because it can remove the paint entirely. Beginners would do well to use a dual action buffer or a random orbital polisher.

Use a microfiber cloth or a clean buffing pad to apply the wax. Follow the instructions on your wax kit to let the wax set before you remove it. Once the wax has set, use a microfiber cloth in circular motions to rub in the wax. Repeat this with a clean microfiber cloth if needed until the entire car is waxed.

You can maintain your car's shine for years, making it look brand new. This prevents rust which can damage much more than just the aesthetics of your vehicle. If you do develop rust over time, seek the help of a professional at Southwest Motors to correct the problem, but diligently washing your car and caring for the exterior will keep it looking brand new for a long time.


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