The Sun: Protect Your Car’s Finish

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It’s getting into May, and the sun is starting to show itself more and more in the Willamette Valley. Your car’s paint finish breathes and even has pores! In the hot sun the paint’s pores expand and can absorb more dirt and moisture. This means increased rates of damage to your car’s paint finish, and that’s no good! Here’s some tips from Angie’s List on how to keep your car’s paint and finish damage free:

Protect your car’s paint by washing it

Wash your car often. Washing your car and cleansing it of pollution and grime is the first step. Get a soft cotton mitt, bucket and automotive cleaning product, and work on the car out of direct sunlight. Even if you have tough deposits like splattered bugs or road tar, never scratch your car. Instead, consider using an auto detailing clay bar. “Claying” is a safe way to remove damaging materials without leaving a trace.

Dry your car thoroughly. Although some owners just hop into the car immediately after washing and skip drying, this is not best for your car’s appearance. Drying your car with a cotton rag or chamois protects your car’s paint from minerals left behind by water evaporation.

Waxing your car, meanwhile, remains one of the most effective ways to keep it looking like new. The wax protects the paint against roadside pollutants while also combating the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. Waxing will also prevent dirt and grit from sticking to your vehicle, which can protect your paint from pit damage. When you don’t wax your car, grime left on your car can damage the paint job.

Engine heat stresses the hood’s paint, and direct sunlight can scorch the paint off the roof. Despite the LA sun and heat, your car can glow with a wash, dry and glossy coat of wax.

Invest in paint protection

If you want to take it a step further, some drivers invest in auto paint protection film kits for their entire car or use it on their car’s acrylic headlights, which can become pitted from grit or yellowed and brittle from the LA sun.

Like other auto detailing options, the paint protection film can be a do-it-yourself project, or a service purchased from an area auto-body store. No car – foreign or domestic – is immune from the damaging effects of the sun, but any car will benefit from a regular maintenance routine.

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