What not to do to a cars painted finish
There are do’s and dont’s.
Preserving a finish requires different approach than restoring one.
The mentality of a person focused on preservation is quite the opposite of one who’s focus is to restore.
Preservationist understand the necessity of restoration products and their place.
They won’t care one way or the other that you wax your car, They understand some people need wax, Their paint is so bruised from past waxing, polishing and claying, it needs wax like a old woman needs makeup.
There is an understanding Preservationist have that makes it easy to determine when a product is designed to restore a finish and when one is designed to preserve one.
For example water will help preserve a finish polish will help restore a finish.
On the other hand people who use restoration products on everything don’t seem to have a clue.
They do not understand the concept of preserving the cars finish, They want to “fix it”, make it better.
This mentality allows no room for growth, they think the finish on a brand new car should be treated like the finish on a car 10 years old.
The fact is a car that is 10 years old can benefit from both, restoration and preservation depending on its condition. A factory new paint job cannot benefit from restoration, there is nothing to restore. Yet when a person’s focus is so single minded he somehow misses that point.
Preserving the factory finish on your new car is an art, It’s a discipline that some of us have down to a science. There are the basics that will serve you well if you stick to them.
To begin with friction is your enemy, no matter what guise it comes in. Friction is the kiss of death to acrylic paint.
You want to avoid any unnecessary friction on your finish. Its only so much rubbing anything can take before it begins to wear away, paint is no different. The first thing is looses is its factory gloss.
Friction comes in many ways and forms.
Most of us are aware of the dangers of tight spaced parking lots, and shopping carts. Many of us will go to extremes to avoid the possibility of accidental friction. This includes parking across two parking spaces and parking at the end of the lot.
While these tactics help they are not fool proof. Fools will find you and park as close to you as they can, why? In short….they are fools. All the fool sees is a good parking spot next to your car.
The same fool will use your car as a stand to sit grocery bags while they fiddle around for their keys. It’s all ready understood that they will bang their door into the side of your car several times before they are finish.
The same fool will then let his cart roll into another parked car as they exit.
Next on the list of things to avoid are situations with friends, where parked cars stand in for benches, tables and walls. Usually there is always one individual who has keys or some other paint damaging or metal item attached to their clothes.
Most of purest know to avoid automatic carwashes. That could change over time with the newer brushless carwashes that have become more attractive because friction is reduced significantly.
As the car goes through the wash it passes through hanging felt like layers assisted with high pressure jet streams of water. Cleaning soaps and wax are applied as well. This process is followed up by detail men that will dry the car and dress the tires. Not as brutal as the carwashes of old but the stigma associated with those old hard roller brushes still stays on.
Hand washing is by far the best way to protect your finish. It involves the least amount of friction. It also allows for close surface inspections. This allows you the opportunity to catch any defects from aging or road wear early.
The most common destructive friction is intentionally applied for the purpose of improving external esthetics.
1. Dry wiping. Dusting a car that was washed the previous day with a damp towel is fine, dry wiping a car that has a couple of days layers of dirt on it is damaging.
2. Washing a car from the bottom up is damaging. Cleaning from the bottom up is damaging because most of the dirt and grit will collect at the bottom of the car, This grit will cut into the paint as it is pulled up toward the top of the car. You should always wash from the top down.
3. Using a bucket without a hose. Dirt and grit will collect in the bucket and will be spread across the paint. You need a hose to keep the water in the bucket clean and the soap from drying on the car.
4. Drying from the bottom up. Drying should also begin at the top and work to the bottom, this avoids pulling the inevitable dirt and grit you missed across the top of the car. Turning and folding the towel helps keep the application surface clean.
5. Dirty towels. Don’t just grab anything and go to wiping on your car. The towels you use for your car should be protected and kept clean, a dirty towel with either grit or harden wax can leave bruise marks on a paint job. These things all have a cumulative effect so you may not realize you are dulling your paint while doing any of the don’ts above. However it’s inevitable you will see the damage and when you do, you will know how it happened.
6. Don’t put anything on your paint that you will be forced to take off. In a word “WAX”. Applying and removing wax is a source of friction that over time becomes redundant and damaging.
These tips will help you keep your paint looking it’s best longer and make your car more enjoyable to drive.