A car is not a small investment by any means. When you buy a car, you expect that it will run well on the inside and look great on the outside. Some of the responsibility for keeping your car looking nice falls to you as the owner. Auto body paint can be a serious issue when a car starts to fade or is involved in an accident. Use the following tips to keep your car’s paint looking brand new for as long as you own the car.

Invest Your Time In Hand-Washing Your Car

Did you know that experts recommend washing your car weekly? If you are going to wash your car this often and prefer using automatic car washes over hand washing, then make sure you take your vehicle to a touch-less car wash rather than a standard one. The contact between your car and the brushes can wear down your auto body paint and cause damage quickly.

Each time you wash your car, dry it with a microfiber towel that’s made for car paint. Drying helps to not only protect the paint, but can also make your car look cleaner and avoid nasty water spots that can set into your paint after a while. We recommend using a microfiber towel as opposed to a chamois because the microfiber is gentler on your vehicle’s paint than cotton towels – or even chamois towels.

Don’t Skip the Polish

After washing your car, it’s time for the polish. Actually, experts recommend polishing your vehicle about once a year. Polishing brings out the shine in your car by adding luster, but it doesn’t protect it like wax does. If you own a darker color car, adding polish will really bring out the shine. We recommend using a high-quality polish such as Mothers California Gold Micro-Polishing Glaze.

To add the polish, pick one section of the car to start on. Apply the polish to a foam application pad and begin polishing the car using a circular motion. When you notice a haze start to appear, it’s time to wipe it off. We recommend using a microfiber towel.

If you are going to use a machine polisher, make sure that you use exactly the right type for your car. Pay special attention to the pad, polish and technique that you use. Using a machine polisher the wrong way can leave marks on your car that can cause the paint to look awful when the sun hits it.

*IMPORTANT: Make sure to get the polish off before it completely dries. Trying to take dry polish off of your car could scratch your auto body paint.*

Wax On, Wax Off

This is a must – make sure you keep up on regular maintenance. What’s regular maintenance you ask? For starters, we recommend waxing your car at least three times a year or at least every 6 months according to Mike Bumbeck of in his article “Top Ten Car Care Tips” over at the Kelly Blue Book Website.

Choose the correct wax color for your car, and apply and remove it carefully and completely. Waxing your car helps to restore color and gloss to your auto body paint, and prevent oxidation. Waxing your car can also make your car appear shinier, and bring back that brand-new car look. Some brands of wax we recommend are Mothers California Gold Synthetic Wax and Turtle Wax ICE Premium Care Liquid Wax.

These waxes are Polymer-based and synthetic and usually provide longer protection and are super simple to use when it’s hot and sunny.
In addition to regular washing and waxing, make sure you hose off the winter salt and grime that comes with winter weather. And don’t forget to wash underneath your car too!

No Laundry Soap or Dish Detergent!

When you wash your car, avoid using a household detergent or cleaner. These household cleaners will strip away the wax on your car and could permanently damage the car’s paint. Instead, purchase a cleaner that is specifically made for cars in order to keep your paint looking new and preserve the beauty of the paint job. We recommend Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash. It won’t strip the wax off of your car and it will lift dirt and grime gently away from the body.

Remove any oxidation or contaminants with a detailer’s clay. Use the clay with your car wash soap as you are washing your car to remove additional particles that may damage your car that may not be visible to the average eye.

Keep Your Car Dusted

In between washings, you may notice that your car has a tendency to gather dust, especially in the summer months. Purchase a car duster and keep your car dusted of any dirt particles each time you drive. A relatively inexpensive duster that really does a great job is the California Duster. When you park your car after driving, simply pull out the car duster and make a quick swipe over the car. This will stop any dirt or particles from setting into the paint before you have a chance to wash your car.

By using the right ingredients and performing regular aesthetic maintenance, you can ensure that the paint of your car looks brand new for years to come. With a big investment like a car, you want to be sure to get your money’s worth by performing regular and thorough maintenance.

Learn more about Car Care Basics.

For an improved look, bring your car to one of our 2 auto body shop locations in Aston and Malvern, Pennsylvania. You can also use our online quote form. We’ll freshen up your paint job and restore your vehicle to its original, show room condition. From touch-ups and spot painting to overall paint projects, Badell’s Collision has the experts you deserve when it comes to preserving your car’s paint.

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