When you buy a brand new car the paint looks beautiful and is extra shiny. They don’t give you a run down at the dealership about how to care for the paint as brand new cars usually have had paint on them for sometime before they hit the lot and your ownership. But if you recently had some repairs done to your paint (collision repair), or you’re repainting the entire car there are some tips for keeping the paint looking nice for the first few months after it’s been painted.
Be Careful with Fresh Paint
“Fresh paint” as a term can be argued but we consider fresh paint to be a paint job that was done 30 days or less ago. Automotive paint used on the exterior of the car is activated and does dry to the touch relatively quickly, but it can take up to 30-60 days for paint and clear coat to cure to its full strength. We suggest taking care with your vehicle during this time when the paint is maturing. Below are some common things that cause fresh paint to be damaged easily.
Road Debris and Road Tar
When your paint isn’t fully matured it can tend to chip more easily. Be careful when driving your vehicle over road construction, dirt, or stone roads and driveways, and through freshly paved roads. Not only can careless driving in these areas cause paint chips, you could also have paint defects caused by road tar that can attach itself to your paint or clear coat.
Tree Sap and Bird Droppings on Paint
Tree sap is just about as evil as road tar is to paint when it gets stuck to the paint. Tree sap that is left on freshly cured paint can adhere and stain the surface or could even pull the paint or clear coat off when you try and remove it.
Careless Cleaning of Snow or Leaves
If you live in a part of the country where there are swings in temperatures and major season changes than you may have to clean snow or leaves off your car. Snow and leaves won’t necessarily damage the paint themselves, but usually the way you clean the car off can cause the damage on a new paint job. Using a brush or broom, or even your sleeve on your jack can drag small dirt particles through the paint or clear and put very small scratches in the paint. This is one of the #1 things that causes scratches and swirls in clear coat. If you’re lucky the clear coat can be buffed and the damage removed, but if you went crazy with a scraper or shovel across the paint you could make irreversible damage that needs additional paint work. Keep this in mind when cleaning your vehicle off and always take extra care with new paint.
Automated or Commercials Car Washes
We know you want to keep your fresh new paint job clean and that is important, but be careful where and how you wash your car. We suggest avoiding automated and public car washes where you’re using shared cleaning brushes that could have dirty, grease, or grime embedded in the brushes that will quickly scratch your fresh paint. We suggest getting your own car wash supplies and clean them regularly to be sure you don’t do more damage than good to your new paint job.
Hopefully these tips will help you keep your new paint job looking good for years to come! If you want to invest in quality car care supplies we have you covered. Visit our entire car care supplies selection HERE.