Beware: Your Car Paint’s Worst Enemies

Everyday Stuff That Can Ruin Your Car

If you’re the type of car owner who take little notice of markings, spots and other small tell-tale signs of everyday encounters on the road, parking spaces, under trees, etc, that affect your car and its paint, then you’re more likely to set them aside for another distant car wash day. So what would your car and car paint really watch out for to prevent future issues? Some of them can erode the top coat, cause erosion and future rusting, some can streak the paint, fiberglass, or the glass windows and become difficult to remove. You can never tell, because they’re everyday items.

Did you know that leaves and berries on the car, if left alone and with a sprinkle of rain, can leave acidity and erode into the paint? Tree sap is more problematic. It spreads and sticks like glue and erode quickly. What’s more is that it’s hard to remove. If it has dried up, use a good tar remover or mineral spirits and wash thoroughly. Have your car treated and waxed professionally will help reduce damage.

Hose-pipe and/ or sprinkler water can cause damage, too. If you live in areas where your tap water is high in mineral concentration the minerals can leave spots on the car as it dries and bond to the paint surface. They are difficult to remove. Washing your car and letting it “air dry” in the sun can also leave spots that afterwards become harder and harder to remove. As a rule, always dry your car after a wash or a sprinkler.

Do you regularly wash and clean your sponges, cloths and brushes used for washing your car? Do you keep them stored in a clean, dry place and not exposed to dust, dirt and grime? Or do you put them among your dirty tools? Every time you use your car cleaning stuff, you can transfer the dirt, sand, or grease onto your car when you clean it. Like sandpaper they can scratch and leave swirls behind. Always wash your sponges, cloths and brushes before using them, and replace them if they become old or worn.

If you didn’t know, bird droppings are acidic. They can also contain undigested seeds and gravel. They can gradually erode and scratch the paintwork on your vehicle. Wash the droppings off as soon as possible, or better, make use of a power-washer in order not to grind the abrasive bits in further by hand. If you have to, protect your car with its car cover or park in covered spaces, far from trees or other structures where birds congregate.

Lastly, residual fuel from overflow or nozzle-drips can leave oily residue below your fuel tank cover. If not cleaned off, it can stain the paint finish after some time. It also attracts and collects dust and grime as you drive. Clean it off as soon as possible, or wipe below the flap, when topping up your tank.

Caring for Your Car Paint in Seattle

These are some friendly tips from Greenwood Collision, your auto body shop in Seattle. A car’s paint job is no small investment; it’s got your personality and lifestyle, things that you care about. And we do, too.