5 Ways to Ruin Your Car’s Paint Without Realizing It
Surprisingly, quite a few elements can ruin your car’s finish almost as much as Carrie Underwood digging a key into the side of a pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive. Here are five things to keep a look out for so you can keep your car’s paint looking good and maintain your car’s value.
Water from Your Sprinklers
The water itself isn’t going to damage the paint. The problem is the minerals and pollutants in the water become very concentrated as the water evaporates, leaving spots on your car that can be difficult to remove. The best cure is to avoid parking need sprinklers. If you do have sprinkler spots, try to wash and wax your vehicle as soon as possible.
If you wipe sap off when it is still gooey, you may end up making a bigger smear. A better option is to apply some bug and tar remover to remove the sap. If the sap has already dried, apply mineral spirits to dissolve it. Once it is dissolved, you can often remove the remaining residue with a clay bar treatment and then finish by waxing your car.
Today’s gas pumps are designed to prevent gas overflows, but you can still drip gas on your vehicle while you are filling up. If you don’t clean the gas spots right away, the gas can eat through your paint’s surface and cause a stain. Fortunately, gas usually evaporates before any real damage is done. If your vehicle’s paint does get a stain, try removing the stain with a good wash and wax. As a preventive measure, shake the nozzle a couple times to get those last few drips out before removing the nozzle all the way.
If you’ve ever washed your car in the driveway, chances are you may have accidentally dropped your sponge on the pavement. Giving your sponge a quick rinse with the hose won’t always remove the little bits of grit and sand the sponge may have picked up. If you don’t thoroughly rinse your sponge and remove the dirt, you run the risk of giving your vehicle swirl marks and small scratches. It is helpful to always have a spare sponge or make sure you thoroughly rinse a dirty sponge.
Bird poop doesn’t just look bad; it is also acidic. To protect your paint, you should wash off the droppings as soon as possible. One simple trick is to use club soda. Let the club soda soak in for a few minutes and then wipe it away with a damp cloth. Try to avoid parking under trees to reduce your car’s chances of getting hit.