Avoid these 7 things that could ruin your car's paint

They're not as harmless as you think
by Drei Laurel | Apr 20, 2016

Car paint

For many car lovers, the appearance of their ride is everything. And by extension, the condition of our car's paint job means a lot to us. But how to care for it? How to maintain the glossy surface of our vehicle's exterior?

We often think that only the deliberate act of vandalism can ruin our car's paint finish, like this incident. But a ton of seemingly harmless elements you encounter during your daily drive can, over time, have harmful effects on your vehicle's paint. What exactly are we supposed to watch out for on the road?

Well, according to Ford Asia Pacific chief manufacturing engineer of paint Richard Burt, these are the things that can damage your car's paint job, so it's best to avoid these:

1. Splattered bugs. Bugs, no matter how small, are surprisingly acidic. You can't leave splattered bugs on you vehicle unattended for too long because they become more difficult to remove as time passes. All it takes to get rid of the mess is a little tar remover and a soft wash cloth.

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2. Spilled fuel. Always check the area surrounding your fuel cap after filling up at a gas station. Fuel sometimes dribbles down from the fuel cap, seeps into the top coat and leaves an unpleasant brown blemish. If you see spilled fuel, immediately wipe it off with a fine microfiber cloth and instant detailer.

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3. Bird droppings. Just like bugs, bird droppings can be harmful to your car paint because avian diet includes acidic seeds and berries. If left unattended, they can take away the gloss of the affected spot. Simply spray affected areas with a wash solution, and wipe off the droppings with a microfiber cloth to prevent lasting damage.

4. Stone chips. Driving on gravel or rough patches of road can often result in damage to the paint on the sides of the car. Treat these as soon as possible to prevent rusting, as stone can sometimes chip through layers of paint. This will expose your car to weathering that it's not designed to endure.

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5. Fingerprints. While making doodles on the dusty hood of a car might seem harmless, it could actually damage the paint. When doing so, your fingers act like sandpaper by pressing the dirt into and dragging it along the paint of the vehicle. How do you prevent this? Just refrain from getting creative with dirty cars in the first place.

6. Ash. Just came from a dirty off-road adventure in Pampanga? Don't be too quick to wash that dust off with water. This could create powerful alkalis that might ruin your car's finish. The solution is to remove the ash with a car duster before washing. Also, always keep your vehicle covered when parked.

7. Dirty washing accessories. All your efforts to keep your car safe from the elements will mean nothing if you continue using dirty or worn-out cloths and accessories to clean your vehicle. This could result in swirls and even permanent scratches or damage to your paint. Always check your equipment before working on your car's polished surface.

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