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DIY - 7 things that damage your cars’ paint

Snapshot: Here's a list of seven common things that can damage your car paint and the respective remedies to reduce the damage!

Vehicle paint is the least of anyone's concern and is probably the last checkbox on the maintenance list. Reason being, it's really one in a million chance that your car's paint will get damaged. Manufacturers go the length and breadth to ensure your car body is protected from the environment and shine throughout its lifetime. Ford Motor Company, one of the largest and oldest car manufacturer surely follows the same pattern and ensure your car looks like new all-the-time.

Yet, Ford has come up with a pre-emptive list to tell us what all external factors can spoil your car's paint. What's more, Ford has also listed certain remedies to ensure those factors don't damage the car paint extensively.  A big thanks to Richard Burt, chief engineer, Vehicle Operations Manufacturing Engineering, Paint, Ford Asia Pacific for sharing the causes and remedies.

Here's a list of seven common things that can damage your car paint and the respective remedies to reduce the damage!

1. Splattered bugs

It may sound exaggerated, but the bugs sticking on your car bonnet right now can actually damage the paint on your car. Insects or bugs are acidic, and if left unattended for long, they might actually actually etch into the paint. And if you try to remove them later, it can cause damage to the paint.

Tip: It's generally during long highway trips that your car tends to attract dead bugs on the front side. Try to get your car clean after the long trip. Also, if you see a bug on your car's bonnet, use a bug remover and a soft cloth with some elbow grease to remove it.

2. Spilled fuel

Ever seen brown fuel-colored blemish marks around the fuel cap of your car? Well, yes, the same mark means you filled your car's tank to the brim and now it's trying to seep out. The left over fuel over the body can cause much damage to the car paint as it can erode the uppermost layer of the paint, leaving a stain on the car and can be a real trouble to clean.

Tip: Try not to fill the car till the brim and if, by any chance, fuel tends to spill, clean it as soon as possible with a microfiber cloth.

3. Bird droppings

While it might sound funny and usual to you, bird droppings on your car can cause a serious damage to the paint. Not only do they look ugly, they are acidic and coarse and can cause the paint to chip-off, a small scratch or even take the shine away.

Tip: Firstly, don't leave the bird droppings on your car unattended for long. Use water or wash solution with microfiber to smoothly clear away the droppings. Do not try to drag away the material as it can leave a scratch on the paint, but use the lift motion to clear it.

4. Stone chips

The most prominent and probably the easiest way to damage your car's paint is loose stones, pebbles and stone chips that are found everywhere on the road, especially in India. These tiny pieces can chip not only the upper layer, but also goes all the way to the lower layers and expose the body for rust.

Tip: If your car is stone chipped, visit your nearest dealership to get a thorough treatment before the environment can cause damage to the body. Ford, on the the hand, has a 3-wet paint technology that uses high-solid paint chemistry, to get a denser and stronger bond between elements in the paint, resulting in a harder, stronger and more scratch-, chip- and etch-resistant surface.

5. Fingerprints

Even after keeping your car with utmost care and ensuring it is clean all the time, you might have seen minute scratches throughout the body. That's because even your fingerprints can cause damage to the paint. Yes, even a slightest movement of your fingers on the body can act like like a sandpaper, rubbing all the dust against the surface, leaving marks all around.

Tip: No matter how hard you try, it is bound to happen. Accidental sanding is a usual chorus with car and the best you can do is keep a polish handy with you to remove minor scratches time to time. Word of caution, wash your car before polishing.

6. Ash

Not so common phenomenon, foggy air can actually be harmful for your car. This sort of air consists of ash and soot that can stick to your car if left exposed outside. While your natural inclination will be to clean it with water, doing so will create powerful alkalis that can ruin your car’s finish.

Tip: Instead of wet clean, use a duster or cloth to take the ash off the body. Also, keep your car covered all the time to avoid any contact of air with car body.

7. Dirty washing accessories 

Believe it or not, the biggest enemy of your car paint is the very cloth you are cleaning it with. Surprised? Well, if you are using the same cloth over and over again without washing it, the cloth is no better than a sandpaper. With all the dust, sand and grit, the cloth will leave scratches all over the car body.

Tip: Try to give your car a touchless wash at an automatic washing centre. Also, don't keep dirty cloth in the car, instead once used, either discard the cloth or send it for washing.

We hope now you know how to keep your car paint intact and fresh!

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