Wednesday, 06 September 2017 12:51

A Guide to Maintaining and Protecting Your Vehicle’s Paintwork

As soon as you purchase your new vehicle, your paintwork will be prone to damage from the environment, grime, or any scratches and daily wear. Protecting your vehicle’s paintwork from the everyday elements is best started from day one, as leaving this till it’s worn and faded can make it more difficult and costly to restore. Getting the right protection and properly maintaining your vehicle’s paintwork will keep it in the best condition, and provide a more valuable return if you decide to sell it.

Washing

Washing away any dirt or grime that could tarnish paintwork is the first step when maintaining your vehicle. However there are many mistakes to be made which could further damage paintwork: washing the car in direct sunlight can burn spots in the paint, the wrong type of cleaning soap such as dishwasher detergent, can remove the protective layer and leave a chalky finish. There is also some debate about automatic car washes, as older car washes using abrasive brushes can wear down the paintwork. Using the right cleaning equipment, and using soft cloth towels to wipe down your vehicle will ensure you maintain the paintwork whilst keeping your vehicle clean.

Polishing

The painted surface of a vehicle isn’t fully smooth and has some texture to it. Following up washing with a polish is one option to remove oxidised paint worn by UV rays, and weathering. Polishes can be slightly abrasive and can help to remove minor scratches, produce a shinier and smooth any imperfections. Polishing on its own will gradually remove the surface paintwork of your vehicle and strip away the protective layer and solvents in the paint. The newly exposed paintwork will oxidise more quickly, and be more likely to incur wear. It is recommended that polishing is combined with waxing, which will build up layers over the paintwork to be polished and smoothed.

Waxing

Like polishing, car wax fills in minor scratches and provides a smooth, shiny finish. Waxing is better at maintaining the paintwork of a vehicle than polishing alone, and is a well-established way to coat a vehicle in a durable protective layer. The hardened layer over the paintwork formed through waxing is built up over time, though because of this, minor defects can build up in the individual layers or dirt can be trapped, causing a dulling of the finish. Waxing and polishing may have to be carried out regularly to keep a vehicle’s paint job in top condition, and there are newer technologies available to protect paintwork, which may be more suitable.

Vehicle Wrapping

Not only can wraps offer a perfect solution to personalising your vehicle and adding a great shine, a wrap will also protect your paintwork from wear and light scratches, tarmac and environmental conditions. There are varying grades of paint protection available in vehicle wrapping films to protect areas susceptible to chips, scuffs or minor abrasions. 

Vehicle wrapping is applied in a clear or coloured, durable vinyl layer, and can provide cover for specific vehicle parts or the full body. A wrap offers a highly attractive and aesthetic protective barrier to general wear, without hindering a vehicle’s performance. Investing in a wrap to protect your vehicle straight away, or rejuvenating your existing paintwork with a new protective wrapping, will make maintenance easier, and help prolong its condition and value.