How to Maintain Your Car's Exterior

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If you take pride in your car, the way it looks on the outside may be one of the most important things to you. And if you want your paint and bodywork to remain pristine, there are many things you’ll want to do to maintain it and keep it in the best condition possible. Yes, the elements can take a toll; however, taking time to make sure it is well-maintained will ensure your car always looks great! Here are a few routine tasks to tackle every month or so to make sure your car is always shiny and beautiful.

Washing

Washing your car on a regular basis (at least monthly if not more often) will remove any dirt and other debris from the surface that could cause buildup, stains, rust, and corrosion if left for too long. Don't forget to get the underside of your car too – especially in climates where roads are salted in the Winter. Salt wreaks havoc on your car and leads to corrosion of not only body parts but also expensive items like suspension components, engine parts, exhaust systems, wheels, etc. Oh, speaking of wheels, make sure you scrub them too. With road grime and brake dust (both of which can also cause corrosion), you’ll want to make sure you get all the dirt off to prevent damage to the finish.

Waxing

We recommend you wax your car every 3 to 4 months. This extra layer of protection will help protect your car from corrosion by blocking water that might seep into any chips and scratches on your car. Make sure the wax you purchase is non-abrasive and apply it using a soft sponge or cloth. Wax should only be applied to the painted parts of your car, so avoid using it on plastic or rubber parts or you may end up permanently staining them.

Rinse-off Bird Droppings

In addition to washing as mentioned above, make sure you rinse off any bird droppings as soon as possible. While the waxing you do is a good defense, bird droppings are acidic and can permanently stain and/or etch the finish.

Scratches & Chips

Applying touch-up paint to cover small chips and deep scratches on your car will help prevent corrosion. You can get touch-up paint to match the exact color of your car directly from the manufacturer or dealer. Your local body shop or dealer will be able to identify your exact color code to match. You may be able to locate the paint code yourself (it is usually on a label or badge inside the door jamb). For most applications, paint can be applied using a toothpick. Just dip it into the paint and slowly brush the toothpick along the scratch or chip. For more minor, shallow scratches, you should be using polish (see below).

Polishing

Car polishing is not the same as waxing. Polishing is the process of using a mild abrasive (the polish) to remove oxidation, swirl-marks, small scratches, and minor imperfections in the paint. Polishing will help hide smaller scratches or less serious damage on the surface of your car's bodywork. A high-quality commercial polish from an auto parts store will work but make sure you follow the instructions carefully. Once you’ve polished out the problem areas, the next step is to wash your car again and then apply a high-quality wax.

M3 Collision Group has the best-rated auto collision repair centers in Monmouth County, New Jersey. We’re experts on car finishes, bodywork, and collision related repairs. Get in touch with us to see how we can help keep your car looking great.

M3 Collision