Common things that can damage your car paint & How to keep it shiny at all times

Updated Sep 16, 2021

Read our comprehensive guidelines on most common things that can damage your car paint and 4 simple tips to maintain the like-new looking of your car paint.

In order to keep your car look like new at all times, you should know which factors can do harm to your car paint first.

Most common factors that can ruin the paint of your vehicle

1. Ultra-violet ray and ice fog

UV rays emitted from the sun could damage your car’s shiny look, as severely as the rime (ice fog) does when you drive at night. So unless you keep your car in the garage all the time, the paint will gradually deteriorate due to these nasty elements of nature.

10 Things That Can Damage Paint

2. Mud, bird droppings, dust, pollutants and chemicals

Mud, bird droppings, dust and pollutants in the air could contain chemicals that react with those in the paint and create tiny holes in the “skin” of your car. Though these holes are invisible to naked eyes, their accumulation in a long time is enough to make the car paint wrinkled and broken.

In addition, several types of specialized chemicals could accelerate the paint’s “aging process” by wearing away the protective layer of the paint surface. This not only destroys the car’s shiny look but also leaves the paint vulnerable to all types of damage from the environment. If you do not pay close attention to the cleaning or polishing agent that you or the car maintenance shop uses, it is possible that your car are being treated with the wrong chemicals. If you are living in the Philippines and you plan to change the color of your car, make sure that you check the requirements of LTO and pay the car change color LTO fee. 

How to maintain the glossy, fancy looking car paint

Once you are aware of those factors that could deteriorate your car paint, finding effective way to protect it is not difficult.

1. Use the shade

cars parking under the shade

Make use of the shade to protect car paint

If it is hard to park your car in a garage or in a roofed parking lot, look around for a place with the shade to park so that your car wouldn’t get “sunburnt.” It is best to park in the shade of a building; the shade beneath the trees could be okay, but beware of the birds, since their droppings are also very nasty.

In the case that parking in the shade might be too hard and your car has to be parked outside regularly, it is highly recommended to use car cover sheets. These “blankets” should be anti-ultraviolet for maximum protection.

2. Car wash

You should wash your car at the very least once a month even in normal weather conditions to prevent harmful effects from dust and pollutants in the air. If it’s raining frequently or if you drive through muddy roads, your car needs to be washed more. Never think that a less used car parked in a garage does not need to be washed. Chemicals that accumulate for a long time without being cleaned will slowly wear away the outer coat of paint. Also if your car is clean, it is harder for chemicals to stick to and remain on its exterior, allowing the shiny looking paint to survive longer.

>>> Check out 10 easy steps guide to wash your car at home

3. Avoid using abrasive chemicals when polishing

corroded car paint

Avoid using abrasive chemicals

Many drivers, even the most experienced, make mistakes in choosing chemicals for their vehicles. Although it takes only carefulness to avoid using terrible cleaning agents with corrosive substances, it is more tricky to find out if your polishing agent contains abrasive substances.

In fact, a lot of polishing chemicals have abrasive substances, which can remove strongly adhering mud stains, dead bugs or bird droppings. However, while removing the dirt, the abrasives partially brush off the protective outer layer of paint, leaving the inner paint vulnerable to other chemicals. Therefore, when polishing your car you should carefully read the composition of the chemical in use to make sure it is non-abrasive. Otherwise, do not polish at all.

4. Wax your car

There is yet a better way in bringing back a shiny look to your car than polishing. It is called waxing.

Car paint before and after waxing

Waxing is more advantageous than polishing

Waxing is more advantageous than polishing in that instead of rubbing the deteriorated outside layer to reveal cleaner paint underneath, waxing adds a new shiny layer to the surface that could provide extra protection for the car paint. The only risk is that you might over-wax your car, making it look shiny, yet unnatural. 

>>> Click here to get more useful tips and advice for car owners