How to protect new car paintwork

protect new car paintwork

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How do you protect new car paintwork? Our guide outlines what you should do, and what you should avoid doing.

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Regardless of whether part of your car has been repainted or you recently bought a new car: freshly applied paint is sensitive and should be protected as well as possible from environmental influences. That is why we have put together some tips for you on how to protect new car paintwork so that it stays fresh for a long time.

Best ways to protect new car paintwork

There are several ways to keep the paint in optimal condition:

1) Park in a safe place

Of course, that’s easy to say – but in practice it is difficult to protect your car from vandalism. Nevertheless, you should avoid particularly narrow parking spaces, if possible, to prevent damage to your car. Of course, the best thing is to have your own garage to park your car safely.

2) Park under cover

If you do not have your own garage, a canopy or a carport may help. This not only protects your car from the sun, but also from acid rain. Both could contribute to the fading of the paint in the long term, so avoiding them is crucial to protect new car paintwork.

3) Try not to park under trees

Especially in summer it is nice to park under trees so that the sun heats up the car less. However, there are usually birds in trees and bird droppings attack the paint very strongly. The varnish is also contaminated by tree resin, which is difficult to remove.

4) Wash your car regularly

One could assume that frequent washing also attacks the paint. However, this is not entirely correct. If the dirt stays on your car longer, it is much more damaging to the paint. It is therefore advisable to wash your car regularly. Of course, a hand wash or a car wash with textile brushes is recommended, since it is much gentler on the paintwork of your car.

5) Use special paint care products

A wax layer over the clear coat protects the paint from many environmental influences. The protective film repels water more easily, which also prevents dirt and mud from sticking to the car. Many of these paint care products also have UV protection, which also protects the paint from fading. 

However, the protective layer made of wax only lasts for a certain duration and must therefore be replaced at regular intervals. The protective wax can be applied, for example, in a car wash. However, there are also products for home use and numerous workshops that specialize in professional lacquer sealing.

How to protect new car paintwork: Polish your car

If you want the paint on your car to look like new for a long time, you should wash, polish and treat it with protective wax at regular intervals. The paint on your car is permanently exposed to environmental influences. If you wash your car only rarely, the paint will be damaged and can become dull in the long term. It also increases the risk of corrosion.

The layers of paint

Most paintwork consists of 3 layers of paint: primer, colored paint and clear coat.

The clear coat is usually twice as thick as the color coat. The clear coat gives the paint shine and protects it from environmental influences.

Washing and polishing

By washing and polishing the paint, you can remove dirt that could lead to corrosion in the long term. Even minor scratches on the paint surface can often be removed by thorough polishing.

Protective wax

Applying wax gives the paint an invisible protective layer. Dirt particles land on the wax layer first and therefore do not directly attack the paint. To ensure that the wax is applied evenly and does not trap dirt, you should polish your car before applying.

How to polish your car

There are also polishing machines, but polishing by hand is more common.

  • Wash your car with a sponge and a suitable cleaner.
  • Dry the car with a leather towel or wait for it to dry itself. Make sure that there are no cleaners or other substances on the paint.
  • Apply the polish evenly to all painted parts. Observe the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
  • Polish the paint in a circular motion with a dry cloth until the polish is no longer visible and the paint shines evenly.

After you have successfully polished the paint on your car, you can now apply wax to seal the paint again.

How does a waterless car wash work?

Waterless car washes are a new and environmentally friendly alternative to hand washing and car washes. If you want to clean your car, there are different options: hand washing, a fully automatic car wash or a waterless car wash.

Comparing these 3 variants, waterless washing is the most environmentally friendly. It not only saves water, but also energy and chemicals.

As a result of water shortages and high water prices, waterless washing is expected to become increasingly popular in the next few years.

The cleaning is done by applying a special cleaning spray. There are already many different providers for such cleaners. Most are ready to use, others come as a concentrate.

The cleaners loosen dirt from the outer skin of your car and leave behind a protective polishing film. Most cleaners can be used on all surfaces, not only on the paint, but also on windows, rubber seals and plastic strips.

The spray is simply applied and wiped off after a certain time with a microfiber cloth. Wiping again with a dry cloth will make the paint shine.

Waterless cleaning is only recommended for lightly soiled vehicles.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, the waterless car wash also has the advantage that it can be cleaned anywhere, since no water connection is required.

Always observe the manufacturer’s instructions for use before using the cleaner.

gerhardt-richter Gerhardt Richter is a writer and a trainer at trade technical colleges, specializing in carpentry, plumbing, mechanics and construction.