Mike’s tips for protecting your car’s paint job

Bug splats left alone, can damage your paint. (Courtesy photo) 


There are a lot of things you can do wrong working on your car. Sometimes, people make mistakes when they wash their car.

Some of us are obsessed with a clean car; others don’t really care. But everyone starts caring when their paint starts to look chalky or insect splats damage the paint on the car. The chalky stuff is the urethane clearcoat failing. And the acids from insect splats start attacking your clearcoat from the minute they hit.

Clearcoat is clear paint that is sprayed on last, and its job is to protect the finish. But, the clearcoat needs a little protecting too.  

Washing and waxing your car goes a long way toward protecting your finish from environmental damage such as industrial fallout, bugs, salt, or even the sun’s UV rays.

Always start by washing your car using the proper tools. I like to use a cotton washing mitt, or microfiber cloth, a bucket, and soap that is designed for automotive use. You can buy this in a kit at the parts store or discount mart.

NEVER use dish soap to wash your car. Dish soap will remove any wax you have and could hurt the clearcoat you are trying to protect. (great on dishes though) After washing the car (use a lot of water if it’s muddy) Drying it off with a chamois or microfiber towel will  keep mineral deposits from hurting the finish too.

Now you are ready to find a shady spot to put on a good coat of wax. I like good paste wax. This is your personal preference, but after all of this work, do you want to use a cheap wax? Probably not.  

Washing a car is not rocket science, but most of us have done it wrong a few times.

Myself included!    Thanks, MH