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Protect Your Vehicle Paint and Appearance

With warmer weather and longer days, snow, ice and road salt are all a distant memory. I’m sure many of you have already experienced the long lines at the car wash or have washed your car yourselves. Hopefully, those of you washing your own car are following the advice I offered in last month’s article. Now that your car is finally clean again, you may have noticed some scratches, rock chips or dents in your vehicles finish that you were not aware of. If not taken care of properly, these seemingly minor problems could lead to more severe problems down the road.

Vehicles are now manufactured so that rust is not the problem it used to be. Many body panels are made of fiberglass or plastic and paint is formulated to inhibit rust. Despite these advancements, rust still appears from time to time. One cause is the scratches, rock chips and dents mentioned earlier. Your vehicle’s paint finish forms a barrier that shields the metal from the elements. If the metal is exposed, it will start to rust. In order to prevent this from happening, it is important to cover the paint chip or scratch as quickly as possible. For a temporary fix until you can get some touchup supplies, brush a little clear nail polish on the exposed metal. Touchup paint can be purchased from an auto parts store. In order to buy the correct paint, you will need your vehicle’s paint code number. The location of this code varies depending on the model vehicle you have. The owner’s manual will show where to locate it.

Most small dents can be fixed with paint-less dent repair. Many body shops offer this service. This repair procedure involves using a set of specialized tools to massage the dent out of the metal. This method is cheaper than sanding down to the metal, filling the dent and repainting. The result is a quality repair that leaves the original paint finish intact.

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