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December 18, 2023 4 min read

Why Doing Preventative Car Paint Maintenance is So Important

Performing regular preventative car paint maintenance is not something that most people think about. Still, it is an essential part of keeping your vehicle’s paint looking its best and ultimately saving you time and money during ownership.

While it’s not entirely possible to prevent scratches, paint chips, or unsightly damage to your paint caused by the negligence of others, you can perform preventative car paint maintenance to help your car paint last for many years to come. There are several steps to take in performing preventative car paint maintenance, which will enhance paint waxes, sealers, or even your next ceramic coating. 

The harsh reality of your car’s paint is that it is only as good as what lies on the surface, which can often be enhanced through processes like paint correction, applying a technologically advanced sealer, or ceramic coating. While those processes will enhance a car’s paint, preventative car paint maintenance will make those processes so much easier, quicker, and ultimately save you money because you may not have to perform expensive paint correction, wet sanding, or even pay to have your vehicle repainted.

What Happens If you Don’t Perform Regular Preventative Car Paint Maintenance?

To quickly answer the question of what happens if you never perform regular preventative car paint maintenance, you’ll end up with a dull-looking vehicle that will eventually require expensive paint correction or paint repairs if you want it to look good. Moreover, “looking good” basically means that your car’s paint looks close to what it looked like when it was new. Unfortunately, most people allow their vehicle’s paint to build up harmful elements over time that break down the clear coat and eventually leave it looking dull, faded, or simply unsightly. Also, it doesn’t take much time for that process to occur. Additionally, a vehicle may start to rust if the clear coat and paint have been damaged to a certain point allowing oxidation to occur and further breaking down the surface and the metal underneath.

What happens to car paint that is only washed but never had preventative car paint maintenance performed?

There are many things that take place if you only wash your vehicle and never perform preventative car paint maintenance. In these cases, there is a natural build-up of elements that aren’t removed with a simple car wash. Over time, these elements, such as acid rain, sap, tar, bird droppings, road salt, dried bugs, and other items, break down your clear coat as they are hardly ever fully cleaned with a simple car wash. 

What is Preventative Car Paint Maintenance, and How Do I Do It?

Staying ahead of car paint issues is essential because once it is damaged, it will need to be repaired through certain correction processes or repainted. It is inevitable that elements will build up on the surface of your paint. By applying a paint sealant, or at least wax, you will help prevent those unwanted elements from building up over time.

The Top 5 most common ways of performing preventative car paint maintenance: 

  1. Wash your car thoroughly – It may sound redundant or silly to some, but simply performing a regular car wash is the very first and essential step to performing preventative car paint maintenance. While simply washing a car alone will not remove all contaminants, it does, however, remove loose dirt, grime, dust, and other debris collected on your car’s paint. Those loose elements can sometimes break down or bake in under hot UV-intense sunlight and cause damage. Not to mention, loose debris on your paint can cause micro-abrasions and scratches.
  2. Clay bar your car – By performing a clay bar process, you will deep clean and rid the surface of contaminants that may cause the clear coat the break down over time or allow scratching and abrasions when wiping down your vehicle. The clay bar process is one of the first essential steps to performing preventative car paint maintenance after a car wash process.
  3. Apply a safe and trusted paint sealant – Applying a paint sealer is the most popular and one of the most effective ways of performing preventative car paint maintenance. Picking the right paint sealer is also essential because paint sealers are not all created equal. Some paint sealers may be abrasive, contain harsh chemicals that are abrasive, or have unwanted VOCs (volatile organic compounds), ultimately causing more harm than good. You will want to find an environmentally safe, water-based paint sealant that is hydrophobic and includes many advanced technologies that help resist UV rays and last a long time (several months instead of weeks). TopCoat® F11® or TopCoat® F11PRO® are highly recommended paint sealers that are safe, water-based, hydrophobic, use many advanced protective technologies, and last for several months.
  4. Promptly remove visible elements – If your car ever has visible bird poo, road grime, sap, tar, or other elements that you notice, it is best to clean them off immediately. Removing small droppings of elements is an essential part of performing preventative car paint maintenance. Many of these elements may eventually etch your paint or break quickly break down your clear coat causing damage that may require repainting. Usually, a quick quality detail spritz/spray, or TopCoat® Spritz®, is effective at removal of these unwanted and potentially damaging elements.
  5. Ceramic coat your vehicle – Ceramic coating your vehicle, while rather costly to have done by professionals, is one of the best methods for performing preventative car paint maintenance. Ceramic coatings come in various types and tend to last for years if applied correctly, and you start with a properly prepared surface. TopCoat® offers TopCoat® Crystaleen®, an advanced long-lasting and durable ceramic coating.

Pro tip: An alternative method to performing preventative car paint maintenance is to have your vehicle wrapped with paint protection film (PPF) or vinyl. Doing such will ultimately leave your paint protected for years if done correctly and the surface is properly prepped. PPF is often very costly but can be a huge benefit in performing preventative car paint maintenance over a long period of time.



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