Your car’s paint is supposed to last as long as the vehicle itself, but don’t be surprised if you start to notice scratches and fading after a few years. Car manufacturers have a vested interest in making as much paint possible at the lowest possible cost, and the paint job is often not protected by the vehicle warranty (as happened in this notorious case with Nissan). Below are some of the biggest contributors to car paint degradation and some of the steps you should take to avoid them.
Car keying may seem obvious, but it accounts for over half of all reported damage to a vehicle. Even if you aren’t in a high-crime area, holding your keys in your hand while you open the car door can cause little dings and scratches to appear over time. Be careful to keep your keys away from the body of your car to avoid needing to go over it with vehicle touch up paint.
Hail and Wind
Flying debris can cause small scratches and imperfections in the paint. You should keep touch up paint on hand to touch these up as soon as they appear, as chips in the surface of the paint can result in paint degradation across the body of the vehicle later. Be sure to find brand-specific paint (such as Dodge or Audi touch up paint) to get the best match. Chevy touch up paint cannot necessarily be substituted for Audi touch up paint and vice versa, so you should consult with a car paint expert to make sure you get the best match.
If you live in a four-season climate and have noticed problems with your paint, the problem could be constant temperature fluctuations. Heat causes paint to expand and cold causes it to contract. Over time, these changes in temperature can cause the paint to crack and degrade. Try storing your temperature at mid-range temperature where it isn’t exposed to the elements.
You may have heard of the sun’s harmful rays causing paint to fade, but if you live in a densely populated urban area, pollutantsin the air may be causing your paint to fade as well. Keeping your vehicle covered or in a garage as often as possible will prevent some of the debris in the air from settling on your car.
Ultimately, there is no foolproof way to avoid damage to your car’s body. You should always keep a paint touch up kit matching the model and color of your car to cover any scratches as soon as they happen. For example, if you drive a red Audi, make sure you get Audi touch up paint that will match the body of the car. Having a car touch up paint kit ready and keeping your vehicle in a garage or covered with a sheet will keep your paint looking good for years to come.