Protect your car exterior with paint, wax and film

There's more to car exteriors than paint colour and avoiding scratches. Protect your car from rust, keep up a barrier against the elements, and protect vulnerable areas. Here's what you need to know:

Protect your car exterior with paint, wax and film

Protect car paint from the sun

  • Paint does more than make your vehicle look great. It's also the first line of defence against rusted body panels.
  • Of course, the best way to protect the paint is to park the car in a garage. If that is not possible, park in the shade or purchase a car cover.
  • The sun's ultraviolet rays break down paint and cause it to fade. Some car covers protect your car from more than sun, moisture, bird droppings, and dust — they also have a thin layer of cushioning that will guard against light impact, such as from a tipped bicycle or small falling tree branch.

Wax to protect your car’s paint job

There's no way around it: Waxing your car is work. But it's satisfying work that will help keep your car looking new.

Car wax preserves paint by slowing oxidation and forming a barrier against bird droppings, sap, and pollution. Plus driving a nice shiny car is a perk itself. Here's what to do to ensure the maximum in protection:

• Liquid and spray waxes are tempting to use — they make the car shiny with less work than rubbing in paste wax. But there's still no beating paste wax for the hardest, longest-lasting finish. Look for paste with a high carnauba wax content.

• Apply a thin, even coat of wax to the car's surfaces with a damp sponge. Avoid applying too much, or it will be difficult to remove and some residue will inevitably mar your finish.

• To avoid fine scratches, use a clean, soft cotton or microfibre cloth to remove wax once it has dried.

• Apply an extra coat of wax to the nose and hood. The wax film in these areas wears away quickly.

Give your car a new skin

  • New self-adhering urethane films have been developed to protect the most vulnerable painted areas on your car from stone chips and other minor abrasions.
  • You can wash and wax these surfaces, just as you would the rest of the paint job.
  • While it's best to have these films professionally installed, you can peel them off yourself.
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