Useful Tips for Protecting Your Car’s Finish
We recommend that you follow these simple precautions in the first few months of your new finish’s life.
IN THE FIRST 90 DAYS…
- Do not wax or polish the vehicle – this will allow the finish to dry & harden completely (Do not use silicone containing waxes or polishes).
IN THE FIRST 30 DAYS…
- Do not use a commercial car wash. Stiff brushes or sponges could mar the finish and damage the surface. Wash the vehicle by hand with cool water and a very mild car wash solution. Be sure to use a soft cloth or sponge.
- Wash the vehicle in the shade – never in the sun.
- Do not “dry wipe” the vehicle – always use clean water. Dry wiping could scratch the finish.
- Extreme heat and cold are to be avoided. Keep the vehicle parked in the shade whenever possible.
- Do not drive on gravel roads. Chipping the finish is easily done in the first 30 days.
- Do not park under trees, which drop sap or near factories with heavy smoke fallout. Sap and industrial fallout mar or spot a freshly painted surface. Trees are also likely to attract birds. Bird droppings have a high acid content and will damage a freshly painted surface. They should be washed off as soon as possible.
- Do not spill gasoline, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid or windshield solvent on the new finish. If you do… IMMEDIATELY rinse off with water. DO NOT WIPE.
- Do not scrape ice or snow from the surface. Your snow scraper can act like a paint scraper if the finish is new. Brush off the loose material with a soft snowbrush.
What About the “Rust Monster?”
Cars and rust seem to go together. So much so, that we wanted to make sure you knew the answers to some frequently asked questions.
Why don’t car manufacturers do something about rust?
They do! Metal parts are either painted or covered with a non-corroding metal. The trouble is, these protective coatings start to deteriorate soon after a car leaves the assembly line. Cars are exposed to sunlight, moisture, air pollution, sand, and chemicals – all of which shorten the life of protective coatings.
Then the entire body of my car has already been affected by corrosion… is that right?
Yes! Some areas are worse than others.
How and where does rust start?
Rust starts anywhere. Rust is formed by the union of oxygen in the air with iron or steel by a process called oxidation. Moisture is an important agent in producing the change. Anywhere you have unprotected metal parts, oxygen, and moisture, you can – and probably will – have rust, but rust may not always be evident. Rust can form inside hollow metal parts, below metal surfaces, and inside hidden seams.
If rust can start anywhere, including inside parts, then how can a body repairman detect all the rusted areas?
He can’t! He doesn’t have X-Ray vision, so it’s impossible for him to detect rust that has started in hidden places. A body shop operator cannot be held responsible for a rust condition, which was undetectable at the time of a repair. Because of this, rust may appear at any time, even within days of when a vehicle was refinished.
Then what can I do about rust?
Take care of your car. Dirt holds moisture – a dangerous rust agent. Wash your car thoroughly … including those “hard to reach” spots. If you see rust forming, act fast. Rust may be removed from metal by the use of a polishing powder provided the rust has not been forming for too long. A thick coat of rust will require the use of an emery wheel, a grindstone, or a file for its removal. If you have a severely rusted section, it may be necessary to replace the rusted section with new material.
If I’m having my car repaired and you spot some freshly appearing rust areas, should I have you take care of them?
This is up to you. It is an additional charge. But whatever your decision, do not ask to have rusted areas painted over, as this does not help, and may in fact accelerate the problem.
Wheel Alignment Questions
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I HAVE MY VEHICLE ALIGNED?
Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation noted in your owner’s manual. But as a general rule, have your vehicle’s alignment checked every 10,000 miles or at least once a year.
DOES YOUR CAR PULL TO LEFT OR RIGHT?
Possible causes: could be tire pull, may need a wheel alignment, or the brake caliper could be sticking.
ARE YOUR TIRES WEARING ABNORMALLY?
Possible causes: need wheel alignment and possibly need worn suspension parts replaced.
DOES YOUR CAR VIBRATE?
Possible causes: tires need balancing, bad tire, bent wheel, c.v. joint worn.
DOES YOUR CAR SEEM TO RIDE SOFT & BOUNCY?
Possibly needs shocks and/or struts replaced.
DID YOU HIT SOMETHING? POTHOLE? OR DEBRIS?
Any major jolt can damage a part of the suspension or steering, which may result in misalignment. But usually this happens only if a part is already worn, damaged or fatigued. Generally, it’s the day- to-day wear and tear that causes misalignment. After a bout with a pothole, pay particular attention to the feel of the vehicle. If in doubt, have the alignment checked.
HAVE YOU REPLACED ANY SUSPENSION PARTS?
Have the alignment checked. By all means you should have your alignment checked if you notice any of the following:
- Odd tire wear, front and rear
- Steering wheel pull left or right
- Feeling of looseness or wandering
- Steering vibration of shimmy
- Steering wheel hard to turn