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Paint protection

How to safeguard, improve your car's finish

A shiny, highly reflective finish is what most people think of when they imagine a nice car.

New cars come with paint that can retain its sheen for many years if properly cared for, which is one way to improve both the appearance and value of your car. People will simply pay more money for a car that has a great looking paint job.

Thankfully, keeping your car’s paint looking good is a relatively simple job.


The most important step in protecting your car’s paint is to clean it frequently.

Dirt, road grime and bugs can be very abrasive if left to sit on the paint surface. Your car is always vibrating and moving when you drive, which makes the particles dig in and dull the paint finish rather quickly if left in place.

Washing your car on a regular basis will keep it protected and looking good at the same time.


Some car owners are tempted to save money by using the harsh dish soaps that they already have sitting in the kitchen cupboard, but this can be a huge mistake. Dish soaps are formulated to cut through heavy food grease, and this harsh action can also cut through the clear surface of your car.

To protect your paint, always use soaps designed specifically for car finishes. Carefully read and follow all the directions of products you buy, and be gentle with the finish of your car. Hard scrubbing can wear it down prematurely, so gentle but frequent washes are a much better choice.


While very new cars will generally not need to be waxed — and some waxing processes could actually damage the clear-coat surface if you’re not careful — most cars will benefit from regular waxing as they age.

A high-quality carnuba wax is a great choice to keep your paint shiny and protected. It can be a labor-intensive process to apply, but it will also leave an invisible protective coat that should last eight to 12 weeks and make your finish shine like new.

For a longer lasting finish, paint sealants are another option. These chemical coatings have the same protective and shining capabilities as natural waxes, but they’re designed to be more durable so they do not need to be applied as often.