4 Tips To Keep Your Car’s Paint Looking Its Best After Body Repairs

After a collision, you may be worried that your car will never look quite the same again, even after you have it repaired. When you go to the auto body repair shop to pick up your vehicle, it is a huge relief to see that your car looks as good as new. Keep your car's new paint looking fresh by following these tips.

1. Avoid Taking Your Car Through the Car Wash

It may be tempting to run your vehicle through the car wash to remove any traces of dust from your body repairs. However, this is one of the worst things you can do if you want to keep the paint looking its best. Commercial car washes may scrape your car's fresh paint. Consult with your body shop regarding how long you should avoid commercial car washes. Recommendations vary, but you should typically avoid commercial car washes anywhere from two weeks to a month.

This time is necessary for your car's new paint to completely harden. If you must give your car a bath in the meantime, wash it by hand using mild car wash soap and a soft sponge.

2. Postpone Any Maintenance or Non-Essential Repairs

You should postpone any maintenance or non-essential repairs for about a month after your car's body repairs. Since the new paint is so sensitive, it doesn't take much to damage your car's finish. If your mechanic accidentally spills or drips chemicals onto your new paint, this can damage it. Problematic substances include oil, windshield wiper fluid, and antifreeze.

The tools necessary to complete the repairs are another danger to your car's new paint. A slight bump or misstep can cause a mark or scuff on your car's fresh paint job.

3. Stick With Smooth, Finished Roads

If possible, alter your route so that you do not have to drive on unpaved roads or roads that are currently undergoing construction. Unpaved gravel roads are notorious for damaging cars, and your vehicle's recent paint job makes it especially vulnerable. The same logic applies to construction zones. Debris can kick up and hit your car's paint, causing dings and marks.

4. Consider Using a Car Cover or Garage

Exposing your car to the elements can cause your vehicle's paint to fade over time. Consider covering your vehicle with a quality car cover when it is parked, or park it in a garage. Not only will this protect your car's paint from UV rays, but it will also keep it safe from passing storms. Snow, ice, and hail can all damage your new paint. Even a brisk wind can cause debris to hit and damage your vehicle.