The elements of spring represent more than warm temperatures and green grass and they threaten your vehicle’s paint job. There are damaging forces targeting your cars and trucks in Madison WI. Protecting a car’s finish protects its value and keeps it in prime condition.
What elements of nature are so damaging? The term “acid rain” was popular for years and everyone knows about hail, road salt and debris. The elements of spring are equally serious but less obvious. Most of them seem harmless.
The most common elements to deal with are:
- Tree and shrub pollen
- Bird droppings
- Tree sap
- Sunshine and UV exposure
What They Do To A Paint Job
People with airborne allergies know all too well the air is filled with pollen. Microscopic examination of pollen grains shows each tiny piece is rough. These abrasive particles actually scratch your car’s paint. They’re so small they infiltrate small pores in the paint and release acid. Coat the car with enough and it will stain which makes fading and oxidation more likely. Before you park underneath trees or near large bushes, consider:
- Potential damage – even pollen grain can damage paint. This time of year parking near pine trees can leave your vehicle covered in a fine, yellow powder – pollen grains. Each acidic grain threatens you paint. It’s like covering you hood with ultra-fine grains of sand.
- Preventive measures – the best way to prevent damage is keep the paint clean. Wiping down the surface is like applying fine sandpaper. Cleaning must include warm, soapy water. Avoid water only, it will activate the acid in pollen grains. Soap modifies the acid.
- Use a protective layer – a professionally-applied commercial car wax is the front line protector of vehicle paint. It helps to keep pollen from “getting a grip” on the surface. It also fills in the pores in paint to keep pollen from finding a way in.
There’s another “airborne” threat that’s easier to spot – birds. Springtime means more and more birds are returning to Madison. Birds love the smorgasbord of springtime berries and seeds. Unfortunately for car owners, these seasonal bird treats are deposited on their cars. Bird droppings are more than simple ugly stains. Their threat includes:
- Uric acid that eats its way into a vehicle’s clear coat finish.
- Stains – colored berries pass their purples, blues and reds onto your car.
- Sunshine bakes on the poop – forming a corrosive mixture.
Your Paint Job Is Fragile
Where you park your makes a difference. When the sun gets warmer it’s natural to look for a shaded parking spot. Unfortunately, parking beneath trees is another way springtime elements attack your car’s paint. Unless caught in a storm, the trees aren’t a danger. But, take into account:
- Early in the season trees are growing and many drip sticky sap. Sap is baked onto the surface by the sun and crystalizes into the painted surface. A rough patch is the result.
- Sap is a chemical – it isn’t easily removed by simple washing.
- Sap isn’t acidic but because it forms a bond to the surface it is hard to remove – roughly scrubbing is a prime way to scratch the paint.
- Permanent stains result from too much sap left on too long.
Custom mixed bug and tar removers are the first choice for removing sap. If it’s baked on, get advice and treatment from a vehicle finish professional.
It is obvious there are a lot of elements flying through the air. Some ride the wind while others launch themselves. Bugs are out in force with spring’s warmth. And they splatter all over your car. Why is this a threat to your vehicle paint?
- Bugs are full of acids that erode vehicle paint.
- Splatters get baked on in the sun making removal much more difficult.
- Even swarms of little bugs contain fluids that linger on your vehicle.
- Unseen deposits slowly corrode the surface.
- Bug splatters are more than a nuisance they’re serious problems waiting to erupt.
Protect Your Paint From UFOs
After a winter of plowing and salting, a lot of debris and dirt remains on the road. All of them are potential flying objects assailing your vehicle. Among the most common are:
- Pavement debris – plows chip pavement and short-term patches include small particles that fly away regularly. Each of these bits of loose pavement are jagged missiles launched toward you car or truck. Paint chips on front fenders, bumpers and hood are common concerns. Without proper attention, paint can flake and chip leading to serious body corrosion. Professional paint touch up is the immediate solution – professionals are equipped to match your paint and prepare the surface properly.
- Generic dirt – there’s sand, soil, gravel and all kinds of substances making up what we just call dirt. And, it’s all over the roads. Frequent car washes help protect against it, but in spring it’s hard to keep up. And if you’re into “off roading” and think a dirty truck is cool, you’re mistaken. You might light the look but it is like applying sandpaper to your painted surfaces. The dried dirt on the surface is gritty and when you wipe it off – with a rag, brush or fingers – it begins the degradation process.
Almost all of these elements have a common link – the sun. Springtime sunshine is welcomed in Wisconsin, but its effects are not all good. We all know about protecting our skin, but how about protecting your car’s skin? UV radiation causes paint to fade and discolor. Dirt makes the impact even worse. Parking in the shade is a solution – except for the elements deposited from trees.
Protecting your vehicle’s paint is not easy.
Car Care Pros Protect Your Paint job
Here are some reminders of everyday steps you can take to protect you vehicle from the elements:
- Regularly wash your vehicle with warm soap and water – an occasional quick car wash.
- Dry your vehicles immediately after you wash them – don’t allow them to air dry.
- Polish you paint – protect it with quality wax.
- Wipe off stains, droppings and debris as soon as you can.
- Invest in professional detailing on a regular basis – at least 2-3 times a year.
- Protect you vehicle whenever you can – park in a garage, etc.
Now that spring is here it’s time to take on a whole new level of threats to your vehicle’s surfaces. Our car care professionals service vehicles inside and outside. To protect your painted surfaces, connect with AutoColor’s Madison area locations – West on Parmenter Road in Middleton and East on Stoughton Road. We’re ready with a professional car wash, detailing and paint repairs. Call AutoColor and apply the latest technology and or trained technicians to protect your paint job anywhere in Madison WI.