How to Care for Your Car’s New Paint Job

Now that your car is shiny and beautiful again following the smash-up, you'll want to keep it that way. Whilst your auto body shop has done the most difficult parts of the job, it's up to you to do the aftercare properly. Here's what you need to know about looking after your car when it has just been repainted.

When to Wash

You may be tempted to wash your car right away, but you should resist that urge for a while. Exactly how long you have to wait to wash depends upon several factors, including the type of paint used and the application process. Your auto body repair provider will tell you when you can safely wash your car after having it painted.

Washing your car before that time could potentially cause damage such as scratches and dulled paint. If you notice dust and debris accumulating before you can wash the car, you can use a dry, soft cotton cloth to gently wipe it away — use only the lightest pressure, though. Don't add any water or other cleansers to the cloth, as even a small amount of liquid can harm the finish at this time.

When to Wax

As with washing, waxing must wait until your auto body repair provider tells you it's safe to do so. Because waxing the car requires you to apply pressure to the new paint job, delay waxing until your car really needs it.

Many auto body shops offer a paint protectant coating as an extra option. This clear protectant coat can help extend the time between waxing whilst protecting the paint effectively. Therefore, if you have paint protection coating, you needn’t hurry to wax your newly painted car.

What to Do

When the time comes to wash and wax your newly painted car, you'll need to use the proper tools and techniques. Have the following things on hand.

  • A portable washing bucket: a washing bucket makes the ideal place for the soapy suds whilst you work.
  • A specialised car cleanser: never use dish soap or other household cleaning products on your car. Use a product that is pH balanced, as it won't strip your protectant coating or damage the paint.
  • Small cotton cloths: soft cotton cloths won't scratch the paint, making them the ideal application tool for your cleanser and wax.
  • Cotton towels: large cotton towels are soft and absorbent, allowing you to dry the car quickly. Have multiple towels on hand because you'll probably want to use different towels for the tyres and windows.

As you wash and wax your car, remember that only a gentle touch is required. Allow yourself plenty of time to do the job — you might even start to find car care enjoyable now that your car looks like new again!

When to Repeat

Although your car has only just been painted, you might wonder whether you'll have to repaint in the future. When you’ll need a touch-up depends on many different factors, including:

  • Whether you opted for a protectant coating over the paint
  • Whether you're involved in another accident
  • How often the car is exposed to the elements

In general, if you have the auto painting done by an expert who uses high-quality materials, you can expect it to last for years.

Years from now, if you start to notice that the car doesn't shine quite so brightly or that the surface seems to have dulled quite a bit, speak to your auto painting provider about a new paint job. Contact Bellarine Smash Repairs to arrange a paint job that will restore that new car sheen.