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Tips For Maintaining Your Car's New Paint Job For The First Six Weeks, And Beyond

From the constant onslaught of bird droppings to more serious causes of damage, including hail; there always seems to be something wreaking havoc on your car's paint job. Your vehicle's paint and clear coat are beginning to show their age, which is why you've decided to have your car repainted. Having your car professionally painted isn't cheap, and it's important to take extra precautions to prevent damage – especially during the first six weeks. Here are a few tips to help care for your car's new paint job during the fix crucial six weeks, and beyond:

The First Six Weeks After The New Paint Job

Even though your car's new paint appears and feels dry, it can still take up to eight weeks for the clear coat to cure. During this time, it's vital to take extra care to ensure no damage, streaks or cracks occur.

Here are a few tips to help care for your new paint job during the first six weeks:

  • Steer clear of dirty or gravel roads, and use caution when driving over rough roads and potholes. Any rocks or other debris that hit your paint job can cause serious damage.

  • Avoid washing your car at all for at least the first two weeks after the paint job.

  • Don't go through car washes during the first six weeks after the paint job is completed. If the car is dirty, clean the exterior with a soft, lint-free cloth and a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap. Rinse the soap away with a damp rag, instead of the garden hose.

  • Try to park your car in a protected area, such as your garage, in a carport or in a parking garage. Exposing your new paint job to rain and sun can prove very damaging.

  • Avoid waxing your car for at least two to three months. Go ahead and use your favorite brand of car wax, just make sure to follow the package directions.

If you notice any damage to your new paint or clear coat, don't hesitate to contact the auto body shop immediately. Chances are they will gladly provide a touch-up at little to no extra cost.

A Lifetime of Care

According to Tom Moor, a contributor to Angie's List, the average cost to repaint a car is around $2000. Caring for your car's beautiful new paint job during the first few months is vital, but it shouldn't stop there.

Here are a few additional tips to help you protect your car's paint job for many years to come:

  • Wash your car at least once a month. If you're washing it at home, use a mild soap and lint-free cloths or a chamois and always take the time to dry your car. This helps prevent any damage caused by soap residue, in addition to preventing unsightly water spots.

  • Skip the soap, whenever possible. If you're spot cleaning bird poop, sap or other minor stains, try to use water and a little elbow grease. It's also vital to eliminate these stains immediately. If left behind, they can corrode the paint and clear coat.

  • Have any noticeable scratches or damage to the paint and clear coat repaired immediately. Larger scratches and areas of damage to the clear coat and paint will leave the materials below more susceptible to damage.

Having your car repainted is not only a smart investment, it's also a great way to prevent future damage to the metal or plastic underneath. Protecting your new paint job during the first six is critical. However, it's still important to take a little extra care for several years to come.

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