What really hurts your paint?

June 30, 2008

Anyone who has had a vehicle for any stretch of time knows that the outdoors can be very unfriendly to paint. Water, salt and sun all come together to put a time limit on your shiny clear coat, making paint dull and without luster as time goes by. Surprisingly, salt and water are not terribly destructive to your paint job, at least while it is still intact.

Sun is the most destructive culprit by far when it comes to ruining the paint on your vehicle. Today’s paints are really just very tough layers of plastic that are impervious to materials as corrosive as sulfuric acid; let alone a little salt. So, it’s not the salt, or the water, but the sun that can make your car look 10 years older. Sunlight has enough energy to literally break down the chemical bonds that exist within your paint. Over time, it will effectively ‘eat’ through the numerous layers, eventually getting to the metal.

Once the metal is exposed, that is when salt and water take over, oxidizing it until it rusts. In other words, if you protect your vehicle’s paint from the sun, it should be able to handle pretty much anything else mother nature throws at it. A great way to protect your vehicle? Cover it up! Relatively cheap covers are nothing compared to a new paint job, and will last several years. Further, most aftermarket paint jobs kind of suck. They never get all the little nooks and crannies, and I’ve always been able to find some bits of long-forgotten color when I open the doors and look in the jambs, for example. I’m not bitter.

A car/boat/PWC/RV cover will save your paint from fading, and keep it doing its job, which is to protect the metal from oxidization, or rusting. So protect the paint which protects the vehicle and you will have much less to worry about in the long run.

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