How to Prevent Car Paint Color from Fading

March 8, 2012

Car paint color doesn't have to fade over time. Find out 4 simple ways to stave off the car paint fading process.

Car Paint Color Fading

One way to keep your car looking new is to keep the car paint color the way it came. That means doing everything you can to avoid fading. Sure, paint will fade, but there are steps you can take to prolong the fading process and keep your car looking nice longer. 

Understand the Process

If you want to keep your car from fading, one thing you should do is understand what causes it to fade. The most well-known contributor to paint fade is ultra-violet rays, and that means sunlight. There are many people who believe that it's the only cause, but it's not. Pollutants and other chemical and biochemical residue contribute to fading. Things like pollutants in the air (too small for the eye to see, but solid particles in the air that build up over time), bird droppings, salt and insects all contribute in one way or another to the fading of your car's finish. Abrasive cleaners can be another culprit. By taking away too much of the car's natural protection, these cleaners threaten the integrity of your body car paint colors.

Dealing with Ultraviolet Light

If at all possible you should try to park your vehicle in the shade. If it's going to be parked for a long time in the sun, consider a car cover. Make sure you get one that has ultraviolet protection.

Removing Chemicals

Wash your car properly at least once every two weeks. If your car is exposed to a lot of chemicals (road salt, extreme insect activity), then you will probably want to do it even more often. If you keep the car garaged a lot of the time you might be able to go longer, but remember that it will still be exposed to chemicals from the air. Those chemicals will gradually eat away at the finish. Again, a car cover is a good idea if the car is going to be sitting outside for a while. Applying a clear coat over the paint will help to protect against chemicals and (to some degree) ultraviolet rays.

Avoid Abrasives

Many car polishes have abrasives in them. This allows them to remove tiny bits of the finish each time you polish, leaving behind a fresh surface that looks nice. The problem is, this wearing away is removing all the protection that is built into your finish, leaving the colors more vulnerable to aging effects. Try to find the least abrasive polishes you can or avoid polishing all together, if possible.

Wax Your Car

Wax will give you a shine that rivals polishes. It has a couple of advantages over polish, though. It doesn't remove any of the surface through abrasion. Instead, it adds an extra layer over your car's finish. That provides additional protection. Be careful to avoid over-waxing, though, because it can build up over time and affect the look of the vehicle.

You can't fool time and it will eventually take a toll on your paint color by fading it. There are things you can do to slow this process. Through proper care you can keep your car looking newer for a lot longer.

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