A Car-ful Passion

Three Surprising Causes Of Car Paint Damage

Paint and finish protect your car's body, but they are also susceptible to some forms of damage. Apart from the usual tree sap and birds' droppings, there are other things that can also interfere with your car's beautiful finish. Here are three examples of these threats:

Automatic Sprinklers

It's surprising that the same water you use for washing your car can damage its paint, but it's possible. If you regularly park your car near a sprinkler, then you will soon be dealing with paint damage. It's not exactly the water, but the minerals in it that are responsible for the damage. When the water dries off, spots of the minerals remain on the car's body, and it may require a detailing service to renew.

Gasoline Pump

If your car's engine runs on gasoline, then you can't avoid using the gas pump. However, you should do your best to avoid spilling the fluid on your car. This is especially true if the spillage doesn't dry off quickly; it may erode the paint finish and cause a blemish that can only be dealt with by repainting, although a good washing and waxing service can prevent the paint damage.

Accidents do happen, however, and sometimes the gas may spill on your car despite your overcautious nature. If that happens, just grab a microfiber cloth and an instant detailer to clean off the mess (it pays to have them handy). The sooner you do it, the better if you don't want the damage to be permanent.


This is not to say that wildfire may burn your car – that's obvious! However, even if you aren't too close to the incident, the damage can still reach your vehicle in the form of ash. Depending on the prevailing winds, ash can land on your car and form an alkaline solution when it comes into contact with water. It is this alkaline solution that damages the car's finish.

Prevention is to keep your car in a garage or cover it up. Since you may not be able to predict wildfires, you ought to know how to deal with the damage after the fact. If the ash is dry, don't wash the car yet because you may just worsen the problem. Instead, remove it with a duster or by blowing it off. Follow that with a thorough washing and drying.

You may not be able to protect your car from all these threats, all the time. However, auto body mechanics have the right experience, tools and materials to fix your car after such damage. Contact a local repair center, like Windy's Collision Center, for help.