The average age of a vehicle is 11.5 years. People keep their cars longer than ever, partly because car makers make cars safer and more reliable. Also, in this economy, consumers are looking to save money any way they can, and it is more economical to keep a car longer. However, paint can start to deteriorate over time. There are a several ways consumers can protect their car’s new paint job.

Clear Coat Paint Finishes

Most cars have a clear paint protecting your car’s paint job. Owners apply this thick clear coat of paint applied over the base paint. This clear resin is shiny and makes the color even more attractive. This protective finish helps keep many UV rays from damaging the paint life.

Additional Protective Finishes

Car owners may consider putting additional protection over the clear coat. These finishes are available for any budget.

Waxes

There are many different types of waxes available for vehicles. Waxing is the least expensive paint protection method. Waxes can last for about 20 applications and have a long shelf life. Combining wax with car polish can produce even better results. Car owners read the instructions and apply the wax. The directions are very straight forward, and the wax will protect the car from UV rays, rain, tree sap, and bird poop.

Unfortunately, waxes wear off shortly after application, usually around six weeks. Owners often need to wash their cars more frequently because cars with wax tend to collect more dirt and debris. Waxes also will not help hide scratches or chips.

Paint Sealant

New synthetic technology has engineered a paint sealant that covers the clear coat of paint. This thin protective coat is like a longer-lasting liquid car wax. Paint sealant usually lasts about six months and is easy to apply. Usually, car owners use a spray or cloth dip process followed by buffing the car with a cloth. Not only are sealants protective, but they make the clear coat of a car shine even more.

Once a paint sealant has deteriorated, an ownder must remove it with a special soap before applying another coat. Another drawback is that the shiny appearance will make scratches and chips more visible to others.

Ceramic Coating

Ceramic coating is a thick barrier that sticks to the outside layer of paint. Users apply it wet, but it hardens as it dries and cannot be seen. The coating settles into scratches, dings, and paint irregularities, creating a new flat surface. The coating is like hard, thin glass. This product is much more long-lasting than the other kinds of paint protectors. It lasts up to five years on a car and has a great shine. The ceramic coating repels water and even bugs and is scratch resistant.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult, but not impossible, to remove this coating. Like the other protectors, it can highlight imperfections in a paint job.

In addition to applying one of these protective coatings, car owners should use a detailing spray regularly. When washing their car, they should choose a soap specifically designed for use on vehicles that will not damage any coatings. Quickly removing bird poop and tree sap also will keep a paint job looking better for longer. Automobile owners should park their car in a sheltered location or consider investing in a car cover.

Car owners who want to keep their cars looking new should follow these suggestions. The result will be a shiny coat with fewer scratches and dents.