Car Paint Care — Myth vs. Reality

With so many different sources telling you how to take care of the paint on your vehicle, it can be difficult to decipher which bits of advice you should actually listen to. Good thing you have us to help keep the myths separated from the reality!

Myth: Avoid a silicone-based wax. If used, your car cannot be repainted.

Reality: It’s true that silicone is an auto painter’s worst nightmare as the vehicle is being painted. It can keep the paint from adhering to the surface, resulting in defects. However, once the paint is on a car, silicone is no longer an issue. It’s so much of a non-issue that you’ll be hard pressed to find a wax that doesn’t use some sort of silicone in its formula because it enhances the ease of the product. If repainting needs to be done, a body shop can simply take the wax off as part of its normal preparation.

Myth: You know paint is in good shape if it looks glossy.

Reality: Paint can dull at an extremely slow rate—so much so that you may not even realize it has happened until everyone notices it’s happened. You shouldn’t just rely on the look of a glossy sheen to give you confidence that your car’s paint is still in mint condition. A good test is placing your hand on your car and slowly moving it over the surface. A well-maintained finish should feel smooth as glass. Any roughness could indicate adhered grit which degrades paint’s gloss to some degree.

Myth: With all of the modern formulas on the market, paint scratches can easily be removed by hand.

Reality: Scratches can be temporarily filled with some types of products, but they’ll more than likely reappear after the first wash. The only sure way to eliminate scratches is to use an abrasive product—such as a cleaner—that removes enough of the surrounding paint to physically make the scratch appear less deep. And still, only the lightest scratches can be removed by hand. The worst types of scratches, the kind that go completely through a paint layer, cannot be eliminated without repainting.

If you’re shopping around to get your car repainted, make sure to do just that—shop around. Ask for a few different quotes along with explanations on what exactly will be done. It’s always smart to ask friends or family members where they received a new paint job and whether they were satisfied.

We hope this brief myth vs. reality checklist allows you to pick out any misinformation you are given in the future. Happy driving!