1. Damaging to paint: bird droppings etc.
Not all blessings come from above. Bird droppings and other kinds of animal excrement are corrosive. “And the longer corrosive substances are allowed to work on the car paint, the greater the damage can become,” explains Martin Jaworski, Product Manager BMW ColorSystem.
Equally damaging to car paint is the sticky film that covers cars parked under lime trees in spring. This phenomenon is known as honeydew. It may sound sweet, but it makes drivers bitter, for honeydew is the excrement of aphids. They suck the sap from lime leaves and secrete sticky sugar. This film can burn itself into the paint in direct sunlight.
“Such damage is irreversible and has to be repaired professionally,” warns the paint expert Martin Jaworski. His tip, therefore, is to wash bird droppings or honeydew off as soon as possible.
The same goes for insects. A specialised insect remover will stop the insect remains sticking to the automotive paint and they can then simply be wiped away when the vehicle is washed.
2. Neglect for paint: the commonest error
Those who love their cars wash them at least in weekly intervals. According to Martin Jaworski, failure to provide regular care is the commonest error that car owners make. “If the car paint is looked after properly, it will also be more resistant generally to external influences,” he says. This means expensive repairs with car spray paint or touch up paint can be reduced significantly.
“How often you should wash your car depends on the type of car and how you use it,” says Martin Jaworski. But one thing is clear in the BMW expert’s view: “Frequent washing does no harm as long as you bear a few things in mind”.
3. Lover of paint: the perfect car wash
Some car washes have brushes and some have cloths. One type is not inherently better than the other, says Martin Jaworski. But have the brushes or cloths been made dirty with sand, so that they act like sandpaper and damage the paint surface? For this reason, it is extremely important that the car wash itself should be clean and well maintained. Who would want to walk into a dirty bathroom? You should also take time to have a closer look at the brushes. If the nylon threads are brittle or torn, dirt can gather in them.
And should you follow the wash with a wax? Definitely! “The wax seals the top coat of the car paint and thus protects it against external influences,” the BMW paint expert explains.
And at what intervals should wax treatment be applied?
The expert’s rule of thumb is that as long as rainwater drips off the car paint normally, there is no need for any fresh waxing. However, the weather is also a big factor. If you keep your car in a garage, you protect the wax coat for longer than you would under a carport or in the open.
When using a pressure washer, the motorway principle applies: keep your distance!
Product Manager BMW ColorSystem
4. Paint and a cloth: the right way to wash by hand
Do you prefer to wash your car yourself? You are a model citizen! “Among car lovers, washing by hand is considered the kindest way to do it,” Martin Jaworski observes. The important thing here is to use mild cleaning agents with a low pH value, as well as soft, clean sponges, brushes and cloths.
“When using a pressure washer, the motorway principle applies: keep your distance!,” Martin Jaworski says. This is because if the water pressure is too high, it damages the paint. “In this case, the correct distance between the spray head and the car paint will depend on the individual appliance and model.” As a rule of thumb, if the water jet is painful to your hand, it will also be harmful to the car.