Your car’s exterior takes a beating year-round in Arizona. Still, no season has the potential to cause as much damage as winter. Most folks in Flagstaff take steps to ready their cars for the onslaught of cold weather ahead but focus only on what’s going on under the hood. All too often, they find that, without automotive paint being protected, their cars look all the worse for wear come spring.

Every day, nature is doing a number on your car’s paint. There are steps you can take to repair existing damage and prevent it in the future, however. First, though, you need to be able to identify the types of damage your car, truck, SUV, van, motorcycle, RV, or trailer might suffer when nature is left to run its course.

Top 10 Things that Could Hurt the Exterior of Your Automobile

1. Tree Gum

Tree gum is the natural enemy of your car’s paint. It can quickly bake into the surface of your paint and even leave behind a stain. If you don’t notice it right away, removing it will require more muscle than you’re likely to get at an automatic car wash.

2. Bird Droppings 

As small as some of them are, droppings from birds and other animals can cause severe damage to your paint. These waste products have high uric acid content that immediately starts eating away at your paint, so leaving it for even a short time can sometimes cause irreversible damage. 

3. UV and Sunshine 

Sunlight and UV rays are a threat to your car’s exterior all year. Snow reflects up to 80% of the sun’s rays, giving sunlight the chance to do twice the damage in winter by hitting your car twice–once from above and again when the snow reflects it.

4. Mineral Deposits 

Mineral spots from rain and tap water may not seem like a big deal when you first notice them. However, those left for an extended period can eventually soak into the clear coat and require professional cleaning procedures to restore.

5. Chemicals 

Some paint damage comes from surprising places. The chemicals found in shoe polish, shaving cream, and silly string, for example, can quickly result in permanent damage to your paint job if left to dry.

6. Temperature Cycles 

Temperature fluctuations cause your car’s paint to expand and contract. Over time, this leads to small cracks that allow moisture, chemicals, and other damaging elements beneath the surface where rust can form.

7. Rust

Winter brings together the perfect storm of conditions for rust to form: salt and moisture. While the first signs of rust may look like minor damage, if left untreated, those dark spots and tiny bubbles can lead to rapid deterioration that can only be remedied by replacing entire panels.

8. Brake Dust 

You might not think too much about it when brake dust accumulates on your wheels and suspension components. When it builds up on paint and is allowed to sit, though, it presents a bigger problem. When brake dust is left to sit on your vehicle’s paint, it can permeate the clear coat and require professional intervention to fix. 

9. Road Grit, Salt, Traffic Film and Tar

Winter brings together the perfect storm of conditions for rust to form: salt and moisture. While the first signs of rust may look like minor damage, if left untreated, those dark spots and tiny bubbles can lead to rapid deterioration that can only be remedied by replacing entire panels.

10. Cinders for Snow Traction

Many cities, such as Flagstaff, use cinders rather than chemical deicing agents or salt in the winter. While road cinders are kinder to plant life, they pose a threat to your paint job and can lead to scratches and pitting in the paint and even glass.

Auto Paint Protection in Flagstaff, Arizona

Winters in Flagstaff can be tough on your car’s paint job. You can try to remove damaging elements when you see them on your car’s surface. Or, you can let preventative auto paint protection take on the hard work of safeguarding your car’s finish for you. Two of the most popular car paint protecting products to weather Flagstaff, Arizona’s winters are ceramic coating and paint protective film.  

Ceramic coating for cars adds a slick, protective layer between your paint and the elements. Unlike carnauba and other naturally-derived waxes, ceramic sealants are durable, long-lasting, and take water repelling to another level. While water beads on a freshly waxed car, some ceramic sealants are so hydrophobic that water balls up and rolls off the surface, taking dirt and grime along with it. And while waxes can often provide you with protection that lasts for several months, the protection of properly applied ceramic coating lasts for years.   

Paint protection film provides an alternative to plastic bug guards and leather bras that can cause friction damage to your paint job.  Typically applied to a car’s hood, bumper, fender, door edges, and other high-contact areas, it provides an invisible layer of protection from nicks and scratches. 

Flagstaff’s Top Car Paint Protection Experts

For more than 30 years, customers in Flagstaff, Arizona, have trusted Inspectors Auto Appearance for all their auto glass, car detailing, tinting, accessories, and paint protection needs. Locally owned and operated, we’re proud to have so many of our customers tell us that they’ll be customers for life after their first visit. Our technicians are expertly trained to provide the highest quality auto detailing and paint protection services in Flagstaff. Our goal is always to exceed your expectations, and we offer a wide range of services that span different price points so you can find the right solution for you while staying within budget. 

For customers in need of auto paint protection, we have several options. We offer IGL Ceramic Coating, an eco-friendly ceramic coating with 100% silica content that protects and preserves your vehicle’s paint and cuts down maintenance costs. We also offer Llumar Paint Protection Film in basic, standard, and ultimate bundles. Llumar film is the most optically clear paint protection film available. It comes with up to a 10-year warranty and protects against nicks and scratches from small road debris, salt, cinders, and other common elements. 

See also: Best car accessories for living in Flagstaff during winter

Questions? Schedule a Consultation With One Of Our Technicians Today!

Do you have questions about how to protect your car’s paint from the elements this winter? Call and talk to one of the expert technicians at Arizona’s own Inspectors Auto Appearance today. We’re available to help you repair past damage, prevent future damage, and make sure your car looks its best no matter the season. We also offer free mobile detailing services so you can give your vehicle the attention it needs, where it’s most convenient for you, all at no additional cost. Call us at 928-774-1126 or schedule an appointment today, and find out why our Flagstaff, Arizona neighbors have trusted us for all their auto detailing and paint protection needs since 1988.

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