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PAINT, FINISH AND EXTERIOR MAINTENANCE
The exterior of a vehicle is subjected to a wide range of environmental effects. These effects vary widely depending on the part of the country in which the vehicle is driven. The net result can be a deterioration of the paint and finish, along with other plastic components, over the course of time. There are a couple of other factors, though, that come into play. One is the frequency of care, such as how often the vehicle is washed and waxed. The other, believe it or not, is the color and type of paint. Some finishes are more susceptible to damage than others.
Environmental effects range from sun damage to acid rain to the road salt used to melt ice and snow in the winter. Probably the most common environmental effect is ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In more basic terms, let’s just call it sunshine, or natural light. It’s everywhere, literally. While clouds block sunshine, clouds don’t block natural light and its UV radiation. This is the same radiation that gives you a suntan, but it can be devastating to plastic. Not only does it fade the color in plastic material, it can also damage the plastic. For this reason, special UV protectants are mixed with plastic pigment or paint. UV also damages and fades paint colors, the most obvious being the color red. UV is also the culprit for fading and fogging headlamp lenses.
Acid rain is another common environmental hazard. Fortunately, acid rain is not found everywhere, particularly in those areas where it doesn’t rain very often. However, the source of the pollutants that make acid rain can travel hundreds of miles downwind from the source to cause acid rain in unsuspecting areas. Industrial fallout can also damage vehicle finishes. The difference between fallout and rain is that fallout is airborne contaminants that fall out of the sky without rain; almost like dust. Fallout of iron and steel dust from steel mills and foundries are a major source of this contaminant. Industrial fallout from rain often leads to water spotting on the surface of a car as opposed to just a layer of dust.
Other environmental contaminants include road salt (which used to ravage body panels prior to the use of galvanized steel), bird droppings, tar and asphalt, along with various types of dirt, stones and gravel that are scattered across the roads of America. Airborne salt can also be a problem for vehicles in states that border both oceans and the Gulf of Mexico.
KEEP IT CLEAN
The great outdoors is a tough place for cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans. But it doesn’t mean your customers’ exterior has to suffer damage from this long list of environmental hazards. Make sure that your customers’ know that washing their vehicle on a regular basis, maybe once or twice a month, (more often in the winter), can go a long way to preserving the exterior of their vehicle, especially the paint and the finish.
MAINTAINING THE VEHICLE’S PAINT AND FINISH
CAR CARE PRODUCTS
Once the car is cleaned, it can be waxed to give the paint that factory new shine, but the car is not going to be waxed every time it’s washed. FCA US has a product to use between wax jobs, Mopar Finish Enhancer (P/N 04796238AC). Simply mist it on and wipe it off to renew the gloss and shine. It is safe on all paints, chrome, plastic, glass and vinyl.
Mopar Window Cleaner (P/N 0418014AB) is good overall glass cleaning product. And, when it comes to plastic windows, such as those found on some of the Jeep. models, Mopar Jeep Soft Glass Cleaner (P/N 05012248AD) is tops. Regular use cleans, restores and shines the window, while providing UV protection to prevent damage, such as yellowing. In addition, it can be used to remove fine scratches from the surface of the soft glass to improve visibility.
Mopar Tar and Spot Remover (P/N 04886330AA) is the product that will take care of really nasty road grime on the finish that is not removed by ordinary washing. This product is formulated to remove tough, gummy substances such as bugs, tar, asphalt, oil and undercoating materials. This may also be used in the paint booth, too, as it is recommended for removing overspray.
Mopar Cleaner Wax (P/N 04796237AD) is designed to maximize the beauty of the finish. It removes swirls, light scratches and surface pollutants and restores paint nutrients and provides durable wax protection.