"The protection racket for paint."
With the advent of modern water based paints comes the problem of paint degradation.
With a constant attack from acid rain, UV exposure, bird strikes, road salt, road tar and stone chips the paint is certainly under an onslaught of attack.
So what can you do to protect your paint work from this damage?
Films are popular and many come in kit form with pieces pre cut to the shape of your car. These are usually placed in high risk areas and can be very easily removed should they become damaged. This is probably the best option to go for, especially if you travel a lot on fast roads with the increased risk of stone chips.
The films are cut from a heavy grade of plastic and are clear. The film is chosen for its flexibility which helps it to mould to the car and this also helps form an effective barrier against stone chips. The film is cut to match the panels of your car so there will be no visible seams cutting across a panel.
Wraps where a vinyl sticker cover the car look fantastic and are a good way to protect the paint. Although not really designed to shield the paint against stone chips they will resist bird strikes, road tar and most minor chips.
Paint coatings, best used low down on the car near the wheels and lower front bumper. This forms a thick clear layer and gives another line of defence against stone chips and road spray. It can still get unsightly but at least you have the option of removal with cutting paste revealing your intact paint below.
Many off road vehicles come with much thicker paint around the wheel arches and near the sills, the Audi Allroad is a good example. Because it is hard to match this thicker paint you will often find that a contrasting colour is used.
A simple DIY method which should be a part of every car owners maintenance regimen is the application of a Wax. Wax helps with UV protection, reducing the fade caused by sunlight. It also forms a barrier against bird strikes.
One lucky owner who waxed his car every couple of weeks experience a paint stripper attack. The paint stripper just washed off and the layer of wax had protected the paint underneath. This goes to show that wax should never be underestimated as a paint protection.
A car bra will fit onto the front of the car and gives the ultimate protection to your paint. It looks a bit strange though but is the preferred method of protection for track day drivers because of its easy to remove nature.
Car bras are often used in the motor trade when cars are transported to protect a car and preserve the showroom appearance of the paint.
If you liked this page please share it with your friends, drop a link to it in your favourite forum or use the bookmarking options to save it to your social media profile.
Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.
Help us improve, leave a suggestion or tip