How to Care for New Car Exterior

The best part of a new car is the pleasure you get when you hear the roar of the engine on the open road. The second best part is how awesome you know you look behind the wheel.

But the thing that makes a new car look so great is that you can tell it’s new. Once that exterior starts to fade, chip, and look worn, you lose a lot of the great feeling.

Not to worry! If you know how to care for new car exterior, it will look great for a long time.

How to Care for New Car Exterior

How To Take Care Of Car Exterior

The good news about how to care for new car exterior is that a lot of little things add up over time. With minimal effort and expense at any one time, you’ll keep that fresh look for years. Compare that with the cost and frustration of getting a new paint job, and it’s definitely the preferable option.

To help your new ride stay looking new for a long time, we’ve put together this car exterior care guide and a checklist on how to wash a new car without scratching it.

Car Exterior Care Guide

From actionable advice to a specific way of thinking, here’s what you need to do to keep that exterior looking great.

Regular Washing

Somewhat surprisingly, the most important thing you can to really care for your car exterior is to just wash it regularly. The catch is that you have to wash it properly - but we’ll get to that in just a minute.

The key is that you’re not worried as much about appearance as you are trying to get off any nasty substances that will hurt your paint. Cars in cold climates tend to have a lot of salt and other anti-ice substances kicked up on their exterior, and this will eat away at paint, waxes, and metals. Even in summer or warm climates, you’re looking at plant matter, car exhaust, scratchy dust, and other things that aren’t doing you any favors.

Getting all of that off will help you look great in the short run, and keep it that way in the long run.

Drying Correctly

There are many right and wrong ways to wash a car, but the most important step is often overlooked - drying the car!

Unfortunately, two of the most common methods for drying cars can do more harm than good. Here’s why:

  • Air drying. If you wash your car and then think the wind will magically dry it for you, you’re right! The downside is that it will leave streaks and spots, so you might even end up looking worse than when you started.
  • Towel drying. If you’re going to do this, definitely use a microfiber towel specifically designed for drying cars. However, you still might end up scratching the surface by rubbing around small dust particles.

The safest, fastest, and easiest method for drying your car is to blow dry it. We have a line of dryers for all situations, so getting started is way more straightforward than you might think!

Parking Strategically

An often overlooked aspect of caring for the exterior of a car is where to park. You don’t need to necessarily park across four spaces in the back of a giant parking lot, but squeezed in right in front of a busy entryway isn’t the best.

Here are some tips:

  • Don’t park under trees. Trees drop sap, seeds, and other things, plus they also are home to many different types of animals that drop any number of substances (and occasionally hop down with their scratchy claws).
  • Avoid busy parts of parking lots. We focus a lot on avoiding narrow spots where the car door next to you might leave a ding, but don’t forget about busier walkway areas - especially where people are carrying bulky purchases from a store.
  • Seek out the shade. You might enjoy sunbathing, but you don’t want your car soaking up any more UV rays than it has to. Just try to find shade other than a tree.
  • Less busy streets have less collateral damage. Parking on the side of a main road leaves you open to getting clipped by a car or bike, soaking up exhaust, getting puddles or snow kicked up on your side, and more nasty things you want to avoid.

How to Care for Car Exterior

How To Take Care Of New Car Paint

Now let’s get in to how to take care of new car paint. There are coatings and other products to protect it, but first and foremost, just try to wash it every two weeks or so. In a troublesome climate, you may need to go more, and you can relax a little in a place where your car naturally stays pretty clean.

Also, this changes a bit depending on the color and type of finish your car is.

Waxes have been popular for a long time, but you should seriously consider going for a ceramic coating. This is essentially a coating that you put on which hardens in a way to look shiny and sleek, but also act as a barrier between your exterior and the elements. If properly maintained, this will last significantly longer than a standard wax.

How To Wash A New Car Without Scratching It

Learning how to wash a new car without scratching it is an incredibly useful skill that will pay significant benefits in the long run. You can read our full guide of how to properly wash your car, but here’s a summarized version:

  • Start with a water rinse to get off any major dirt
  • Apply a soaking foam (such as Q²M Foam) to breakdown the remaining contaminants
  • Rinse off and apply a soap and coating agent (such as Q²M Bathe+)
  • Wash and rinse in sections to make sure none of the shampoo has the chance to dry
  • Rinse with a hose or bucket to remove all remaining residue
  • Blow dry the entire surface (especially the nooks and crannies)

How to Take Care of Car Exterior

That’s How To Care For Car Exterior

In a nutshell, that’s how to care for new car exterior. If you take anything from this guide, we hope you’ll remember that you need to wash your car regularly and blow dry it at the end. You’ll definitely want to add the best coating for your exterior, but regular maintenance is your secret weapon.

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