How to maintain your car body

Body panels, including the doors, bonnet, luggage compartment, bumpers, etc if kept clean can create a brilliant first impression on any onlooker. Some tips on how to maintain them



Car body care



Metal parts constitute the largest portion of the body of a car. The roof, door panels, trunk and the bonnet are usually made of metal. Modern cars come with layered metallic paints, the base coat, the paint with ‘flakes’ which gives the colour and sparkle to the car, a lacquer clear coat which protects the paint and waxes or sealants to keep everything under it safe. Solid colours on the other hand are simple colours which may shine but do not sparkle, and then there are cars which do not have a lacquer coating giving them a dull look.


This paint is subject to the elements and to flying debris when you drive. A weekly wash and drying session keeps dirt and contaminants from sticking onto the surface of a car while using a detailing fluid after every wash gives the paint that extra ‘new car’ shine. Clean the tyres and tyre well first, this the area that is usually the dirtiest, covered with mud, gravel and tar. Some part of dirt will obviously fall onto the body panels, and you would have to clean them again. If the car is really dirty, it should be washed with plenty of water starting from the roof and going down to the running board and the bumpers, in that order. If the car has very little dust on it, you can use a duster which neutralises the electric charge on the dust particles and hence, sticking to the metal body of the car. Such dusters are available in car accessory shops for a few hundred rupees. After this dusting, you can use a clean, wet cloth and wipe the car. Follow this simple formula to set your order of cleaning the car – Tyres first, then the underbody, roof, glass area and finally the body to get the perfect wash.


Using a car cover keeps dirt from accumulation on the car when kept idle, it is also a very effective protection against bird droppings, industrial fallouts and the effects of direct sunlight and other elements. A fabric cover is only effective if you keep your car in a garage, a cover made of thicker material with a soft inner lining and breathing fabric should be used if you are going to park your car outside most of the time. If the place where you park the car has a kitchen with an exhaust fan facing towards it, then a cover is a must to avoid oil fumes settling on the paintwork. 


TIP: Using a good quality car paint polish once in two weeks will protect the paintwork from the elements and also keep the younger generation fit since they are not very fond of organised daily exercise! Involve them!

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