What Drivers Need to Know About Paint Oxidization

Paint oxidation in cars can often be noticed as a loss of luster or gloss. Over the years, a vehicle’s exposure to outdoor elements will impact its quality and paint appearance. This is where oxidation comes in. If you own a car, you should know what paint oxidation is, how it happens, and what you can do about it.

How does paint oxidation happen

In layman’s term, oxidation is corrosion or rusting. It’s a chemical process on which the particles of a non-living matter start to break down. It’s similar to decomposition, though it doesn’t rot the same way as organic matter.

With car paint, oxidation happens when the paint loses its oil and becomes parched. When this occurs, the paint can easily chip and will appear dull.

So what causes this oxidation? Regular use and repeated exposure to outdoor elements increase a car’s paint oxidation rate. At some point, this is inevitable, though some measures can be taken to delay the damage.

Is paint oxidation preventable?

No, you can’t prevent paint oxidation, but you can delay its occurrence on your vehicle. You can slow down the breakdown of the paint particles through some simple steps:

Use car wax

One thing that will delay the onset of paint oxidation is waxing it regularly. Car wax adds an extra layer that shields your paint against UV rays and other outdoor elements. This may take more time to apply, but it helps retain the gloss of your car paint.

Take note that waxing should be done at least once every season. However, if you tend to have hot summers where you live, you can wax your vehicle more frequently.

Avoid washing with abrasive detergents

When washing your car, use only car-friendly soap to remove dirt. Detergents such as bleach, bar soap, and powdered soap have very strong chemicals that will strip away the oils of your car’s paint.

Also, dishwashing soap is a no-no since it’s not made to cleanse cars. Aside from that, avoid scrubbing too much and always use microfiber towels to prevent swirl marks.

Park under a shade 

UV rays can easily degrade the quality of your vehicle’s paint. So as much as possible, seek a shaded or covered area to park on. This way, you can keep your vehicle away from direct sunlight and you won’t have to deal with a scorching interior.

Can I repair oxidized paint at home? 

For mild cases of paint oxidation, you can buff it at home for a temporary fix. This way, you can restore the level of your car’s luster. However, you shouldn’t expect buffing to repair all the damages.

Take note that if the clear coat of your car is already chalky or whitish, it’s time to visit an auto shop.

When to call a professional

Paint oxidation should always be addressed professionally to prevent further damages to your vehicle. Aside from that, DIY fixes may only cause additional damage to the paint. So instead of using touch-ups alone, it’s best to invest in a permanent fix from an auto shop in your area.