It’s the first sign that you’ve actually been going out and driving your new car. (Well, aside from tyre wear.) Not everyone can see it, but the sharp-eyed auto lovers can spot a factory vehicle and one that’s had a few weeks on the road. They don’t have to pop the hood or even check those tyres. They merely need to look at the paint.
Car body abrasion, put simply, is the wearing away of the paint. You may think that it’s something that may only occur if you’re out there riding really rough. But however sensibly you’re driving, however clean and calm the area, car body abrasion is unavoidable. It’s just one of life’s many sad facts.
The three layers of car paint
Not everyone is clued into this, but there are actually three unique layers to the paint on your car body. (At least, that’s the case for the majority of cars. Some may have just the two – these tend to see even more body abrasions.) It’s important to understand that these three layers, while making up the paint job, aren’t actually three layers of paint. The first layer is called the primer. The primer is what keeps the actual paint layer looking smooth and blotch-free. That paint layer goes on top of the primer.
Those are the two that all cars will have. Most will have a third layer – the clearcoat layer. This layer gives the paint that extra shine – and some vital protection.
Why that abrasion isn’t as bad as you think
Most car body abrasions don’t actually penetrate any deeper than the clearcoat layer. The vast majority of cars out there on the road will have abrasions to the clearcoat layer. They’re not always that obvious; sometimes it takes a very careful eye to spot them. They usually take the form of areas in which the paint job looks a little less shiny, or “swirly”. Most of the time, these can actually be sorted out with a thorough clean.
When that abrasion is as bad as you think
You’ll probably want to work with professionals in car touch up paint if the abrasion has made its way down to the metal. Such abrasions aren’t too common, and are usually the result of something more traumatic occurring to your vehicle. A collision with another car or a wall is usually the culprit. If you’ve incurred someone’s wrath recently, it may have been the work of a key. In any case, if you want the car to look as close to brand new as possible, you should look for professional help.
Can they be prevented?
Not 100%. As I said earlier, they tend to be inevitable. The things that occur to a car that causes these abrasions typically aren’t in your control. So, unless you want to keep your car locked away and covered up forever, I would say “no”.
However, it’s important to know that abrasions are often the result of haphazard cleaning. You’re cleaning your car because it’s dirty, right? The problem is that cleaning a car incorrectly just rubs that dirt a little more into the paint before it gets removed. This is a major problem for drivers with black cars. Be careful with your cleaning techniques!