July 8, 2015
If you’ve recently been in a wreck, you might be wondering, “when can I wash my car after it’s had body work done?”
That’s a good question, because there are definitely some dos and don’ts about caring for your car if it’s recently been worked on, at least during the first 90 after picking it up. You wouldn’t want to ruin a brand new paint job just because you didn’t know not to take it to the car wash!
During the first 30 days after you’ve had body work done, follow these recommendations and precautions:
- Wash the vehicle by hand with cool water and a very mild car wash solution using a soft cloth or sponge.
- Always use clean fresh water.
- Wash your vehicle in the shade.
- Do not use a commercial car wash. Stiff brushes or sponges could mar the finish and damage the surface.
- Do not “dry wipe” your vehicle. Dry wiping can scratch the finish.
- Do not drive on gravel roads. Chipping the finish is easily done in the first 30 days.
- Avoid parking under trees and utility lines which are likely to attract birds. Bird droppings have a high acid content and will damage a freshly painted surface. Also, tree sap can mar or spot a freshly painted surface.
- Do not spill gasoline, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, or windshield solvent on the new finish.
- Do not scrape ice or snow from the newly painted surface.
After 90 days there’s really only one precaution:
- Do not wax or polish the vehicle. This will allow the finish to dry and harden completely.
Follow these instructions and your car will be looking so good you’ll forget it’s ever had body work done on it.