Environmental pollution, not to mention fallout from birds, will take its toll on yourcar's finish. The best way to protect the finish is to keep it clean. This is especiallytrue during the winter months in the snow belt where salt is used to keep the roads clear.While today's cars have very durable finishes, they are susceptible to prolonged exposureto corrosives. I have seen new cars sitting in a dealers lot for two or three months thathad to be refinished because the paint became etched from bird droppings.
If you have retractable headlights, make sure you clean them regularly. They are oftenoverlooked when having your car washed.
A car wash will keep your car clean with a minimum of time and effort. The brushes theyuse are safer on a car's finish than they used to be and many are brushless. I don't askfor wax at car washes because it may coat the windshield and cause the wipers to streak,but then I hand-wax my car twice a year. If you decide to wash the car yourself, useproducts that are safe for car finishes.