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Environmental pollution, not to mention fallout from birds, will take its toll on your car’s finish. The best way to protect the finish is to keep it clean. This is especially true 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 exposure to corrosives. I have seen new cars sitting in a dealers lot for two or three months that had to be refinished because the paint became etched from bird droppings.

If you have retractable headlights, make sure you clean them regularly. They are often overlooked when having your car washed.

A car wash will keep your car clean with a minimum of time and effort. The brushes they use are safer on a car’s finish than they used to be and many are brushless. I don’t ask for 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, use products that are safe for car finishes.

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In the Garage with is an online blog dedicated to bringing DIYers and devoted car enthusiasts up to date with topical automotive news and lifestyle content. Our writers live and breathe automotive, taking the guess work out of car repairs with how-to content that helps owners get back on the road and keep driving.

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