2921 West Chestnut Expressway
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Common Hazards to Car Paint

There are, unfortunately, a lot of substances that can damage your car paint. Many are easy to repair, others are not. Here are a few of the irritants that can cause damage, and what to do if they come in contact with your vehicle.

Brake Fluid

Non-silicone-based brake fluid can act like paint thinner and can damage your automotive paint if any comes in contact with your vehicle. Should this happen, gently dab up the spillage to keep it from spreading. Once that is done, wash with soap and water.

When Nature Calls

It’s not just annoying when a bird decides that your vehicle is the optimal bathroom—droppings that remain on paint too long can be acidic. The same goes for tree sap and insects. This is especially true if your vehicle sits in the sun for prolonged periods of time. Regular car washes, whether by hand or automated, can help preserve your car paint.

In some cases, tree sap may need to be scraped off if it has hardened. Approach with caution to avoid scratching your car.


Watch for drippage at the pump. If gasoline gets onto your autobody paint and isn’t immediately removed, it can do some damage to the finish and be difficult to remove.


Even when the target of seemingly innocuous pranks, such as silly string or shaving cream, your car’s paint could be seriously damaged if left untended and under the sun too long. Likewise, certain cleaning products can damage your paint job, as can foods that are especially acidic, such as tomatoes. These messes can all be addressed with soap and water. If the vandalism is more severe, such as scratches or graffiti, your local auto body shop will be able to help you match the paint colors. You should also contact your insurance company, as this sort of damage may be covered by your policy.


Another reason to opt for at least semi-frequent carwashes. Dust plus rain can equal corrosion, which can damage your car paint.

Towels & rags

While washing your car is good practice, the material you use can make a huge difference. Ideally, you should stick to microfiber. If that’s not possible, make sure your rags are clean. Be careful not to set the rags down where they could come in contact with dirt, pebbles, or other abrasive elements unless you’re done using them on your vehicle.


Obviously, in our area, road salt is a part of life during the winter months. While necessary, it can be extremely corrosive and cause car paint damage. A wax sealant applied prior to the first snowfall of the season can provide some protection.

This list is hardly exhaustive. There are many substances out there that can cause damage to your car paint. When you call Hammer’s Autoworks, be sure to ask about our car paint booth. We use three AFC Quadraft paint booths with a bake cycle to paint your vehicle. These state-of-the-art paint booths work to reduce dust particles from attaching to your newly painted vehicle. This equipment, paired with our expert painters and Axalta Premium Waterbourne technology paints originally used on your car, create a professional auto body paint job that is backed by our lifetime warranty and will last for years to come.