Car Care

4 Ways to Prevent Car Paint Oxidation and UV Damage

Whether your car is second hand or brand new straight from the dealership, the damage that UV rays can cause to your car’s paint can age your car significantly and decrease your car’s value. Even if you like to take good care of your car, with cleaning and polishing, it’s easy to forget about the negative effects of UV rays on the car’s paint. Just like too much tanning can result in skin damage, it’s a similar story for paint; prolonged exposure to UV rays in sunlight will lead to paint photo-degradation and oxidation.

So, if you want to:

  • keep the good condition of your car;
  • prevent damage to your car’s paint;
  • sell your car and keep it looking as good as you can…

…then read on!

What is paint oxidation?

When car paint colour begins to fade and lose its shine, it’s likely to have been damaged by UV rays – this is the early stages of paint oxidation. The next phase of oxidation will result in the paint feeling rough and chalky and eventually the paint will begin to flake off. Flaking paint won’t look the most aesthetically pleasing but bigger issues will come in the metal that’s now become exposed. The metal will be at risk from rust forming, which can cause corrosion. Oxidation can’t be reversed, so it’s important to slow down the process to help preserve the quality and value of your car.

Useful tips on protecting your car’s paint from oxidation

Although oxidation is an unpreventable process, there are ways you can protect car paint and slow down the oxidation process – and they’re simpler than you think. From regularly cleaning your car to drying it off properly, you’ll prevent oxidation and car paint damage. Have a read of our best tips for vehicle paint protection…

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Wash the car on a regular basis to prevent paint damage

Washing your car regularly will keep impurities like dust and dirt off your paintwork. If left on the paintwork, these impurities over time will eventually accelerate the process of UV light penetration, leading to oxidation. When washing, avoid using regular washing-up liquid as these kinds of products can corrode the paint. Opt for cleaners specifically designed for cars to preserve the paint. It’s recommended you clean your car once or twice every fortnight.

Dry the car to prevent car paint damage from the sun

Once you’ve cleaned your car, it’s important that you dry your car thoroughly afterwards. If left to air dry, the naturally occurring minerals in the water you used for washing will make the paint vulnerable to damage. It’s best to dry your car by hand with a chamois – it’s time-consuming, but it’s an essential step if you want to keep the exterior looking good and protect the car paint from the sun.

Use wax as a car paint protector

The next process of protecting your car’s paintwork is applying car wax. Before applying the wax, it’s essential the car is dry – applying wax to watery areas will only cause smears. The transparent wax layer enhances the natural shade of the paint and has excellent water beading properties. A good quality wax will not only make your car look great, but it’ll also provide an extra barrier from ultraviolet radiation and help prevent pollution, grit and dirt from clinging to the paintwork.

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Applying a ceramic coating

Ceramic coating paint protection works by applying a ceramic coating or liquid polymer to the exterior surface of your vehicle – it chemically bonds to the paint, creating a layer of protection that’s water-resistant. This water resistance makes it harder for impurities and contaminants to cling and react to your car’s paint. Not only will this help reduce the risk of oxidation from UV exposure, but it’ll also help keep the car cleaner for longer and make it easier to clean when it comes to car washing day.

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Do you need your car’s exterior taken care of professionally?

If you’re taking the time to read this article, then it’s probably fair to assume that you take good care of your car. If you like to make sure your car is well looked after but don’t have the time or skills to carry out a thorough job, why not hand it over to the professionals? will take the hassle out of car cleaning and paint protection by offering a totally mobile service. Pick a day that’s convenient to you and we’ll come straight to you with our car care services that cover everything from mobile car washing and valeting to professional detailing, including interior vacuum and cleaning, scratch removal and ceramic coating application.


  • UV damage is inevitable, but it can be slowed down by following a few simple steps
  • Cleaning your car regularly is key to preventing damage – once or twice every 2 weeks will suffice
  • Waxing adds an extra protective layer to your paintwork – it may take a bit of time, but it’s an easy win!


Have any tips for us to help prevent UV damage and oxidation of your car’s paintwork?

Let us know in the comments – we’d love to hear from you!

Img Source: Shutterstock/Bhakpong

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