The average person keeps their vehicles a lot longer than they have in years past. People are hanging onto their vehicles 5 – 6 years before replacing it with another one. This is 18 months longer than the average amount of time people held onto their current vehicles, before replacing them, back in 2006, and that time frame is expected to keep increasing.
The reasons for people hanging on to their vehicles much longer than they used to is because vehicles are being built much better than they ever have, most car loans are for 60 months, so the payments can be kept lower and to account for the expense of new cars, as well as the shaky job markets in current years.
Since people are keeping their vehicles longer they are exposed to increasingly more wear and tear. This means 18 months’ worth of door dings and scratches picked up in parking lots, rust caused by road salt and other chemicals used during the winter months and the sun’s damaging UV rays. Most people aren’t aware of the gradual decline these elements cause to the shiny appearance of their vehicle.
The sun’s damaging UV rays
The largest contributor to vehicle damage are the Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. Your vehicle’s paint job has UV inhibitors that absorb the harmful rays to help extend the life of your paint job.
However, over time these inhibitors wear down and cause your paint to become cloudy or hazy. This is most notable in headlight lenses. Over time your headlight lenses become yellowed, hazy or cloudy.
As the UV inhibitors fail, the surface goes from clear to oxidized and cloudy. Commonly, UV inhibitors in automotive paint has a half-life of 5 years. This means that, in five years, half of the UV inhibitors have been used up.
This severe damage to your vehicle’s paint job can easily be prevented and slowed by having your vehicle detailed by professionals who will apply quality wax, sealant and coatings to your vehicle’s finish at proper intervals.
Professional grade waxes, sealants and coatings are a layer of protection that bonds to the surface of your paint. They include UV inhibitors that protect your paint and help extend the life of your paint’s own UV inhibitors by absorbing the UV rays. They also add a higher quality shine and gloss to your vehicle over products you buy in a store, greatly improving your vehicle’s appearance.
Even though you wash and wax your vehicle yourself, which you should do often, your best bet for keeping your car, truck or suv looking its best longer is to have it detailed at least once a year. It’s a good idea to have this done in the spring to remove all of the dirt, grime and salt that builds up during the winter months.
Keeping your vehicle looking its best at all times means you’ll get a better price when it comes time to sell.
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