Top 8 Different Types of Car Paint Damage

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No vehicle owner would love to see his car paint messed up with scratches, swirls, or other damages. However, no matter how careful you may be, car paint damage seems inevitable. There are different types of car paint damage, and you should know about them.

These damages, if ignored, can lead to costlier body repairs. In contrast, most of these paint damages can be fixed using car scratch removers or touch-up paints.

Here, we have provided a list of car paint damages you should watch out for and what you can do to prevent them from appearing on your car.

Types of Car Paint Damage

what are the Types of Car Paint Damage

1. Bird Droppings

Apparently, bird droppings can damage a car’s paint. Bird excretions are acidic, having a pH level between 3 to 4.5. These droppings can cause considerable damage to your car’s paint due to the Uric Acid they contain. Furthermore, bird droppings are corrosive and liable to affect your car’s paint and wax coating.

To prevent this type of car paint damage, you should avoid parking your vehicle under trees. You should also consider using car covers when parking in open spaces. If you see birds’ poop on your car, wash it out immediately before it damages your paint.

2. Sun Damage

UV rays from sunlight can cause serious damage to your car’s paint. More so, these UV rays don’t only affect the paint but also affect some interior components. When a car is left uncovered under the sun for a long time, the paint starts to fade, and oxidation is likely to occur faster than normal.

The paint fading is caused by the UV rays that are constantly hitting on the car. One of the surest ways to avoid this type of car paint damage is parking your car(s) in a garage. However, if you don’t have access to a garage, ensure to use car covers to protect your car from sunlight rays.

3. Water Spots

As unlikely as it may sound, water spots can distort your car’s finish, leaving an unsightly appearance. If these water spots become too many, apparently, you won’t love the look of your car.

These spots likely appear when you use hard water to wash your car or as a result of splashes of dirty water that were not cleaned abruptly.

To prevent this damage, you should always wash your car with clean (distilled) water. However, if the spots are already showing on the car’s body, you should use vinegar to wash the car; vinegar is one of the best solutions to remove water spots from your car.

4. Swirls

Swirls are among the commonest types of car paint damage. They don’t actually damage your vehicle’s painting, but distorts the appearance, reduces shininess, and make your car unappealing to sights. This type of damage often results from how you wash the car.

Washing or drying a car with regular towels can cause swirls to appear on the paint. For this reason, it is advisable that you make use of microfiber cloths or towels whenever there’s a need to wipe down your car with a fabric.

The use of microfiber clothing applies to car waxing, detailing, and washing. Swirls can also appear if you frequent automatic car wash centers.

Generally, swirls are faults from how you wash your car. Hence, to prevent them, you should pay more attention to how you wash the car.

5. Fluid Damage

Certain fluids can damage your vehicle’s paint. This shouldn’t sound surprising. For example, brake fluids can peel your car’s paint if left for a long time. Similarly, there are other automotive fluids that can damage your car’s paint.

To prevent this damage, ensure to always keep out fluids at a distance where they cannot touch your car even when spilled mistakenly.

6. Paint Fading

This car paint damage is also common. A lot of people pay less concern regarding how and where they always park their cars.

However, when the car’s glossy nature starts depreciating, they begin to show concern. Car paint fading is mostly caused by constant exposure to sunlight rays.

As mentioned earlier, UV rays (from the sun) is not good for your car. Although they’d still bear down on your car while driving, it is advisable not to park your car under the sun. When a vehicle is left frequently parked under the sun, the paint finish will surely fade away over time.

The use of car covers when you park outside will help to prevent this damage. Also, waxing your car would provide more protection to the paint and make it last longer, retaining its glossiness.

7. Peeling

Peeling is one of those annoying car paint damage you would never want to see. When your car paint starts to peel, the appearance gets distorted.

The metal or fiberglass material used in constructing the panel is exposed to natural elements that could cause degradation, rot, or serious damage.

There’s no surefire way to prevent this type of damage. However, waxing your car can offer more protection to your paint and resistance to peels.

You should also keep up with a maintenance routine and always be mindful of the liquids you use on your car, either for washing or detailing or scratch removal.

8. Oxidation

When you don’t pay attention to how your park your car in open spaces, you’ll definitely have to deal with paint oxidation sooner than you expected, while paint oxidation is liable to occur after many years – if the car is maintained properly, this damage can be completely avoided.

Oxidation is caused by natural elements, mostly rain, and sunlight. If your car is caught up in an acidic rain, it could cause this paint damage to occur. Annoyingly, this damage is not visible at the onset – it only comes out apparent when a large area has been affected.

We’d advise that you do not park your car in the rain overnight. If you’re unable to access a garage, find a shade or use car covers to protect the car from potential acidic rain.

Read Also: How to Remove Deep Scratches From a Car


Tree saps and paint chips are also among the contributing factors to car paint damage. These different types of car paint damage are avoidable if you stop parking in open spaces, wash your car with clean (distilled) water, use car covers, and being proactive.

Also, regular maintenance would go a long way to checkmate these damages. While some people may act lackadaisical towards avoiding most things that could damage their vehicle’s paint, we’d advise that you pay more attention to the possible factors that cause car paint damage.

Expert tip: wax your car regularly – it adds some level of protection to prevent most of these damages.

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