Checking Your Vehicle for Paint Contamination
Paint contamination consist of embedded and bonded inorganic and organic particles that can be harmful to the paint on your vehicle. These kinds of contaminants physically and chemically bond to the paint on your vehicle and are not removed through the regular process of washing. Some examples of these contaminants are hard water spots, tree sap, paint over spray, industrial fall out, rail dust, brake dust, and tar.
The first way to check for paint contamination is to physically rub your hand over the paint after the surface has been washed. If your paint is clean and free of contamination, it will feel smooth like glass. If it feels rough and greedy, your paint is covered in a bonded contamination. It can sometimes be hard to feel for the contamination. Therefore, it may be best put your hand inside a plastic baggie and then rub over the paint. The plastic baggie will enhance your sense of touch and help to give you a better feel for your paints condition.
If the contamination is left over time, the bonded and embedded particles will deteriorate, corrode, and oxidize the paint on your vehicle. One of the common signs of this happening are when your paint starts looking dull and no longer has the gloss or shine it initially did. After a while, the contaminants can cause even more issues such as rust forming from moisture that is penetrated the broken areas of paint, clear coat failure, etching effects on the surface paint, and other damage that may not be repairable if left unattended.
The contamination can also prevent any types of coding, sealants, and waxes from properly bonding to your paint in addition to the damage it causes already to the paint. Products such as coatings, sealants, and waxes are designed to bond with the paint, not any form of contamination that is covering or embedded in the surface. Without the contamination being removed, those products are not able to perform the way they should, thus resulting in a shorter lifespan and less gloss and shine.