In our part of Wisconsin, River City Auto Body sees the impact of pollution on vehicles resulting from acid rain. Actually, we see it from acid snow and acid fog as well. Even acid dew. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, any sort of moisture that makes it to the ground after passing through pollution is acidic. And it takes a toll on your car.
First, acid precipitation is unavoidable. If you garage your car, at some point, it's going to get wet. Acid rain results when sulfur and nitrogen particles are emitted into the atmosphere. A third of the particles comes from cars, trucks, chimneys and smokestacks. Two thirds of these particles come from electric power plants. We have them all over… if you don't live next to a power plant, wind currents take care of sweeping the nitrogen and sulfur into our area from points west. Sulfur and nitrogen react with water to make sulfuric acid and nitric acid. Which weakens and fades paint over time.
The real enemy however, is the sun. The precipitation hits your car… during evaporation the droplet magnifies the sun's intensity causing the acid to pit the surface microscopically… then the acid is left when the water evaporates.
Imagine the gradual effect of millions of tiny acid-made pores over the life of your car's finish. Even on some of the newer cars River City Auto Body repairs, the paint damage from just a year or less is visible to the naked eye.
Here's how you can minimize acid rain damage beyond just covering the car when it rains:
· Wash your car frequently with mild soap followed by hand drying it with a clean cloth. River City Auto Body thinks the Auto Detailing Network is right on when it suggests a thorough wash weekly.
· Wash it right after a rain. Just hosing off the rain spots won't help because it only activates the acid deposit.
· Use wax or sealants designed to protect the clear coat finish, or – better yet – have your car professionally detailed.
· Come see River City Auto Body for painting and finishing to bring back that showroom look.
Photo by Olga Yastremska, used with permission.