7 Things We Need to Stop Doing to Our Cars


For some car owners a water drop is akin to a drop of acid on the skin. These kinds of people seriously consider a new paint job when a paint chip occurs on the hood of their car. However, for many of us we treat our cars as basic entity of daily living: a mode of transportation, a toy, a coffee table, or even a luggage rack.

I can think of 8 things we do to our car on a regular basis that we need to stop doing. Every one of these actions cause staining, etching, or scratching. Refraining from doing these things in the future can save you from spending $400-900 on a paintwork correction job from your local detailer.

1. Resting luggage, backpacks, grocery bags on our car

This is just asking for scratches with all the rough canvas, leather, zippers, and other hard objects. Set them on the floor. The inconvenience of bending over to pick them up won’t kill you.

2. Setting our cups of coffee on the roof while we fiddle for our keys

Probably the most convenient way to free a hand is to set your cup of coffee or tea on the roof of the car, but that little ring of cardboard (or even metal mugs) can easily scratch the paint. Usually no matter how carefully you set it down or pick it up, the cup drags on the surface for at least a brief period of time causing the inevitable micro-scratches.

3. Leaning against our car to look cool for that person we’re waiting for

A crime I’m definitely guilty of is leaning against my car. Sometimes my friend is taking forever to get outside. But the buttons on your jeans or drawstring on your jacket all rubbing against the paint is bad news.

4. Seeing a blemish and rubbing it with our fingerĀ 

It may seem helpful by getting that water spot off or wiping our hands on the surface to remove dust. However, without proper lubrication, any friction of that sort is going to cause some scratching.

5. Using a California duster

One of the worst inventions ever made is the California duster. Sure, when you live in places like California where you don’t see too much rain and you hardly ever need a car wash, dusting the vehicle is all that’s needed. However, those dirty dusters that hardly ever get cleaned is just smearing small rock particles it’s picked up across your paint leaving sometimes very noticeable scratches in the finish.

6. Eating while driving

Sure it’s obvious to try and avoid crumbs or a piece of steak from your burrito getting lost between the seats. Yet, eating in your car and getting your hands greasy and then touching the every surface in your car is just making them dirty and damaged quicker. The natural oils of your hands inside your car is dirty enough and it’s unreasonable to request you wash your hands each time before driving. But just don’t make it worse.

7. Allowing sprinklers to spray our car

Beyond the idea of having hideous water spots on your car, the water that runs through non-drinking pipes is hardly filtered. The water contains all kinds of minerals and contaminants that can eat right through your protective coating or wax (assuming of course you have one). So although it may be fun to drive through a stray sprinkler down the road or you’re too busy to fix your own front yard watering system; remember that you’re damaging the paint every day you wait while the sun bakes those water spots right into the surface.


Maybe we forgot something on this list. If you think of anything, help us out and add it to the comments below.

  • Kay Lee

    Leaving bird poop or sap on cars longer than a few hours. Sea Gull poop will eat away at paint almost immediately, and sap becomes harder to remove as it dries. Take care removing Sea Gull poop as it is gritty with sand.