3 Tips For Preventing Auto Body Damage

You can't predict when you're going to have a fender bender or get caught in a sudden hailstorm. That means that sometimes, auto body damage is just unavoidable, and the best you can do is find an affordable repair shop. However, the cheapest way to deal with auto body damage is always going to be prevention. If you can avoid the dents, scratches, and dings in the first place, you can save yourself a lot of repair costs in the long run. Check out a few things that you can do to avoid auto body damage before it happens.

Protect Your Paint

You don't need to have an accident to wind up with paint damage. Exposure to the elements, the sunlight, and pollution in the air can fade or damage your paint job without any help from you. To protect your car's paint job, park under shelter whenever possible. The less time your car spends baking in the sunlight, the longer your paint job will last.

Don't look at washing your car as just another unwelcome chore. Think of it as an inexpensive investment into keeping your car looking like new. Removing dirt, bugs, and other filth before they've had a chance to set in can go a long way toward preserving your paint job. And don't skip the wax after the car has been cleaned and dried. Applying wax protects against UV rays and road dust. If you want to go the extra mile, consider investing in auto paint protection film – a transparent film that's applied over your car's paint to further protect it.

Prevent the Dents

Some of the most common spots for dents and dings are the car doors. It's just a little too easy to accidentally park too close to some obstruction. You can avoid those dents by installing magnetic door protectors to absorb the blow. Door protectors are made from foam, or some similarly absorbent material, and they can prevent a lot of casual damage.

Similar foam protectors are available for car bumpers, another common spot for dents. You may also want to consider installing a rear back-up camera, which can limit the chances of a collision in the first place.

If you live in an area where hail is common, it's best to protect your vehicle by making sure that it's in a shed or garage when a hailstorm is expected. However, in a pinch, you may be able to prevent or at least limit the damage by covering your car with a heavy blanket. It's not a sure thing, but the blanket will absorb at least some of the impact.

Be Rust-Free

Rust is the scourge of many car owners, especially those who live in coastal areas where the salt air contributes to the spread of rust. It's tough to stop rust from spreading once it gets a foothold, so if at all possible, you want to prevent it from forming in the first place. Washing and waxing your car on a regular schedule, and after any exposure to salt water, is a good start, but it's not enough.

Cleaning the inside of your car is as important as cleaning the outside. Many car owners don't realize that rust can start from the inside, often as the result of a spill that didn't get cleaned or dried fast enough. Also, don't neglect the wheel wells or the underside of your car. If there is a lot of salt around, either because you're driving in a beach area or your driving through snowy streets that have been salted to melt the ice, you need to be sure to clean the wheel wells and underside of the car at least once every week. If your car as it high risk for rust, a can of rust-prevention coating is a lot cheaper than fixing the rust spots after the fact.

For more ideas on auto body damage prevention, it never hurts to consult your preferred auto body shop, like Collision One. They'll be happy to help you find ways to prevent damage before it happens.