I’m the owner of the dark green 1999 Honda Accord Coupe that appeared in prior editions of Piston Slap. Its paint is failing (clearcoat starting to peel and gray patches showing) after many years of sun exposure here in the Dallas area and it’s time to get a new car. I have a garage to protect the car at night, but my engineering career requires that my car spend the day out in the sun on a concrete parking lot. The good news is my cars never get exposed to road salt and snow, ice, frost, and morning dew are pretty much a non-issue for cars that spend the night in a garage.
1) What color paint resists damage from sunlight best?
2) Do any waxes or other products work significantly better than others?
3) Would covered parking during the day add years to paint or are pollutants like ozone attacking the finish in the shade?
Clear coat only lasts so long, even on vehicles that spend the majority of their lives in a garage. And if you own one of those vehicles from the early 1990s that were on the losing end of paint booth/environmental regulations, the clear coat failed far too early. You could easily repaint your Accord and be happy, but maybe it’s time to find a new “paint job” to call your own.
To answer your questions:
1. I’m no experienced body shop dude, but I know a couple. Ordinary white (like you see on fleet vehicles) is probably the most durable color against the elements. And the most forgiving to hide/repair scratches, which is worth considering.
2. That’s hot button issue. I will stick with one big generality: the caranuba-based waxes don’t hold a candle to the newer polymer based waxes. I’ve even heard manufacturers mention that the polymer waxes last many months longer than the traditional stuff.
3. I think covered parking improves the lifespan of any paint job, not to mention the well-being of your rubber bits and interior fabrics. This is a no brainer….right, B&B???
Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.