Caring For Your Vehicle

It’s important that you take care of your vehicle after a recent collision repair. Fortunately, doing so is easy and will maximize the durability of the repairs your vehicle has just received. To ensure that your vehicle’s new paint job cures completely and to keep it looking like new, wash the vehicle by hand at least twice a month using a soft sponge and dry the vehicle using a terry cloth or cheese cloth towel. Make sure to rinse off any kind of oil or petroleum residue (i.e., gasoline) from your vehicle’s finish with water. Try to avoid running your vehicle through an automated car wash or waxing it for at least the first couple of months after a repair. This helps to preserve your paint job and reduces the need for a costly paint job in the future.

Auto detailing dashboard

Post Car Repair Dos and Don’ts

You’ve been in an accident and sustained significant damage to your vehicle. Fortunately, you did the right thing and took your car to one of our convenient auto body repair shops in Des Moines. Our expert technicians made the necessary repairs using our state-of-the-art technology. The result is your car looks and drives like new. But just like coming home after major surgery, your car also needs some “TLC” and recuperation after you get it home.. Most likely, either all or part of your car was repainted, and that’s where you need to pay particular attention. According to 1 Collision Des Moines’ body repair experts, it’s important to baby your car’s new post-repair paint job. We’ve come up with the following list of post auto-repair “do’s and don’ts” that you should follow to protect your newly painted car once you get your home from one of our Des Moines Collision Centers.

Do This:

Do Wash Your Car By Hand – Because the new paint and finish need to dry and harden, you should take care washing it for a minimum of three months after it’s been painted. Use a very mild car wash solution and a soft cloth or sponge to wash and a chamois to dry. Use cool, clean water, not hot.

Do Wash Your Car In The Shade – Don’t let the surface dry out or get too hot. Keep it wet and wash your car in the shade.

Do Dry Your Car Thoroughly – If water is allowed to dry on the surface, it will cause unsightly and permanent water marks that will mar the finish. As we said above, use a good quality chamois to dry your vehicle.

Do Keep Your Car In The Garage – It’s always a good idea to keep your car in the garage. But this is particularly the case after it’s been painted. Extreme heat or cold can cause weather-related damage. If you don’t have a garage, consider getting a portable awning or car cover if kept outside.

Do Get Your Car Professionally Detailed – Let the professionals detail your car properly at least twice a year. Be sure to tell them that your car was recently painted so they can take the necessary care. Don’t know a professional detailer? Yes you do! We’ve got excellent detail technicians that will take great care of your car.


Don’t Do This:

Don’t Wax or Polish Your Car for Three Months – Wait at least three months before waxing and polishing your car as doing so will possibly damage the finish or discolor the paint. The paint job needs to “cure” for some time before you can go back to waxing and polishing it. After waiting three months or longer, you can carefully apply a new coat of carnauba wax to protect it.

Don’t Dry Wipe Your Car – It may be tempting to take a dry cloth and wipe off the dust, but this could scratch the new paint which is still quite fragile. You should also avoid using a stiff brush or anything rough that could scratch the surface.

Don’t Run Your Car Through A Car Wash – Many neighborhood drive-through car washes use stiff brushes and other materials that will definitely scratch and damage your paint. This will cause the finish to lose its lustrous shine quickly. If you are in a jam, the second best choice to wash your vehicle, would be to use a touchless car wash. You can find a number of touchless car washes throughout Des Moines, Grimes, Urbandale and Ankeny.

Don’t Park Under Trees Or Power Lines – Tree sap and bird droppings will eat right through your new paint job. It’s just a sound practice to avoid doing this if at all possible. If you do happen to get some bird droppings or sap on the finish, clean it off promptly and carefully as the acidity will eat right through the new paint.

Don’t Scrape Off Ice Or Snow – Taking a hard plastic scraper to your new paint job is asking for trouble. The tool can potentially scrape some of the paint off. If you can, try to use your hand or a soft brush to remove excess snow.

Don’t Use Dish Or Clothing Detergent – Avoid the temptation to grab that bottle of dish soap or laundry detergent to wash your newly painted car. These soaps leave harmful residues and are too strong for your vehicle’s finish, permanently dulling it. This is particularly the case with new paint jobs which cannot tolerate harsh soaps. Always use a car wash solution that is made for vehicles, not dishes or clothes.

Don’t Spill Harsh Chemicals – You should avoid spilling chemicals on any car’s surface in the first place. But new paint jobs are particularly vulnerable to any harsh chemicals or fluids. Be cautious adding oil, transmission fluid, or antifreeze. Use care when filling your car with gas. Even windshield washer fluid can damage new paint. If you do, wipe off immediately with a soft wet cloth or sponge (not dry) and try to wash the affected area thoroughly as soon as possible.

Don’t Drive On Dirt Or Gravel Roads – Living or driving in rural areas may make it tough to avoid driving on gravel or dirt roads. But try not to drive on these roads or near construction sites if at all possible. Since the new paint is still hardening, it’s very susceptible to chipping.


By following these do’s and don’ts, your car will continue to look and drive like new for many miles down the road.

Helpful COVID-19 Car Cleaning Tips

What To Use:

  • Gloves
  • Solutions with at least 70% alcohol
  • Wipes without bleach

What Not To Use:

  • Bleach or a bleach solution
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Soap and water – if you scrub to hard

Clean these hot spots thoroughly:

  • Steering wheel & turn signals
  • Wiper & shifter knobs
  • Door handles – inside & out
  • Armrests & center console
  • Seat belts, adjusters & buckles
  • Climate control & radio buttons
  • Windows & locks