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Keeping the Paint Pristine


Staff member
Nov 3, 2011
New Hampshire
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
Not Yet!
From the Bowling Green Assembly Plant Performance Press, December 7, 2007. The information provided can easily be applied to V-Series Cadillacs:

Keeping the Paint Pristine

Corvette owners are known to be a little picky about the paint job on their cars (okay, maybe obsessive in some cases). In the winter months, whether you plan on parking your car for a some time or continuing to drive it everyday, it is important to protect the paint on your pride and joy because your car’s paint gets more abuse than any other part of the car. It is exposed to weather, flying debris and more. Recently, Quality Manager Steve Grilli sat down with Art Spong, group manager of brand quality for performance cars, to find out what precautions to take to keep your beautiful paint in pristine condition:

• Keep your car clean inside and out. Dirt and dust can cause abrasions in the paint job if something or someone rubs up against it. Apply a coat of wax for added protection.

• Car covers are a great way to protect the car from dirt and dust or any objects that come near the car. Make sure the car is completely dry before using a cover as moisture could cause mold to form. Fascia bras and front end covers can also cause abrasions to the paint and hold in moisture. So, if you are not driving the car, take it off.

• In a dry climate, covers can create static electricity when they are being removed, especially if they are made with nylon. To prevent shorting out the circuit board on your XM radio module, place a rubber patch over the antenna to insulate it from a nylon cover.

• Art Spong strongly recommends a good quality battery tender. It is easy to connect it yourself and any time your Corvette is going to be parked for more than a couple of weeks, all you have to do is plug it in. But….it needs to be a good, quality tender. The National Corvette Museum sells a good tender made by the “Battery Tender” company. If you don’t want to use a battery tender, Art recommends you disconnect the battery.

• If you are trying to charge the battery just by idling the engine, then run the engine for at least a half hour and turn off all electrical draw including the headlamps, radio and the HVAC so the alternator can put all its energy back into the battery. Make sure that your car runs at least one-half hour to prevent moisture being left in the exhaust system. (Remember, never run the engine in a closed garage!)

• Tire pressure should be checked and adjusted to have a minimum PSI of 30 for the front and 30 in the rear. As a general rule, you will lose 1 PSI for every 10 degrees of temperature change, and low tire pressure can affect performance and gas mileage.
Great advice, so much nicer to put in the extra effort yourself and make sure its perfect than taking your CTS-V coupe to get detailed by someone else.
When I wash my cars, I clean the wheels first and use a different set of cleaning equipment on them than I do on the car.

While I'm washing the body, I keep a clay bar handy. When I come across a mar in the paint like a bug splatter or some like scratches, I give the area a good rub down with the clay bar. The clay bar will clean out the bug gunk and polish the surface some. Then I'm on with the washing.

I hit a bird with the V last week just below the right headlight. I didn't get around to washing it for a few days, so the bird stuff and feathers were stuck to the paint pretty good. My regular car wash soap and brush were just not cutting it. Sprayed the area with Simple Green, brushed a little more to get the big pieces off, then clay barred the area. All gone!
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