What Ruins Car Paint The Fastest?

You may think your car can handle anything — but its paint can’t. In fact, paint is one of the easiest parts of a car to damage, particularly if you don’t take extra care to look after it.

It’s also incredibly important in maintaining the condition of your car. Your paintwork does a lot more than just keeping your car looking new and shiny — it is the key barrier protecting the sheet metal of your vehicle.

So it may come as a surprise to learn many of the elements cars interact with on a daily basis can damage your paintwork. What common things ruin car paint the fastest and what can you do to ensure it doesn’t happen to you?


Sydney is surrounded by beautiful beaches so it’s unsurprising that many of us like to drive to the coast on the weekend. But it can have an impact on your vehicle.

Salt is both acidic and reactive, which can have a big impact on your car paint. Further, it’s likely your car will be exposed to sand at the beach, which can be abrasive and cause scratches. Beyond your paintwork, the salt water can also impact the parts under your car which can rust.

The solution: If you live near the beach or visit often, it’s important that you regularly wash your car. This will ensure your vehicle is protected from sand and salt.

Bird droppings

One of the best parts of living in Sydney is how immersed our city is in nature. One of the worst? You’re never too far away from birds — and bird droppings.

Getting bird poop on your car isn’t just unpleasant, it can spell trouble for your car. Droppings are acidic which, if left too long, can erode your paint. Birds also tend to eat seeds which can be left in the droppings and scratch the paint of your car.

The solution: If you see bird droppings on your car, it’s time to clean it up quick-smart. Use a wet cloth to remove the poop but try to lift, not wipe — that way, you’ll avoid grinding any seed particles into the paint and causing scratches.

Tree sap

Even if you’re able to avoid bird droppings, it’s likely you’ve at some stage parked beneath a tree and found tree sap on your car. Not only is it hard to remove but, if left too long, it can eat or discolour your paintwork or dull your paint shine.

The solution: If tree sap is left too long, it can turn hard and be hard to scrub off. Your best bet is to wash it immediately. However, if it’s refusing to budge, bug and tar remover or commercial sap remover can be options.


Fuel shouldn’t regularly come into contact with your car paint. But occasionally, you may find it has leaked out of your fuel cap, or see some overspill as you fuel up at the petrol bowser. Left alone, the fuel can cause your paint to peel or stain.

The solution: If petrol comes into contact with your car paint, be sure to give it a quick rinse and wipe it with a clean microfibre cloth.


If you’ve ever set out on the motorway, you know it’s only a matter of time before a bug hits your windshield. But it’s more than just annoying — bugs can be problematic to your car paint.

Bugs are acidic. If they aren’t cleaned off your car, they can eat into your paint or leave an imprint that is hard to remove.

The solution: It’s best to wash your car as soon as possible if you’ve noticed bug splatter on your car. Use a good car wash solution or, if you’re finding it difficult to remove, a commercial bug and tar remover.

Gravel and stones

It’s inevitable — at some point or another, you’ll drive along a gravel or unsealed road and your car will be faced with paint damage from rocks. Loose stone chips can be flung up to your car as you drive, leaving chips in your paintwork. It’s important to address this issue as soon as possible — stone chips can expose the metal beneath your car’s paintwork which can lead to rust.

The solution: If you find a stone chip in your paintwork, it’s best to call a car scratch repair professional. Of all the issues we’ve listed, this is the one that can cause the most damage to your car. By repairing the chip with new paint, you’ll be protecting your car from further issues.

If youve found a stone chip in your paintwork, or have damage from exposure to another element, its time to call in the professionals. A car paint repairer, like Bumpertek, will be able to address the damage to your paintwork before it causes any further problems and bring back the shine to your vehicle. Get in touch with us today and find out how we can restore the finish to your car.