Paint Protection- Detailing Question

I plan to drive my new vehicle during a holiday trip. The paint is the pearlescent white type. I am concerned about road grime and bugs getting on the paint surface (especially front and hood areas) and dulling/damaging it. What product could I use before the trip to protect the paint? What procedure would you recommend to safely remove road bugs from the paint surface? Thanks!

Before the trip, give the vehicle a good coating of wax with a high-quality product from one of the better companies, such as Meguiars’s or Mothers. If you wind up with bug splatters, remove them with a product such as Turtle Wax Bug & Tar Remover. However, since that product also removes your wax protection, be sure to re-wax in a couple of months.

Use a terry cloth wash cloth with plane water to remove most of the bugs. Keep the little bodies wet and a few minutes later you can wash off some more. After a couple of cycles, they should all be gone. Then follow VDCdrivers advice. I recommend Meguire’s Ultimate wax which is a crosslinked polymer and seems to be more resistant to the little buggers than a Carnuba wax.

+1 to VDC’s post.
Why did you buy a car in a paint that you can’t take on a trip anyways???

On your trip, as needed, use a touch-free wash if you want the whole car to look decent or just use a high-pressure spray wand if you want to remove the bugs cheaply. Don’t forget to clean the back of the mirrors as well.

You can have the nose of the car covered with something like 3M Paint Protectant film; sometimes called “clear bra”. That will help.

That being said, I realize you have a brand new car but unless you keep speeds down to 15 MPH and stay within 2 blocks of your home the inevitable chips and dings will come no matter what.

You want an invisible bra.

This can be applied to any part of the vehicle that’ll take the brunt of the erosion.

Ziebart even sells this protection.


The invisible bra is good as mentioned. But I have also heard that the paint under it does not fade equal to the rest of the car, so when you take it off, the difference is noticeable.

The small chips you would get are annoying, but they are like the wrinkles we develop. Can’t prevent them altogether and as indication of age and maturity :slight_smile:

Depending on when it was made, you might want to let it cure for a couple months before waxing it. Otherwise just was and enjoy and clean it up when its dirty. Car finishes take quite a beating.

3M Adhesive remover. Though it’s not specifically made as a bug remover, it is easy on paints and I feel safe using it first. Like most say, they do dry up on their own. Some of these critters have to have some real toxic substances in their little bodies though, so it can be argued that removing them early isn’t bad. Personally, that’s my argument for not washing my car initially so a layer of dirt protects it. Buy every car with a bug screen…they are a necessity IMO.

Hmm, invisible bra - the paint fades under it unequally to the rest of the car? Technology has created a replacement product with exactly the same downside as the old vinyl car bras! Well at least it doesn’t flap at 65 mph and rub through the paint!

I’ve always been an adherent to @VDCDriver 's method. Wash and wax, chemicals when absolutely needed. Cars are going to chip, that is why we have body shops with paint booths and Dr. ColorChip - like products. Don’t sweat the small chips, just touch 'em up.

I bought this bug barrier from Griot’s and it works great. After washing the car, you spray it on and wipe it around with a microfiber towel. When it drys, it drys clear. Then bugs wash right off so easy. It also takes dryed on bugs that don’t come off when you wash the car. I usually don’t want to recomend a product unless I have used it and it works great.

For bugs, first I make sure I have a good coat of wax. When I wash the car, I wet down the front first and keep it wet to soak the bugs. Then I just use a bug sponge to get them off. Even with a black finish it will not scratch the paint and takes the bugs off without chemicals. I always use Meguires car wash with it. Once in a while I’ll use a bug and tar remover. I like NAPA’s the best but it takes the wax off so don’t use it and generally just use the Turtle Wax stuff that doesn’t require waxing again.