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Beginning Your Career in Automotive Detailing? Here’s How to Deal With Gas Stains on Paintwork

Published on April 19, 2018 by in Blog, CATI

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It’s a common occurrence in gas stations: the pump nozzle is extracted from the vehicle and a few errant drops fall onto the paintwork. It’s easy for a busy driver to ignore this and get on with their day, but the corrosive qualities of gas, especially if left for a prolonged period on the surface of paintwork, can easily leave marks and cause lasting damage.

Here’s how detailing professionals can best counter gas droplets and the stains they leave.

Gas Stains Tend to Evaporate Rapidly, But Can Cause Considerable Damage if Left Untouched

Standard gasoline is a high-octane fuel with weak intermolecular properties. This means that in liquid form, molecules at the surface of the liquid that come into contact with air rapidly change into a gas. In effect, the drops of gasoline on the paintwork of a car will evaporate even faster than water droplets. While in liquid form, these droplets can easily “run” on the surface of a moving car. These properties mean an owner only has a limited time to wipe away the gas, which can easily produce a long, dried stain on the vehicle’s paintwork near the gas cap.

Gasoline contains corrosive sulphur oxides and can eat into a vehicle’s paintwork. Damage typically affects the vehicle’s clear coat, though prolonged exposure to a substantial amount of gas can lead to the basecoat being compromised. This will manifest itself as a discoloration on the surface of the paint, typically trailing away from the gas cap. Professionals with a career in automotive detailing will know that extensive cleaning, buffing, and clear coat re-touching may be required if gas stains are allowed to set in.

Pros with a Career in Automotive Detailing Know to Tackle Gas Stains Promptly

A detailer should deal with any fresh gas stains as a priority, using a dedicated automotive stain remover that neutralizes the chemical properties of the liquid. Hot soapy water will also work as an effective alternative stain remover.

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Ensuring that the right materials are used for washing off gas stains is crucial

The affected area should be gently scrubbed until all traces of the gas stain are removed. The ease with which particles or grit and dirt can cling to gas droplets on the vehicle surface means they can be ground into the paintwork by overly enthusiastic cleaning. Using an especially soft cleaning cloth with sufficient lubrication for initial cleaning is thus highly recommended. Microfiber cloths are excellent tools for the job, and are also wonderful for drying the affected area. This will reduce the likelihood of smearing or marking the car’s body.

Grads of Automotive Detailing Courses Know Wax Can Prove to Be a Good Protective Measure

Grads of automotive detailing courses will know that a vehicle featuring applied body wax will not be as badly affected should gas come into contact with its paintwork. This is because automotive wax, if correctly applied, will absorb the corrosive effects of the gas, protecting the lower clear coat from damage.

However, detailers should bear in mind that a comprehensive treatment will require replacing this damaged wax. Once the stain has been removed and the area dried, reapplication options could include applying localized spray-on wax or waxing the entire body of the car. While concerns centering around cost and time may lead some owners away from opting for a full wax reapplication, this will the best way to ensure continued protection all around the vehicle.

Do you want to build a career making cars look their very best?

If so, contact Automotive Training Centres today to learn about the benefits of automotive detailing specialists training.

 
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