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The car finish

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Updated: 3/28/2003 1:53 pm
A car's finish reflects the care and attention invested in the vehicle. The quality of the finish is usually a good indicator of how well other components of the car were assembled or maintained. Most car finishes include a base color covered with a protective clear-coat. At the factory, a car's metal body is sprayed with several layers of automotive paint designed to withstand years of variable weather conditions. Some new car manufacturers use paint made with special additives to guard against stones and other debris that cause chips in the paint. It's always a good idea to inspect carefully the entire finish before you purchase a new or used car. When you buy a new car, the finish should be flawless, with no scratches, nicks, or paint mistakes visible anywhere on the body. Two of the most common paint flaws are buffer swirls and over-spray. If you find an imperfection, ask the dealer to fix it before you take delivery of the vehicle. Also, some car dealers offer a protective paint sealant for an additional charge. If you're shopping for a used car, look for signs of rust and check for serious scratches that may be concealed with touch-up paint. Although all paint jobs fade with time, a high-quality finish should last many years if properly maintained. For more information on car finishes, consult your auto professional.

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