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Mazda CX-5 Owners Manual: Exterior Care

The paintwork on your Mazda represents the latest technical developments in composition and methods of application.

Environmental hazards, however, can harm the paint's protective properties, if proper care is not taken.

Here are some examples of possible damage, with tips on how to prevent them.

Etching Caused by Acid Rain or Industrial Fallout

Occurrence

Industrial pollutants and vehicle emissions drift into the air and mix with rain or dew to form acids. These acids can settle on a vehicle's finish. As the water evaporates, the acid becomes concentrated and can damage the finish.

And the longer the acid remains on the surface, the greater the chance is for damage.

Prevention

It is necessary to wash and wax your vehicle to preserve its finish according to the instructions in this section. These steps should be taken immediately after you suspect that acid rain has settled on your vehicle's finish.

Damage Caused by Bird Dropping, Insects, or Tree Sap

Occurrence

Bird droppings contain acids. If these are not removed they can eat away the clear and color base coat of the vehicle's paintwork.

When insects stick to the paint surface and decompose, corrosive compounds form. These can erode the clear and color base coat of the vehicle's paintwork if they are not removed.

Tree sap will harden and adhere permanently to the paint finish. If you scratch the sap off while it is hard, some vehicle paint could come off with it.

Prevention

It is necessary to have your Mazda washed and waxed to preserve its finish according to the instructions in this section. This should be done as soon as possible.

Bird droppings can be removed with a soft sponge and water. If you are traveling and these are not available, a moistened tissue may also take care of the problem.

The cleaned area should be waxed according to the instructions in this section.

Insects and tree sap are best removed with a soft sponge and water or a commercially available chemical cleaner.

Another method is to cover the affected area with dampened newspaper for one to two hours. After removing the newspaper, rinse off the loosened debris with water.

Water Marks

Occurrence

Rain, fog, dew, and even tap water can contain harmful minerals such as salt and lime. If moisture containing these minerals settles on the vehicle and evaporates, the minerals will concentrate and harden to form white rings. The rings can damage your vehicle's finish.

Prevention

It is necessary to wash and wax your vehicle to preserve its finish according to the instructions in this section. These steps should be taken immediately after you find water marks on your vehicle's finish.

Paint Chipping

Occurrence

Paint chipping occurs when gravel thrown in the air by another vehicle's tires hits your vehicle.

How to avoid paint chipping

Keeping a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead reduces the chances of having your paint chipped by flying gravel.

NOTE

The paint chipping zone varies with the speed of the vehicle. For example, when traveling at 90 km/h (56 mph), the paint chipping zone is 50 m (164 ft).

In low temperatures a vehicle's finish hardens. This increases the chance of paint chipping.

Chipped paint can lead to rust forming on your Mazda. Before this happens, repair the damage by using Mazda touch-up paint according to the instructions in this section.

Failure to repair the affected area could lead to serious rusting and expensive repairs.

Follow all label and container directions when using a chemical cleaner or polish.

Read all warnings and cautions.

Maintaining the Finish

Washing

CAUTION

When the wiper lever is in the AUTO position and the ignition is switched ON, the wipers may move automatically in the following cases:

If the windshield above the rain sensor is touched or wiped with a cloth.

If the windshield is struck with a hand or other object from either outside or inside the vehicle.

Keep hands and scrapers clear of the windshield when the wiper lever is in the AUTO position and the ignition is switched ON as fingers could be pinched or the wipers and wiper blades damaged when the wipers activate automatically.

If you are going to clean the windshield, be sure the wipers are turned off completely―this is particularly important when clearing ice and snow―when it is most likely that the engine is left running.

Do not spray water in the engine compartment. Otherwise, it could result in engine-starting problems or damage to electrical parts.

To help protect the finish from rust and deterioration, wash your Mazda thoroughly and frequently, at least once a month, with lukewarm or cold water.

If the vehicle is washed improperly, the paint surface could be scratched. Here are some examples of how scratching could occur.

Scratches occur on the paint surface when:

The vehicle is washed without first rinsing off dirt and other foreign matter. The vehicle is washed with a rough, dry, or dirty cloth.
The vehicle is washed at a car wash that uses brushes that are dirty or too stiff. Cleansers or wax containing abrasives are used.

NOTE

Mazda is not responsible for scratches caused by automatic car washes or improper washing.

Scratches are more noticeable on vehicles with darker paint finishes.

To minimize scratches on the vehicle's paint finish:

Rinse off any dirt or other foreign matter using lukewarm or cold water before washing. Use plenty of lukewarm or cold water and a soft cloth when washing the vehicle. Do not use a nylon cloth. Rub gently when washing or drying the vehicle.
Take your vehicle only to a car wash that keeps its brushes well maintained. Do not use abrasive cleansers or wax that contain abrasives.

CAUTION

Do not use steel wool, abrasive cleaners, or strong detergents containing highly alkaline or caustic agents on chrome-plated or anodized aluminum parts. This may damage the protective coating; also, cleaners and detergents may discolor or deteriorate the paint.

Pay special attention to removing salt, dirt, mud, and other foreign material from the underside of the fenders, and make sure the drain holes in the lower edges of the doors and rocker panels are clean.

Insects, tar, tree sap, bird droppings, industrial fallout, and similar deposits can damage the finish if not removed immediately. When prompt washing with plain water is ineffective, use a mild soap made for use on vehicles.

Thoroughly rinse off all soap with lukewarm or cold water. Do not allow soap to dry on the finish.

After washing the vehicle, dry it with a clean chamois to prevent water spots from forming.

WARNING

Dry off brakes that have become wet by driving slowly, releasing the accelerator pedal and lightly applying the brakes several times until the brake performance returns to normal:

Driving with wet brakes is dangerous. Increased stopping distance or the vehicle pulling to one side when braking could result in a serious accident. Light braking will indicate whether the brakes have been affected.

When using a high water pressure car wash

High water temperature and high water pressure car washers are available depending on the type of car wash machine. If the car washer nozzle is put too close to the vehicle, the force of the spray could damage or deform the molding, affect the sealability of parts, and allow water to penetrate the interior.

Keep a sufficient space (30 cm or more) between the nozzle and the vehicle. In addition, do not spend too much time spraying the same area of the vehicle, and be very careful when spraying between gaps in doors and around windows.

Waxing

Your vehicle needs to be waxed when water no longer beads on the finish.

Always wash and dry the vehicle before waxing it. In addition to the vehicle body, wax the metal trim to maintain its luster.

1. Use wax which contains no abrasives.

Waxes containing abrasive will remove paint and could damage bright metal parts.

2. Use a good grade of natural wax for metallic, mica, and solid colors.

3. When waxing, coat evenly with the sponge supplied or a soft cloth.

4. Wipe off the wax with a soft cloth.

NOTE

A spot remover to remove oil, tar, and similar materials will usually also take off the wax.

Rewax these areas even if the rest of the vehicle does not need it.

Repairing Damage to the Finish

Deep scratches or chips on the finish should be repaired promptly. Exposed metal quickly rusts and can lead to major repairs.

CAUTION

If your Mazda is damaged and needs metal parts repaired or replaced, make sure the body shop applies anti-corrosion materials to all parts, both repaired and new. This will prevent them from rusting.

Bright-Metal Maintenance

Use tar remover to remove road tar and insects. Never do this with a knife or similar tool.

To prevent corrosion on bright-metal surfaces, apply wax or chrome preservative and rub it to a high luster.

During cold weather or in coastal areas, cover bright-metal parts with a coating of wax or preservative heavier than usual. It would also help to coat them with noncorrosive petroleum jelly or some other protective compound.

CAUTION

Do not use steel wool, abrasive cleaners, or strong detergents containing highly alkaline or caustic agents on chrome-plated or anodized aluminum parts. This may result in damage to the protective coating and cause discoloration or paint deterioration.

Underbody Maintenance

Road chemicals and salt used for ice and snow removal and solvents used for dust control may collect on the underbody. If not removed, they will speed up rusting and deterioration of such underbody parts as fuel lines, frame, floor pan, and exhaust system, even though these parts may be coated with anti-corrosive material.

Thoroughly flush the underbody and wheel housings with lukewarm or cold water at the end of each winter. Try also to do this every month.

Pay special attention to these areas because they easily hide mud and dirt. It will do more harm than good to wet down the road grime without removing it.

The lower edges of doors, rocker panels, and frame members have drain holes that should not be clogged. Water trapped there will cause rusting.

WARNING

Dry off brakes that have become wet by driving slowly, releasing the accelerator pedal and lightly applying the brakes several times until the brake performance returns to normal:

Driving with wet brakes is dangerous. Increased stopping distance or the vehicle pulling to one side when braking could result in a serious accident. Light braking will indicate whether the brakes have been affected.

Aluminum Wheel Maintenance

A protective coating is provided over the aluminum wheels. Special care is needed to protect this coating.

CAUTION

Do not use any detergent other than mild detergent. Before using any detergent, verify the ingredients.

Otherwise, the product could discolor or stain the aluminum wheels.

NOTE

Do not use a wire brush or any abrasive cleaner, polishing compound, or solvent on aluminum wheels. They may damage the coating.

Always use a sponge or soft cloth to clean the wheels.

Rinse the wheels thoroughly with lukewarm or cold water. Also, be sure to clean the wheels after driving on dusty or salted roads to help prevent corrosion.

Avoid washing your vehicle in an automatic car wash that uses high-speed or hard brushes.

If your aluminum wheels lose luster, wax the wheels.

Plastic Part Maintenance

When cleaning the plastic lenses of the lights, do not use gasoline, kerosene, rectified spirit, paint, thinner, highly acidic detergents, or strongly alkaline detergents. Otherwise, these chemical agents can discolor or damage the surfaces resulting in a significant loss in functionality. If plastic parts become inadvertently exposed to any of these chemical agents, flush with water immediately.

If plastic parts such as the bumpers become inadvertently exposed to chemical agents or fluids such as gasoline, oil, engine coolant, or battery fluid, it could cause discoloration, staining, or paint peeling. Wipe off any such chemical agents or fluids using a soft cloth immediately.

High water temperature and high water pressure car washers are available depending on the type of high pressure car washer device. If the car washer nozzle is put too close to the vehicle or aimed at one area for an extended period of time, it could deform plastic parts or damage the paint.

Do not use wax containing compounds (polish). Otherwise, it could result in paint damage.

In addition, do not use an electrical or air tool to apply wax. Otherwise, the frictional heat generated could result in deformation of plastic parts or paint damage.

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