How to Properly Care for Your Honda Pilot Exterior

Illustration of hands gently washing an older Honda Pilot using a soft sponge and automotive-specific cleaning solutions. Bubbles cover the car, and t

Hi, neighbor! I’m very glad that you decided to improve the appearance of your car. Let me tell you how to properly care for the body of your Honda Pilot.

Hey Honda Pilot enthusiasts! 🚗✨ Whether your ride has seen its fair share of adventures or you’ve just rolled out of the dealership with that new car shine, proper body care is essential. Dive into our guide on reviving an older Honda Pilot’s body and ensuring the lasting beauty of a newer one.

Neighbour! If you’re still thinking about buying a new car, check out this comparison of 2024 Honda Pilot engines.

Reviving an Aged Body

  1. Assessing the Condition: Before anything else, inspect your car under good lighting. Identify visible damages like scratches, dents, or rust spots.
  2. Washing: The cornerstone of body care! Always use high-quality, automotive-specific cleaning solutions. Scrub gently, especially on the aged paint, to prevent further damage.
  3. Rust Removal: Don’t let rust take over! Invest in good quality rust removers and follow the process carefully. Remember, safety first: always wear gloves!
  4. Dent and Scratch Filling: Dings happen. Using the right fillers and primers can make them virtually disappear. Remember to sand the area for a smoother finish.
  5. Polishing: Restore that showroom shine with the right polish. Work in sections and always use a soft cloth or a buffer.
  6. Sealing with Protective Layers: Finish off with a good quality wax or protective sealant. This step ensures your hard work stays pristine for longer.

My new post: The Guide to Replacing Air Filter Honda Pilot

Illustration of a Honda Pilot under good lighting, with a person inspecting its body for scratches, dents, and rust spots. The background includes a g
Illustration of a Honda Pilot under good lighting, with a person inspecting its body for scratches, dents, and rust spots. The background includes a g

Preserving a New Body

  1. Regular Washing: Dust and grime can settle fast. A regular wash schedule ensures your Pilot always looks its best.
  2. Check for Minor Issues: Even new cars can have tiny imperfections. Regularly inspect and address these early.
  3. UV Protection: The sun’s rays can be harsh. Use UV protectants to shield your paint from fading.
  4. Guard Against Salt and Chemicals: Winter roads can be brutal with salt and de-icers. Rinse your car often in these conditions and consider using a protective spray.
  5. Routine Polishing: Keep that new car gleam alive with periodic polishing.
  6. Seal It Up: Consider getting a body sealant application. It’s like an invisible shield against potential harms!

I recommend that you read my Honda Pilot transmission service manual


  1. General Questions:
    • What specific brands or products do you recommend for each step of the cleaning and restoration process?
      • While we don’t endorse specific brands, look for well-reviewed and trusted automotive brands such as Meguiar’s, Mothers, or Chemical Guys. The exact product will depend on your needs—whether it’s wax, polish, or a rust remover.
    • Are there any environmental or temperature conditions (like direct sunlight or extreme cold) I should avoid while performing these tasks?
      • Yes, avoid working under direct sunlight as it can cause cleaning products to dry prematurely, leading to streaks or residue. It’s also best not to work in freezing conditions because many products can be less effective or may not adhere properly under cold temperatures.
  2. Reviving an Aged Body:
    • How can I differentiate between deep and superficial scratches on my car’s body?
      • A superficial scratch typically only affects the clear coat, whereas a deep scratch reaches the paint layer or even the primer. A rule of thumb: if your fingernail catches in the scratch, it’s likely deep.
    • Are there any home remedies or DIY solutions for rust removal if I don’t have a commercial rust remover on hand?
      • A popular DIY method involves using white vinegar, which is acidic and can dissolve rust. However, commercial rust removers are specifically formulated for car bodies and are often more effective and safer for the paint.
    • When filling dents and scratches, how do I ensure a smooth finish that matches the rest of the car’s body?
      • Sand the filled area with progressively finer grits of sandpaper, finishing with a very fine grit to ensure smoothness. Then, apply matching touch-up paint in thin layers, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next.
    • Is there a specific type of cloth or buffer you’d recommend for polishing to avoid swirl marks or further damage?
      • Microfiber cloths or pads are excellent for polishing, as they’re soft and minimize the risk of adding scratches. If using a buffer, a dual-action or random orbital buffer can be more forgiving for beginners.
  3. Caring for a New Body:
    • How often should I wash my new Honda Pilot to maintain its appearance without causing any damage from over-washing?
      • It depends on usage and environment. If exposed to a lot of dirt or pollutants, consider washing bi-weekly. Otherwise, a monthly wash should suffice.
    • What signs should I look for to identify minor issues or imperfections on a new car body?
      • Look for inconsistencies in paint shine, tiny scratches, water spots, bird droppings, or any spots that don’t feel smooth to the touch.
    • Can you suggest a UV protectant brand that’s proven effective for the Honda Pilot’s paint type?
      • While we can’t endorse a specific brand, products like Meguiar’s G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax or Chemical Guys’ JetSeal are known to offer UV protection. Always read product labels to ensure UV protection is listed.
    • With winter road treatments, how often should I rinse my car, and is there a specific type of rinse or product that works best?
      • If your car is exposed to salt or other road treatments, rinse it weekly. Using a pH-neutral car wash shampoo can help neutralize and remove these chemicals.
    • How frequently should I polish a new car to maintain its shine without wearing down the paint prematurely?
      • Polishing isn’t just for older cars; doing it every 3-6 months for a new car can help maintain its luster. Remember, polishing too often can wear down the clear coat over time.
  4. Questions on Products and Tools:
    • Are there any tools or products you mentioned that can be easily substituted with household items?
      • While specialized car care products are best, in a pinch, a mild dish soap can be used for washing (but avoid ones with hand softeners), and old t-shirts can be repurposed as rags (ensure they’re clean and free of debris).
    • What safety precautions should I take, especially when using chemicals like rust removers or protective sprays?
      • Always work in a well-ventilated area, wear gloves, and use eye protection when handling chemicals. Read and follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions on the label.
    • How long should I wait between each step, especially after applying fillers, primers, or protective sealants?
      • Always refer to the product’s label as drying times can vary. However, a general rule: give fillers and primers at least a few hours, if not a day, and sealants typically 12-24 hours before exposing the car to elements.
    • Is it better to hand-polish or use an electric buffer for the best results?
      • Both methods can be effective. Hand-polishing gives more control, while electric buffers can save time and effort but require some skill to avoid paint damage.
    • Do I need to take any special steps or precautions if my Honda Pilot has a matte finish or special custom paintwork?
      • Yes! Matte finishes can be damaged by traditional waxes or polishes. Use products specifically designed for matte finishes and always test any product in an inconspicuous area first.

We recently discussed with you the most common problems that Honda Pilot owners face, and today you learned how to keep your body in good condition.

In conclusion, your Honda Pilot deserves the best care, whether it’s been on the road for a decade or a day. Regular upkeep not only ensures it looks great but also maintains its resale value. Drive with pride, knowing your car always looks its best!

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