Why does my paint look like this?
Today, with this post, I am adding a new feature. I occasionally have people send me questions about the paint on their cars. I have been answering them as I receive them, but now I will begin to answer them here, in a post, in case someone else has the same question. I am calling this feature … Mail Bag.
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Our first question is from 58Setlak …
I drive a Toyata Camry. My car is a metallic black color. I am washing it but something is wrong with the paint work. Day by day, it gets lots of swirl marks and hairline scratches. I have tried washing it, but still the scratches won’t come clean.
It looks like you have great knowledge over cars. I request you to reply in comments or post a new blog post. This will be of great help to your blog readers.
Thank you so much.
Ok, Setlak …
First off, if the finish on your car is already marred and swirled, washing it isn’t going to help. So that is problem number one. The bigger question is, why is the finish marred in the first place?
It is important to know what you are seeing. The swirl marks you see are just what you described, very fine scratches in the paint. Since you described them as swirls I can rule out any kind of environmental damage like sand or debris. These marks were caused by a person wiping on the car in a circular motion. And no matter how much elbow grease you apply, scratches will not wash off.
But how did they get there you ask?
There could be a number of reasons. If an abrasive polish was improperly used on the car, that could easily mar the finish. Washing the car without first rinsing the car thoroughly to remove loose debris could also cause the marks. Finally, not keeping your wash mitt, rag, or sponge clean while washing the car could also cause these swirl marks. Paint is a fragile thing and it must be treated with care. I have on this site a list of do’s and don’ts for paint care that I give to every customer. You can find that list here, or you can download your own copy here.
So now you know how to prevent swirls in the future, but what about the swirls you have now? Well, you are going to have to polish them out. Polishing is not the same as waxing, though many people use the terms interchangeably. Polishing is the use of a cutting compound to repair damaged paint where waxing is applying a protective film to your cars finish.
Let me be very clear on this … if done improperly, polishing your car can irretrievably ruin your car’s finish. I can’t stress this enough. If you do not know how to use a buffer properly, have someone show you or take it to a professional detailer. Polishing a car is not difficult, but done improperly it can ruin your car’s finish. Did you notice all the italic type? That means I’m not kidding … this can really mess up your car’s finish. So much so that your only recourse is to paint it.
I am not going to try to explain here how to polish a car. I can’t do it, so find someone to show you how it’s done or take it someplace. If you are determined to do it yourself, and you have no one to show you how it’s done, Youtube is your friend. It’s not hard to polish a car, but this is one of those cases where seeing it done is worth a million words.
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If you have a question you would like to see me try answer, post your question in the comments section or send me an email. I will do my best to provide a clear, and hopefully correct, answer.