Why Is My Car Paint Peeling - and 7 Steps to Prevent It
September 22, 2020
Peeling car paint is definitely bad news; it can completely damage the love you held for your one-time pride and joy. It happens for many reasons, so find out why your car paint is peeling and how to protect your paint job in the future.
What Causes Paint To Peel?
When we use the term “car paint,” we’re really talking about 3 different layers; base, colour coat and protective coat. Working from bare metal outward, we have: the primer, the paint itself, and then a colourless clear coat. If any of these layers gets delaminated (stops adhering to the surface below), your paint is in trouble. Once the peeling process starts, it only gets worse, unless it’s treated.
So let's get down to it, “What causes this delamination process?”
1. Chip or Scratch
Your car’s clear coat acts as a sealant for the paint. When this outer layer is compromised by the tiniest scratch or chip, it opens the door (so to speak) for contaminants and moisture to penetrate. Small chips or scratches, left untreated can and will lead to delamination.
2. Pressure Washing
A pressure washer is much more powerful than a hose, so it’s a popular choice in getting your car super clean. However, pressure washing can be a disaster for your paint if the clear coat’s been breached by chipping or scratching.
Holding the spray nozel directly over a scratch can allow that high pressure water to get under the layers of paint and quickly cause major damage.
Ottawa winters are hard on your vehicle. Just the very cold temperatures will make the clear coating brittle. Melting snow turns to a salt infused slurry that penetrates every nook and cranny of your vehicle. Flying ice chunks and over zealous window scraping with sharp tools can all easily cause scratches and damage that you might not even be aware of until spring.
4. UV Exposure
Prolonged exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun will result in deterioration of the clear coating, and even cause fading of the paint below. While “patina” cars are quite popular, you probably wouldn’t appreciate the look on your 2012 Honda.
5. Chemical Cleaners
Be careful using strong chemical cleaners on your vehicle. Dilute as per the maker’s instructions and rinse off promptly. Even strong detergents like liquid dish soap can strip the wax from your car, leaving the paint and clearcoat more vulnerable to everything listed above.
How To Protect Car Paint From Peeling?
1. Wrap it up. An expertly applied clear plastic film (especially on the front end and hood) can protect your car from just about anything – from winter’s snow and salt to tree sap, road grime and bird poop in warmer weather.
2. Keep a clean machine. Take care to wash off contaminants and potentially abrasive particles. Keep your car clean! To really keep your paint perfect, commit to a clay bar session 3-4 times a year. Follow cleaning with a protective coat of wax.
3. Park safely. Give your car a break – park in the shade or a garage whenever possible. In a public lot, try to find a spot away from other vehicles (or worst case, park beside the nicest vehicle), so there’s less danger of a scratch or two.
4. Nip scratches and rust in the bud. Have these problems repaired pronto, before they lead to serious damage.
5. Be good to your car. Speaking of scratches, keep keys and rough nylon snowbrushes away from your paint job. Invest in mud flaps and a car cover to protect against grit, as well as water and sunlight.
6. Get proper paint repair. Get peeling paint fixed fast, but never simply paint over it. Make sure the entire area of damage is meticulously removed and your paint is seamlessly repaired, matching the color exactly to the manufacturer’s paint code. As they say, the work is in the preparation - you get what you pay for here!
7. Consider a full paint job. If peeling affects most of the vehicle, consider having it completely repainted. While this doesn’t come cheap (a full paint job costs about $5,000), it gives you back your vehicle looking “brand-new”, along with pride of ownership and a solid resale value.
Take Care Of Peeling Paint With Bemac
Whether you want high quality professional repair or a complete repaint job, choose Bemac.
We make getting your estimate or appraisal easy with online scheduling and quoting, drive through estimate bays, multiple locations across Ottawa and the top techs in the city. With our expertise and state-of-the-art body shop, we’ll make your car look good as new.
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