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Thread: Help! Bad clear coat problem

          
  1. #1
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    Unhappy Help! Bad clear coat problem

    I have a 2006 Chevy Silverado that I purchased new. I noticed about a week after I bought it that it had some light swirls in the clear coat. The dealer buffed it, but the swirls came back about two weeks later. Then I started noticing after washing it that hard water was staining rather easily and I started wondering if there was something wrong with the clear coat.

    About two years ago I went through an automated car wash and that left the worst hologram in the clear that I've ever seen. It's on the driver's side door, about 10"x8" and in somewhat of a rectangular shape. When the sun hits this spot it looks like there is literally a hologram in the clear coat. The whole truck got swirled up really bad just from that one trip through the car wash. I should mention that it is a dark blue truck, and I'm wondering of this really bad spot on the door can even be buffed out. Do I need SwirlX along with an orbital buffer? How could this one pass through the car wash do this much damage? Is it possible that the clear coat was not properly made?

    This is making me sick, even after all this time. I want to fix it, but I'm afraid I will make it worse. And if something is wrong with the clear coat, wont I always have swirl issues?

  2. #2
    Administrator Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Bad clear coat problem

    First off, welcome to MOL!!

    Now, as crazy as this might sound, the holograms you're seeing may have been there all along. If you've been waxing regularly it could very well be that you've been doing a good job of concealing them and the car wash you went through used a strong enough detergent wash that it stripped everything off the paint.

    You mentioned the dealership buffing the truck to remove swirls but they all came back in a couple of weeks. Again, it's quite possible that part of their "buffing" process included heavy use of a glaze to fill and conceal these minor defects. A glaze like that will wash away after a few washes and reveal the swirls and holograms that were there all along.

    Add to this the fact that in the three years you've owned this truck you've slowly been adding more swirls - it's just a fact of life unless you are extremely particular about how you wash and dry your vehicle. Even then, with soft or delicate paint, it's almost impossible to avoid them entirely. It also sounds like they've never really been given a fair shot at removal, which is where something like a good D/A buffer and some Ultimate Compound comes into play. A simple orbital buffer like those $30 things you can pick up at the auto parts store just don't have the power to correct these defects.

    Read through our 5 Step Paint Care Cycle for some specific information on how to properly address these issues and bring your finish back to where you want it.
    Michael Stoops
    Internet Technical Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.
    (800) 854-8073 xt 3875
    mstoops@meguiars.com

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

    Please post technical questions directly to the forum rather than emailing or PM-ing me. You
    will get a faster response on the forum, and your question could help someone else, too!


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    Re: Help! Bad clear coat problem

    I really appreciate the reply. I've just been nervous about attempting to fix this myself. I just don't want to make things worse. I tried a while back to polish out the paint, but I didn't know about clay barring first, and I did scratch the clear coat a bit. I'd be willing to bet some of that would have to be wet sanded, but if I can make it like 50% better I would be happy.

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    aka: 23jam J. A. Michaels's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Bad clear coat problem

    I would not jump to wet sanding right off the bat. You could get some swirl-x and do a test spot. I have had great success using this product. If that is not improving your paint you can step up to the Ultimate compound. Getting a G110 would also help. But you can achieve great results by hand.

    Some pics would be helpful in guiding you the right way.
    quality creates its own demand

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    Re: Help! Bad clear coat problem

    Almost every car has swirls problems. Especially dark colored vehicles show them off in sunlight. I would try to remove your imperfection with SwirlX first. Orbital buffer may not be aggressive enough in your case so you may need to step up to DA polisher. If unsuccessful the next step would be Ultimate Compound. After paint surface is restored apply a coat of NXT Tech Wax 2.0 for protection.

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    Registered Member EssieK's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Bad clear coat problem

    Unless your Silverado has very very soft paint you'll be able to remove those holograms in no-time - maybe a wee bit longer if you go by hand. Holograms are rather easy to remove as they are in fact very shallow swirls in the paint - probably left from the dealer giving it a "shine" before you picked it up. I've done a fair few cars where dealers have left tell-tale signs of complete and utter incompetence (both new and 2nd hand cars).

    As previously mentioned that automated car wash is definately not the culprit here - it just stripped the car of wax/sealer/fillers and showed you the true state of the paint.

    Upon fixing the problem yourself (don't bother handing in the car to the dealer again) make sure you check the paint for additional holograms - preferably in full sun from different angles, or by using a SunGun (or any very powerfull flashlight with at least 250 lumens).
    09 Toyota Verso Polar Blue Metallic 1.8 MultidriveS Premium
    - paint softer than butter

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    Re: Help! Bad clear coat problem

    I appreciate all the advice. I'll try to get some pics up tomorrow.

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    Re: Help! Bad clear coat problem

    Never put a new car through an automated car wash, they do not use a hard water conditioner, and it makes those swirls which are scratches on your clear coat. I know it looks and feels frustrating, but, not to worry. I just purchased a new vehicle and I know by experience to NEVER USE A MACHINE CAR WASH! ALWAYS GO TO A HAND WASH, AND MAKE SURE THEY HAVE A HARD WATER CONDITIONER; OR BETTER YET CLEAN IT AT HOME. My car's clear coat was scratched by a "porduct" that the dealer applied and charged me $500.00 for. When it rained or got wet for any reason the water which was supposed to "Glide Off" but it stuck on, beaded, and dried as white water spots. I took it back to the dealer and they couldn't believe what they saw. My car which is charcoal grey looked like a spotted lion. I demanded my money back, which I got, and went out and found that Meguiar also had a dealer edition. I purchased Meguiar's Gold Class Liquid wax.

    I couldn't believe the transformation. No whirls, spots; and my care looks like it just came out of a showroom.

    I really believe that this product can help your car look new again. I also purchased their Gold Class car wash, and it conditions as it cleans, leaving an awesome luster.

    I never thought that my car would look 3 months old again, but it "gleams." I know that this product will work for you. Try it and write me with the results. Don't wait!
    Last edited by alcmnch; Nov 7th, 2009 at 04:52 PM. Reason: needed a capital letter

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    Re: Help! Bad clear coat problem

    Hey guys, i got the same problems with the holograms. I applied SiwrlX by hand but didnt do the job. Im just waiting for my DA that i just ordered to come in. I clay bared my car a week ago, should i re clay it before i apply the SwirlX again? Also, does the swirls really come back in two weeks or so? Or does it last quite awhile? I got the swirls most likely from my washing habits (bad). I just recently started doing the two bucket/top to bottom wash. I also noticed after i clayed my car ALOTTTT of swirls/holograms were shown (more then before), is this normal?

    Thanks guys!

  10. #10
    Administrator Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Bad clear coat problem

    tlsole, if you clayed and suddenly more holograms appeared, that sure sounds like the clay has stripped whatever was hiding them in the first place. You most certainly are NOT going to get true holograms from claying your car, they only come from improper or rushed use of a rotary buffer. Unfortunately it is all too common for someone to rotary buff a car and then fill the holgrams with glazes or other fillers to conceal the problem. By the time these products have worn off the owner isn't even thinking about the guy who detailed the car.

    If you just clayed and then a week later you want to use a paint cleaner or just want to way, you shouldn't have to clay again unless the car has been exposed to something fairly nasty - overspray comes to mind. Just wash and dry the car normally (ie carefully ) and then run your clean, dry hand over the paint. If it's still nice and smooth claying won't do anything for you.

    Lastly, will swirls come back in a couple of weeks? Well, if you're only concealing them then they just might. If you've truly gotten rid of them then they shouldn't if your washing/drying process is what it should be. Have a read through How to maintain your car's finish in-between polishing sessions for some tips on proper maintenance.
    Michael Stoops
    Internet Technical Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.
    (800) 854-8073 xt 3875
    mstoops@meguiars.com

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

    Please post technical questions directly to the forum rather than emailing or PM-ing me. You
    will get a faster response on the forum, and your question could help someone else, too!


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