Oxidized paint is a common condition, especially on older cars. The early stages create a faded, cloudy appearance, which can affect just patches of the paint or the entire vehicle. As it progresses, the paint may actually wear off, leaving behind exposed undercoats or metal. Read this guide to learn how you can slow down oxidation and fix it if it has already occurred.
Oxidation is the result of hot air, which breaks down the basic structure of the paint over time. This kind of paint damage occurs more quickly in hot climates, although it will eventually occur on most vehicles given enough time. Parking often in direct sunlight or in an over-heated, poorly ventilated garage can also speed up the oxidation process.
Buff It Out
You don't always have to get a fresh paint job. It can often be buffed out if you catch it early. Take your car in for auto body repair as soon as you notice the luster becoming dull, or if you see any chalky-looking areas forming on the surface of the paint. The hood, top of the car, and top of the trunk are usually affected first since they receive the most direct sunlight.
The technician will inspect the damage and determine if it is mild enough to buff it out. This means the oxidation hasn't penetrated the clear coat and affected the paint underneath. If the issue is just in the clear coat, a simple buffing and polishing job will remove the oxidation and bring back the paint's shine. This allows you to go a few more years before you need to invest in a new paint job.
A Fresh Coat
A whole paint job is needed once the damage extends beyond the clear coat. This is more expensive than a buff and polish job, but it will also last much longer. Once the fresh coat of paint is on, follow a regular routine to slow down the oxidation process. Generally, keeping the car's exterior clean and waxing it two or three times a year will provide additional protection against oxidation. Ask your paint technician for a recommendation on a car wax that will work well with your paint.
All factory paint jobs will eventually fade. Some manufacturer paints or certain colors are more prone to fading and oxidation, so recalls on paint jobs are common. Before getting any paint repairs done, check with your manufacturer to make sure there are no active recalls on the paint that will allow you to get the repair done for free.
For professional auto body work, contact a company such as By-Pass Auto Body.