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Scratches in Clear Coat


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When I picked up my 2013 I noticed a couple of scratches on the door in the clear but wasn't too worried about them as they looked light enough to be buffed out. The dealership agreed to get it detailed with a 3 stage buff/polish, which I was satisfied with. It was fairly late in the day and the car was in the shadows so I didn't really see much of anything else. A few days later, before their detail, I cleaned the car up myself and saw it in direct sunlight and noticed there were a lot more than just a few scratches and they were all of the car. All of them are in the clear though and can only be seen in certain angles but when you hit those angles they really stand out. It looks like either this dealership or the one they transferred it from had washed the car with a dirty rag leaving straight line scratches all over the car, definitely not talking about swirl marks/spider webs. At this point I wanted to see what the dealership's person could do with the polishing but once he was done you could still see most of them still, although some did go away completely. I brought it back to their attention and they have now taken pictures of them and are sending them to Ford to turn in the paint under warranty. When talking to the service manager though he stated they would probably say it would need to be re-painted and they advised that probably wouldn't be the best idea. Honestly, I am inclined to agree as I've seen many paint jobs turn out awful if not done perfect, which would aggravate me even more. They stated they could potentially also offer other things like an extended warranty or to make a payment for me instead but I'm still waiting to hear back from them on what Ford approves/suggests. My question is has anyone else had issues such as this that can tell me what my options would be as far as fixing the paint? I've heard I could potentially get it wet sanded but I'm not sure how much they would have to sand to get them out and then how much clear would I have left. Any suggestions on what I should listen out for from them or that I should suggest to them?

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I would suggest contacting a professional detailer - not the dealerships detailer. Dealerships focus more on volume than getting perfect results. Get a quote from a pro and ask the dealer/FMC to foot the bill. A good site to check out is http://www.detailingbliss.com. You can see some examples of what a pro can do along with finding someone in your area.

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If you have access to a PC, you can start with a Several Swirl and Haze Remover, then move to a Fine Machine Polish, and then finish off with some Glaze and Wax. It is amazing how much paint correction you can do with a Porter Cable or a Flex. However, I would never, never let a dealer try to do paint correction. Most of them have very little knowledge of detailing and do not have the correct combination of products to do it right, plus most of their detail guys do not really know detailing problems. Check out Adam's Polishes.com, there are a bunch of videos that will help you a lot. If you do not have much experience with detailing, it might be easier to find a high quality detailer in your area to do the work, however, remember you get what you pay for, and a good detailer will be able to tell you up front what results you can expect to see. If you were living closer I would be glad to help you with the scratches and swirls, but distance won't allow for that! Good luck.

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One last thing, if you want to eliminate swirls from your car, the only way to do it is to hand wash with a high quality microfiber mitt and use a 2 bucket wash system. It is a lot of work to keep a finish looking top notch, it requires time and following true methods. Also always use good quality shampoo intended for cars. Never, never use Dawn or any other dishwashing detergent, it is very hard on the finish and there is no reason to use it.

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Unfortunately, I haven't found a good professional detailer around here yet, mainly a lot of quick wash and spray on wax places that don't have a good knowledge of paint correction. I have someone I trust completely in Atlanta so I may wait until I go back to visit family and make an appointment with him if I can't find anyone locally. I have some experience with hand polishing but nothing with a buffer and I definitely don't want to learn on this car. I'll try to get some pictures myself and post them up. Has anyone had any experiences with wet sanding or should I stay away from that?

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The Porter Cable Buffer is a random orbit buffer and would be a great choice if you choice to move up to a machine. It is almost impossible to hurt the finish with the PC especially if you use quality products. It really does make doing your vehicle a much easier task and gives great results. I have found that there is no shortcuts to getting a good looking finish. You can't skip stuff like clay bar, a paint cleaner, a polish, glaze and wax. It does take time and effort but I think it is worth the work. So I would give the Porter Cable serious consideration if you decide to purchase a machine, and honestly, I can't imagine maintaining a black car without quality products and a machine. They would pay for themselves rather quickly by how good they will keep your car. Good luck with the paint correction. And I can't blame you for waiting for someone you trust to do it.

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I agree with mjhpadi, what you describe doesn't sound out of reach for a good detailer to be able to correct. Some foam pads and foam pad compound should make pretty easy work of it. If there are any hot rod shops or classic car restorers in your area you could also check with them to see who they use. This time of year there seem to be a lot of car shows and gatherings as well which might be a good place to get recommendations on folks or shops that could correct your paint.

 

I've wet sanded and buffed several spots on several cars and it's amazing how little material you need to remove to get a flat surface that buffs out clean. One down side to wet sanding though is if you don't do the entire car, you may end up for spots that are noticeably smoother than other areas under the right lighting which would put you in a similar situation to where you are now. I'd certainly suggest finding someone competent with a PC, Flex, or even buffer with foam pad and the correct compounds before resorting to wet sanding.

 

-Rod

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I agree with mjhpadi, what you describe doesn't sound out of reach for a good detailer to be able to correct. Some foam pads and foam pad compound should make pretty easy work of it. If there are any hot rod shops or classic car restorers in your area you could also check with them to see who they use. This time of year there seem to be a lot of car shows and gatherings as well which might be a good place to get recommendations on folks or shops that could correct your paint.

 

I've wet sanded and buffed several spots on several cars and it's amazing how little material you need to remove to get a flat surface that buffs out clean. One down side to wet sanding though is if you don't do the entire car, you may end up for spots that are noticeably smoother than other areas under the right lighting which would put you in a similar situation to where you are now. I'd certainly suggest finding someone competent with a PC, Flex, or even buffer with foam pad and the correct compounds before resorting to wet sanding.

 

-Rod

 

Good idea, I'll check around at some of the shows/shops. They would have to do the whole car because they are all over the car, worse on the hood though.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, they sent me to a 3rd party body shop that they use for all of their work and they said they think it all can be buffed out. The guy said they should be able to get them out with a wool pad and shouldn't be taking but about 1/7th of the clear off. I think he could definitely tell I was concerned and worried so he went in to a little more detail about staying away from the edges and letting the residual do the work on them from the very edge of the pad. After talking with him I feel that he knows what he is doing so I think I'm going to let him give it a shot. Any specific questions I should be sure to ask before doing so though?

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I think I would ask exactly what chemicals (products) they are going to use for doing the work. Also I think I would ask them if they use the wool pad alone or if they will finish using a foam pad. It sounds like they know how to do this, but I would also ask if they are using a buffer for final work or if the are using something like the PC or Flex to finish the job. Also it wouldn't hurt to ask for a reference or two and ask to see an example of the guys work on something like you have so you can see the final result.

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hello big,

im guessing your car is black by the pic i see and i also have a black car, so if you dont want swirl marks dont get a black car, lol, ive been told this by plenty of professional detailing places, black is the most difficult hardest to keep clean and not see any lil tiny scratch,lint,dirt,swirls, dust etc etc. my friend is a manager at a detailing place for ford and says that he will never do a full detail job for me cause he knows how i am after hes done it all, he does and has helped by doing it,assisting and telling me things and etc. but he has always said there is no way for a black car not to have swirl marks on it, another examply i just had my whole roof painted over with the heat extractors cut into the hood so therer is no issues problems etc. and the body shop guy warned me he said you know after were done painting and stuff its gonna look amazing but on those bright sunny days you will see swirl marks and sure enough within 2 days looks at it over cleaning it sunny out and admireing waht a great job he did but, still could see some, anyway i talked to much, good luck but yes a professional detailing place is best but like ive stated remember you have a black car, thanks nice car and hope to see you at this meet in september !!!

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My friend is a manager at a detailing place for FORD and says that there is no way for a black car NOT to have swirl marks on it.

 

 

Hhhmmmm.... I recently detailed my Wife's '09 Chrysler Aspen Limited (w/ Metallic Black Exterior) and still NO SWIRL MARKS in my detailing job.

 

Maybe I should start referring to myself as an "expert" :whistle:

 

 

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:clap2: *bows*

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looks good mike not denying your great quality of work which i might agree maybe it should be sir expert mike lol, but im just saying its sometimes noticable in the bright sunny days (not in a shady garage and in pictures it looks alot better) but maybe you can open your own detailing business, it always amazes me and pisses me off at the same time when i go to these high end car wash places or detailing places cause i would love to open up a car detailing place/deli/drink/sports/mens entertainment/pool tables/bowling alley detailing place,LOL, you never see any of those around !!! lol if u need a partner im in !! and at this meet in sept. let me know if theres a bowling alley around so i can take u all on there since ill get smoked on the tracks lol,

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well i bite my tongue and im glad for both of you that you have no swirls, i wasnt trien to challenge or put down your work mike, i dont know if you could tell i was trying to have a lil fun as i stated in opening up a detialing place etc. and like i said in those bright sunny hot days i can sometimes not all the time and all over etc etc just sometimes i see some swirl marks,maybe its just me and my detailing n my cleaning of my car which i dont do or use as good of products or maybe its just that # 790 out of 2594 black metalic painted cars built in chi-town i got the short end of the stick, lol, idk but please share those detailing secrets and items and ways u do and clean your black cars and id love to try them out for myself and hey i hope ur right and its just my unprofessional way of doing it, and i was also just stating what a "professional"detailing person said and more then one has said and have told me and ive always heard black is the hardest to keep clean and u see every lil mark, plus i dont think it matters to the "swirls" marks but i dont have a garage which sucks, but im glad and yes like i stated the car does look great !! :RpS_wink:

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Anthony there are a lot of so called "professionals" that don't know how or have the ability to remove swirl marks. A lot depends on your knowledge and the products you use. I have seen several black vehicles done by people who are very good at detailing, and it is very possible to have a black vehicle with no swirl marks, it just takes time, knowledge, and use of the correct products. And I believe Mike is gifted with 2 of the 3 things required....just not so sure how much time he has available.

BTW, I work love to show you how to remove swirl marks and how to keep them away. It can be done and not having a garage really has no effect on it. It's using the right things and being careful and very, very strict when you are cleaning and detailing a black car.

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thanks, and once again please give all advice and all of you continue to list and tell how u do your detailing which i know some of you do which helps me and alot of other people and some of us just wanna try out that new or different way or product etc. thanks mjh and all for the helpful advice,

 

p.s. my offer still stands for anyone who wants to be partners with that special rare detail shop with all the extras included in it while u wait for your car to be done lol

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hello big,

im guessing your car is black by the pic i see and i also have a black car, so if you dont want swirl marks dont get a black car, lol, ive been told this by plenty of professional detailing places, black is the most difficult hardest to keep clean and not see any lil tiny scratch,lint,dirt,swirls, dust etc etc.

 

The car is black and you're right, it shows swirl marks very easy and more than most colors. I am pretty realistic about it though and know I'm going to have to deal with these but what I have though are actual scratches in the clear, not swirl marks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I found out more on what they plan to do. They use 3M products and he said it was the 1 2 3 system where 1 does the cutting, 2 is a foam to polish that out, and 3 gets it to a deep shine, called it blue something or something to do with blue. He will do stage 1 with the wool pad and then the other 2 with foam. He doesn't have a paint gauge but is getting one from his paint rep to use which I'm happy to hear about since the dealership already had someone buff it once. They even said he didn't get aggressive with it though so I don't think I'll have an issue.

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A wool pad is very aggressive and not sire I would use it on factory paint. Wouldn't take much to polish through the factory clear since its thinner than a aftermarket paint job. Factory paint is done by robots and the paint is very precise where a human cant possibly control the amount of paint like a robot.

I used a orange pad for the first cut then a white for the polish finely a black for the sealant and wax.

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