Clear Coat etched...
I just finished my annual spring cleaning polish / wax.
I was surprised when I had the surface polished to find that there are quite a few spots on the hood and roof that are etched in the clear coat.
I wash my truck EVERY Sunday, without fail.
If a bird poops on it I wash it off immediately.
Large bugs on the front end are also dealt with on a daily basis, every afternoon once I get it back into the garage.
The clear coat doesn't seem terribly soft, I just polished with an LC Orange pad and M83 and it barely touched the finer scratches, so it must be a pretty hard coat.
What could be causing this etching? and how can I prevent it?
The truck is only 1 year old now but I am guessing I will need to have the hood/roof repainted in anothr 5 years if I can't stop this from happening!
First I will say that I am not an expert, so--that said IMHO
1. How often do you wax your truck
2. What type of products do you use
3. Do you park in a garage
This is what I do and it seems to work for me--I always use a sealant first(usually Wolfgang 3.0). Then I put on a coat of Collinite 845 on top of the sealant. I do this because the sealant usually lasts for about 6 months where as most all waxes only last and protect for about 60 days. I am lucky enough to be able to park in a garage so the sealant and wax usually lasts a little longer on my truck. I also put the sealant and wax on about every 6 weeks(being retired gives me more free time LOL). I think if you have a good protective coat of wax and sealant on your truck it might reduce or even stop the etching problem you have.
Let me make one other suggestion--there is a web site called autopia.org that is a worldwide professional detailer site(it's free) that you can go to and ask your question or read some of the threads to see if someone has had similar problems and see if there is any suggested solutions. It is an excellent resource and full of great info about detailing and the products detailers use.
I use Collinite as well, supposed to last for 6 months and I try to get a coat on in that range.
Has really been about 8 months since my last application, had some mods that the wax would have interefered with (that was my excuse anyway)
I use LC Orange (Light Cut) with Meguiars #83 for cleaning, then do a polishing pad with M9 swirl remover, LC Blue pad with M3 machine glaze and finally finishing pad with Collinite 845.
I park in the garage about 50%, more than that and my wife will get irritated.
You are probably right on the money, need to wax more often.
If so I will have to change my routine and only do the Collonite every other waxing.
This weekend took 14 hours, pretty respectable with a truck this size.
I am impressed by this website, they seem to go into great detail on caring for your vehicle
You might want to try to use some type of a sealant right after your swirl remover step. There are some good ones--like I said Wolfgang 3.0 and Zanio to name a couple. I just think that the sealant gives you an excellent base to work with, then you can top it with the Collinite. It sounds like it takes a long time but the sealant is usually easy on easy off and you don't use a lot of product. After the sealant and the wax, usually all I do is wash, dry and then use a spray detailer. I would think that your protection should last at least 5-6 months even parking part time in the garage.
Luke, who is in this section alot is the resident expert on detailing, so maybe he will chime in and give you some detailed expert advise. He is the true expert--I just sorta dabble and through the years have learned a little through painful and ugly mistakes and listening to people that are a lot smarter than I am. LOL
Autogeek is an excellent site! It explains the products, the difference in products, their use and the expected results. They also sell the products they talk about. The only draw back is IMHO their shipping charges are a little high, but sometimes you can find a sale or a promotion that has no shipping charge.
Water etching is a huge culprit. Even if it is not raining, sprinkler water, sap, dripping water, etc can be very caustic and will eat through the clear coat. I would suggest regular waxing to help prevent the etching, but you may need a stronger polish to eliminate the etching.
And Jay and I are always on the same page, he does know his stuff. I seal my paint, and add a wax when I refresh the paint, and after I wash [with Optimum car wash] I use a quick detailer to aid in the drying process which helps not leave spots, adds lubricity, and adds gloss.
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