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26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Serious Paint Problem

'04 SL AWD manufactured date 10/03.

It's not the paint chip! It is underneath the clear coat... blurred/degraded color of about the same size as a regular paint chip (now I also have some real paint chips in front of car and this is different).
First started on driver roof side, front of sunroof, then similar location on passenger side.
I first noticed in the begining of this summer, so it's been 3~4 months and has become worse (getting darker and darker).

The first time I noticed I reported to my dealer and the service manager was surprised to see that and informed me basically 3 steps for them to have that part re-painted:
1. show/convince service manager
2. show/convince service manager's manager (which I've done 1&2 steps)
3. dealer report to NNA so a technician can come down to examine and agree that it is a paint defect.

So I was kind of in a waiting mode for step 3 since step 1&2 went through OK. And I thought the affected part is only the front side of roof area.

BUT Just today, while hand-washing the car myself, found a similar blur under the clear coat on the hood not in front but 1/3 back side of it.

Needless to say, I ran down to the dealer and asked what the progress was and also showed the hood area. The manager's manager this time tells me that it may be a paint chip (remember it's inside the clear coat), also they have not heard any word back from NNA.

I am so frustrated now. Why in the world, in perfectly normal maintenance/driving condition, the paint would become like this?

I know a picture would worth a thousand words, so let me go get a picture and I'll post it ASAP.

Meanwhile, any paint specialists here or any idea/advice?

3,257 Posts
There are some rare defects that can happen at the factory.
But most of the time, if that is true, some-to-many cars are affected.
The most likely cause is a bad repair at the dealer or the port before you ever bought the car.
There far more cars that are cosmetically repaired than the dealer would ever like you to know about.

As to the nature of the defect, it would help to know whether or not the coating (Technically not paint any longer) was a single stage or two stage "paint".

USUALLY when you can see a defect UNDER the clear coat (as opposed to IN the cear coat)it is a two stage coating. And it is more likely that something happened to the paint(Scratches, chips, etc at or on the boat, dealer lot, in transit (rail, truck, driven).

OTOH if it is a single stage paint (Clear coat is actually part of the paint and it is all applied as one coat) there are two common possibilities
1- the dealer/port does not have the capability to do asingle stage repair and does a 2 stage repair. Many times this is not satisfactory.
2- there actually was something chemically wrong at the factory.

So you can see, there are a lot of possibilities, and nearly impossible to determine the exact cause without seeing the actual
defects. It is doubtful that pictures will help.

In any event, they should repaint the car under warranty.


PS Not a paint specialist.
Just an old bird with a lot of life experiences
Worked for a new car dealership (salesman)
Raced cars.
Built cars.
Painted cars (back when we used to use real organic paint)
Investor in a Bush Series car
Crew on a Toyota Atlantic car
Still very interested in cars,cars,cars

26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks homer!
Here goes a picture on a driver side roof.
since I've taken it in the dark none of them came out good and I will post some real light pictures later...


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