Common Car Paintwork Defects

Hard Water Spots

 

Common Name/s:

Bore Water Stains, Calcium Stains, Hard Water Stains, Hard Water Spots

How to identify:

Light to dark brown uneven spots 

Photo:

 

Cause:

Garden sprinklers spraying bore water onto your paintwork. We have seen this in parks where the bore water blows across the road and onto cars. Even the smallest drops of water will leave marks on your vehicle.

If you live in an area where the water from your hose isn't free of hard water, then by washing your car you can leave spots on in it as you're cleaning it. And when you go to dry the water that contains hard water minerals, you end up scratching is as you dry it.

Prevention:

Sprinklers are operated on a timer and generally come on the same time each day eg 11pm or 8am.  Check for sprinklers when parking and maker sure your car is not parked close by.

If your car does get sprayed, make sure you quickly rinse it with fresh water as soon as possible to minimise staining.

If the car is regularly washed and waxed, the wax won't entirely defend it from bore water, but it will make a huge difference when removing it safely as the bore water will wipe off much easier. Refresh Valet's Wax (included for free in each detail) is an excellent choice for this prevention.

Using a more efficient solution such as a filtered spray on wash and wax to minimise hard water on your vehicle when washing and detailing it will minimise spots and scratches. A product such as Meguiars Wash & Wax anywhere (similar to the Refresh Valet product), will achieve wonders on cars in areas with limited access to fresh water.

Quick Fix:

Summary:

Depending on how bad the stains are, they can sometimes be polished off with a microfibre cloth and a quick detailer such as Meguiars Quick Detailer. Alternatively, you can soak the car in vinegar to help neutralise the calcium in the bore water, followed by a claybar.

Time:

2 hours

Cost:

$30 detailer + $10 cloths + $5 vinegar + $35 claybar = $80

Professional Fix:

Refresh Valet can remove minor staining with our Quick Detailer, but most of the time it requires a cut polish as it is a time consuming process to remove the spots carefully. The reason they need to be removed carefully, is the stains contain fine minerals which become abrasive on your paintwork.

Cost: $100 - $250

How long will the fix last?:

Once the hard water stains have been removed, they will not return until more bore water comes in contact with the vehicle.

References:

https://www.thevehiclelab.com/water-spot-removal/

https://guidetodetailing.com/damage-repair/how-to-remove-water-spots/

Dead Bug Stains & Bird Droppings

 

Common Name/s:

Dead Bug Stains, Bird Dropping Stains, Etched Stains

How to identify:

Heavy: Black bugs or bird poop stuck to surface.

Light or old marks: Clear outline of the bugs or bird poop flush with the surface

Photo:

 

Cause:

Bugs:

Driving at dusk or dawn in or near farmland. Bugs get stuck to your car at high speed.

Bird Droppings:

Parked under a tree or powerline.

When dead bugs or bird droppings aren't removed completely within a day or two, they can start to etch into the surface of your paintwork as the chemical makeup of dead bugs and bird poop is acidic.

Prevention:

Cars often use a "car bra" which protects the front of their car when they know they are doing lots of country driving. If this is not something you want to install on your car, the quicker you remove the bugs on the front of your car, the easier they are to remove.

Try to avoid parking under trees and powerlines.

If the car is regularly washed and waxed, the wax won't entirely defend it from bugs, but it will make a huge difference when removing them safely as the bugs and bird poop will wipe off much easier. Refresh Valet's Wax (included for free in each detail) is an excellent choice for this prevention.

Quick Fix:

Spray and soak with a soapy solution. Remove with minimal pressure and a microfibre cloth.

Keep in mind that soapy non PH neutral solutions will remove any polymer paint sealants applied to the front of your vehicle. Make sure you "dab" bird poop as they can contain stones and other solid items that can scratch your paintwork.

DIY Cost: $5 carwash + $10 microfibre cloth

Time: 1 hour for a thorough exterior carwash and basic bug or bird dropping removal

Professional Fix:

Refresh Valet can remove most bugs / bird poop from the surface for an extra $15.

If the bugs and/or bird poop are etched into the surface and they cannot be removed with your fingernail, they will require a cut polish. Most detailers such as Iconic Detailing can perform a cut polish.

Cost: $15 - $250 depending on the severity of the bugs/ bird poopand how perfect you want the surface.

How long will the fix last?:

Once the bugs and/or bird poop have been removed, they will not return until more bugs or bird poop come in contact with the vehicle.

References:

https://guidetodetailing.com/damage-repair/how-to-repair-bird-poop-damage/

Common Car Paintwork Defects

Bore Water Stains

 

Common Name/s:

Bore Water Stains, calcium stains, hard water stains, water spots

How to identify:

Light to dark brown uneven spots 

Photo:

 

Cause:

Sometimes it is hard to identify the root cause of the paint overspray due to very small amounts of paint slowly building up over time. However, we have highlighted 

1. Other panels of your car have been painted where overspray has carried to areas that have not been covered during the repair.

2. DIY home spray paint projects being completed such as painting chairs, tables, as far as 40 metres away can end up on your car with the wind going in the right direction. 

3. Industrial areas have a common issue containing their painting bays and we have seen carparks of 100+ cars covered in paint due to a poorly sealed painting bay, outside industrial painting jobs, or a brief open of a painting bay before the airborne paint has settled.

Prevention:

If you are aware of any spray painting at your home or work, or the neighbours home or work, make sure your car is parked as far away as possible.

Quick Fix:

Summary:

Paint is designed to be permanent. It will not easily wipe off your vehicle and generally requires a professional fix in order to not damage your car further.

DIY Process:

1. Wash your car

2. Purchase a fine clay bar

3. Kneed the claybar until it is warm.

4. Apply clay bar lube to a small area.

5. Use light pressure and move the claybar left and right no more than 5 times.

6. Check the claybar for contaminants (eg yellow paint) and kneed it so it is clean.

7. Repeat until all contaminants have been removed.

DIY Cost:

$35 claybar kit with claybar, microfibre cloth & clarbar lube

Time: 

1-2 hours

Professional Fix:

If a fine clay bar does not remove the paint, a heavy claybar is required.

Heavy claybars should be done by professionals as they can cause marring on the surface when not used perfectly.

Refresh Valet currently doesn't offer a claybar solution however, most detailers such as Iconic Detailing can perform clay bar to remove paint overspray.

Cost: $150 - $300

How long will the fix last?:

Once the paint overspray has been removed, it will not return until more paint comes in contact with the vehicle.

References:

http://www.autodetaildoctor.com/how-to-remove-paint-overspray-from-a-car/

https://masteroversprayremovalists.com.au/

Raildust

 

Common Name/s:

Raildust, Train Dust, red spots, orange spots, paintwork rust

How to identify:

Small red spots on the vehicle in varying size. These spots are iron ore and will continue to grow overtime.

Photos:

 

Cause:

Cars parked at or near train stations or train for short or extended time frames.

Cars that are transported for delivery from one location to another on a train. Hot metal particles become airborne and adhere to the cars paintwork.

Prevention:

Ensure your car is parked as far away from the tracks as possible, and when don't accept any new vehicles covered in rail dust upon purchase.

Quick Fix:

Summary:

Unfortunately there is no quick fix for raildust removal.  An acid based iron ore removal spray will be required as a claybar will only break off the tip of the metal particle stuck in the surface, and when it starts to rust again the problem will come back. The issue with acid is if you do not use it correctly, it will permanently stain your vehicle during the rail dust removal process.

DIY Process & Cost:

See how to use a claybar above. (We do not recommend the use of acid based cleaning products for DIY car washers and claybars can't always remove it 100%)

Professional Fix:

Refresh Valet currently doesn't offer a rail dust removal solution however, most detailers such as Iconic Detailing can perform clay bar to remove raildust.

Cost: $150 - $200

How long will the fix last?:

Once the rail dust has been removed properly, it will not return until more rail dust comes in contact with the vehicle. However, if the rail dust has not been removed properly, it will continue to rust on the surface and re-appear after a matter of months.

References:

https://www.carwash.com/what-is-rail-dust/

https://www.detailedimage.com/Ask-a-Pro/how-to-remove-rail-dust-with-carpro-ironx-and-a-clay-bar/

Scouring Pad Damage

 

Common Name/s:

Scratching, Scouring Pad Damage, surface scratches

How to identify:

Small to medium straight scratches no longer than 10cm long

Photos:

2018 Tesla Model X

 

Cause:

Greeen kitchen scouring pads used to quickly remove bugs and surface contaminants on cars at high volume hand carwash cafes.

Prevention:

Make sure you tell the hand carwash cafe not to use any scouring pads on your vehicle under any circumstances.

Quick Fix:

Unfortunately there is no quick fix for scouring pad damage removal. To get the surface shine uniform, the top layer of your paintwork needs to be buffed down to match the depth of the scratches and it is something only a professional should attempt.

Professional Fix:

Refresh Valet currently doesn't offer scouring pad damage removal solution however, most detailers such as Iconic Detailing can perform a cut polish to remove this damage.

Cost: $200 - $600

How long will the fix last?:

Once the scouring pad damage have been removed properly, they will not return until another scouring pad is used on your vehicle again.

References:

https://www.thriftyfun.com/tf71363785.tip.html

https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&f=63&t=746370

Common Car Trim Defects

Headlight Fogging

 

Common Name/s:

Headlight Fog, Dull Headlights, Headlight Haze, cCloudy Headlights.

How to identify:

You can no longer see the headlight bulb through the headlight plastic of one or both of your headlights. The surface appears hazy, glazed, cloudy or dull.

Photos:

 

Cause:

Since the 1980's car manufacturers stopped making headlights out of glass. Now they are made from polycarbonate plastic, which is lighter and harder to break, but prone to oxidisation.

Many UV light heat cycles and road debris speeds up this process overtime. 

Prevention:

Regular car washing helps prevent headlight fogging, but over time the manufacturers original headlight clear coat naturally wears off and you will need to treat the headlight fog.

Quick Fix:

Summary:

There are numerous headlight repair kits available from Supercheap Auto and Repco.

DIY Process:

1. Wash your car

2. Mask the headlight requiring repair

3. Sand the headlight fog off with 1000 grit sandpaper

4. Polish the headlight with a fine cut polish (ideally with a machine polisher)

5. Ensure the rest of the vehicle is masked so no overspray can reach it.

6. Re-apply clear coat to the headlight to protect it and reduce oxidation time.

DIY Cost:

$20 kit + $99 buffing machine

Time: 

1 hour

Professional Fix:

Refresh Valet currently doesn't offer a headlight fog removal solution however, most detailers such as Iconic Detailing can easily repair headlight fog.

Cost: $99

How long will the fix last?:

If the headlight clear coat hasn't been applied correctly, it will fog up again within a couple of months. If the clear coat has been applied correctly it will last years as long as the vehicle is washed regularly and the headlight clear coat isn't compromised

References:

https://jalopnik.com/how-to-restore-headlights-without-having-a-nervous-brea-1826231412

https://blog.iglcoatings.com/what-causes-foggy-headlights/

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-make-headlights-clear-again-restore-dull-foggy-car-lights/?r=AU&IR=T

Common Car Window Defects

Hard Water Window Spots

 

Common Name/s:

Window Spots, Window Stains, Bore Water Stains, 

How to identify:

Opaque spots on the window in a regular pattern

Photos:

 

Cause:

Garden sprinklers spraying bore water onto your car windows. We have seen this in parks where the bore water blows across the road and onto cars. Even the smallest drops of water will leave marks on your vehicle.

If you live in an area where the water from your hose isn't free of hard water, then by washing your car you can leave spots on in it as you're cleaning it. And when you go to dry the water that contains hard water minerals, you end up scratching is as you dry it.

Prevention:

Sprinklers are operated on a timer and generally come on the same time each day eg 11pm or 8am.  Check for sprinklers when parking and maker sure your car is not parked close by.

If your car does get sprayed, make sure you quickly rinse it with fresh water as soon as possible to minimise staining.

Using a more efficient solution such as a filtered spray on wash and wax to minimise hard water on your vehicle when washing and detailing it will minimise spots and scratches. A product such as Meguiars Wash & Wax anywhere (similar to the Refresh Valet product), will achieve wonders on cars in areas with limited access to fresh water.

Quick Fix:

The best thing to remove the stains is Gumption. Gumption can be found at Bunnings or your local supermarket.

DIY Cost: $3.99

Time: 1 hour

Professional Fix:

Refresh Valet currently doesn't offer a bore water removal solution however, most detailers such as Iconic Detailing can easily remove bore water.

Cost: $150 - $250

How long will the fix last?:

Once the hard water spots have been removed, they will not return until more bore water comes in contact with the vehicle.

References:

https://glassdoctor.com/blog/how-to-remove-water-spots-from-window

Window Tint Peeling, Bubbling & Scratching

 

Common Name/s:

Window tint peeling, window tint bubbling, window tint scratching

How to identify:

Window tint should be completely transparent without any surface inconsistencies.

Purple in colour, flakey to touch, bubbles under the surface, vertical lines.

Photos:

 

Cause:

1. Rolling the windows up and down.

Window tint is made from polycarbonate which is very sturdy but prone to scratching. Everytime you roll the window up and down it touches your window seal which instantly causes micro surface scratches which builds up over time. If the windows become dirty, this dirt and grime gets stuck in the window seal and scratches with window tint.

 

2. Poor Quality Tint

High quality window tint has a lifetime guarantee and will not flake or fade.  Poor quality window tint within a year will start to degrade and you'll see it flake and discolour quickly, especially in hot climates.

3. Ammonia Based Window Cleaners

Household window cleaners should never be used on your car. Ammonia is great for cleaning and leaves a streak free shine, but it eats into your window tint and permanently damages it.

4. Pets and children.

Unfortunately pets and children don't always appreciate how delicate window films can be. They scratch the windows with their claws and toys which isn't able to be repaired.

5. Poor installation

Often most bubbles will disappear naturally themselves within the first week of installation. But after a week if they haven't disappeared, or dirt appears to be trapped under the bubbles, the tints have been installed incorrectly and you should contact the place who installed it. If the window has lots of bubbles that have slowly appeared over time, the tint is of poor quality as the window tint glue is giving away.

Prevention:

Refresh Valet doesn't supply our staff with any sharp detailing tools or products that could scratch your windows. Nor do any of our products contain ammonia, and they are only applied with clean, white, soft microfibre window cloths. Be careful with children and pets, and make sure soft microfibre cloths are used when cleaning.

Quick Fix:

Window tinting at home can be a cheap fix, but if you get it wrong, it could be cheaper and easier to get a professional to do it.

The prep of removing door panels and plastic interior panels to access the very bottom edge of windows can result in damage that doesn't make the DIY job worthwhile. And, if there's even one bubble in the final product, it will need to be done again which includes glue removal to get the job perfect.

DIY Cost: $99

Time: 4+ hours

Professional Fix:

Refresh Valet currently doesn't offer a car window tinting solution however, there are a number of car tinting shops such as Tint a Car that offer high quality 3M tints with lifetime guarantee.

Cost: $300 - $500

Fix Duration:

Window tints cannot be repaired, the entire tint will need to be pulled off and re installed.

References:

https://www.tintacar.com.au/articles/bubbled-window-tint-removal

https://www.wetintwindows.com.au/does-window-tint-bubble/

Common Car Wheel Defects

Wheel Acid Stains

Common Name/s:

Wheel streaks, wheel acid stains, wheel drips.

How to identify:

It looks like water has dripped down the wheel and dried on it. It now won't rub off with anything.

Photos:

 

Cause:

When auto detailing wheels it can be very time consuming to remove all the brake dust from the wheels. Even after soap and a pressure wash, the brake dust doesn't come off so acid is applied.

Acid is very effective in the removal of brake dust, but if 100% of the acid isn't removed, it will permanently eat into the surface and stain.

1. Acid not completely removed

Often, acid is used on the wheel at high volume hand car wash and cafes, it is then pressure washed off, but there is acid left over behind the wheel rim. As you drive off that water flys down your car and to the outer edge of the rim. When you stop it drips down and stains your car.

 

2. Acid left for too long before removed.

If acid is applied and left for too long to soak, by the time you rinse it with a pressure washer, the damage is already done.

Prevention:

Refresh Valet does not use any acid in our cleaning products.

Ensure extra attention is applied to the correct rinsing of any acid used on your vehicle by anyone. 

Quick Fix:

If the damage isn't severe, you can buff the damage away with cut polish and a rotary polisher (not recommended at home). Most of the time, you cannot reverse the damage.

Professional Fix:

If the damage can be polished out a professional can fix it with a rotary polisher. Or, you might be faced with purchasing a new set of rims.

Fix Duration:

Repairing or replacing the rims is a permanent fix.

References:

https://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/ask-mike-phillips-your-detailing-questions-/64673-my-wheels-stained-need-help.html

Brake Dust Stains

Common Name/s:

Brown Wheel Stains, Brake Dust Stains

How to identify:

Brown marks that will not rub off the rims with your fingers.

Photos:

 

Cause:

Wheel rims come from the vehicle manufacturer with a high temperature clear coating protection. This clear coating is designed to withstand thousands of heat cycles.

Naturally brake dust ends up on the rim itself from usage, and that brake dust is burnt into the clear coat itself. Every heat cycle gets worse and worse as the surface dust gets burnt further into the rim. 

When the rims are cleaned with anything but a soft microfibre cloth, such as a scouring pad or acid, it creates a porous surface that is even more prone to brake dust staining as it has removed the factory clear coat protectant.

Prevention:

Regular washing of your vehicle will ensure that heat cycles don't burn brake dust into your wheels.

Refresh Valet's Wax (included for free in each detail) is an excellent choice for this prevention as when it is hand applied, and polished off with our microfibre cloths, it repels brake dust 2x more than the average car wash product.

Yes, acid can clean the wheels but overtime you'll notice it gets worse faster and acid can stain your rims if not cleaned off quickly.

Refresh Valet only uses soft microfibre cloths on your rims, and we will clean your rims until they are clean to touch with your finger. If it requires acid or an abrasive to remove the dust, it isn't something that we do as part of our standard service. With regular maintenance this shouldn't be an issue for owners with cars less than 5 years old.

Quick Fix:

We recommend extended elbow grease with the least amount of abrasive possible. Start with a microfibre cloth, followed by cut polish. If it still does not come off, we suggest accepting the rims fate with acid and or a green scouring pad. Please note that on gloss rims a green scouring pad will upset the even shine in order to remove the brake dust to take care.

There are a number of "wheel cleaners" at SuperCheap Auto and Repco. We have tried them all and unless they contain acid, they are no better off than a normal soapy cleaning product.

Cost: $10 cloth + $15 cut polish + $30 acid cleaner = $55

Time: 1 hour

Professional Fix:

Refresh Valet will clean your rims until they are clean to touch. If they require any more than this we suggest a detailer that uses acid. This might be a one off acid detail, and with regular maintenace you won't have this problem, or it will be 12 - 18 month acid treatment cycle. 

Cost: $150 (Generally includes an inside & out detail)

Fix Duration:

Brake dust staining will constantly re-occur but can be minimised with regular car washing.

References:

https://detailcentral.com.au/nanoskin-speedy-brite-organic-wheel-tyre-acid-cleaner-rtu/