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Blistering Car Paint
updated: Apr 12, 2014, 9:30 AM

By John

Not long ago I noticed the paint on my 2008 car's roof blistering. Does anyone know how this happens?

Send this picture as a postcard

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 510526 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-12 09:47 AM

Looks like clear coat, that may not have been applied properly and is probably not original paint. Clear coats are sometimes applied to make paint look new. Used car sales trick.


 COMMENT 510555 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-12 11:07 AM

Yup, looks like clear coat failure. If the paint itself were to blister that probably means someone painted over rust.

Is that a Dodge by any chance? They seem to have issues with clear coat blistering.


 COMMENT 510581P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-12 12:15 PM

Nice underwater shot. Now, where's the photo of your car's paint?


 COMMENT 510584 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-12 12:22 PM

Check with the dealer, even if you didn't buy it there. Once I called the dealer just to ask where they suggested I take my car to have it repainted as the finish looked bad, and they said the manufacturer had been using a new kind of paint when my car was made, it had failed, and they were repainting cars at manufacturer's expense. They took it, completely repainted it at no charge to me! It was about 5 years old at the time and as I had not kept it in a garage or carport, I thought it was my own fault and did not expect anything from the dealer...I don't think paint is covered under warranty. But they did it. Chevy Blazer, maybe 10 years ago.


 COMMENT 510628 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-12 03:16 PM

It's entirely possible that it was cause by either the sun being focussed by morning dew, which litterally burns through the clear coat, or it could have been caused by ash (from local wildfires) getting wet with morning dew and turning to acid which eats through the clear coat AND the paint if your not careful.


 COMMENT 510629P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-12 03:25 PM

What a pretty color! [Sorry it's blistering. If it would stay like that, it would be really cool. Looks like bubbles under the ocean.]


 COMMENT 510644 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-12 04:22 PM

This was caused by not protecting your paint finish. Do you wax or clay bar the car ever? If you don't protect the paint this will happen.


 COMMENT 510672P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-12 07:06 PM

644, what exactly does using a clay bar do to a car's finish?

Can it be used over a clear coat - like what's used by all manufactures nowadays? Thanks!


 COMMENT 510698 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-12 09:20 PM

Years ago, my Honda had small bubbling with the paint. The paint people told me that if the car is not dried properly before the manufacturer does the next coat, then the moisture under that first layer will bubble up. In your case, it doesn't look like what my car looked like, so I'm not sure it's the same cause.

The dealership wouldn't make it right, but they did replace the hatch back entirely, after it finally rusted through , and they had records of my original complaint.


 COMMENT 510720 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 06:47 AM

Feel free to call me. From the photo and not feeling the paint, it looks like Johnny Sprinkler or the like left hard water deposits on the paint that were then not neutralized. It does not take long for those deposits and heat to mix and etch into the clear. SB has very HARD water. I have seen a few hours on darker cars cause problems.

If it is some type of blistering- it's due to improper prep when being painted. I can measure the thickness of the paint for you and we'll know if it's original paint or not. :)

I'm happy to inspect the paint at no charge.
Detailers Network


 COMMENT 510721 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 06:54 AM

You know what else makes your paint blister? KFC's gravy. Pour some of THAT on your car, and you'll see bare steel in about five minutes. Then try to imagine what that stuff does to your insides...


 COMMENT 510731 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 07:40 AM

672 Before your car looks like this, here are some easy steps. 1.Wash the car clean with soap and water and dry it.
2. Buy a Clay bar cleaning kit at any auto supply store.
3 Use detaling spray from the kit in a 2ft by 2ft section of car.
4 Rub the clay over the wet area, you need to spray a few times to get the paint lubed so the clay wont stick. If it is working you are lifting debris off the paint and onto the clay.
5 Clay the entire car, this can take a while just make sure the paint is real wet where you use the clay and rub it like you are sanding the paint.When you are done with each section rub dry with towel.
6 Wax the paint to seal it. 7 If you do this correct your paint will feel like butter and you will have sealed the paint from deteriorating.


 COMMENT 510759P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 10:05 AM

MESAJIM: Yes, and have you ever seen what happens when an iron nail is exposed to water? And people DRINK that stuff! Imagine what that H2o does to your insides.


 COMMENT 510768P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-13 10:26 AM

Haha, good laugh here, 759P.


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