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Automotive Paint Problems- Peeling Clear Coat


Clear coat delamination

Your car is still going as strong as the day you purchased it a few years ago, maybe even a decade ago. But a couple of hot summers in the Arizona sun have baked your clear coat to the point of peeling. This is called clear coat delamination. The extreme temperatures in the Tucson area often cause delamination because the two paints (the base coat and the clear) expand at slightly different temperatures and over time they can work themselves loose. This is especially prevalent in the early to mid 1990’s factory paints when the base coat clear coat was just hitting the main stream.

peeling clear coat  resized 600


The bad news is once it starts you can’t stop it. You can learn to live with it or you can bite the bullet and get it fixed. So what if you can’t stand looking at it any more? Can you just have some more clear coat sprayed on it?


The short answer is no. In the “old” days, cars were painted in a hard enamel or laquer paint called “single stage”. It did not have a clear coat and had to be sprayed on in thick, wet and multiple coats. When a car got painted it got a coat or two of primer, then sanded, then a sealer, then sanded, and then a couple of coats of single stage with sanding in between. It was a lot of labor to paint a repair.


Now cars come from the factory with a single layer of base color and a single layer of clear coat.  This was driven partially by the EPA in an effort to reduce the Volatile Organic Compounds or VOC’s and partially due to advances in paint chemistry and an effort to build cars quicker better and faster. Two stage paint jobs also allow for richer metallic finishes on cars.


So what to do with your peeling clear coat on your car? Well unfortunately you are going to have to get it painted. Depending on the severity of the peeling and the condition of the paint underneath we will most likely have to sand that entire panel down and spray on some more base coat then go back with a new clear coat.


The good news however is it will be easy to match the existing paint on your car, and we can get it looking factory new again.

Stay tuned for more posts on paint  repair work and pricing.



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You should consult a professional about peeling problem. I only advised you that next time use trustable coating tape which is really easy to peel off.
Posted @ Monday, April 07, 2014 2:10 AM by Edword andi
My wife and I purchased a Used 1999 Lexus XL470.,we had a 2003 Honda Pilot and traded it in on the Lexus! w 
We have always garaged it and taken care of it! My sister had a Lexus RX300 and always liked the looks of it and the way it drove. Within the last couple years we have watched all the paint and clearcoat peel off the Hood, the roof and off of the sides now!! I always thought that Lexus was top of the line and high quality. When people see our SUV now they always ask what happened., I just tell them and I hear them say "Wow don't think we will purchase one of those!! They also ask if Lexus would stand behind the Poor Paint job or if there was a recall on the Paint Job and I just tell them the TRUTH. John P. Norton....Love the ride of the XL 470 just totally disappointed in Lexus11
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