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What Causes Car Paint to Peel?

What Causes Car Paint to Peel?

After you have your vehicle for some time, you may notice that your car paint starts to peel. In fact, this is a problem that can affect even new cars! Whether it is a thin scratch that’s starting to widen or you find chips and chunks starting to flake, it is without a doubt a buffer when paint peels. But just what causes your car’s outer paint to flake and peel off?

The Basics: What Makes Up Automotive Paint?

Before we can dive into why it peels, it is best to cover just what it is. Automotive paint is different from other paints in a few ways. Just as you wouldn’t paint your house with car paint, you wouldn’t cover your car in paint meant for your walls.

Aside from being just exterior and all-weather rated, car paint has specific roles to fill and rules to follow. For one, today’s cars are covered in glossy finishes brought about through several coatings. First there is a base layer (your primer) and then a base coat of paint right on top. Following that base paint, a clear coating layer is applied to preserve the bases – and your car paint color – as much as possible. These multiple layers are intentional, as they work together to create the shiny, colorful exterior seen of car.

These three layers, then, are actually important and so when one is compromised and stops binding to the surface below it, car paint starts to flake. There are two main buckets of reasons why your car paint, then, may start to peel:

The Car’s Paint Surface Wasn’t Prepared Properly from the Start

While not necessarily an issue for cars off the factory line, a car that has been painted but not prepped right is often the culprit. If someone has attempted to paint (or repaint) a vehicle themselves, it’s likely the surface wasn’t prepped properly. Thanks, then, to poor adhesion, the car paint is free to delaminate.

A lack of grip, proper cleaning and proper materials is a sure way to ensure peeling down the line. That’s why, if you are considering repainting your car, you should only have it done by a professional. To ensure that your exterior is perfectly ready, too, it’s recommended you have it thoroughly detail cleaned.

The Car Paint Seal has been Compromised

It is entirely possible that your car was properly painted. That means that your peeling car paint is likely the result of an external compromise. When one of the layers is compromised by a scratch, a ding or a rock chip, it is an open invitation for peeling. Since moisture and environmental debris now are able to enter the coatings, they cause damage from the interior layers out. In fact, the tiniest chip, if left untreated, can lead to paint delamination.

Can You Repair Peeling Car Paint?

There’s no all-encompassing answer to this, as it depends on case severity. If the only layer ripped is the clear coating, it may well be repairable. Once the other layers begin to peel, though, it is more difficult to fix. Affected area size is also important to consider. Small spots of peeling paint are easier to treat than larger abrasions, so it’s important to take care of ASAP.

Do Dents Cause Car Paint to Peel?

It is possible that dents can threaten the integrity of the paint layers. The more time the structure beneath spends jutted at an odd angle, the more opportunity to paint to be ripped of there is. That’s why it is recommended to get dents fixed as soon as you can. The best way to prevent car paint damage thanks to a dent is to schedule a paintless dent repair service so that you never even need repainting.

We’re always here for you at Orlando Auto Body to take care of any and all of your body repair needs–including painting. Just give us a call at (480) 844-4858.

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