Subaru Legacy Forums

Subaru Legacy Forums (
-   Detailing, Maintenance, and Long-term care (
-   -   Is my paint ruined or is there something I can do? (

Pako 08-26-2012 03:55 PM

Is my paint ruined or is there something I can do?
1 Attachment(s)
See attached. I read that a lot of LGT's have an orange peel effect on their cars. This image is on my roof. I have tried some things with no success. Is there anything I can do, does anyone have any suggestion? I would love to hear them.

mattg 08-26-2012 03:57 PM

Those look like water spots not orange peel.

Pako 08-26-2012 04:01 PM

What ever they are, they are hideous and quite stubborn. There is some depth to them in person, where the picture doesn't translate that too well.

No DRFT 08-26-2012 04:54 PM

Take it to a professional detailer. They'll buff it out in "stages" and/or wetsand it down then buff it.

Nrw 08-27-2012 08:22 AM

Looks like hard water deposits.

OCDetails 08-27-2012 01:03 PM

I can't really tell what it is that I'm looking at in that picture. Orange Peel looks like the texture of an orange and came from the factory with it. It isn't something that just crops up somewhere down the road. If what you are seeing just started appearing then it could be any number of things. Hard water damage, failing clear coat, acid rain, etc. If your clear coat has been etched by calcium or acid rain, then the only way to repair it is to cut the paint. That needs to be done with a high speed polisher, so don't even try it by hand. I suppose it is possible to do it by hand, but it is not possible to do it evenly over the whole panel, so you'll just cause more harm than good doing it that way.

Definitely take it to a professional. Skip the body shops and the dealerships. They know very little if anything about repairing paint. A body shop will know more than a dealership, but they aren't going to polish it out for you, so don't bother with them. Find a reputable detail shop (not just a touchless car wash) and have them take a look. You need to find one that handles cars one at a time and doesn't just put them on a conveyor belt. That is just a car wash. A detail shop is going to look more like a tire shop with multiple bays for working on cars. Car washes won't be able to fix this problem either.

If you are seeing depth to it then it is already etched in the paint. The damage is done and it isn't likely to get worse. However, now you have compromised areas of your clear coat and it needs to be leveled out to prevent a number of problems. Clear coat failure can start with hard water damage, so you definitely want to get this looked at.

Pako 08-27-2012 02:11 PM

4 Attachment(s)
If I really dig deep in the dark corners of my memories (the place I try to stay out of) I can vaguely remember thinking to myself, "new cars shouldn't have water spots if they are washed and wiped down regularly". In any case, it has been there a while and doesn't seem to be getting worse.

The surface is also smooth to the touch. Here are some larger res images from the Nikon instead of from the cell phone. I will also note, it's only when under artificial light that it sticks out like that. Under direct sun light you can't even see it, but OCD and all that kicks in and it's driving me nuts.

mattg 08-27-2012 02:24 PM

That is really weird. Have you owned the car since new? That almost looks like lacquer checking. Is it only the roof that looks like that?

Pako 08-27-2012 03:48 PM

Yes, I bought it new, off the lot, in August of '07. It is the worst on the roof, but the last shot shown is from the hood and there is the same effect on the trunk. There are no signs of this on the sides of the car.

mattg 08-27-2012 07:22 PM

Does your car ever get irrigation water sprayed on it?

Pako 08-27-2012 08:37 PM

Well, it has had sprinkler water sprayed on it occasionally from the neighbor. It is mostly parked in the garage where it has been since I got it. There was about a 9 month stretch where it was parked outside.

Pako 08-28-2012 01:30 PM

Had a body guy look at it today. He seems to think that the sealant under the clear is starting to crack. He didn't think it was the 2008's but he had to do about 30 hoods under warranty because of a similar issue that Subaru paid for.

I might try some heavier compound on an inconspicuous spot on the hood just to see what happens. I have some pretty major road rash on it anyways so it will need repaired sooner than later but the roof is in pretty good shape other than the scaling artifacts.

GTTuner 08-28-2012 01:53 PM

Do you live near a former nuclear test site?

OCDetails 08-29-2012 09:05 AM


Originally Posted by mattg (Post 4044026)
That is really weird. Have you owned the car since new? That almost looks like lacquer checking. Is it only the roof that looks like that?

That is my thought after seeing those as well. At those angles it looks like some sort of paint failure. I'm not sure that polishing is going to solve it. Definitely take it to a couple other body shops and see what they can tell you. If it was hard water damage then I would expect to see it on other horizontal surfaces like the hood and trunk as well, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Paint will fail on the horizontal surfaces first, so it is very possible this is just paint failure.

Since 2007 what has been your car care routine? How often have you waxed it? If it spends a lot of time out in the sun, then it can certainly cause this kind of damage. For as much as I love Subarus, the paint quality is one of the major reasons I don't own one today. I absolutely don't trust it and I will not drive a car with paint falling off of it while I tell people I know how to keep a car looking good. ;) Kind of the worst advertising idea possible if you ask me. lol

Pako 08-29-2012 11:52 AM

Well, the blemish is also on the hood and truck, but it is the most visible on the roof. In the sun it just about all disappears but under the unforgiveness of florescent, it shows up like the pictures above.

I will typically wash the car every 2-4 weeks depending on how soiled it gets. During the summer months I wash it by hand with Simple Green and water. In the winter time, 6-8 months out of the year, I will use automatic car washes. Frequency depends on how cold it gets. I have gone 4 months without a wash because of the weather although I try to wash at least monthly in those conditions.

I will wax it typically once in the spring and once in the fall. I have used various waxes over the years.

During the day, the car sits out in the sun, all day long. At home it goes in the garage (with exception to that 9 month period where I lost my garage to "stuff"). Winter months here are dreadful and are overcast for much of the season. I suppose UV damage can still occur but direct sunlight is limited during this season.

I can not see any of this same blemish on the side panels. I didn't get a chance to try a rubbing compound last night but still have plans to try some at some point.

Not that I'm caring for it correctly, but my wife often says, "it's just a car" as I go out to clean it. I'm not completely anal, but for a 5 year old car I think it looks pretty good.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:19 AM.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise v2.6.3 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.