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#3426429 - 07/16/14 11:35 AM Have factory paint jobs gotten worse or better?
7055 Offline


Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 287
Loc: KS
If you look at any new car today, even upscale cars, there is always always orange peel in the finish. Has it always been like this? I've heard that modern day thinner paint layers, automation and tighter controls on emmisions have meant paint jobs have actually gotten worse in terms of orange peel but the corrosion resistance of the modern paint finishes has improved. Any truth to this?
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#3426443 - 07/16/14 11:47 AM Re: Have factory paint jobs gotten worse or better? [Re: 7055]
Kuato Offline


Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 3829
Loc: Montana, 100km from Canada
Some of those 80s peeling paint jobs were pretty bad! I wouldn't mind if they went back to an early 70s paint quality - the kind that lasts for 40 years.
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#3426461 - 07/16/14 12:15 PM Re: Have factory paint jobs gotten worse or better? [Re: Kuato]
TomYoung Offline


Registered: 06/06/08
Posts: 537
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Kuato
Some of those 80s peeling paint jobs were pretty bad! I wouldn't mind if they went back to an early 70s paint quality - the kind that lasts for 40 years.


OMG. You need to be assigned to watch old episodes of CHiPS. Those 70's paint jobs were dull and not long-lasting. The GM lacquer paint jobs were beautiful in the showroom, but did not hold up that well. While maybe a car in a museum or a garage holds up for 40 years, on the main the seventies, sixties and eighties cars still on the road have been repainted. On the OP's original comment on orange peel, the point is taken. But new paints are very, very, very good. There are plenty of 04 cars that look like new.

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#3426462 - 07/16/14 12:15 PM Re: Have factory paint jobs gotten worse or better? [Re: 7055]
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 8800
Loc: Onondaga County
The paint jobs are good, it seems, but the paint is too thin
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#3426473 - 07/16/14 12:30 PM Re: Have factory paint jobs gotten worse or better? [Re: 7055]
jrustles Offline


Registered: 02/24/13
Posts: 2035
Loc: Ontario, Canada
New car paint is pretty bad IMO.

It wasn't as blatantly defective as some paint jobs have been in the past (peeling, patina etc), but they are much more consistent-- consistently orange peel-ish. Three stage wet, eco paints aren't very good compared to that hard, laquer finish of the past.
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#3426475 - 07/16/14 12:36 PM Re: Have factory paint jobs gotten worse or better? [Re: 7055]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 11074
Loc: The Motor City
A couple of thoughts:

EPA is forcing more environmentally friendly painting practices, which has forced the industry to turn to water-based paints, which aren't as good as they used to be.

Corrosion protection comes more from the steel coatings now used (zinc or zinc alloy coatings, phosphate coatings, and E-coat primers), than from the topcoats used.

A shiny paint job adds considerable cost to a vehicle. If people didn't care for beautiful, shiny, perfect paint jobs, they could save around $7000 per car and go with a battleship finish.

Mercedes is toying with paint that has ceramic particles mixed in. The ceramic would make the paint considerably more scratch resistant.

Some years ago at the North American International Auto Show, I saw some Mercedes vehicles with non-shiny (matte) paint jobs that looked underwhelming. I asked the guys putting on the show about it. They were trying to gauge customer reaction to it. I wonder if this had anything to do with the ceramic paint or with them trying to get the costs down with the paint regimen.

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#3426479 - 07/16/14 12:40 PM Re: Have factory paint jobs gotten worse or better? [Re: 7055]
Nick1994 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 3027
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I'm surprised too with the amount of orange peel in new cars. GM has terrible paint, my 96' Chevy truck's paint was wasted, my uncle has an 03' Silverado and it's paint has been peeling for years, and my step moms 10' Pontiac G6's paint totally went last summer. Not sure what corners they're cutting
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#3426482 - 07/16/14 12:41 PM Re: Have factory paint jobs gotten worse or better? [Re: 7055]
TomYoung Offline


Registered: 06/06/08
Posts: 537
Loc: New Jersey
Like so many BITOG topics, this one is overthought and overwrought. Today's single stage and especially base/clearcoat factory paint jobs are shiny, beautiful and wear like titanium. That is just not the way it was back in the day.

There is some discussion about matte paint jobs and whether the public would accept them. Understand that matte paint jobs are MORE expensive than the shiny ones.

If there is an idea out their to have cheap, matte paint jobs that save money, I am in.

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#3426485 - 07/16/14 12:46 PM Re: Have factory paint jobs gotten worse or better? [Re: 7055]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 12612
Loc: Chicago, IL
A few years ago Infiniti did offer paint that could self-heal small scratches and swirls. I believe they've since dropped it.

http://www.autoevolution.com/news/automotive-magic-self-healing-car-paint-41252.html
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#3426523 - 07/16/14 01:29 PM Re: Have factory paint jobs gotten worse or better? [Re: 7055]
Whimsey Offline


Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 3314
Loc: The Garden State
I believe if you take care of the finish with occasional washing and waxing you'll maintain today's finishes decently. That's at least my experience with my Fords. For all three of my Fords, 1996 Contour, 2002 F-150 and 2005 Explorer the paint never had orange peel and to this day looks real good. The only sad case is my 2002 F-150 is the rust that is coming from behind the panels. It appears on lots of F-150 in the same spots from that time period here in "salty" NJ. It got worse since they began using the liquid brine salt.

Whimsey

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#3426536 - 07/16/14 01:38 PM Re: Have factory paint jobs gotten worse or better? [Re: 7055]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 12618
Loc: apple valley, ca
its as bad as it ever was. the paint on my ford is delaminating as is my 02 jeep.
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#3426565 - 07/16/14 02:04 PM Re: Have factory paint jobs gotten worse or better? [Re: 7055]
djb Offline


Registered: 01/16/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Maryland
I've read that many European consumers prefer orange peel because it suggests a thicker, longer-lasting paint layer.

This is more perception than reality, but perception is important for selling a new car.

My observation is that water-based paints resulted in easily chipped coatings when they were introduced in the late 1990s, but that they improved by 2002 to resist chips but still have peeling issues.

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#3426590 - 07/16/14 02:41 PM Re: Have factory paint jobs gotten worse or better? [Re: 7055]
andrewg Offline


Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 3620
Loc: Covington, Wa.
My Ridgeline is stellar in the mechanicals so far....but I must admit that the paint job could be better. It's black and therefor reveals any flaws in the paint. The lower sides are thinner in application and not nearly as glossy and smooth as the upper portions. A few drips can be seen in the right light as well.
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#3426598 - 07/16/14 02:48 PM Re: Have factory paint jobs gotten worse or better? [Re: 7055]
eljefino Online   content


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 26495
Loc: ME
I saw a black Suburban that had, what I thought was, "controlled orangepeel." It had a uniformly crinkly finish with a nice gloss clearcoat on top. I figure if you're going to have orangepeel, have it look uniform and nice.

Speaking of clearcoat, how much money is saved by the OE by leaving it off? I ask because some "fleet white" cars don't have it, and some real junkers like the "Ford Escort Pony" came with dull paint as well.

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#3426611 - 07/16/14 02:58 PM Re: Have factory paint jobs gotten worse or better? [Re: eljefino]
TomYoung Offline


Registered: 06/06/08
Posts: 537
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: eljefino
I saw a black Suburban that had, what I thought was, "controlled orangepeel." It had a uniformly crinkly finish with a nice gloss clearcoat on top.

Speaking of clearcoat, how much money is saved by the OE by leaving it off? I ask because some "fleet white" cars don't have it, and some real junkers like the "Ford Escort Pony" came with dull paint as well.


You are not saving money per se. If a single stage paint is applied, there is no advantage to adding clear coat. Clear coat paint is dull by itself and not durable, and must be completed with clear coat. Single stage paints are easy to touch up and lend themselves to compounding and polishing.

Clear coat is more expensive.

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