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#4501781 - 08/29/17 09:22 PM Is this clear coat failure or something else?
jj51702 Offline


Registered: 10/07/16
Posts: 232
Loc: California
Hello all,
Need your opinion please. 2007 4runner that just hit 120k. I've owned it the past 2.5 years. About 4 months into ownership I noticed this on the hood. The car was freshly detailed when I bought it so it may have been hidden. It has since increased (I think, not sure). It it smooth to the touch as far as I can tell. The rest of the paint including the hood is (knock wood) in decent shape.

A while back I asked a local paint guy we used and he said he doesn't think it's clear coat failure but rather the owner likely parked under a tree where bird poop and possibly sap was left on too long without being washed off and permanently discolored the clear coat.

I live in southern California and the car has lived outside during my ownership this entire time. Nor sure about the previous owner but I think they parked it outside too aa the headlights had a decent amount of yellow oxidation when I got it.

Is there anything I can do to address this?

Thanks in advance



Edited by jj51702 (08/29/17 09:23 PM)

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#4501800 - 08/29/17 09:36 PM Re: Is this clear coat failure or something else? [Re: jj51702]
Blkstanger Offline


Registered: 08/13/11
Posts: 1948
Loc: Lakeside, CA
Is the HOOD INSULATION PAD intact? looks like heat damage from the engine to me.
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#4501812 - 08/29/17 09:56 PM Re: Is this clear coat failure or something else? [Re: jj51702]
69GTX Offline


Registered: 09/23/15
Posts: 3815
Loc: Connecticut
I had a black car with similar "white spotting" on the hood, though it was more spread out and even. The dealers I took it to said it was either acid rain damage or clearcoat failure, either requiring new paint. Took the car to a detailing shop and the made it look like new. Turned out it was just residue buildup from over-waxing having so many layers built up that it needing stripping.
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#4501858 - 08/29/17 10:50 PM Re: Is this clear coat failure or something else? [Re: jj51702]
Gasbuggy Offline


Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 1895
Loc: PA
yep, failing. I could make that look good with a buffer, but the end is coming.
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#4501869 - 08/29/17 11:10 PM Re: Is this clear coat failure or something else? [Re: Blkstanger]
jj51702 Offline


Registered: 10/07/16
Posts: 232
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Blkstanger
Is the HOOD INSULATION PAD intact? looks like heat damage from the engine to me.


Yep, fully intact

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#4501904 - 08/30/17 12:27 AM Re: Is this clear coat failure or something else? [Re: jj51702]
Dave9 Offline


Registered: 08/28/17
Posts: 176
Loc: Cincinnati, USA
Cause doesn't necessarily matter at this point. If you can't buff it out and hide it enough with a sealant then it'll need repainted. I mean if you're bold you could sand it down and DIY with something like the following 2 part (activated) clear coat spray then if you don't like the result, you're only out some elbow grease and $20, can still take it somewhere to be painted.

https://www.amazon.com/Spray-High-Gloss-Clearcoat-Aerosol/dp/B0043B7UQY

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#4501905 - 08/30/17 12:27 AM Re: Is this clear coat failure or something else? [Re: jj51702]
NoNameJoe Offline


Registered: 06/03/15
Posts: 414
Loc: New York
Looks like clear coat failure. It's also common for that to happen to darker cars I've noticed, probably because the darker colors heat up more.

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#4501935 - 08/30/17 02:31 AM Re: Is this clear coat failure or something else? [Re: jj51702]
The_Nuke Offline


Registered: 07/21/13
Posts: 293
Loc: D/FW Metroplex
Looks/sounds like you've got some severe clear coat etching from something like tree sap, etc.

As someone has already said, it doesn't matter at this point how it got there, it's there. Now you have to figure out how you want to deal with it.

If the clear coat is etched, it's a permanent artifact that will have to be lived with or dealt with by a repaint. However, an etched CC isn't a failed CC. So one option for you would be to just keep hitting it with a sturdy OTC cleaner wax/sealant on a regular schedule to make sure it's always plenty protected from the sun and such. That should keep the CC from getting any worse or actually failing on you and thus requiring a repaint or something.

You'd still be able to see the etching obviously, but as long as you could live with that, you'd be golden...just have to be okay with expending whatever effort it took to maintain it ever so often with the OTC cleaner wax, which shouldn't be much I would think.

Given the age and mileage of the vehicle, that's probably the route I would go if it were mine, but YMMV obviously.
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#4501958 - 08/30/17 04:24 AM Re: Is this clear coat failure or something else? [Re: NoNameJoe]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 29771
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: NoNameJoe
Looks like clear coat failure. It's also common for that to happen to darker cars I've noticed, probably because the darker colors heat up more.


That's what it looks like to me.
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#4502035 - 08/30/17 07:37 AM Re: Is this clear coat failure or something else? [Re: jj51702]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 18885
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Its important to figure out if its on/in the clear or is it separation of the clear from the base. Separation would mean an automatic respray, on/in the clear means it may be saved with a re-clear not a full repaint.
Try sanding the area of least damage lightly with 2000 and water with a little Dawn dish soap in it, if the surface goes uniformly dull and the damage goes away is in it, if not the clear has separated.

In that case you may be able to carefully sand it out and buff it, a pro could shoot some blending clear then clear and blend clear again on it then buff it and it will look perfect but its nothing for the DIY. If separated then I would strip it, epoxy primer and reshoot it with high quality materials.
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#4502040 - 08/30/17 07:46 AM Re: Is this clear coat failure or something else? [Re: jj51702]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 13466
Loc: Chicago, IL
It's clearcoat etching. It may or may not be permanent -- my advice would be to find a highly-rated / premier detail shop in your area (not just some generic Delta Sonic car wash or whatever) and have them take a look. They might be able to minimize a lot of that.

I certainly would not try wetsanding that myself or doing anything beyond just a hand-application of a swirl remover product. This is best left to the professionals.
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#4502144 - 08/30/17 09:40 AM Re: Is this clear coat failure or something else? [Re: jj51702]
HoosierJeeper Offline


Registered: 11/23/16
Posts: 1276
Loc: WI
Think about it like dead skin...you can't rejuvenate it, you just gotta rip it off.

I'd take it in and get it wetsanded and re cleared. That way you won't have to paint.
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#4502224 - 08/30/17 11:29 AM Re: Is this clear coat failure or something else? [Re: jj51702]
danez_yoda Offline


Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 464
Loc: texas
My Black 97 Mitsu Eclipse did the same thing. the only cure is the sand it down to the paint layer and refinish.

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#4502264 - 08/30/17 12:25 PM Re: Is this clear coat failure or something else? [Re: jj51702]
SatinSilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 10165
Loc: OH
Where in CA are you located? There's a detailer on here that does excellent work. He has two detail shops. Send a PM to FastEddie on here or maybe he will see this thread. He has an 805 area code.


Edited by SatinSilver (08/30/17 12:26 PM)

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#4502413 - 08/30/17 03:10 PM Re: Is this clear coat failure or something else? [Re: SatinSilver]
Malo83 Offline


Registered: 08/08/08
Posts: 2000
Loc: Cali

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