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Love Bug Clear Coat Etching #5381935 03/21/20 09:16 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 36
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Wrenchturner44 Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 36
Hello Everyone,

My 2013 Dodge Dart lived part of it's previously life in Florida. Apparently the black bumper (cannot tell if it is painted or color molded) was subjected to many impacts of Love Bug juice. The clear coat or top coating seems to be etched. In bright sunlight it looks as if it is only water spotted, but the etching is in fact there.

I am curious if anyone else has dealt with this issue, and what remedy did you use to restore back a unified gloss. I am a little afraid to wet sand (thinking 2000 grit) the bumper and then try to polish it out since I am not sure if the plastic is indeed painted or if the color is molder in.

Attached is stock photo of a car of the same color and bumper configuration that is on mine.

Thanks in advance for your replies.

2013-dodge-dart-rallye-1-08.jpg

2003 Dodge Durango SLT
2013 Dodge Dart SE Rallye
2015 Buick Encore
2015 Chevy Sonic LTZ
Re: Love Bug Clear Coat Etching [Re: Wrenchturner44] #5381979 03/21/20 10:10 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
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Cujet Offline
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If you can buff it up to a reasonable quality finish, you may find that a high end clear plastic protective film will restore the shine, while providing some protection. Whether it's worth the cost or not is another matter entirely.

Also, I've been able to re-clear coat by carefully wet sanding with 2000 grit, and re-spraying. It generally comes out perfect. Just don't sand into the base coat.

EDIT: This is not to say that I've been able to restore peeling clear coat that has degraded into white flakes. I've been able to sand and re-spray modestly damaged/scratched clear coat with good results.

Last edited by Cujet; 03/21/20 10:12 AM.

People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: Love Bug Clear Coat Etching [Re: Wrenchturner44] #5382061 03/21/20 11:36 AM
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aquariuscsm Offline
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I remember how bad the love bugs were in south Texas one summer. They covered everything in their path!!


1996 Nissan 300ZX 5-speed,Arctic Pearl(#175 of 300)
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 10W30
2012 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L 2.4,auto,San Marino Red
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 0W20

Re: Love Bug Clear Coat Etching [Re: aquariuscsm] #5382260 03/21/20 03:56 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
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Originally Posted by aquariuscsm
I remember how bad the love bugs were in south Texas one summer. They covered everything in their path!!


Came home from a business trip to find our Explorer (tri color white) so caked & baked with them I could not open the hood to add washer fluid until I headed to the coin op wash.

Re: Love Bug Clear Coat Etching [Re: Wrenchturner44] #5382337 03/21/20 06:22 PM
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The_Nuke Offline
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Originally Posted by Wrenchturner44
Hello Everyone,

My 2013 Dodge Dart lived part of it's previously life in Florida. Apparently the black bumper (cannot tell if it is painted or color molded) was subjected to many impacts of Love Bug juice. The clear coat or top coating seems to be etched. In bright sunlight it looks as if it is only water spotted, but the etching is in fact there.

I am curious if anyone else has dealt with this issue, and what remedy did you use to restore back a unified gloss. I am a little afraid to wet sand (thinking 2000 grit) the bumper and then try to polish it out since I am not sure if the plastic is indeed painted or if the color is molder in.

Attached is stock photo of a car of the same color and bumper configuration that is on mine.

Thanks in advance for your replies.


Pics of the damage would help us know whether or not it can be addressed and to what extent any improvement can be expected to result.

At the moment, I’ll say there’s probably nothing that can be done. But I could be wrong, post up some pics, and I’ll know a little better.


2012 Charger Pursuit aka "The Bacon Hauler"
- 5.7L + NAG1 (A5) + 3.07 (215mm)
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