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Cosmetic Maintenance (Wash, Wax, Detailing, Body Repairs) Wash, Wax, Details, Repairs


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Old 07-29-2019, 12:44 PM   #1
xdavidx
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How bad is our paint?

I've had my 86 almost a year now. When I got it, first thing I did (as I do with all new cars) was to thoroughly wash, clay bar, prep, and seal the paint. I used wolfgang sealant from autogeek as I have on my past several cars. I wash my cars every week or two for the most part with a very anal process to ensure no scratches and top it off with a spray wax. Car is always garaged and in southern california away from the ocean. While sometimes I will reapply sealant soon, this has always kept paint in really good shape for up to a year. Normally when I redo the process, I find it doesn't really need the clay bar.


This car has totally broken that. The paint is so bumpy with contaminants that no washing will make it feel smooth (i'm thinking it will take some seriously clay barring to remove) and it is covered in light surface marks from bugs, birds, trees, and water spots. If I didn't have so much confidence in the wolfgang sealant from so many prior applications successes and that fact that it has remained very shiny and beading water, I'd think it had no paint protection at all for a year. Nothing serious and noticeable to anyone but myself and nothing that shouldn't buff out with a light pre sealant polish, but I guess I am just shocked that it needs anything at all considering my process has worked great on every other cars paint.



I'd heard the paint on these cars was not very great, but didn't give it too much thought as I take such good care of my cars that I never have issues. Anyone else particular about their paint care that has had one of these a long time and can tell me what I should expect in future years? Maybe if I have a heads up I won't be as upset when it starts showing more wear than I'd like. Also open to other sealant suggestions if someone has had good success with something else on our paint.
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:55 PM   #2
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It's not that it's not great, it's just very thin. My car is 2 years old and the hood is so chipped, it looks like the hood from my 8 year old car that I had before it
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Old 07-29-2019, 02:43 PM   #3
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It isn't that it is thin it is that it is very hard.
Back in 2012 the world governments required a reduction ion VOC (volatile organic compounds). This forced the auto companies to compromise. The results are a paint that is actually too brittle. The old paints used to have more flex to them so they could take a bigger hit with the same film thickness.
Many of the manufacturers have converted their application processes to deal with this but Subaru is lagging a bit behind in the older plants.
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Old 07-29-2019, 03:36 PM   #4
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I've had my 86 almost a year now. When I got it, first thing I did (as I do with all new cars) was to thoroughly wash, clay bar, prep, and seal the paint. I used wolfgang sealant from autogeek as I have on my past several cars. I wash my cars every week or two for the most part with a very anal process to ensure no scratches and top it off with a spray wax. Car is always garaged and in southern california away from the ocean. While sometimes I will reapply sealant soon, this has always kept paint in really good shape for up to a year. Normally when I redo the process, I find it doesn't really need the clay bar.


This car has totally broken that. The paint is so bumpy with contaminants that no washing will make it feel smooth (i'm thinking it will take some seriously clay barring to remove) and it is covered in light surface marks from bugs, birds, trees, and water spots. If I didn't have so much confidence in the wolfgang sealant from so many prior applications successes and that fact that it has remained very shiny and beading water, I'd think it had no paint protection at all for a year. Nothing serious and noticeable to anyone but myself and nothing that shouldn't buff out with a light pre sealant polish, but I guess I am just shocked that it needs anything at all considering my process has worked great on every other cars paint.



I'd heard the paint on these cars was not very great, but didn't give it too much thought as I take such good care of my cars that I never have issues. Anyone else particular about their paint care that has had one of these a long time and can tell me what I should expect in future years? Maybe if I have a heads up I won't be as upset when it starts showing more wear than I'd like. Also open to other sealant suggestions if someone has had good success with something else on our paint.
I have a 1/4 mile long gravel and dirt driveway. So I wash my car twice a year, whether it needs it or not. I also live in central KY so we get enough sun that my 2013 headlights are yellowing. But the paint is like new.


I've never waxed it. Mine's the metallic white.


The front is a bit beat up from bugs, but not many rock chips, mainly because, though I drive a lot, most of it is on back roads with no cars in front of me, so I'm mostly hitting bugs.
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Old 07-29-2019, 03:47 PM   #5
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I have a 1/4 mile long gravel and dirt driveway. So I wash my car twice a year, whether it needs it or not. I also live in central KY so we get enough sun that my 2013 headlights are yellowing. But the paint is like new.


I've never waxed it. Mine's the metallic white.


The front is a bit beat up from bugs, but not many rock chips, mainly because, though I drive a lot, most of it is on back roads with no cars in front of me, so I'm mostly hitting bugs.
I have the opposite drive. At least 98% of my time is spent on a highway with trucks throwing crap at me. My bumper has chips on the chips. Somehow I even managed to get a stone chip on the flat part on top of my back bumper.
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Old 07-29-2019, 04:05 PM   #6
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I have the opposite drive. At least 98% of my time is spent on a highway with trucks throwing crap at me. My bumper has chips on the chips. Somehow I even managed to get a stone chip on the flat part on top of my back bumper.
That's pretty much mine, and since it's Firestorm and the primer is white they all shine like little stars.

Also the door handles are quickly approaching pink.

To @Tcoat's comment about the paint changes I can attest to that. MomHawk's '05 Mustang, which we've owned from new, and has about 110,000 miles on it, looks like it just rolled out of the paint shop, and she basically drives the same roads I do, just not as much. I think there is one paint chip on the rear fender and that's about it.
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Old 07-29-2019, 04:26 PM   #7
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Garage
My son says, an other car nut, ceramic coat helps and clear bra works.
I have found Nu Finish works for bugs and tar but no hope for rocks.
I am an infrequent waxer so once a year coating is good for me.
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Old 07-29-2019, 05:09 PM   #8
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The paint looks really great if you have poor vision. My car looks immaculate with my glasses off.

I just sold my (also red) 1991 E36 318IS. The 318 had about 200k more miles, with less rock chips. This includes several pairs of 200tw tires and winter driving.


The FRS doors/side skirts do not handle rocks from sticky tires at all. Ceramic coating probably works wonder, I'm just too cheap to spend a 1/4 of my car's value on protecting the paint.
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Old 07-29-2019, 05:53 PM   #9
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I'm just too cheap to spend a 1/4 of my car's value on protecting the paint.

Me too... Although it seems prices have come down. I just did a search of a few shops around me and it looks to be about $600. They sell do it yourself ceramic coatings, but they seem like really they are more of sealants and only last a year. The pro stuff (that comes with lifetime warranty) requires IR treatment and is a kind of intimidating process to try on my own.
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Old 07-29-2019, 06:12 PM   #10
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Me too... Although it seems prices have come down. I just did a search of a few shops around me and it looks to be about $600. They sell do it yourself ceramic coatings, but they seem like really they are more of sealants and only last a year. The pro stuff (that comes with lifetime warranty) requires IR treatment and is a kind of intimidating process to try on my own.
If you want to seal it to begin with, I wouldn't attempt on your own. Pay to get it done once, and done right. The cost of a new paint job is probably 3K for same quality, maybe a little orange peel on the doors from a great shop. I'd rather do that every 8 years and get the chance to change colors than to protect paint I know is already poor.

Honestly, I would get it out of your head and just enjoy the car as is. rock chips and whatnot happen, don't let the car being new brainwash you into thinking the paint has to be perfect. You'll forget to enjoy what you bought it for! Spend the money on a Quickjack system instead.
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Old 07-29-2019, 06:34 PM   #11
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From owning my FRS for 4 years, I feel like the paint is very thin and is pretty easy to damage. However, I do wash my car every week to keep it shiny and smooth. I think that with the right products and regular car care, you should have no issues keeping the paint feeling nice and smooth.

I'm not sure why it's not working out for you though.. sounds like you're doing everything right. I'm in SoCal too, not too far from you (Ontario). Here is what my paint looks like after 82k miles, with no polishing done in the last 3 years, just some regular washes, a lot of waterless care washes, and regular wax applications. Always feels silky smooth to the touch.

-Sam

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Old 07-29-2019, 07:12 PM   #12
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I'm not sure why it's not working out for you though.. sounds like you're doing everything right. I'm in SoCal too, not too far from you (Ontario). Here is what my paint looks like after 82k miles, with no polishing done in the last 3 years, just some regular washes, a lot of waterless care washes, and regular wax applications. Always feels silky smooth to the touch.

-Sam

What wax are you using? Maybe the sealant I've used is not the best with this paint.
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:16 PM   #13
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What wax are you using? Maybe the sealant I've used is not the best with this paint.
I've been using Meguair's Quik Wax (Ultimate/Gold Class) since they day I got the car. It's worked well and I use Chemical Guys paste wax or Meguair's Ultimate paste wax every month or so.

Just tried Mother's Ceramic spray wax for the first time last Sunday and I feel like the Ceramic spray wax leaves an even smoother finish, and looks even better.

Do you garage your 86? It's Asphalt?

-Sam
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:05 PM   #14
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I've been using Meguair's Quik Wax (Ultimate/Gold Class) since they day I got the car. It's worked well and I use Chemical Guys paste wax or Meguair's Ultimate paste wax every month or so.

Just tried Mother's Ceramic spray wax for the first time last Sunday and I feel like the Ceramic spray wax leaves an even smoother finish, and looks even better.

Do you garage your 86? It's Asphalt?

-Sam

I do, but I drive it a lot. Yes, Asphalt. Maybe I just need to apply it more often, it seemed fine the first few months, just normally it can go a year no problem. Could have been all the rain this winter made it wear off faster than usual or it just doesn't adhere as well to this paint. Too bad I can't wax with contaminants, those seem to adhere just fine

Wolfgang sealant is still easier to apply than a paste wax, so I'd rather use it every 3-4 months than paste wax every 1. Carnauba does look better though and less expensive.
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