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  1. #1
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    Ceramic Coat Damage (?)

    Hey Mike and community,

    Apologies for the long question, it's a triple whammy but all kind of related (hope that is OK).

    I've recently become an owner of a brand new black car, and as a result the last month has been a whirlwind of learning about detailing (and falling into the rabbit hole - definitely a blessing and a curse). The car came with a ceramic coat, however it is parked outside so trying to keep it clean has been challenging to say the least. The normal washing regimen includes using a snow foam prewash followed by the 2 bucket method using a hydrophobic shampoo. The reason I'm mentioning this is that I've recently started noticing small tiny white specks after washing, particularly on the hood (but not confined to it). Could be a coincidence, maybe because I am paying more and more attention to the car, but I feel like the number of spots is increasing and the car has not been driven at all due to the current lockdown (so they are road chips).

    The specks are about 1mm2 and hard to see, they can be confused with dust. However they do not wipe away like dust - upon a closer look, it appears that they are bits of damage to the coat or paint; they can be felt with a fingernail and the paint/coat seems warped around them. I've tried taking some pictures (excuse the grease marks, it was very hard to make my phone focus):




    The last picture in particular shows the warping, almost like something sank into the paint and pushed it aside.

    Secondly, I missed a spot while drying and a result got some stubborn spots:


    I've had other spots before but these just don't want to go. They are quite to hard to see (you need to be at a particular angle), they can't be felt with a fingernail, and they do appear a bit pearlescent. Could they potentially be SiO2 deposits from the hydrophobic shampoo? What product would you recommend for removing these?

    Finally since I've got you here, the car also has a front bumper PPF (Suntek I believe). Within a day of driving it, it appears to have caught a chip (or something):


    This is also quite small and hard to see as it's on a lower section of the bumper, but wondering what the options are for repairing it - is it worth taking it back to the detailing shop, or would it necessitate a rewrap of the PPF so I shouldn't bother.

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Eldorado2k's Avatar
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    Re: Ceramic Coat Damage (?)

    What kind of car is this?

  3. #3
    Senior Member BSoares's Avatar
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    Re: Ceramic Coat Damage (?)

    I'm not sure what the paint defects are but I would guess they were there before the ceramic coating was applied.
    The water spots (which kinda look like dried soap) should come off, maybe you washed the car under the sun and the paint was hot? There are some coating safe water spot removers out there, but don't expect miracles from them. Perhaps if you let the paint warm up again like when it happened and then just wash it really well they might go away. I think some vinegar would be safe on the coating and could help remove the spots.
    The PPF would need to be replaced on that panel to address the issue you're seeing. The PPF did its job, protected the paint, but then the film got damaged. That's why most with PPF will re-do the film every few years, to replace the damage caused to the PPF.
    Bruno Soares


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  5. #4
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Ceramic Coat Damage (?)

    Great photography work.


    After reading your story and looking at the pictures, I'm going to answer you from the BIG PICTURE point of view. Another way of saying this is instead of looking at you car from ground level, I'm going to look at it from the 30,000 foot level.


    First, I agree with Bruno aka bsoars with this photo, this looks like a simple water mark that dried on the paint.





    If you wash or wipe the area and the water mark/spot does not come off, then it's a IMPRINT RING and you will have to mechanically remove it via polishing. Here's my article on Water Spot Imprint Rings



    Imprint Rings - A specific type of water spot on car paint by Mike Phillips


    CLOSE-UP Shots of Imprint Rings




    And if it is the WATER in your area, be it rain water, sprinkler water, hose water, etc., you have to ask yourself,


    What's in the water?
    (root cause)


    The other defects? My guess is the only way to fix them is via paint correction, touch-up paint or re-painting.


    If this car is a daily driver, not a garage queen, take it out only on Sundays to car shows and park on the grass for others to admire, then I would probably learn to live with them and just do what you're doing, wash and keep the car clean and then move on in life.


    Probably not the answer you want to hear but any other remedy is going to be time consuming with some form of investment. Count the costs and again, is this a daily driver. Don't go crazy over the small stuff. And especially if you don't have garage to store this car in anytime it's not in use.


    I have a small paint defect in the hood of my Lexus, the ONLY way to fix it proper would be to repaint the entire hood. Not going to do it. It's a daily driver that's parked outside 24x7 and it doesn't bother me enough to throw $1000.00 at it. Instead, I wash it, keep it clean and drive it.

    Real World Ceramic Coating Test by Mike Phillips




    Mike Phillips
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  7. #5
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    Re: Ceramic Coat Damage (?)

    Thanks for the responses everyone

    RE: the water spots, I have tried a light vinegar solution without any luck, however the car was pretty cold, will try again when it is warmer. I've dealt with water spots easily enough in other regions on the car, but these definitely do seem to be imprint rings because they just do not want to go.

    RE: other marks - the car is a daily driver and yes I will need to learn to live with them, my main concern is that they are being caused by something that I'm doing or a product I'm using, but they do seem to caused by mechanical damage (and I'm very gentle when cleaning). Interested to find out how damage like that got caused, the spots or 'holes' are sometimes no thicker than the tip of a pin

    That ceramic coating thread is very interesting, will follow it to see how it goes!

    Thanks again.

  8. #6
    Senior Member PaulMys's Avatar
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    Re: Ceramic Coat Damage (?)

    Looking at those defects (and the ones surrounding them), that looks like a bad repaint job.
    It is no coincidence that man's best friend cannot talk.

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  10. #7
    Senior Member BSoares's Avatar
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    Re: Ceramic Coat Damage (?)

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMys View Post
    Looking at those defects (and the ones surrounding them), that looks like a bad repaint job.
    That was my thought too but it’s a brand new car so hopefully if it’s been repaired the dealer would tell the OP. I can’t see the factory doing low quality paint like that but anything is possible. I don’t recall seeing what brand/model this is.
    Bruno Soares


  11. #8
    Senior Member PaulMys's Avatar
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    Re: Ceramic Coat Damage (?)

    Quote Originally Posted by BSoares View Post
    That was my thought too but it’s a brand new car so hopefully if it’s been repaired the dealer would tell the OP. I can’t see the factory doing low quality paint like that but anything is possible. I don’t recall seeing what brand/model this is.
    I work for a dealer, and more cars/trucks than you would like to know come off the transport rigs with damage.

    Ours go to very good body/paint shop, but to be honest, this is never disclosed to the buyer. Pretty F'd up IMO.
    It is no coincidence that man's best friend cannot talk.

  12. #9
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    Re: Ceramic Coat Damage (?)

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMys View Post
    Looking at those defects (and the ones surrounding them), that looks like a bad repaint job.
    the surrounding defects are mostly dust/pollen and greasy fingermarks that I made in order to get the camera to focus - the first few pictures were taken about 2 days after a wash (with the car sitting outside for both of those days).

    car is a Model 3, don't believe it's been repaired/repainted.

  13. #10
    Senior Member PaulMys's Avatar
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    Re: Ceramic Coat Damage (?)

    Quote Originally Posted by vv1 View Post
    the surrounding defects are mostly dust/pollen and greasy fingermarks that I made in order to get the camera to focus - the first few pictures were taken about 2 days after a wash (with the car sitting outside for both of those days).

    car is a Model 3, don't believe it's been repaired/repainted.
    Ok, good info.

    But that big "fish eye" defect would be cause to pitch a b!tch to the dealer. JMO
    It is no coincidence that man's best friend cannot talk.

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