The Truth Behind Your Car’s Clear Coat

carBack in the ‘90s, one technology revolutionized the car industry: clear coat paint. To understand its impact, you should know that the technology hasn’t been changed a lot since it began. Moreover, 95% of today’s cars use clear coat paint as its extra layer of protection against high winds, strong rains, coarse hail stones, damaging UV rays, and annoying bird droppings.

By default, there’s nothing deeply special about clear coat paint other than its protective function. It’s just a clear layer of paint over your car’s actual color designed to shield the chassis from anything that might damage it. But despite the relatively old age of this development, many car owners still have questions concerning it. It’s about time we find out the truth behind this part of your car.

Clear coats have their vulnerabilities

Does clear coat oxidize, fade, or dull? The short answer is yes to all. This is the long answer:

A car’s paintwork has multiple layers: a primer, a pigmented paint (hence, your car’s color), and a protective clear coat. The outer coat is capable of protecting the lower paint layers from being exposed to harmful UV rays that may dry out the base paint. This, however, doesn’t completely prevent oxidation. The process still occurs, albeit in a less obvious manner. Over time, you may have to replace the oxidized paint before it fades and dulls completely.

Air pollutants also play a role in the degradation of a car’s clear coat. Industrial fallout and acid rain are just two examples of what might damage the protective layer. If the coat isn’t cleaned after exposure to such elements, it will dull more easily and expose the base paint to UV rays.

Clear coats need protection, too

One thing is clear: this transparent coat of protective paint needs its own form of protection. Waxing it is actually an integral part of every exterior detail process, as detailing experts are aware of the weak points of this technology. Through different mixtures and solutions, car owners can help the coat do its job properly.

Although you might think that your car is all tough and sturdy, it still needs regular maintenance work. Auto detailing, for one, is a necessity for car owners, as it cleans the vehicle beyond the usual carpet vacuuming and power-washing. After all, when you know how to take care of your car, the longer you can enjoy its company.

About the Author

As a New York-based psychologist. Thelma Scott has conducted several seminars tackling adult autism.