Keeping a vehicles paintwork in perfect condition is a time consuming and tricky job. All too often it falls victim to swirls from poor washing techniques (roadside car washes and retail park car washes), scratches from hedges, etching from bird droppings and even marks caused by acid rain fallout. Removing these blemishes by hand can be incredibly labour intensive and some of these defects cannot be removed without mechanical intervention that we can provide at Wizards of Wax.
Below are typical issues that we can help with via single or multi-stage machine polishing.
- Water Spot Marks - Resulting from the impurities in tap water.
- Holograms - Also known as buffer trails are caused by poor machine polishing techniques. They appear as blurred circular shadows giving the finish a dull and greasy appearance.
- Swirls - Also known as wash swirls as most of this type of defect occurs as a result of poor or careless washing and drying techniques. They are light ‘cobweb’ marks in the top of the clearcoat. Extreme cases are generally as a result of the harsh brushes used in many older mechanical car washes.
- Etching - Visible as marks left on the surface of the clearcoat but may have eaten through to the base coat below. These typically occur as a result of acid rain or from bird droppings. Acid rain is caused by chemicals such as carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide being dissolved into the water vapour in the atmosphere and released in rain. The acidic nature of the rain causes marks to be etched into the surface of the clearcoat. Bird droppings contain Uric acid, a chemical that is corrosive enough to quickly eat through a coating of wax or paint sealant and begin to etch into the clearcoat. As the paint heats up in direct sunlight, it expands. As the temperatures cool, the paint contracts. This expanding/contracting combined with the acid in the bird droppings conspire to leave cracks and etch marks in the clearcoat, and if left could potentially stain the base coat colour beneath.
- Light/Fine Scratches - More linear than swirls, they leave a visible but fine trail on the surface of the clearcoat.
- Random Deep Scratches - Sometimes referred to as RDS, these are typically inflicted by grit and dirt being dragged along the paint. The severity of these scratches varies greatly, with some polish out easily. In the most extreme cases, some RDS will have gone through the clearcoat down to the primer or even to bare metal.
- Stone Chips - While driving, small loose stones fly up from the road surface and impact the paintwork at speed gouging out spherical or sub-spherical divots that typically remove clearcoat, paint, and occasionally primer too. Depending on how deep the chip is, a machine polish may help to reduce the appearance, but the crater left behind usually requires treatment first with a paint chip repair system or body shop.
- Oxidisation - Occurs when oxygen molecules in the air act to remove electrons from the paints pigmentation causing the colour to become milky or cloudy. Blacks fade to grey; reds fade to pink. White paint also oxidises over time, but because it’s the same colour as the chalky white oxidisation, you will have to look carefully to see it. All these types of defects can either be eliminated or have their appearance significantly reduced with the action of a machine polisher.