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Car Paint Repairs

The following suggestions were posted to the technical support board. We have not verified their usefulness or safety. Note that we have a separate page for fixing scratches.

Dirt in the paint

Scatch wrote: The dealer I worked for resprayed a few brand new cars due to vandalism (someone keyed them). I don't know if they told the buyers if the cars were resprayed, but I think they were supposed to by law.

A Brampton plant worker wrote: Those are hardly major defects. DC uses a dirt particle chart to measure acceptable dirt particles. 2mm is well within resonable limits if there is only one piece on the panel. If you had 3 or more pices of dirt on the same panel, and of that size it would not be acceptable. 2mm is about the maximum allowable size for a single piece of dirt.

It would be great if there was no dirt in your paint job, but in reality it is hard to control dirt and foreign material in paintshops. We try everything to control dirt in the paint shop. Lint free garments and gloves, no newspapers, no food or drinks on the line, blowoff stations as you enter the paint robot area. All paint shop employees have to use certain shampoos, soaps, creames, aftershave, colonges, hairsprays, etc., that have been tested and approved by Chrysler and PPG. Otherwise products not approved cause serious problems like fisheyes.

But even with these steps taken dirt still gets on the car. From where you ask? From many places. The sanding of defects in the E-Coat and Prime cause dust particles, fibers form tackrags and solvent wipes, sealer, hairs, dry paint from robots and bells, oven dirt, the ventilation system...

It is a constant battle to control dirt. But how did the worker on the line not see the dirt?

We try to get all dirt out of the paint jobs but 6 people, 3 on each side, doing a car every 45 seconds, it's not easy to seek and repair all the dirt that comes down the line.

We don't intend to ship bad cars, some stuff does get by every now and then. Sorry but it's REALITY, and don't think any of the other car manufacturers are any better at painting cars because they're not. We all face the same problems.

Peeling paint

Bob Sheaves wrote:

The problems came about due to the EPA changes in the allowable VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions. The way this was decreased was to utilize more water in the spray mix of the paint to completely replace the 'thinner' VOCs. This altered the adhesion of the paint to the elpo primer generally used (lessened the adhesion).

Seems simple, in retrospect, but at the time, all the paint suppliers (SW, Sikkens, DuPont, etc.) came up with the formulations and specs for the processing and when the process failed, they were charged back by the manufacturers for the warranty work, unlike during the original introduction of the water-borne paints in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The Webmaster adds: in 1994, the Neon received a Chrysler first, paint applied with no VOCs in the carrier, coupled with an electric-charge method of ensuring full primer distribution. The result was mixed - many owners of blue Neons have complained of paint problems, whereas others have protested that their paint is in excellent condition. Our personal experience is that the white paint is excellent, but some have had peeling there. We've been told the main issue with this paint was not the process itself, but Chrysler's late understanding of the need for true clean-room techniques including strong humidity control.

Ron Ketch noted: "Most of
the 90 to middle 95s did not have enough clearcoat applied and the UV blocker
content was not near enough. Any attempts to buff or polish after you see the "oxidation" is wasted effort. Repaint is the only solution. They did have "secret" warranty for awhile, but that is long past.

Car paint advice

Opinion based on experience: Flat paints seem to "stick" best - white, black. Metallics can be very hard to touch up properly, a problem after an accident! White and black are of course the easiest to touch up. Blue seems to have more peeling problems than other colors, regardless of brand. Red tends to fade or darken over time, again making touching up an issue. The moral? Consider a white car - they're easy to spot at night, easy to touch up, and more pleasant in the summer (black cars seem to absorb more heat).

Specific peeling paint issues

The Problem: James

I'm having quite a time with the paint flaking off of the roof of my 90 T+C Caravan and a 92 Shadow. Both vehicles are painted white. I took some 500 grit sand paper and sanded the areas that the paint has failed showing the Grey colored primer. Then I sprayed it with a white appliance type of enamel spray paint. My problem is that within a minute after I spray it the old paint at the edges of the repair area lift up. What was a generally smooth area now has good paint adhesion except at the edges were the old paint flakes or lifts up. This is going to mean I have to resand the edges again and repaint.

Does this mean the old paint needed further sanding at the edges, or was the old paint already loosing up and I needed to remove more old paint, or is the spray paint not compatible with the factory paint?

Compatibility? - KOG

You've got a compatibility problem. You new paint is buckling the factory paint. It's not uncommon for touchup paint to be a lacquer whose solvents are not friendly to the enamel used

Paint Compatibility? Michelle

I understand just what ya mean here. We had the same thing happen to our '91 Shadow. KOG's right in saying there are a lot of "touch-up" paints which aren't compatible to your car's finish. Appliance paint?? I'm not sure how that would hold up in inclement weather.

What I did was went through the usual prep of sanding, re-priming, y'know, the whole 9 yards. Then, using factory paint (I'm sure yours being white is the same as ours PW7), repainted the spots that were doing that EVIL peeling thing. I then clear-coated afterwards.

No, given the years you mention, it's not going to be an absolutely perfect match, however, after ya allow your repairs to set up, (I gave ours at least a month) and you've gotten your first coat of wax on there, it'll start to blend in. I only had the re-peeling thing happen to me once. I went back and made sure there wasn't any "loose" paint, so to speak, and re did it. Good Luck.

P.S. When I repainted the new hatch, I haven't had that peeling problem there at all. I guess I must've done something right.

More advice: Bob

Not only that, this is one of the famous "peeler" cars, with the terrible factory powdercoat primer. The only way to get touchup paint to work here is to sand the powdercoat primer a little more aggressively (220 sandpaper), then apply regular aftermarket automotive primer, then your finish color touchup paint.


Chrysler has helped to pay for professional repainting of many cars, though they amount they contribute varies by car age, and it may not pay to ask them to help at all (since they reportedly stipulate that you must go through a dealer, with the massive price increase that sometimes involves). Click here for details.

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