Clear Coat Car Paint: Understanding the Pros and Cons

January 27, 2012

Clear coat car paint is paint or resin with no pigments and hence imparts no color to the car. It’s simply a layer of clear resin that is applied over colored resin. Almost 95 percent of all vehicles manufactured today have a clear coat finish. Contrary to popular belief, car waxing is required periodically, even if a car has been painted with clear coat, in order to keep it in pristine condition. It’s easy to spot the difference between an auto that’s detailed regularly and one that isn’t. Although both have a clear coat finish.

Pros of Clear Coat Car Paint

Clear car paint not only makes your car look shiny and more glamorous, it makes the car paint look wetter and deeper. However, there are other functional advantages that are of greater importance. One major advantage is that this coat provides protection from the sun and ultraviolet rays that cause the car paint to fade. Hence, your car paint appears new for a longer period of time. In addition, shallow surface defects and spotting caused by acid rain can be buffed out without damaging the paint, if the car is protected with a layer of clear coat. Most manufacturers now use water base color coats and these require a clear coat for protection. Manufacturers separate the top coat into a color coat and a clear coat and by doing so they reduce the use of solvents that are pollutants by nature.

Cons of Clear Coat Car Paint

Clear coat finishes are harder and more resistant to oxidation. However they are more sensitive to scratches and you should be careful not to use abrasive rubbing or polishing compounds on them. Although these finishes are also prone to oxidation. Most oxidation problems can be avoided by regular washing, and periodic waxing with a premium car wax or a paint-protectant. Since the clear coat has no color, it can’t fade or lose brightness, but depending on the environment to which the car is exposed, the clear coat can become dull. This fading occurs slowly and you might not perceive any change on a day-to-day basis. You can safeguard against this by parking the car in a garage away from the sun’s heat and ultraviolet radiation. Surface contaminants such as acid rain, rain dust, airborne pollutants, bird droppings, bug splatter and industrial fallout can cause clear coat finishes to look faded. This is because as these contaminants accumulate on the surface of the car, the reflective quality of the finish gets reduced. Which in turn causes the gloss to diminish and the paint to look dull. You can prevent this by removing fresh contaminants with products such as Meguiar’s Quik Detailer and by washing your car weekly with a premium car wash solution such as Gold Class Car Wash Shampoo and Conditioner. You can eliminate built up contaminants by waxing your car using Meguiar’s Smooth Surface Clay Kit, and restore your car’s smooth-as-glass surface.

Clear coat car paints not only provide protection to the car’s paint but also make repairs and maintenance easier. These paints also provide gloss and depth to the car’s finish and hence clear coat car paint finishes are here to stay.

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