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2005 Honda Accord - Paint Trouble


I am trying to get some feedback on what is wrong with the hood of my car and if I need to repaint it or if there is some product I can use to restore it back to its original color and shine. I’ve had my car for 4 years now and last year I went on a trip and left my car parked near a tree for a week. When I came back my car had some berries or sap on the hood but I thought nothing of it I just took it to a car wash and got it washed and waxed. About a week or two later I noticed that my hood was looking dull and the shine and color was gone. The rest of my car is fine as you can see in the pics but I have no clue what happpend to the hood and what exactly caused it. I’ve asked different people about what I should do, some say use a product called back to black, wax it because its oxidation, and some say repaint. It seems as though my clear coat is still visible underneath whatever it is on my hood but I’m not sure…can anyone help me?


  • M. Louise

If the clearcoat is still there then take it to a good detail or body shop and have it professionally cleaned and buffed out. Don’t park under trees.

I’m guessing some kind of solvent was used to remove the sap, and it may have simply spread the sap around instead of removing it. Either that, or whatever they did to remove the sap may have scratched the finish.

Since your car is a 2005, you have to accept it’s appearance will age a bit. But not that much. Determine by internet search what solvent works best for removing tree sap, and try it on a small inconspicous spot. If it helps, you know that the tree sap is still there. If that doesn’t help, try some polishng compound, again on a small inconspicuous place. If those two things help, you know where to start. Then you can either get a detail shop to finish the job, or do it yourself. You have to remove any remaining sap present, next polish out the haze and scratches, then I’d finish with a good wax job.

Does it look scratched or just dull? If it’s just dull, it may be some coating.
I would try WD-40 or goo-gone (an orange oil based cleaner) first. Mineral spirits may be safe, but I’m not sure I would go any stronger. Try cleaning a spot and washing it with a strong degreaser like Simple Green and see how it looks. If that doesn’t work I would consider talking with a body shop or a good detailer. They may be able to help you.

@ GoodShepherd - It just looks dull. But I will try the WD40 first since I know I have that in the garage… @George and Missileman - Thanks for your tips! If the WD40 doesnt work out then I will look for a solvent to remove tree sap.

Thanks again!

WD-40? Its hard to tell from the picture but it looks like the paint is really breaking down. I don’t think its from the birds or the berries really but has it ever been polished and waxed? I would take it to a detail shop first for a machine polish and wax. You have to get the surface of the oxidized clear coat polished off but if the the clear has started to let go, the color coat underneath can’t be saved and will need to be repainted. A good detailer or body shop can advise but save your money on chemicals. It needs machine buffing and polish.

Looks like common sun damage to the paint, but if only to the hood and left fender I would say those panels were repainted and the clear coat was a poor quality. Change the title to “paint trouble”, there are some body men that may respond.

@Bing I have had the car waxed and polished before and it came out looking great but then after my trip and getting the car washed again this was the result. I had the detailer polish my hood again to see what was going on but even after him polishing it you could still see a difference between the hood’s color and the rest of the body.

I am going to be honest, It looks like the guy who detailed the car, damaged the hood. It looks like it was wet sanded or compounded incorrectly… I will tell you that HONDA has crappy paint to begin with, especially dark colors… The paint is thin can cant take much abuse (PS I work at a honda dealership, and we get water spots and sap damage on our cars all of the time). Looking at it the only way to fix it is to have it repainted which is going to cost at least $500 to do right.

Looks like the clear coat is failing. Take it to a couple of body shops, see what they say. I’m guessing you’ll have to have it repainted.

This almost looks like it was waxed in the sun on a hot day and the wax baked onto the surface. I would try a mild liquid rubbing compound applied in the shade to a cool surface. Try it in a small area to start with. If that removes the chalky look, follow with a good wax, again applied in the shade. If that doesn’t do the trick it will probably have to be repainted.

Seeing as how this happened so suddenly after the detail shop was involved I’m inclined to agree with gsragtop about someone there making a mistake. Maybe someone there got a bit too aggressive with the polisher and buffed through the clear coat. That is something which is easy to do and once that happens the paint is not long for this world.

I’m inclined to agree with OK4450, but will add that a bodyshop will need to assess it. It can be hard to tell from photos.

Perhaps with a written assessment from a body shop you can go back to the detailer a.d discuss liability. Without such an assessment you have no “leg to stand on” in assessing responsibility.

Sincere best.

Worst case, have the hood repainted…Not a big deal…

Thanks for all the feedback everyone! I was hoping I wouldn’t have shell out the funds to get it repainted but after reading your responses it looks like I may have to. But I’ll give an update on what the body shops say!

Thanks again!