Can I clean the after the clearcoat is gone?

Hoping I’m not out of luck. I have a 2013 Camry that I bought second hand. I have noticed that the clearcoat is gone and there is, I guess dirt, that seems into the paint’s surface. I’ve had the car detailed twice and the guys told me that with the clearcoat gone there’s no way to get the car clean again, that the dirt imbedded into the paint won’t come out.

Is this true? Is there any way to get the car looking good again, without having to get it repainted?

Nope. You can wash it but you will never get it looking good without a paint job. The base coat of paint has no real shine. The shine comes from the clear.

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Thanks, Mustangman. That’s what I was afraid of. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

This reminds me of the joke about the “far from good” paint job, which is “good from far”. When I started working at my previous employer, I was assigned to drive a 1998 Chevrolet Express cargo van, which had the white paint peeling off (and lots of paint missing) from the hood and roof.

I convinced my boss to let me buy several cans of Krylon white spray paint, spray primer, and sandpaper. I then removed the hood, scraped off the remaining paint, sanded and cleaned it, gave it a coat of primer, let that dry, then two coats of white paint. I also scraped off the peeling paint from the roof of the van, sanded and cleaned the areas which had surface rust, primed and painted.

The resulting paint job looked dull and amateurish from close-up, but even from several feet away it looked decent.

The point of this anecdote is that if you want a paint job which will look flawless up close, you’re going to have to pay to have the car properly sanded and repainted. If you want something which looks good from a distance, you can actually clean up the paint with some ultra-fine sandpaper (600, 800 or 1000 grit) and then apply spray-on clearcoat, and then use 1000 grit sandpaper to “blend” it in once fully dried. This won’t give a professional quality paint job, but it also won’t cost thousands of dollars.

Time for a new used car, lol. I’m heading towards 70 and while I used to do all my own maintenance on my cars back in my 20’s, I don’t have the patience at this age to start sanding and reapplying spray-on clearcoat. :grin:

if you have a white car this might help. its for paint peeling, not sure about just the clearcoat.

Toyota White Paint Recall (CSP) ZKG Coverage for Peeling of Factory-Applied Paint Remedy | TOYO Headquarters

just realized you had 2 post going for the same car.

The clear coat on my car began peeling 5 years ago, I still wash the car every two months. I see no need to replace my car with a newer one only to sit in the hot sun in the employee parking lot all day.

I have two posts for two different questions. :slight_smile:

I’m lucky in that I have been working from home for a good 20 years because my team is spread around the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Hungary, and I’m lucky enough to have a garage to keep the car out of the elements.

We had cars before clearcoat, some still on the road. When was it invented? adopted widely? I think a car with no clearcoat looks better than one with peeling clearcoat.