Peeling paint on 2013 Kia Optima

Paint on left and right side of windshield is peeling. Car has 53K miles. Anyone experiencing this or similar problem?

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The windshield is not painted. Do you mean the windshield posts (also called A-pillar)?

Did you buy the car new? This kind of thing might be covered by the carmaker offering a repair as a courtesy even if not covered by new car warranty. Check with the dealer and if they are not helpful, contact Kia via instructions in the owners manual. Good luck.

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Winter washer fluid?

If you drive in a dusty area, that might be the cause. The wind displaced from the front of the car as you drive at speed rushes around the corner of the windshield in that area. My general recommendations to preserve a car’s finish with a minimum of bother

  • park out of direct sun when possible
  • rinse it off with a garden hose once or twice a week.
  • wash it with warm soapy water and a sponge only when necessary, as soap and warm water removes some of the wax layer
  • wax with an easy on easy off type of wax twice a year

Peeling paint on 2013 Kia Optima

A quick web search indicates that other Kia owners have paint that peels off. It appears that the paint warranty is 36 months / 36,000 miles. (That ship sailed long ago.)
Example: Kia Motors - 2013 KIa Sorento - Paint Defects Not Under Warranty Oct 03, 2021 @ Pissed Consumer
CSA :palm_tree::sunglasses::palm_tree:


I tend to see this here in Wisconsin a lot. I’ve seen it with GM products, Chrysler products, Ford, and a few imports as well. It is mostly the clear coat and as that goes the paint below starts to quickly fade.
I have seen hoods trunk lids, and roofs with 50% of the clear coat gone, while other cars lose it on the fenders.
It seems that it is always the upper surfaces and never the sides (or verticle) body areas.

I think that with the stringent rules by the EPA…the paints that the manufactures are using is inferior.

Some say that it a lack of the owners washing and waxing their cars, yet some owners are very diligent on maintaining their cars body.


I think that was true in the transition from lead-based paint, but that was a long time ago and they’ve figured out how to paint cars without lead now. Plenty of us are driving cars much older than OP’s, but still from the post-lead era, and we have no paint flaws beyond rock chips.

This is just a case of a bad paint job by the manufacturer. Were this my car I might be tempted to call up Kia corporate and explain to them that a 5 year old car that looks like it has leprosy isn’t exactly a great advertisement for their product, and while I’m fully aware that the paint warranty has expired, if they don’t at least kick in some money for a repaint I’m gonna drive it like that and let the world see that Kia paint doesn’t last more than 5 years.


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I’m inclined to agree with Shadow, but then I wonder… is South Korea bound by our EPA requirements? If so, is the mandate new to them? Do they need a few years to adjust, as we did?

Years ago aqueous-based, low VOC paints were mandated in the U.S., and U.S. manufacturers had a terrible time figuring out how to make them work. There were Fords, GMs, and Chryslers driving around with huge sheets of paint peeling off of them. Eventually we figured the process out. But I wonder about the South Koreans.

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I purchased a new Kia Optima in 2004. I traded it in 2014 and the paint still looked good.

The Optima is built in Georgia, so it certainly is.

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I have a 2013 Kia Optima same problem…paint chipping off everywhere especially on the sides of the windshield. My car has been garage kept and mostly hand washed. I used a power washer and lost a quarter size paint chip…ridiculous! I cant even imagine what it will look like in a few years, very upsetting considering i bought this brand new

Why are you using a power washer on your car . . . ?!


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If the accumulated crud on a car is so bad that a power washer is needed to remove the crud, that just indicates that the car hasn’t been washed often enough. If a car is relatively clean, using a power washer on it is tantamount to using an elephant gun to kill rabbits.

Pressure washers are commonly used in my area in car washes/self serve car washes in the interest of water conservation.

High pressure/low volume pressure washers are required in my area for mobile car washing services.

We can’t tell from here what the real issue is with the paint and I doubt that you are expert in automobile coatings.

First thing you need to do is to take the car to a couple of highly reputed/respected auto body shops and have actual painters, experienced in vehicle finishes, assess the situation. Many shops will do this for free. Call ahead and ask.

The chips could be anything from poor preparation, faulty primer, faulty paint, stone chips, environmental damage, previous damage repair, etcetera. I will bet that you will learn something from your visits and also learn of possible remedies.

At my Kia dealership An oil and filter change is $34.95. I always receive a $10 coupon in the mail before I am due. Anything done by them includes a hand wash and vacuum. The rinse is with a wand but is not high pressure and the water is soft. Last time it appears they added a spray “wax”. I’m OK with that. My 2010 Forte is more of an appliance not a classic. So far I have no paint problems.

Good advice, ill take ot to a paint shop and ask. When I said power washer I mean those power washers at the do it yourself car washes.

You should have been clearer . . .

I thought you meant those gasoline engine powered washers that strip paint from the side of your house


See if a local Kia dealer runs its own body shop or find out where they refer Kia owners for body/paint work. Make that one of the stops.

When you’ve visited a couple/few shops then compare the information given you and see if they all point at the same/similar cause/solution or if a certain shop stands out as really knowing what they’re talking about regarding your vehicle.

Ask any questions you can think of while you’re visiting.

Also, I’ve noticed that I commented on Kia paint problems (see above in the column of responses) back in April, 2018.