Toyota 2017 Camry - Paint Scratches since new. Dealer buffed, many more scratches found - Refuses to do anything

Thanks, Bing. Orange peel is like a curse and has existed in paint jobs from as far back as I can remember.

I’m not greatly experienced in working on paint. My dad was a body man, but he never taught me anything, just told me to learn on my own, which was unfortunate.

I think my local body shop owner mentioned the 2000 grit sandpaper method for the deep scratches they made, but since he’s yet to see it, he thought it more likely that if my fingernail encounters a ridge, it’s too deep to repair, and needs panel sanding and repainting.

It sounds like you’re pretty handy at fixing your own cars’ orange peel As far as your 86 Buick, do I understand correctly that your dealer re clear coated it, and the result was quite good? I guess you don’t know exactly what was under the touch-up job they did at the factory.

I’ll be taking the car into both the detailer & to my local body shop owner to see what they say. The body shop owner just threw out a rough estimate based on what I told him of $900 or so. Prices are high here. When you say a couple hundred dollars, are you talking about my cost to do it myself? As I highly doubt any shop will do it for that amount. I don’t have the expertise to do this on a new car.

I wish cars were still painted with enamel. It lasted a long time, and I remember a car gear head friend who would do his own paint fixes, and loved enamel. I remember I had 70’s Mercury that had enamel that was not waxed & exposed to the sun constantly. It was really dull. My friend took his buffer and did the whole car, and it looked fantastic. I then sold it, because I wasn’t crazy about Fords. I think it was a Mercury Marquis in good shape, but with shot springs from the really heavy owner who drove it.

On another paint issue, maybe you have some suggestions. I’ve got a Craftsman tractor, made by Husqvarna, where the design is so poor, they have sharp, vertical stop brackets to prevent the deck from bouncing too high up to prevent whatever damage would result from it going up too high. Of course, this would be their dumb design. They could have spent a buck to put tight-fitting, dense rubber caps over the sharp ends, but they just don’t care & cut every 10 cents they can off the designs. Since it is enamel, I tried to use a tiny solid sanding ‘thingy’ from a Duplicolor repair kit, to just spot repair where the brackets gouged directly through to the metal, but it looked bad, & since I can’t figure out how to do anything with these brackets, I’ve simply wrapped then with layers of painters tape, but that doesn’t last, and the darn deck will bang up on the tape & go through in a short time. Cutting an acre of land where the ground isn’t very smooth, like a suburban-sized lot, the deck bounces up & down from the irregular ground & from going near old & big tree roots.

Sorry for your troubles, I have an older black car and have found the black wax products helpful for swirl marks and minor scratches. The cure may be worse than the disease, disappointing to hear the dealership has been such a pain, would trying a different dealership be an option?

Thanks, Barky. No, thanks to how Toyota chooses to not support their customers, which they could easily do if they made their dealership contracts include a clause that if the dealer doesn’t come to a satisfactory resolution with the customer in these types of issues, that the dealership agrees to Toyota stepping in and having the right to demand the dealerships fix the problems, or face termination or legal action where the dealer would be responsible for all court costs - that would be doing what’s right and protecting Toyota customers

I called a big Toyota dealership whose body shop is “Toyota certified”, supposedly having to pass specific Toyota training, and the manager said he’d be glad to repaint the newly-damaged areas and buff the other, but Toyota would have to approve paying for it, and Toyota simply won’t do it.

With your older black car, I believe that what the wax products do is to act as a “filler” that camouflages the small defects. Do you find that after the wax has been on 3 or 4 or 5 months that you can see the defects again?

My car is an 03, I think it has been over a year since I did the black wax product. It got washed about a month ago with my oil change, it looked great to me but as you can imagine my expectations are lower than yours.

Glad to hear that your black wax product has done what almost sounds miraculous. Do you mind telling me the name of the product? Did you apply it to your whole car, like a total wax job? It is amazing that after one year it sounds like it doesn’t even need to be waxed.

Everything I read says you need to wax your car at least 2x a year. I talked to Meguiar’s, and they told me twice a year as well, and they make top flight products.

Sorry, I did give an answer to your good posting, but I didn’t do it as a “Reply” so you probably didn’t read it.
So there it is:

And, the more I read about this, the more upset I get. I should NEVER have let them buff this. They could easily have ruined the clear coat or made it so thin, to re clear-coat this would cost a fortune. You have to be totally competent and know how to properly use the various buffing pads and compounds, and not have a heavy hand.

As far as the deep scratches someone at the dealer did, you are saying that I won’t be happy with the results. Why? Are not even the better body shops not capable of repainting it so you can’t tell?

In my experience I’ve NEVER seen a detailer at a car dealership buff a new car. Ever. Wash and chamois dry. Done.

Well, there shouldn’t have been all these scratches on the clear-coat. So, I blame the dealership for that. More than one pro source, including my local high-end body shop owner, all say that new cars should NOT be delivered by the mfr. to the dealer with next to NO scratches, light or not.

The dealer’s body shop Mgr. probably was shocked that a customer found scratches that they probably do to all their new cars with their apparently careless and wrong prep. Even if his crew doesn’t do the prep, he HAS to have a hand in how new cars are prepped. He at least must outline the steps in detail and should train the underlings that prep the cars in how to do it correctly. Am I wrong?

Obviously, they do not properly hand wash with very clean towels and different buckets of water, and then clean chamois dry, or multi-fiber dry them carefully.

I know that many posters on this site have far more skills and knowledge than I, but not everyone who posts here does. That’s rather evident.

So, this dealership can’t properly simply correctly wash and dry a new car. Perhaps they run them all through their brush car wash, which is so wrong and idiotic, it’s hard to believe any dealer would do this. Then, without sufficient knowledge, I accept the car, which I simply should have told them to forget it. Then, I find the scratches after getting it home, and do the worst thing possible - let them buff it out. And now I’m totally screwed.

I just can’t type on this iPad. But yeah the owner and I looked at the Buick after it just came off the transport and he said themed recleated it. I couldn’t find any evidence that they did but it looked fine after the dealer prep.

Yeah a couple hundred for a good detailing, but who knows if the have add clear.

The thing with enamel though is you can’t buff it or it’ll remove the skin. So the new paint is better. As far as the lawn mower goes, those hydro trans are junk unless you change the fluid every year. But the trans manufactyurer says they offered a 50 cent drain plug option to everyone but they all turned it down as too much. So you have to pull the trans and turn it over to drain. I’m keeping my manual trans going as long as I can so I don’t have to buy the new junk.

The body shop manager doesn’t have squat to do with prep/PDI.

Dealers are not going to buff a new car during prep simply because there is no reason to (and the prohibitive costs…) and I seriously doubt that every car that dealer preps is scarred.

If you think they are then go visit the dealer and walk down the rows. If your theory is correct then they should all be flawed. Correct?

New car prep or pre delivery inspection is normally performed by a member of the service department and does not involve any paint preparation.
New car prep includes a mechanical inspection, checking the fluids, installing wheel covers or center caps, programming certain audio and navigation settings and a road test. Inspecting for damage is part of PDI but the cars have already been inspected after being unloaded from the transporter.

After PDI the cars are washed by the detail department, then washed once a week if parked on the front lot. If a customer returns after delivery with paint damage how can anyone pin these scratches on the PDI tech?

BTW why did you allow the dealer to change the oil in your car if you feel they are using inferior oil?

I might also ask exactly how many miles were on the odometer when this car was purchased?
A 2017 purchased in July '17 points to a car that was a late bloomer, dealer demo, or lease return.

Inferior oil? I don’t think so.

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Where are you getting “inferior oil” from? I didn’t mention oil in this thread at all. I may have mentioned elsewhere that Mobil told me directly that they make the oil for Toyota, but it is below the level of either their Mobil 1, or Mobil Advanced. This is not something the rep offered to tell me. I had to question him, asking him if the Toyota Oil was Mobil 1 or not.

I had my oil changed at 5,000 m. because I believe, as many mechanics do, that you should do your first change at 5,000; some say 1,000 miles. I brought them Mobil 1, as they were to charge me only the difference between an oil change minus their charge for the oil, since I brought the oil. It makes no difference at any intervals except the 10,000 & 20,000 m… ToyotaCare free service, where you will get the Toyota oil.

I don’t believe that all, or even most dealers, in their “pre delivery inspection” do any more than a quick look around the car, scanning for easy to see paint defects. They, in no way, comb over the entire car’s pain, or even look for light stratches in the clear coat… The side deep scratches are not that evident from a standing distance; but, nevertheless they are there, and are fingernail-catching deep. Although I do not believe they were there upon initial delivery, let’s assume they were - they wouldn’t have seen them in PDI or upon final prep when I bought it.

I don’t believe all dealers wash all their new cars once a week. I’ve looked at new cars at dealerships to check, and they are not totally clean.


See my reply to Nevada_545, where I respond to all his questions and yours.

EDIT: I forgot ---- it had 5 miles on it, which may have included the short test drive I did, I don’t remember.

It was Turtle Wax Color Magic,

So…I am as fanatical as you are when it comes to my car (I see this post is from 2018. Just got a 2021 RAV 4 a year ago)

  1. Toyota paint sucks. Known fact. It chips if you breathe too hard on it.
  2. It doesn’t matter. You will fret and cry (and maybe even send it to the body shop once or twice for a minor ding or scratch), but if it’s a “daily” eventually you will give up because in the real world, these dings and scratches are inevitable. It’s sort of like living a whole life without getting injured. Not going to happen.
  3. Live with it or do what I do. Lease. Problem solved. I get to start again and freak out over new scratches and dings every three years.
    People like us with OCD have to remember that we do not live in a perfect world.

okay . . .


I find it difficult (a.k.a. impossible) to believe that Toyota uses shoddy paint.

Our 2017 is holding up fine as far as paint goes, sorry for your troubles.

Apparently Toyota has had some well-known problems with certain white paint recently . . .