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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I bought my Touareg a few months back I noticed a "film" on the paint in the rear quarter panel and tailgate. It looked like mottled dull splotching, sort of like if hard water dries on a shiny surface. I didn't think too much of it because I figured I could wash or polish it out. It did not come out easily so I brought it to a really good detailer.

He buffed it and the car looked gorgeous when he was done - like a different car. The shine was incredible and all of the film was gone. That was about 1.5 months ago and the film is back now. When I hand wash the car, this mottling remains and it still looks dirty from certain angles. It is not particularly pronounced to the casual observer, but if you're looking for it it's obvious.

Went back to the detailer today and he buffed out a small area (with polish) and the spots came off and that area looks great. But....I don't want to keep doing this and I also don't want to have the paint degrading as I plan to keep this rig a long time. He thought the clear coat might be "oxidizing" in this area and thought maybe this section of the car was repainted at some point.

I brought the car to a friend who has a body shop (specializing in Mercedes repair) and he is almost positive the car was not repainted. He said he sees this once in a while but wasn't sure the cause. He mentioned a particular red shade on some Mercedes that had this problem and the factory took care of it. He mentioned wet sanding as one possibility, but I hate the thought of sanding, even if it's very mild.

So, anyone have a similar situation or any suggestions? I'm looking for a permanent solution so that when I clean the car it stays clean and doesn't develop this mottling.

It's a 2016 TDI Lux, Midnight Blue Pearl. Thanks!
 

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I've personally never found a long term fix for failing or faded clear other than to repaint it. id ask your body shop friend to use his thickness gauge and see if it varies between your faded spot and other areas of the car since, as you say, keep buffing and there won't be any left.

I suspect the shiny finish you're seeing when the detailer is done is wax and/or sealer which doesn't last forever.
 

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have it re-cleared professionally or try one of those 2k spray cans. Wet sand and repeat.
Haven't done this myself but have been looking into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've personally never found a long term fix for failing or faded clear other than to repaint it. id ask your body shop friend to use his thickness gauge and see if it varies between your faded spot and other areas of the car since, as you say, keep buffing and there won't be any left.

I suspect the shiny finish you're seeing when the detailer is done is wax and/or sealer which doesn't last forever.
I was wondering that as well, but it really seemed like the film was gone and not just covered up by a good wax job.

have it re-cleared professionally or try one of those 2k spray cans. Wet sand and repeat.
Haven't done this myself but have been looking into it.
So is wet sanding actually taking off some clear coat? If so, do you think the next layer of clear will also start to form this splotching? If it is "oxidizing" what stops that?
 

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The more you sand or polish the more paint you remove...there's no going back. Each and every body shop I've ever discussed clear coat with (and there have been a few) says it can only be restored by repainting both the color and clear. in other words you cannot put fresh clear over old paint and get a passing result that will last.
 

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It depends. Is the paint gone or just the clear? If the clear is oxidizing, the idea is to sand down the oxidation and apply a new layer of clear. If it’s oxidizing down into your paint then sanding or polishing removes the oxidation and preps the surface to be either painted or just cleared. Depends. When I say wet sand, it’s very light as to not remove whatever good is left.

If you re-clear yourself, wet sand and buff between coats to get optimal shine.

I’m assuming the oxidation is happening because the protective layer is gone and UV is just eating it all up. If it’s really bad then paint might be necessary.

Another option may be get PPF/clear bra installed. If it’s chalky though, it may not adhere well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
in other words you cannot put fresh clear over old paint and get a passing result that will last.
This is interesting. Not what I want to get into since the car looks beautiful (until the film comes back in those areas) but I want to do the right fix. When I mentioned applying clear to my body shop guy, he mentioned that it involves all the prep steps of sanding. He didn't go into details but it sounded like more than either of us wanted to do at the time.

It depends. Is the paint gone or just the clear? If the clear is oxidizing, the idea is to sand down the oxidation and apply a new layer of clear. If it’s oxidizing down into your paint then sanding or polishing removes the oxidation and preps the surface to be either painted or just cleared. Depends. When I say wet sand, it’s very light as to not remove whatever good is left.

If you re-clear yourself, wet sand and buff between coats to get optimal shine.

I’m assuming the oxidation is happening because the protective layer is gone and UV is just eating it all up. If it’s really bad then paint might be necessary.

Another option may be get PPF/clear bra installed. If it’s chalky though, it may not adhere well.

Neither the clear or the paint is gone. The car looks fantastic when buffed. No peeling or pitting, not chalky, no dull spots - a beautiful shine until the splotchy film comes back. I definitely won't do any of this myself. No do it yourself job is going to match or look good in my opinion.

I was actually thinking of approaching VW and seeing if they may cover some or all of the repair. This should definitely not happen on a 2016 car.
 

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The color coat usually is fine in a 2 stage finish. The problem is that you cannot apply clear over a sanded color coat. Fresh color coat gets cleared as soon as it flashes off.
 

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When I bought my Touareg a few months back I noticed a "film" on the paint in the rear quarter panel and tailgate. It looked like mottled dull splotching, sort of like if hard water dries on a shiny surface. I didn't think too much of it because I figured I could wash or polish it out. It did not come out easily so I brought it to a really good detailer.

He buffed it and the car looked gorgeous when he was done - like a different car. The shine was incredible and all of the film was gone. That was about 1.5 months ago and the film is back now. When I hand wash the car, this mottling remains and it still looks dirty from certain angles. It is not particularly pronounced to the casual observer, but if you're looking for it it's obvious.

Went back to the detailer today and he buffed out a small area (with polish) and the spots came off and that area looks great. But....I don't want to keep doing this and I also don't want to have the paint degrading as I plan to keep this rig a long time. He thought the clear coat might be "oxidizing" in this area and thought maybe this section of the car was repainted at some point.

I brought the car to a friend who has a body shop (specializing in Mercedes repair) and he is almost positive the car was not repainted. He said he sees this once in a while but wasn't sure the cause. He mentioned a particular red shade on some Mercedes that had this problem and the factory took care of it. He mentioned wet sanding as one possibility, but I hate the thought of sanding, even if it's very mild.

So, anyone have a similar situation or any suggestions? I'm looking for a permanent solution so that when I clean the car it stays clean and doesn't develop this mottling.

It's a 2016 TDI Lux, Midnight Blue Pearl. Thanks!

Can you attach a picture of what it looks like when it's been detailed and can you attach a picture with how it looks like when it's splotchy?

It almost sounds like there is chemical staining to me, like there was something set on the clear coat for a long time and it ate away at part of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I can attach a picture of it detailed when it's light out tomorrow. But I can't get a splotchy picture yet because it was buffed out again the other day.

I'm unclear how long it took to come back last time. Just waiting now. Could be a chemical but it would have had to be on the whole tailgate and one side rear quarter.
 

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I can attach a picture of it detailed when it's light out tomorrow. But I can't get a splotchy picture yet because it was buffed out again the other day.

I'm unclear how long it took to come back last time. Just waiting now. Could be a chemical but it would have had to be on the whole tailgate and one side rear quarter.
Let's start with current pics of where it splotches and then we'll take it from there
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Tried taking some quick close up pics but I just got reflections, even on this cloudy day. Heading out of town but I will experiment with a different background when I return. I appreciate the advice and opinions.

I do see a little of the splotching remains in one spot but it is not too apparent yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Not much to see here. Side of car looks great. There is a very small amount of splotching just starting to the right of the sunspot on the tailgate pic, barely noticeable.

When it gets bad it's obvious. Hood Automotive lighting Tent Automotive tire Vehicle Vehicle Automotive lighting Hood Motor vehicle Car
 

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the light may be deceptive but if those are swirl marks I'd wager that someone buffed through your clear.
 

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Adding on to what jeff said, if the car was recently detailed there shouldn't BE any swirl marks.

I still can't quite make out the splotching
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Right, it's just the photo, there aren't any swirls. You can barely see any splotching even in person. Car looks beautiful.

But if the same thing happens it will look splotchy with a film even after washing. That should show up in pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update - The splotching is back. It's noticeable in the original areas and hardly or not visible at all in others. It's hard to get a good picture to post but I've showed the car to enough pros to know that nobody is totally sure what's causing it. Two good auto body shops mentioned that they've seen it in cars parked in parking garages for a while when water leeches through the concrete and steel and onto the car for a while. Or "acid rain" was mentioned. Like the chemical staining volkswagens-for-life mentioned.

One shop couldn't suggest anything other than a repaint or to just keep polishing it when the film comes back.

The second place thought he could get rid of it for good with buffing. He took the car in the shop and buffed out a small section. He suggested waiting a while to see if it comes back and if not he'd buff the whole car the same way. The problem here - and it sounds crazy - is that he buffed out an area that I didn't even see the problem on, so I'm not sure I'll even see if it comes back or not. Other areas are much worse and I would have preferred he had done a different spot. I mentioned that to him afterward and he said that he and all of his guys saw it clearly on the part he did when the car was under the lights and that he got out all of the splotching. He said there was a clear difference between the area he did and surrounding areas and that they'll be able to see if it comes back on that spot or not.

So, now I'll have to bring it back and have him look at it under the lights and see if he sees a difference in the area he did vs. the surrounding areas and go from there.

I mentioned to him that the detail guy also got it out and it came back, but he didn't think the detail guy did the same thing. Apparently he assumed detail guys don't do the same type of buffing. I did not ask exactly what he did but probably should have.

Any thoughts on the situation?
 

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At the risk of sounding like a broken record...ive never seen clear repaired except with a repaint
 

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There is just too many unknowns with this situation... If you knew what actually caused us we could definitely give you better advisement but we are completely shooting in the dark right now. I would have a really high end detail shop and do a multi-stage, more like a three to five stage buff job and see what happens. Should run you around 500 bucks
 
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