What to Know About Oxidation If You’re in Car Painting Courses

auto refinishing prep technician

Most cars today have clear coat, which goes over the car’s coloured paint and adds a layer of protection from sun damage and oxidation. Clear coat has been around for almost fifty years and has gone from being a feature of more expensive cars to being a standard feature on most vehicles. It is also something that can be added after market.

Clear coat is important, but making sure your car’s paint doesn’t oxidize still takes some work. Lower paint quality or oxidization can lower the value of a vehicle. As a professional refinishing prep technician, it will become easy for you to spot the difference between a car that is suffering from oxidation and one that isn’t. Here are a few points about oxidation so you can see what to look out for in your career.

How to Prevent Oxidation

Although some people may think that keeping a car bright and shiny is about the look, you will know from your refinishing prep training that it is about much more. The same way that tires need to be rotated and fluids need to be checked on a regular basis, paint needs to be kept clean and protected from damage.

To keep a car’s value and paint shiny, regular maintenance is required
To keep a car’s value and paint shiny, regular maintenance is required

The best protections against oxidation are to regularly wash the car and make sure it’s dried properly. It’s commonly recommended to apply car wax to clean paint several times a year. It is also important to park your car inside, especially if you live in a sunny location because heat makes oxidation worse. If you’re not able to park inside, it is recommended to invest in a cover for the vehicle.

How an Auto Refinishing Prep Technician Can Tell When Oxidation Starts

Oxidation is a kind of chemical reaction where oxygen and water (or water spots) break down the make-up of a car’s paint. As mentioned above, UV rays increase oxidation. When the paint begins to oxidize, it looks faded or chalky.

When you become an auto refinishing prep technician you will more easily notice signs of oxidation. It is advisable to tell car owners not to wait too long. Oxidation is easily removed if it hasn’t eaten the paint down to the primer. If it has, a car owner may have to get their car repainted, which is a bigger cost than maintaining it in the first place.

How to Remove Oxidation

Depending on how much oxidation needs to be removed the job could take anywhere from a couple of hours to a full day. The car should be inside or at least somewhere without sun exposure and excess heat. The process requires polishing compounds, and can be done by hand but most recommend using a rotating buffer pad.

Once you finish removing oxidation your car will feel like new
Once you finish removing oxidation your car will feel like new

The car must be cleaned and dried before any polishing compounds are used. Depending on how bad the oxidation is you might use two kinds of polish. First you will use a cutting polish and then a finishing polish. If there are any plastic components that have been painted, then you should only use the finishing polish on those. After the buffer has removed the oxidation, it is important to wax the vehicle as a preventative measure. If there are blotchy white areas, then skip the buffing and recommend a new paint job.

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