“Protect your clear coat”, “Make sure it doesn’t scratch the clear coat”, “Wax the clear coat”. The term “clear coat” always pops up when your car paint is being discussed. Overall, the clear coat is an extremely important aspect of your car. But what is it and why is it important? Read the detailing tips below to understand what a clear coat is and its importance.
What is a Clear Coat?
The first step toward taking care of car paint is understanding the different layers. There are three layers: a primer, base coat, and clear coat. The clear coat is a non-pigmented coat of paint that is applied on top of the base coat. The base contains the color of the vehicle. Essentially, clear coats shield the other two layers.
Clear Coat Importance
Gloss and depth – What is the first aspect of a car that catches your eye? Most people first notice the color and paint. A clear coat gives the paint depth and a glossy, mirror finish. However, the clear coat has to be waxed and buffed to maintain the car paint at showroom condition.
Durability and protection – In addition to enhancing the appearance of the car, a clear coat is also a protective layer. When manufacturing this pigment, UV blockers are added to it. Hence, a clear coat will protect the base from harmful sun rays that can cause the paint to fade and become dull. If your paint sustains any scratches, swirl marks, water spots, etc., the clear coat will prevent them from sinking into the base coat. Defects on the clear coat can be quickly buffed out, while those that penetrate it need more work.
Better for your health and the environment – Many auto body shops use water-based paints instead of solvent-based ones on cars. These paints reduce the emission of harmful VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). One reason they choose water-based paint is it makes the application of the clear coat easier.
Beware of Those “Selling” Clear Coat
If an auto shop is offering to sell you a clear coat, they are only trying to make money off you by misleading you. They will try to pass off paint sealant that is used to seal or wax your car as the clear coat and charge you a huge sum. This paint sealant will come with a 5-year warranty, but these detailers will not mention that it needs to be re-applied at least once a year. Reapplying the entire clear coat is a very complicated process and genuine professional detailers will tell you if it is needed after inspecting the condition of your paint.
Overall, a clear coat is not only critical for maintaining the shiny appearance of your car, but also important for protecting other paint layers. It has to be well taken care of because it is the layer that bears the brunt of most car paint defects.
Read our blog to learn more detailing tips that are important to maintain your car’s great condition.
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