Clear coat damage from insect

Joined
Oct 22, 2006
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Eastern North Carolina
The wife and I took our 1 month old '09 Jetta Sportwagen TDI down to the Florida Gulf Coast to visit some family last week. Got back last night and washed the car today. One of the larger bug splatters on the upper hood was tough to get off... Well, after gently scrubbing with the wash mitt I thought I had it off. Once I pulled in the garage I noticed that there was still some bug residue. Out came the Turtle Wax Tar n' Bug remover and after 5 minutes of rubbing with an old T-shirt, no progress. It appears the clear coat is "wrinkled" about 1" area where this large bug hit the hood. I have had bird droppings eat through paint once before, but never a bug. Tried Blue Coral Scratch remover and some elbow grease with no luck as well. I'm apprehensive to break out the rubbing compound on a new vehicle, but I'm not sure even that will do the trick. This almost looks like wet sanding and respraying may be the only way to fix. I may be a decent DIY mechanic, but I know my limits when it comes to paint and paint repair. Does anyone else have any experience with such clear coat damage? Since the color coat is still undamaged can this be repaired without respraying the whole panel?
 
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Joined
Jun 25, 2009
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Chicago, IL
I cannot properly answer your question, but have the following advice: go visit a body shop or car detailing center. wax your entire car to prevent a reoccurrence. when I was unable to get a black streak off my truck (babysitter driving vs. my tool chest in the garage....) I tried everything I could think of: solvent, polish... anyway, a friend of mine owns a detailing center - and removed it in less than 1 minute.
 
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Jun 2, 2003
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23,591
 Originally Posted By: gonesurfing
It appears the clear coat is "wrinkled" about 1" area where this large bug hit the hood. I have had bird droppings eat through paint once before, but never a bug.
Bug juice is very acidic.
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2007
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Ball, LA
Like morib said, bug juice/poop is very acidic and if not taken off within a couple of days (hopefully sooner) then it can and will leave an etching/outline in the clearcoat
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
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13,652
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ROCHESTER, NY
I too am experiencing this on my 04 Altima. The bug spatter has been etched into the paint. I have tried even rubbing compound(lightly on a wet cloth) to no avail. Maybe with a little more elbow grease or machine polishing, I may have some succuss but, thus far, nothing. The etching is on the front facia(bumper cover) near the licence plate area. So, Im living with it!
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
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Calgary Canada
I dealt with this same thing yesterday on my wife's mini van. The bug splatters (about 2 weeks old) have permanently damaged the 3m clear shield that was applied to half of the hood. The marks just can't be removed. On the part of the hood that wasn't clear-shielded (the factory paint), the bug stains came off after Bug & Tar, Meguiar's carnauba cleaner wax, then Nu-Finish (the most aggressive all in one wax I know).
 

gonesurfing

Thread starter
Joined
Oct 22, 2006
Messages
214
Location
Eastern North Carolina
It is much less visible in outside light. The scratch remover seems to have made it "stand out" a little less, but definitely is not going to get completely polished out. I'll probably live with it for now, but may look into a local shop repairing it eventually. Someone who knows how to sand and blend clearcoat can probably fix it in a few minutes. If I hold out until someone rams a car door into it, it won't matter anymore.
 
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