Monterey Collision & Auto Repair

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Why Does Paint Fade and Peel?

Photo byDenin Lawley onUnsplash


Have you ever seen how a car’s paint job can fade and peel over time? What causes the paint on an automobile to lose its brightness and start to flake off? Can it be prevented?


The short answer is yes, you can protect your truck’s paint from fading, cracking, peeling, and oxidizing. But first, let’s explain why car paint peels and fades over time.


Exposure to the sun and salt water will make the color -- especially red, which is the fastest of all colors to fade -- lose its shine and reduce the saturation of the paint color. This is caused by oxidation. Over time, oxidation will cause the paint to peel and chip away.


Dings, scratches, and dents will also cause wear and tear on a paint job and cause it to peel. Most auto paint is applied in this order:  primer, then a coat or two of color, then a clear coat to protect the paint job. If the clear coat is damaged with dings and scratches, the colored paint is exposed and can start to peel. That is why many car owners will wax their vehicles to protect the clear coat, which protects the paint layer underneath.


To prevent your SUV’s paint from fading and peeling, here are some recommendations:


  • Park your vehicle in the shade to decrease the amount of sun exposure.

  • After driving near the salt-air of the beach, or after driving near melting snow that has been salted, be sure to wash your vehicle as soon as possible to prevent rust, oxidation, and peeling.

  • Detail your vehicle by washing it regularly and applying a coat of wax every few months.

  • When your vehicle has sustained damage from dings, scratches, and collisions, bring your vehicle in for auto body repair and a fresh paint job.

Does your vehicle need some auto body repair or detailing work? Our auto body team is happy to assist you with that. We invite you to CARSTAR Robert’s Collision for auto body repairs, touch-up paint, a major paint job, wheel alignment, or detailing services. We invite you to schedule an appointment at


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