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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Powerwasher Damage?

I got too close with the powerwasher and have damaged the paint.
There are quite a few notches and in two places some paint has been taken away.

You can imagine how I am feeling and it is hard to even type this. Anyway, could I get some general advice on what to do please? In an other post, I explained how I saw a haze like mark on the bonnet on the day of delivery. I suspect this was done by a buffer before I took delivery and am, therefore, reluctant to do anything of this nature. I will have to bring the car back to the dealer in this regard and may ask for their advice on my own handywork.

I can't type what I think of myself for doing this, however, I just need to move on and get it sorted. Please help!
 

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Seamo,

Its NOT your fault.

I've had a powerwasher for >10 years and although I use it mainly for cleaning underneath the car, I have used it on the bodywork on at least a dozen cars. I have NEVER heard of paint being 'power-washed' off. I know you can bore holes in mortar with a powerwasher, but not car paint.....
Either your power-washer is of the "power-drill" type...OR...more likely, the paint is sub-standard.
I'd be inclined to approach the dealer under the paint guarantee scheme.
If dealer unco-operative, then perhaps consider getting an independent report...?
 

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i think the paint on plastic covered parts like the bumpers (fenders US) is much more vulnerable. As Q says, if it has come away from the metal body work, unless you had the washer on jet mode or were much too close, it does sound as if the paint was weak. I would check in the handbook to see if it comments on the use of pressure washers.
However, having said that i would not use a pressure washer on mine, simply because it will take paint off accessory parts and does force its way past rubber seals, into light or electrical fittings unless you are very careful
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Seamo,

Its NOT your fault.

I've had a powerwasher for >10 years and although I use it mainly for cleaning underneath the car, I have used it on the bodywork on at least a dozen cars. I have NEVER heard of paint being 'power-washed' off. I know you can bore holes in mortar with a powerwasher, but not car paint.....
Either your power-washer is of the "power-drill" type...OR...more likely, the paint is sub-standard.
I'd be inclined to approach the dealer under the paint guarantee scheme.
If dealer unco-operative, then perhaps consider getting an independent report...?
Thanks Q & Fraser, good points, I feel a touch better. I will need to absorb a few opinions and see what the best approach with the dealer is. It's ironic that I have a Karcher powerwasher and there is an ad on this very page for www.Karchershop.ie !
 

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Used powerwasher on all my cars for years, never had this issue before. On top of this none have been metallic paint with the extra coating of laquer to protect it, so it seem obvious to me that your paint work is defective.
 

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The realities of modern water based paint systems

Unfortunately with today's water based paint systems, cars are delivered with the paint not fully cured. You should actually never use a pressure washer, especially on the "jet mode" and with-in a couple of feet of the surface on today's cars. All detailers hand wash the cars with a mineral filter and a medium pressure nozzle. The most susceptible areas on the car are the plastic painted surfaces such as the bumpers. Modern paints are also much more susceptible to bird droppings, tree sap, stone chips and even things like being "egged" (kids throwing eggs at your car). Take your car to the dealer and see what they say. If you are lucky you may have just damaged the clear coat and it can be fixed with a re-spray.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have attached three pics. The Bonnet Haze one is quite clear, I think. This is the haze-like mark that I noticed on the day that I picked up the car - what I should expect the dealer to do?


It is very hard to get an accurate picture of the damage with the second one, however, this one makes me suspect that the damage was caused by someone scraping against it. This mark is the worst of all, but there are many smaller, smoother ones that I cannot reproduce on the camera.

The third one is on the left side of the car and is a typical mark - does this look like a scrape or powerwasher damage?

Opinions appreciated.

Tks.
 

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Good Advice?

Deak -

Excellent advice and knowledge!

NEVER use a power washer on your car!

Quasimodo ... you are a very lucky man if you've used a power washer on your cars for 10 years and have never caused any damage. You said it best, you can bore holes into mortar with a power washer, so think of what it can do to paint that's mm thick and the steel, aluminum or plastic behind it? The gods are definitely with you... and may they remain that way.

Seamo - not to make you feel worse than you already do, but I strongly suggest you do ask the dealer to redo the clear coat on the entire car.

You have a case on the one area you originally mentioned, as for the other area that's been damaged by the power washer... well, this will test the resolve of the relationship with your dealer. I don't know that I would be too forthcoming and telling your dealer that you used a power washer on your paint either.

Good luck.

Regards,

GTL
 

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Hard to tell from those pics

On the detailer forums the preferred method to show paint defects is to take a picture with 500-1000W halogen twin lights (the industrial type) lighting the area (usually in a garage) and using a close-up or micro lens. I use a 105 mm micro on my Nikon D80.
From your first picture the best I can say is that it looks like a sponge or dirty towel mark producing a swirl trail. It doesn't look like buffer haze or marring.
The most likely thing is the dealer washed the car improperly. In my experience I have yet to find a dealer that washes their cars properly (including the high end vehicle dealers like Porsche and Aston Martin). Usually they let the most junior person (often a kid doing part-time) wash the car and they use poor technique.
 

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I would get a professional detailer to do a report on the car. They would be able to tell you the probable cause of the defects, some would of been inflicted by the dealer. Because the top layer of the paint is clear coat, most of the damage can be polished out to better than new.

Don't panic or beat yourself up. All pro detailers use power washers, just remember to turn the pressure down in future!
 

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I have never seen a jet wash remove paint from a new car, they can take paint of plastic trims but highly unlikely the washer did that damage. Still can imagine how you feel..:(
 

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I have attached three pics. The Bonnet Haze one is quite clear, I think. This is the haze-like mark that I noticed on the day that I picked up the car - what I should expect the dealer to do?


It is very hard to get an accurate picture of the damage with the second one, however, this one makes me suspect that the damage was caused by someone scraping against it. This mark is the worst of all, but there are many smaller, smoother ones that I cannot reproduce on the camera.

The third one is on the left side of the car and is a typical mark - does this look like a scrape or powerwasher damage?

Opinions appreciated.

Tks.

That's a bummer buddy. But, if you read your owners manual, it clearly states that you should be able to use a power washer to clean the car as long as you use a wide (rather than focused) stream of water. In fact it states that (and I am paraphrasing) the modern paints that are being used allow you to do so immediately upon delivery. I doubt I will use one given your unfortunate experience, but take it to the dealer with your manual in hand. Audi says it is OK, so it should be covered!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Guys, sincere thanks for all your help, ideas and sympathy.

I think the damage may have been caused by the hose of the powerwasher dragging across the side of the car when on the opposite side of the power source. :eek: Simple explanation and very careless. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Then that should be able to be buffed out. I'd take it to a professional detailer first then with info in hand go to the dealer and see what he says.

Good luck.
Thanks Deak. I'm going back to the dealer in any case as they have to sort the bonnet out. They have a detailer there who preps cars for motor shows and he will correct my mess too.

I was told about an independent detailer here who is supposed to be very good - www.detailer.ie - anyone else know of them?
 

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Seamo, i am said detailer :p

Those marks on your car are the result of poor dealer preperation. I was in Bradys (Castleknock) last week picking up a few bits for my Audi and saw them prepare a new A5...shocking sight. They quickly buff using a harsh compound (presumeably to flatten the paint more) and a silly technique, leaving behind buffer trails (first pic), burn marks (second pic).

If you pop in, i will document the damage and give you the info to bring to the dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Seamo, i am said detailer :p

Those marks on your car are the result of poor dealer preperation. I was in Bradys (Castleknock) last week picking up a few bits for my Audi and saw them prepare a new A5...shocking sight. They quickly buff using a harsh compound (presumeably to flatten the paint more) and a silly technique, leaving behind buffer trails (first pic), burn marks (second pic).

If you pop in, i will document the damage and give you the info to bring to the dealer.
Thanks Detailer - small world.

I like the look of your site.

Can you send me your name and number by PM and I will give you a call?
 
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