I get this question a lot, “why does a brand new vehicle need a paint correction and or polishing?”
It’s surprising to see, but most brand new cars can have numerous sanding marks, rotary trails, buffing marks, swirl marks, and paint marring. It’s important to understand for both the detailers and the customers buying new vehicles to understand how these imperfections happen, how to fix them, and how to prevent them from happening in the future. From my experience, imperfections such as sanding marks, rotary trails, and paint marring typically occur during transportation from the factory to the dealership, or directly on the production line. Swirl marks, on the other hand, typically come from improper washing techniques. For the last couple of years, I’ve worked directly with an Audi and Porsche dealership in Northern Colorado fixing these factory-installed paint imperfections. Several times I’ve unwrapped the transportation covers on these vehicles only to discover these imperfections fresh off of the truck. The examples below are imperfections I found on a 70 mile 2020 Lamborghini Huracan EVO. This vehicle was brought to us by the customer just two days after taking delivery. Even though this particular Huracan Evo is painted in the $9,000+ Verde Mantis paint option, imperfections were everywhere!
How and why do these imperfections happen?
Cars, yes even Lamborghinis, are more mass-produced than ever before. Often after being painted on the assembly line vehicles undergo a paint inspection and defect removal process. This inspection often looks for paint ripples, fisheyes, dust nibs, and excessive orange peel. These defects are often rotary polished and or sanded by hand or with a Dual Action machine. As you can see in the 2nd photo above, these sanding marks were left without fully being removed. Defects in the first photo are from a rotary polisher, which needed to be properly polished out to remove the remaining holograms. The fact is manufacturers simply do not have time in an assembly plant to perfect the paint on these cars to the level of a high-end detail shop.
During a new car prep, the vehicle goes through both a comprehensive compounding and polishing stage to remove all sanding marks, holograms, and scratches. After a thorough paint correction to remove all the defects, the paint is looking better than “new.”
It’s important as a customer to understand that, yes, even $300,000 Lamborghinis have paint defects but they can be fixed by a professional detail shop. As a customer, it is important to find a detailer who understands how to safely remove these defects and address each car with its own specific needs. From my experience, every single car that rolls off the assembly line has its own set of needs when it comes to polishing the paint from new.
As a detailer, it is important to communicate with customers to understand both their needs and their vehicle’s needs. Setting realistic expectations with your customer is essential for satisfaction. I’ve found it is best to walk around the car with the client, show them what you see, and create a detailing package specifically tailored to the client and their vehicle.
After these defects are fixed, have a plan to properly maintain the newly polished finished, and always utilize proper washing techniques.