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Paint Defects: Causes and Solutions

There are a few factors that can cause paint defects as well as you can prevent these factors from causing paint damage to your vehicle. To begin, it is important to consider certain contaminants that can arrive on the surface of your paint such as iron and tar. 

Natural Run-Ins

On a hot day, when the tar on the road might get a little bit soft, specks of it can be pushed up onto the wheel arches of your vehicle’s body and a vehicle’s paint can become at risk. 

Similarly, specks of iron can land on the surface of your vehicle over time. These are usually pretty easy to spot; they look like small orange deposits. This can be circumstantial depending on where you might live or work. If you are living near a train station, possibly more iron specks would be in the atmosphere, potentially increasing the chances of your vehicle having iron deposits on the surface. 

Additionally, another way that iron can get on the surface of your vehicle includes allowing your brakes to wear out. This allows the friction of metal on metal grinding and, over time, iron specks can result from such friction. 


The best way to remove iron deposits from the surface of your vehicle is to use a chemical product as in an iron remover, simply spray on the surface and watch the iron specks turn purple due to the chemical reaction and then wipe off. These two contaminants can have a damaging effect on the paint of your vehicle if they left untreated. Luckily, there are simple and treatable methods for removing iron and tar off the surface of your vehicle’s paint.

In cases where several tar specks one your vehicle’s surface stick, a vehicle owner can utilize a simple product to remove tar that can prevent future defects with your vehicle’s paint. The use of a chemical product to help remove tar is a preventative and easy fix to do at home yourself to reinstate the quality of your vehicle’s paint. 

Other Common Paint Defectors

Another commonly seen defect on the surface of your vehicles’ paint is swirl marks. Usually, these can appear to be very light spider web-looking swirls on your paint. Causes include poor car washing techniques or the usage of sponge washes on your vehicle; however, fortunately, they can be polished out by hand. There are polish products available to help fill in the tiny scratches and reduce the overall appearance of swirl marks.

As silly as it may sound, bird poop can also etch through the paint of your vehicle depending on how long it is left sitting on there. The digestive system of the animal is very acidic and if bird poop has landed on the surface of your vehicle, it is in your favor to remove it as soon as possible to prevent etching in the paint.


To reiterate what we have covered so far these are the possible paint defects and things to look out for to maintain the quality of your vehicle’s paint.

•          Iron contaminant

•          Tar contaminant

•          Poor car washing technique

•          Bird poop

•          Worn out tires

•          Swirl marks

Fortunately, there are simple solutions to help prevent the paint from larger defects and future chips. If you do have deeper chips and scratches, we recommend visiting a professional auto body repair shop and seeking the help of a professional.