Blue Model 3's Clear coat - easy swirl marks and bird poop damage

Bma00

New Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2018
Messages
4
Location
Oakland, CA
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#1
Hi, I have a blue Model 3. I used OPT Optimum No Rinse Wash w/Meguiar's Supreme Shine Microfiber cloths to wash my car. I was very gentle and wiped the car only in one direction. I used Meguiar's waffle weave microfiber drying towel to dry.

However, I can see a lot swirl marks (marred?) along the direction I wiped the car. It's not noticeable in the dark, but in the sunlight, it is. When I run my nail through them, they don't catch my nail, so these are very superficial scratches.

I know blue color is supposed to show swirl marks more easily than, e.g., silver cars, but I've never had a car with a clear coat that scratches this easily. My previous car was dark blue (BMW 3 series), and I didn't have this problem. I have a silver Ford, and I don't get swirl marks like this even when I use the same techniques.

In addition, bird poops are leaving marks on the clear coat. Again, they don't catch my nails, but the paint looks dull where the poop was (and I cleaned the poop up within a day or two!).

Anyone having these issues?? Thanks!
 

Gavyne

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2018
Messages
348
Location
SoCal
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#2
It's hard to compare cars when the conditions of the cars are different when you wash them. Not to mention the items you are using are likely different as well. Getting swirl marks mean you had dirt, sand, or other debris on the car when you wiped it down. For rinseless/waterless washes, they always advise you to still rinse the car with water if there are dirt, sand, or road debris on your car. So it depends on how dirty your car was when you washed it with ONR.

You can also create swirl marks if your drying cloth had debris stuck in it. This happens to new towels sometimes, people think they are completely spotless clean when they are packaged, but that's not true. Often they have lil pieces of plastic or polyester threads stuck in the fiber, so you really need to check and make sure the drying towels don't have anything stuck in the fiber. In fact the manufacturer label often tell you to wash the microfiber cloth first before using.

As for bird droppings, if you leave it on for a day or two, that's a day or two too long. Bird droppings are acidic, they contain uric acid. They will eat through the paint and etch the paint very quickly. Quicker if you let it dry which you most definitely did if you left it on for a day or two in California sun. Bird droppings really need to be cleaned off right away before they dry. It doesn't matter if your car was made by a space alien, the bird droppings will etch the paint if you let it bake under the sun and dry.

Also bird droppings often contain rocks & sand. You need to be very careful when removing them or you'll scratch your paint.

If you had your car coated in say, a ceramic coating, then it would've given you more time to clean up the bird droppings. Not to mention it would've been easier to clean them. But the acidic bird droppings will still eat through the ceramic coating so you can't leave it on for long. Coating will also help a bit with swirl marks because the hydrophobic properties of the ceramic coating will allow you to rinse/wipe things off much easier with less force. Less contact and less force will lead to less chance for swirl marks to develop.

No swirls on my blue Model 3, I use waterless wash, and I do have a full Modesta ceramic coating on it. Hope this helps, cheers.