Problems With Clear Coat Thickness On Your Car Following A North Carolina Collision Repair

Blue car in spray booth

Car repair has had significant change over the past few years. The days of dropping your car off and trusting that the technician would know exactly what to do without harming your vehicle are forever in the past. No car repair is ever the same, even if the same car came into a body shop. It would still need its own unique repair plan.

More than ever, auto repair technicians need to follow the repair procedures laid out by your car’s manufacturer to ensure safe and high-quality repair. These are known as OEM repair procedures. The best body shops know to follow these repair procedures when doing any type of repair for your car. If they don’t, then your safety will be at risk.

The same applies to paint repair on your vehicle, which is what we’re here to discuss today. We do this to help North Carolina drivers like you know the importance of a shop following OEM repair procedures for any level of repair for your car. Simply going off of “past experience” in the repair process is what causes many cars to no longer function the way they were designed for. In fact, too much clear coat on a car can cause serious damage.

Here’s what you need to know:

What is clear coat, and how is it different from automotive paint? 

Automotive paint is a combination of solvents, fillers, resins, additives, solvents, and pigments for colored paints. The top layer of clear paint that creates that glossy look on your car is clear coat.

There are three essential ingredients in automotive paint. They are: 




The resin is the component that provides adhesion to the applied surface, holds together the pigment in suspension, and is what determines the quality and paint durability. 

The pigment comes in a powder form similar to concrete. A typical aftermarket automotive paint mixing system includes around 100 colors or toners to be able to mix formulas, including metallic and pearl paint colors. 

The solvent is what provides the transferability. Without it, the paint would be too thick to transfer from container to container. 

Clear coat is the same as any other automotive paint, just without the pigments.

A typical paint process on a car will look like this:

Why is clear coat added to my car? 

The reasons you’ll see clear coat added to your car is for much more than giving your car a nice, shiny look. First, it protects the pigmented (color) paint underneath from fading and oxidizing from UV rays. If you ever notice a car that has peeling paint, chances are it doesn’t have a thick enough clear coat layer. The image below is a result of a car that didn’t have a thick enough clear coat layer to protect it from peeling, due to UV rays from the sun.

Clear coat can also assist repair technicians in achieving a smooth finish on your car for any paint related repairs. 

Can clear coat ever cause a problem?  

There may be times where your car requires a paint repair to achieve the desired look. However, if a technician removes too much clear coat, it can cause severe damage to your vehicle. This damage can be discoloration, peeling, hazing, and finish failure. How much a technician removes is based on how much was applied. 

This image shows what peeling looks like on a car with too little clear coat:

According to I-CAR, clear coat “should be restored during the refinishing process to protect the vehicle from defects like those listed above.” 

Trained auto painters and technicians will know to monitor the clear coat thickness throughout the repair and refinishing process. 

Clear coat problems and ADAS 

If you made a vehicle purchase over the past five years, your car will probably be equipped with some form of ADAS technology. Some examples of ADAS safety features are blind-spot detection, forward collision warning, lane change assist, and a rearview camera. 

These advanced technologies are made up of a bunch of sensors that are located in different areas of your car. The bumper cover can have up to 4 sensors alone. 

Each manufacturer has restrictions on how thick the paint coat can be, along with other repair requirements. If the maximum paint coat thickness is exceeded, then it can cause these advanced safety features to no longer function. This is because these sensors wouldn’t be able to “see” what’s happening on the road, increasing your risk of getting in a collision. 

Who in North Carolina can repair the clear coat on my car the right way? 

Here at Statesville Collision Center, we are committed to providing North Carolina drivers with the highest level of paint and auto repair they deserve. We have invested in our technician’s training because we believe a safe repair is the only way to go.

Our technicians are all I-CAR Gold Class certified, which only about 10% of auto repair shops achieve. This means that our technicians have received the highest level of training and know what it means to repair your car the right way. We are always checking OEM repair procedures and know what it takes to give you the best possible repair out there!

Our motto is, “we may not be related, but you’ll feel like we’re family!” This is because we genuinely care about North Carolina drivers receiving the highest level of repair possible for their vehicle.

Feel free to give us a call at (704)-881-0410. If you’d like to schedule an estimate or get an online quote, we’re more than happy to help out! We offer these on our website to make the car repair process as stress-free as possible!

We look forward to hearing from you!