What Causes Car Paint Swirls?

What Causes Car Paint Swirls?

Paint swirls are something that car owners might notice on a new or used car. Any swirls in what would otherwise be a flawless paint job are not something vehicle owners want to see on their cars. A vehicle with obvious flaws in the paint, including swirls, has an automatically lower book value. What causes car paint swirls? What could it mean for the value of a new or secondhand car? Here’s what you should know about car paint swirls, and just what to expect when you see them on a new or used vehicle.

What Causes Car Paint Swirls?

What Are Car Paint Swirls?

Paint swirls are often small disturbances in the paint, where the painted surface appears to swirl instead of having a solid finish. Paint swirls are not something that you want to see on your car – or a car that you want to buy.

Swirl marks on your car can be minor, or they can be a larger, more obvious spot on your vehicle.

While paint swirls are often seen right after a paint job, they can also appear on a car almost out of nowhere. If this is the case, then you know there’s some kind of environmental damage to your car that caused it.

Should You Worry if Your Car Has Paint Swirls?

Yes and no.

Yes, a paint swirl can be seen as a problem in the paint finish of a car. However, it’s also not as big of a problem as would be a dent or hole in the vehicle.

If you see paint swirls on a car that you’d like to buy, keep in mind that paint swirls can drastically reduce the value of the car.

If you see paint swirls on a car that you’re hoping to sell, you’ll have to put the money into a proper spray job or readjust the asking price to compensate for an issue that the next owner might have to fix out of their pocket.

Paint swirls that appear at random on the finish of a car should be more of a worry. This means that something, usually under the finish of your car or around the environment you drive it most, is behind the cause.

Potential Causes of Car Paint Swirls

Below are some of the most common causes of car paint swirls.

Improper Factory Finish

If a car didn’t receive the best factory paint job with the proper amount of undercoats, expect flaws in the paint job. Paint swirls are not common with cars that come off the factory floor. However, it does not mean it can’t happen. Did you spot paint swirls on a new car? If so, then the manufacturer could be liable to pay for the fix if your car is still under its original warranty.

Poor Respray

Has your vehicle been resprayed recently? If so, and there was a lack of undercoat, then expect that the car is going to present with some minor flaws in the paint job. This might include rust or – you guessed it – the presentation of paint swirls in the finish.

Rust Underneath the Surface

Any rust underneath the surface of the car can disturb a vehicle’s paint job.

If there are small chips or cracks in the paint and the material underneath gets exposed to enough air and moisture, over time you will likely see rust begin to form.

Rust often causes the appearance of sudden, spreading paint swirls.

Additional Information: Do Car Washes Damage Paint?

Take a look at Drive Fast Auto Body paint correction services.

Paint Correction

Drive Fast Auto Body | Lee’s Summit, MO | Auto Body Shop

We are dedicated to providing top-notch customer service, employing the best in the industry, and partnering with our community. We know your personalized experience at Drive Fast Auto Body will lead to a future with us! Explore Drive Fast USA Auto Body services, or contact us to learn more today!

Scroll to Top