Ask any Malaysian car owner how they feel about watermarks…and you will hear a lot of four letter words. A temper tantrum including screaming and yelling with hands flaying at these little watermark devils is considered a moderate response. Want to see a grown man cry, a watermark on his pretty car hood will do it every time.
So, if so much emotion is generated from such a small thing, what are these watermarks? Most Malaysian car owners are more than familiar with these little buggers. Do we have more watermark problems than other countries? We might, as watermarks are a direct relationship with the contaminants and pollution in the air. When contaminants and pollution (read dust, especially cement dust) mixes with water and then lands on your car, you have acidic water or acid rain. When it is left on the car and dries on the car and especially is left under hot sun, watermarks are etched into the clear coat of the car.
This is a good photo of the residue left on your car after a rain. The water dries up leaving the contaminants and minerals that were floating or suspended in the water. The water is gone, and now you have these marks. If this is left on your car and especially if it is exposed to our strong sun, you will have Type 1 watermarks. Leave it on for a few days, and you will have Type 2 or even Type 3. Type 2 and 3 means that the etch left is scorched into the paint, and will need to be tackled by a professional.
Some people get water spots after they wash their car and they don’t dry it. Tap water can be “hard” and the minerals in hard water are left on the car. Water marks can be caused by the minerals and dirt in the water when simply left on the surface of the paint after the water has evaporated off. Things get worse if the water contains something corrosive that etches the surface as it sits, creating a “crater”. If not addressed, these craters can actually get worse over time, as water will pool in them and continue to etch the same spot.
A small type 1 water spot can quickly become a type 2 or type 3 disaster as the water pools in the old spot more easily, creating a little deeper etch. After a month or two, you got yourself a real disaster. This is the disaster that this used to be gentleman faced this morning…
Without a doubt, water spots or water marks are the number 1 complaint of those car owners watching their car paint. If you are particular about how your car looks, you are abundantly aware of water marks. Once you see one, you can probably find 10…(kind of like rats, see one, you got a dozen). The lesson here is to be careful with water. If you wash, make sure you dry. If your car gets wet….rinse and dry it. And don’t leave your wet car out in the sun after a rain. You don’t have to run out and wipe off the water after every rain, but what you don’t want to do is let the water dry and let it sit day after day in the sun…after two or three days, you will have water marks and you will be pulling out your hair.
Car coating whether Sierra Glow or any other company WILL NOT prevent water marks. Anybody telling you that their car coating will stop water marks is not telling the truth. But, our car coating will provide another layer of protection, so disaster is usually prevented as long as you bring it back to us early. Also, the good news is that we are very good at getting rid of these water marks.
Final remark, be careful to wipe off rain water or any water on your car…and if the rain dries without wiping, don’t leave it in the sun.