New car, black paint, clearcoat

My wife bought a new car yesterday. As we were signing papers, she mentioned how the new car is black, and she’s always wanted a black car. The finance manager then told us this story:

Most cars have a clearcoat applied to the paint job; but not black cars. The extra heat absorption properties of black paint cause the clearcoat to look hazy, so manufacturers have stopped using it on black. So a black car is more susceptible to scratches, bird droppings, etc; and it would really be in our best interests to buy ($899) their add-on “Final Touch” stuff to protect our car’s paint.

My wife is now worried about her beautiful new car. I smell BS.

On one hand, the manager didn’t even bring it up until we mentioned it. On the other hand–the window sticker says “Black Clearcoat”, and they couldn’t say that if it wasn’t true, right?

Whaddya think?

If the window sticker has Black Clearcoat on it, then you are presumably paying for Black Clearcoat. It sounds like the finance manager is trying to sell you another extra.

jsc1953, I’m with you – my black pick-up truck had a clear coat over the black paint. I bought it in 1996.

However, when the clear coat wears off (yep … I didn’t wax nearly enough :frowning: ), the black paint can start to look … mmm … “tarnished” is the best way I can desribe the effect. But this isn’t something any new-car surface treatment is going to prevent. The “Final Touch” stuff will wear off, too – if it’s even good for anything at all above and beyond what regular waxing would do (doubtful).

My loaned 2005 black Mondeo is clearcoated. My last black car – 1995 Civic – was clearcoated. The 1988 Civic (black) before it was clearcoated. That seems to span a long enough time.

Let’s see. The car manufacturers, who have built millions of black cars since the days of the Motel T, can’t find a clearcoat that won’t become hazy.

But a car dealer, who sells a few hundred cars a year, only a small percentage of which are black, has a magic formula that the manufacturers can’t duplicate.

Part of my job involves mixing and selling automotive paints.

I can assure you that your car left the factory with a clearcoat on it.

The paint protection packages sold as options for $500.00 + are 100% profit for the dealers. You can pick up a bottle of paint sealant for under $20.00 that will do the same thing 10 times over.
The dealer had balls for using that story though.

Isn’t the clearcoat REALLY important in modern car paint jobs? Like so important you can’t possibly not use it.

I can personally attest to the fact that my factory black paint job fared poorly when the clear coat wore off. My truck is now a bizzare, splotchy mottle of flat black and charcoal gray.

How can you tell that the clearcoat wore off – or that you never had it to begin with?

Either way, it’s probably not a problem for us…we tend not to hang on to cars long enough for anything to wear off.

thanks to all dopers…the consensus seems pretty clear.

Because it wore off unevenly – it was easy to contrast the areas where the clear coat wore off initially with areas where it hung on longer. The hood was the first area of the truck to show signs of sun and rain damage to the undercoat. The black started lightening up in splotches … what I call a “tarnished” look.

At the same time, the clear coat on some of the side panels still had some life in them – the paint in that area looked virtually showroom new.

Admittedly, I am working off an assumption that garden-variety factory car paint in has little gloss of it’s own, and that it’s the clear coat that gives new cars their showroom shine. Based on that, no shine = no clear coat with ordinary paint jobs. I could be wrong about that, but that’s my current understanding.

For a brief time I worked as a salesman for a Ford dealership. We boasted that we had mo markup from MSRP* but we had a dealer option sticker listing paint protector, undercarriage rusproofing, security number etching in all the glass and some other piece of bullshit I can’t remember now. The managers referred to it as “mop and glow” and encouraged us to get full price for it. Still even if a customer balked and we had to throw it in for free the MSRP gave us a modest profit and the reality is that a dealer can usually sell a vehicle at the invoice price and still get a profit.

*MSRP except for pickup trucks. At that time the factory sticker on pickups had no prices displayed so we marked them up an additional 45% from invoice. It took brass cojones to ask for that much and sometimes we actually got it.