Why Does Car Body Paint Fade?

No one wants to have the body paint of their car fading. When the car’s body paint fades, it becomes an eyesore. Your car body paint is one of the primary features that characterize it. Everyone will notice faded body paint, especially if it is extreme. But you can prevent your car’s body paint from fading by understanding the causes and taking appropriate preventive measures.


Sunlight is among the common causes of fading of a car’s body paint. Sunlight has ultraviolet rays that cause fading through the process of oxidation. Paint oxidation happens when oxygen and heat from the sun come together. The sun heats the body paint, and oxygen will then penetrate through. Ultimately, the heat will reach the metal under the paint job, and this causes fading.

Bird Droppings

Bird droppings can also cause your car’s body paint to fade. The bird droppings are acidic, and when left on the car’s body for long, they cause fading. Bird droppings may not be easy to notice. And this can lead to acidic droppings slowly eating away the body paint. Unless you are keen on checking your car’s body and cleaning, bird droppings can cause you to take your vehicle for repainting. 


When the car’s body faces salt exposure for an extended period, this can result in fading because of the corrosive nature of salt. People use salt for ice and snow melting on the roads in cold regions. The car’s body paint gets exposed to the road salt, and when it accumulates, this leads to fading and rusting. When ultraviolet rays from the sun heat the salt on the car, it forms salt crystals that cause fading and rusting.

Type of Paint

The type of paint on your car will also determine how easy it will fade. Your car’s body paint will look discolored if you use single-stage paint. However, applying a clear coat over the base coat reduces the ease of fading because the clear coat will provide better protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Take Away

Understanding the potential causes of fading of a car’s body paint should enable you to take better care of the vehicle. Cleaning the car regularly and placing it under shade to prevent direct exposure to sunlight are some excellent examples.

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