Cause Of Paint Spider Webbing.

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I have a 2022 Challenger, purchased new from the factory.    Received delivery about 6 weeks after it was built.

Location is Southern California.   Very little rain.  No snow.   No mud.   Car is garaged.

The "vital" areas of the car were PPF'd, such as front end.

After the PPF,  I thoroughly washed and did a very quick but thorough claying of the finish.  When a panel was finished, Opti-Seal was applied until the car was completed.  The finish was maintained every other week with  Optimum Instant detailer.

 That was 9 months and 6k miles ago.   Car is still very lustrous and water  falls from the paint.   But today, for the first time, there was the first hint of spider webbing on the paint finish.

Although I have had spider webbing, and remedied this on my prior cars, it was surprising to see here.  

So my questions are:

1.  Am I at fault?   Should I have re-applied  Opti-Seal after 6 months.  (In hindsight, is seems silly NOT TO HAVE RE-APPLIED as it is only 12 sprays from the bottle and the car is done.)

2.   I have to buff out the car with polish...or is there another way?    This is my there an Optimum way to easily rid my paint of these very very minor spider webs.



Edited by Jason Montgomery
Added photo of product used.
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10 hours ago, Ron@Optimum said:

2 quick questions - what are you washing with and what clay/clay lube...and why?

What are you washing with?

Typically do not wash my cars  but maybe once every 3 months.    I only use a sponge and water.  No soap.  No pressure wash.  Basically wet the car, keep the hose on the sponge and wipe down the car.  

What clay/clay lube?

I use the NANO pad as an alternative to the clay.  Have only used the Nano at delivery to remove any particles not removed by the wash, just prior to the Opti-Seal.


As I understand the use of clay/nano, its purpose is to remove fine particles which are lodged in or attached to the top surface of the paint.   So I clayed prior to the Opti-Seal.

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Are you saying that you only washed the car that first time, before you clayed and applied Opti-Seal? 

Yes.   The paint was no more than 8 weeks old.

And that your subsequent every-other-week "wash" was a quick detailing? 

Yes.   I live in SoCal.   Why would I need to do anthing else?   Especially with the car garaged.  Regardless where you live, consider keeping your car in the garage for 2 weeks.   Exactly how dirty is it going to get? 

If so, that's the source of your spider-webbing.

What is the source?   I didn't have any spider webbing for 9 months.

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water is a poor lubricant and after dirt/pollution/pollen/etc has accumulated on the PPF/paint, you are dragging it across the surface creating micro-marring. Optimum No Rinse or other car soaps encapsulate the dirt to prevent marring, that's why a soap should be part of your wash process.  The question on clay is that it takes time for pollutants to become embedded (clay does not need to be a necessity, but performed when required).  Claying frequently causes marring, you're dragging the embedded materials across your film/clear coat, and that's why a good clay lube is critical. FYI, a quick detailer is fine for light cleaning but is not a substitute for a thorough wash with a good car soap.

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Look, I don't want to argue with you.  There is a reason Optimum makes a waterless wash (Opti-Clean).  If this is a garage queen, yes you have dust in your garage, and you must take it out in that California air once in a while which is polluted with smog, wildfire ash, dust, etc.

You may have not spent a lot of time on detailing forums like some of us, but even towel selection can cause marring depending on the paint.  You want to do everything you can to prevent grinding whatever dust/dirt is on the vehicle into the paint.  You came here for help, we're trying to help.

If you're looking for a quick, easy answer--there isn't one.  Keeping your car swirl-free requires a lot of diligence, using good quality towels and keeping them laundered/stored clean, knowing what the appropriate quick detailer/waterless wash/rinseless wash/conventional wash protocol is for the amount/type of "dirt" that is on the car, etc. etc.  It only takes one mistake to get marring on your car, one towel that fell on the concrete floor, one bird poop that you QD'd off instead of washing, etc.

And the bottom line is this...if you have a car that you use, that you touch, that you drive, eventually you will get marring.  It's the inevitable result of rubbing the paint with your clothes, your wash sponge, your quick detailing towel.  As Ron suggested, you likely instilled some marring with the claying.  Unless you insisted the dealer deliver the car with the plastic intact, the dealer washed the car and wiped it down, perhaps several times.  Some dealers are pretty good, most are terrible.  We have an acronym we use on the forums--DISO--Dealer-Installed Swirl Option.

Ok, you tired me out.


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@Jason Montgomery I think the first thing to do is get a bottle of ONR or Opti-Clean or perhaps both and a decent wash mitt.  This should make washing much easier and safer in the future. 

The paint swirls are a bit tougher to fix.  Essentially you have you 2 choices, polish the paint to remove the defects or learn not to see swirls and focus on how good your car looks.  If you can learn not to see paint defects, you will be a happier person!

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Should add I lived in S. Calif. for 20 years and had rock dust from concrete roads and surrounding mountains/deserts constantly infiltrated both my apartments and workplaces.  Back then I knew nothing about coatings and being an apartment dweller relied on self service and regular car washes to keep cars "cleaner".  Those washes definitely damaged my car's paint (swirls, streaks, etc.).  Change came by moving to Oregon, learning about coatings and scratch-reducing car cleaning, and Optimum coatings which may not be the best (every few days another "champion" is heralded on Youtube) but are certainly among the best.

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I was hoping to show some images.   But with a max file size of 70kb, that doesn't leave me a lot of leeway.

This is long.  But people here care a great deal about their work and about paint, and I want you to understand my situation and stubborness.

 I am not a professional.   My brother and I  learned from my father to polish and wax before winter and after winter...Blue Coral as I recall.   In our  circle of friends,  which is vast(hundreds), our cars have the best ORIGINAL MANUFACTURE PAINT finish.  By far.  

 Until recently, my newest car was a 1991 Cadillac Brougham d'Elegance with Euro trim and gold emblems.  Black on black with tufted leather.

I got this car from the original owner in 2009.   He became ill and asked his friends if they knew anyone who would take care of his car as well as he did.  I was the fortunate recipient.    On receiving the car, I wrote him a very long letter regarding the honor it was to have this car, along with photos of my current cars.  He sent my check for payment back to me.

From 1991 to 2009 this man had the following routine:

1.  From his garage, drive 4 miles to work and park in an underground garage.
2.  Drive from his work garage to his home garage.
3.  Use a KOZAK cloth to wipe down the paint from the accumulated dust....EVERY DAY.
4.  Every 3 months(even with as little as 500 miles) change the oil.
5.  Every 6 months, take the car to the detailer for polish and wax.

I bought the car sight unseen, due to the recommendation of our mutual friend.   I didn't even pick up the car, but had a friend in the area drive it to me.

So, when I get the car, and see it is virtually new,  what am I supposed to do?   NOT USE the Kozak cloth?  

Who am I going to believe regarding the propensity of a Kozak cloth to scratch? 
Professionals, my instinct,  or my own eyes with a car that has been Kozak'd 5000+ times(18 years multiplied by 300 times a year)?  

For the next 13 years, I changed his routine a little bit.   I only Kozak'd 2 or 3 times a week,  using Meguiar's Ultimate Detail every other week.  I would Meguiar's ultimate polish and  Collinite every 6 months...or at the first sign of a spider web.    I would only   water wash the car when it was used for a special event such as a wedding or a funeral.   So, maybe 3 times a year.

When I sold the car to pay for my first new car since 1979, I sold it to the first person who looked at the car.   He could not believe the car was original paint and was trying to find evidence of overspray, underspray, drips, etc. for at least 2 hours.    I assure you, the finish was immaculate with the exception of 2 spots on the trunk where the 1990's era paint was just starting to release from the primer.   The top was like new.   To be honest, the paint was in better shape than the chrome bumpers.

So, you can tell me the cause of the spider webs is the lack of washing with soap, etc.   But, I respectfully and demonstrably disagree.  

By the way, I am looking for good magnifying glasses to find these micro abrasions and such.   The problem is I don't know anyone with a professionally cleaned and finished car to compare it to....and I can't add picture due to my 70kb limit.   But, maybe we can compare in the near future.



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I'm not sure what you're looking for from the forum, it seems you're very well versed.

I, on the other hand, have been waxing (and then later washing) cars since I was about 13.  I knew a lot about detailing cars, from reading the Meguiar's flyer I got from filling out the reader service card in the back of Popular Mechanics.  I certainly knew more about paint care than anyone I knew, and had been doing it a long time.  I had Meguiar's professional products that I had to go to a far away auto body store to get, and Classic and Blue Coral and Collinite waxes from the best auto parts stores I could find. Then came this internet thing, and this forum thing, and I found that I really knew nothing about detailing cars. 

So you're way ahead of me.

Is it possible that your 2022 Stellantis paint is just simply inferior to what GM was putting on in 1991?   That would explain a lot.

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I am reminded of a friend of mine who used to own a Mk2 Land Rover (late 1950's) who could fix most engine problems with a wooden hammer!

I agree with Sectec, this is most likely a paint issue.  Automotive paints, like car engines have changed significantly in the last 30 years.  The products and techniques for the paint from different eras are also very different.  Hitting the engine of a 2023 car with a hammer is likely to break something expensive.

Ultimately, it is your car and you can use whatever products you fancy, if the Optimum products do not give you what you want and your prefer KOZAK (some kind of cleaner?) then continue using it or try using another brand.

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Now that you've filled in your backstory it's easier to understand the issue. It seems you're trying to replicate the car care you inherited on a 30+ year old car on a 2022 model.  As Setec and Lowe (2 of the Forums most experienced posters) point out, there's been a huge change in paint technology and car care chemistry.  it's even possible the Cadillac didn't have 2 stage paint!  Modern clear coats have a wide variety of hardness and it's very likely the softer clear on your Challenger is susceptible to marring from the processes that didn't effect the Cadillac.  We've pointed the reason soap, or even better, rinseless washes, are safer that KOZAK or Instant Detailer only.  You can "respectfully and demonstrably disagree" but you joined a forum for answers and seem intent on finding fault with those that are contrary to your preconceived notions.  One thing I can promise, continue your wash procedures and the spider webbing will multiply.  Good Luck!





















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