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2022 Forester Wilderness
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The day after I picked up my Wilderness, I noticed two sets of tiny scratches on the hood. Upon closer inspection, I realized that they are located exactly at the corner of what I think were protective adhesive films applied by the factory to protect the paint. The scratches are located at symmetrical locations on the driver's side and the passenger's side.

They're not super conspicuous, but still, I feel frustrated, because clearly, they were caused by a careless mechanic at the dealership who probably used a sharp-pointed tool to peel the protective films off, instead of being careful and using their fingernails. At least, I like to think that the paint on a brand-new Subaru is tough enough to withstand fingernails. Most likely, they didn't care since the car was pre-ordered and they knew the customer would buy it anyway. I haven't brought this up with the dealership yet, but I plan to do so in my review of the purchasing process that SOA asked me to fill out.

It's not a huge deal to me, since I bought the vehicle to be used and get me into the backcountry, it just irked me because otherwise, the car is just beautiful, and I'm making an effort to keep it that way, at least for a while and until the first inevitable dings and dents happen. Am I being too picky perhaps? Is this to be accepted when taking a delivery of a new vehicle?

The scratches clearly go through the blue paint, revealing the whitish primer(?). Any chance I could try and buff them out, or should I just leave them be? (I have a history of making paint finish blemishes worse, so I'd rather not take the chance unless it's fool-proof to do so).

You can see the scratches in the attached photos, along with the lines left behind by what I think were the edges of the adhesive protective films.

Blue Hood Automotive lighting Light Azure

Hood Automotive design Grille Automotive lighting Motor vehicle

Sky Blue Hood Light Azure

Blue Water Light Sky Azure

Water Liquid Hood Azure Fluid
 

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Photos just look like smudges.
Plastic protection layers would not scratch through even the clearcoat, much less the paint.
Have you tried a wash and wax?
There is always the option to go drive some forest trails and get some natural pinstriping added that will mask these :p
 

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2022 Forester Wilderness
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Photos just look like smudges.
No, they're scratches. I tried to carefully buff them with a bit of alcohol, and they remained.

Plastic protection layers would not scratch through even the clearcoat, much less the paint.
Of course. I don't think the protection layers caused these. I think the mechanic who peeled off the layers caused them, because they are located exactly where you would place your fingernail or a tool to get underneath the corner of the layer to peel it off.

Have you tried a wash and wax?
Not yet. I'm still new to car-detailing, and I have very limited time available for activities like that. But I have already bought a spray-on wax and am planning to apply it as soon as I get a chance. Here in AZ, monsoon season has started, so figuring out a good time for a wash is tricky because of frequent rains, and those leave dots of dust all over the car.

There is always the option to go drive some forest trails and get some natural pinstriping added that will mask these :p
That is going to happen, no doubt! 😁
 

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2019 Subaru Forester Limited CVT
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To me, that is unacceptable. In my opinion only used cars should come with scratches. I would not attempt to repair any of that until the dealer has had a chance to look at it. They always look for reasons to get out of doing repairs and they could say that you made it worse so now they won't do anything. You know what I'm saying. If they refuse to fix it, I would take it to a body shop if you are not comfortable fixing paint yourself.
 

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No, they're scratches. I tried to carefully buff them with a bit of alcohol, and they remained.


Of course. I don't think the protection layers caused these. I think the mechanic who peeled off the layers caused them, because they are located exactly where you would place your fingernail or a tool to get underneath the corner of the layer to peel it off.


Not yet. I'm still new to car-detailing, and I have very limited time available for activities like that. But I have already bought a spray-on wax and am planning to apply it as soon as I get a chance. Here in AZ, monsoon season has started, so figuring out a good time for a wash is tricky because of frequent rains, and those leave dots of dust all over the car.


That is going to happen, no doubt! 😁
On a new car that would be unacceptable. I'd also hate to have aftermarket paint redone on it so new :/ Maybe dealer can work out another kick back alternative. Really should have gone over it at the dealership before leaving :/

Look up the two bucket method. Chemical guys has some nice easy to start bundles.
Dawn or dusk so you don't have the direct sun and heat and chasing water marks.
Wax may not look good on the vinyl sticker, probably turn hazy.
Wax is a good UV protectant against that AZ sud and contaminants that come down in the rain. Washing isn't always about making it pretty, it's about maintaining the longterm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was going to take the car to a manual washing place nearby where you can do it all yourself. I usually do a presoak first, followed by a pre-rinse, then a foaming brush, and a high-pressure wash afterwards, then towel the car dry. Though last time I went there, I did notice some awful, white-residue water marks developing afterwards.

Is there a reason to not use these types of facilities? The alternative is my driveway, which is gravel and a much less cleaner environment to begin with. Right now, I don't have a garden hose, either.
 

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All of that sounds alright, but don't do the foaming brush. Bring 2 buckets and a mitt or two and fill one up with soap from the contactless car wash place and the other with water (for rinsing the mitts).
 

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2019 Subaru Forester Limited CVT
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These are just my recommendations and my opinion so take it with a couple of grains of salt. If you go to the car wash and use their spray wand that is fine. I go through those when I'm in a pinch to just get some dirt off of the car. I would not let the foam brush touch my paint though. They have scratchy bristles and are usually packed full of dirt. The new Subaru paint is too soft and will scratch easily. Wheels only for the foam brush. Spray washing your car usually leaves some dirt and film behind so I never towel dry the car if I do a spray only wash. You will grind the remainder of the dirt back into the paint and give yourself some swirl marks.

The two bucket method will surprise you when you see how much grit settles in your rinse bucket. That's all the stuff that rinsed out of your sponge before it had a chance to scratch your paint. Get a nice microfiber wash rag or sponge for washing. High quality microfiber drying towels will be your new best friend because regular towels will also scratch the paint. Washing on a gravel drive is also possible If you don't have too much dust flying around at the time. You could spritz the gravel down to keep the dust at bay before you start your wash.

I also strongly recommend some type of paint protection whether it's a ceramic coating or regular car wax.
 

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Photos just look like smudges.
Plastic protection layers would not scratch through even the clearcoat, much less the paint.
Have you tried a wash and wax?
There is always the option to go drive some forest trails and get some natural pinstriping added that will mask these :p
I agree they do look like smudges, but in the event they are not, they should buff right out. I don't see an issue.
 

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2019 Subaru Forester Convenience
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Best bet is do not delay, take it immediately back to the dealer. The longer you delay the more they will deflect and call into doubt how or when it actually happened. Keep the conversation on point with them and stick with it. Even demand the contact information for their corporate offices if they wavier and try and make excuses. Also check the sales agreement for their policies on any matters for issues along the lines of issues with the vehicle. Always best to educate yourself with information they provide you in the agreements as well as any consumer protection acts governing Automobile Dealerships. Once you start quoting those to them they'll know they cannot pull one over on you and shirk their responsibilities.
 

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Good news is that the straight lines are NOT scratches, they look like scratches, they feel like scratches, but it's actually the adhesive residue from the protective film.

I had the same thing on my Geyser Blue wilderness in the same spots and thought they were also scratches done by a utility knife going down to the bare metal. I took it back to the dealership and they ended up using a car paint/clear coat safe adhesive remover and got those marks right out.

As for the markings at the beginning of those lines... that may be a scratch from a tool... can't be positive for sure but that is definitely not the adhesive.

Either way, I'd take it back to the dealership and have them correct it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@coreys.cruisers At this point, I doubt I have much recourse. The dealership is 120 miles away in a different city, and I just don't have the time to make the drive there just to bring up this issue. Plus, I'm already on their bad side since I canceled both the extended warranty and the maintenance plan that I initially bought from them. I highly doubt they'd be willing to give me any kind of refund or anything, which would be the only solution I could see for this case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@JessD Oh yes, I wasn't worried about the straight lines. Those were just the edges of the adhesive as you correctly mention. They have all but disappeared since I took those photos, after washing the car a couple of times.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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When it comes to those coin-op car washes with the foaming brushes, be aware of any residue on the brush... Some have abused those brushes and there may be some major build of of debris and all on there. So be warned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
When it comes to those coin-op car washes with the foaming brushes, be aware of any residue on the brush... Some have abused those brushes and there may be some major build of of debris and all on there. So be warned.
Yes, I always check them. They're surprisingly good quality. They feel like a fine badger brush for shaving, and they look very clean.
 

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I would NOT use rubbing alcohol on soft modern car paints. It is one of the components of lacquer thinner and will strip oils and waxes out of the paint at minimum. Something like mineral spirits (or auto wax and grease remover) is a mild solvent that is safe for softer finishes for removing sticker residue. Subaru finishes are really soft and thin and really easy to damage permanently.

I know it's your new toy and it's not perfect, but the scratches are smaller than your fingernail. Every new car will have imperfections and will get more of them rapidly once you start driving it. Unless the scratches are down to the metal, I would just ignore them after a good coat of wax or something.

But really NO ALCOHOL unless you dilute it to 10% or so. Will 70 Isopropyl Alcohol Damage Car Paint?
 
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