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2018 Forester 2.5i premiu
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I bought my black 2018 Forester in March... While I know black cars show more wear, I'm pretty disappointed in how fragile the paint is. Less than a year in and I can see tons of swirl marks and very minor scratches. I wash with only micro fiber and dry with the same. I plan to buff and wax at the year mark but just was surprised to see this. Is this consistent with other people's findings? And any recommendations for a prevention? Thanks!
 

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2018 Forester XT Limited CVT
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653 Posts
When you touch the surface of the car, instead of using a circular motion, choose one direction, for example front to back, and wipe in that direction only. That way you can see the micro scratches from one angle only, but if you use a circular motion, you can see the resulting micro scratches (swirls) from any angle.

To prevent the swirl marks on my car, I am going to just not wash the car, or wash it with a pressure washer only. The pressure washer won't get it 100% clean, but it saves me from touching the paint and causing the micro scratches. My 2018 Forester is dark grey (they call it that but it looks almost black), and any paint problems are a lot more visible than they were with my 2007 Forester that was green.

I got a scuff from a door ding that was clearcoat only, and I got rid of it by buffing that part of the door with the Maguiar's random orbital thing that goes on the end of a drill. It's called the DA Power System and you can find people using it on YouTube.
 

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2018 Forester 2.5I Manual
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6 Posts
All new cars tend to suffer, especially dark colors. You could try ceramic coating to help keep it cleaner longer and reduce the amount of wash cycles.
 

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2003 Forester XS AT
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25 Posts
Sam, it's likely that your washing technique needs slight improvement. Keep in mind that every time ANYONE washes & dry's a car, it's going to suffer some swirl marks. It's not just you. The guys that have the best looking finish are the ones that take MANY small steps to help minimize the damage. Wash from top to bottom, flip your wash mitt for the second pass, wash only one panel at a time, use a grit guard in the bucket, use two buckets, dry without rubbing / blot, use a leaf blower or shop vac on reverse,... I could go on for days.

Where it IS true that Subies have a soft clear coat, you can still have a better than average finish if you slow down your process. Think about the fact that every time you touch your paint you have the possibility of swirling it. Doesn't matter if you're washing, claying, drying, dusting, or even just leaning against it taking a break. Keep a good coat of wax on your car, at least twice a year, for that sacrificial layer while you're washing.

Don't stop washing your ride in order to prevent scratches. Just learn how to do it the right way.
 
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