Cooley On Cars
Your Emails: Is buying a red car a good idea or not?Brian Cooley answers viewer emails about red-painted cars, and whether or not the color fades when you park in the sun.
Hi everybody, Brian Cooley from On Cars, another one of your emails here about high tech cars and modern driving. This one comes in from Robert who wants to know if red is a bad idea or not. We love our red cars. Ferraris have always been red, right? [LAUGH] Certain cars, you expect them in red. But, there's always been a little story about red paint color. And that's what Robert asked about. He says, I was wondering if it's still true, that red car paint fades when it's parked in the sun. And he means fades much Much more than others. My wife he says, wants to sell my 2013 Sonata now before I get my new one because the paint still looks good. She doesn't want the paint to fade, and hurt the value of the car. I assume you live in a pretty hot sunny place and and apparently don't park your car indoors like some many of use don't. Okay Robert so this was definitely a big talking point some time ago that red cars used to fade pretty badly, that was the story. Don't get red or if you do you gotta park it inside or it's going to go pink in no time. But I'm talking decades ago you saw a lot of that The Fiat here is a good example. It's a '68, it's in red, and it's a crappy old school repaint. And let me tell you, if this car lived outdoors all the time, it wouldn't do well, partly because it has an old school paint job, what we call a single stage paint job. Because what you're seeing there, the color, and the gloss, is all one coat all combined. They do several coats, but each one is color and gloss. Which means you've got the pigment and the gloss both right up at the surface, dealing with the environment. And these tended to be paint jobs that, especially on a car this old, could be very susceptible to deep fading on a red paint job in particular. Today's paint jobs tend to be what they called a two-stage paint job. You put down a very thin layer of pigment and of course it's a much more advanced pigment than it used to be. And then that gets hit with a bunch of gloss separately that really builds it up. That pigment that's underneath there is very protected by a lot of clear over it as opposed to being integral all the way to the top. And that pigment when it goes on, interestingly, is usually kind of flat or non gloss. That's how important the gloss or Clearcoat is on modern two-stage paint jobs. Plus the chemistry is just all different. This is really durable stuff. This is also part of why you'll see when a car gets scratched these days, no matter what color the car is, you tend to see a white scratch. Cuz what you've done you have scratched it clear and in many cases haven't even gone as deep as the color coat. Now, clear over color means you're more concerned these days about how your clear coat is dealing with the environment not how you pigments is bein lead in the environment. So you think less today about what color I'm getting and who will it fade. Well we used to se in 70s and 80s a lot cars got a real tracking And that was because the clear coat failed usually. They didn't have it down in those days. Now they do and you see clear coat failures very rarely. You see paint failures very rarely. I got to say this is one of those areas right along side it starts every time where cars have changed dramatically. Bottom line, I wouldn't worry too much about any color car fading. Those days are largely behind us. Thanks to great paint chemistry.