Paint Defects – Water Spots

Ever think when it rained, your vehicle was getting a wash?
Do you hose down your vehicle and leave it to air dry?

Well guess what? This may do more harm than good for your vehicle’s paint surface. 


Water contains various minerals and/or dirt particles and once the water evaporates, these minerals and/or dirt particles are left behind. Certian minerals can be corrosive to the paint and will etch into the vehicles paint work if left too long before being removed with a safe wash and dry method.

There are 3 types of water spots. 

Type I Water Spots – Minerals from city water or pollution from rain water left behind on the paint surface once water has evaporated. Can be removed by washing and drying vehicle.

Type II Water Spots – these are etchings or craters that have formed on the paint surface due to corrosive minerals or contaminates in the water which were not removed fast enough from the paint. Can be removed by machine and possibly by hand polishing using a compound or polish to level the paint surface.

Type III Water Spots – these are spots that look dull or faded on paint surface. Found mainly on single stage paint.  Can be removed by machine with the use of a compound or polish. 

In some extreme cases, wet sanding the paint will need to be performed prior to machine compounding and/or polishing to remove water spots effectively. 

So, think twice before hosing your vehicle without properly washing and drying. 

Be cautious where you park your vehicle in particular near sprinklers on sunny days. 

Check your vehicle after rain, especially during a sun shower where evaporation occurs quickly.  The quicker these spots are removed the less chance etching will occur. 

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