Car Exterior

How To Fix Sun Damage On Car Exterior



How To Fix Sun Damage On Car Exterior: Sun damage on a car’s exterior is a common issue that occurs due to prolonged exposure to harmful UV rays. Over time, these rays can cause fading, discoloration, and deterioration of the paint, plastic, and other exterior surfaces of a vehicle. Fixing sun damage not only restores the aesthetic appeal of the car but also helps protect it from further degradation. In this guide, we will explore effective methods and techniques to address sun damage on a car’s exterior, restoring its appearance and ensuring long-lasting protection against future UV exposure.

Can you fix sun damage on a car?

If your car does NOT have a clear coat, your best option would be to get it repainted by a professional instead of taking on the task yourself. If your car does have a clear coat, this makes it easier to repair the sun fade on your own. All you need is a few supplies, including: A car buffing compound.


Firstly, it’s important to assess the extent of the sun damage on the car. This involves examining the paint, plastic, rubber seals, and other exterior components for signs of fading, discoloration, or deterioration caused by UV exposure. Once the damage has been assessed, appropriate repair methods can be determined.

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Repair Methods:

Yes, sun damage on a car can be fixed using various repair methods depending on the severity of the damage. For example, faded or oxidized paint can be restored using polishing compounds, rubbing compounds, or paint correction techniques to remove surface imperfections and restore the paint’s shine. Discolored plastic trim can be rejuvenated using plastic restorers or trim renewing products that nourish the plastic and restore its color and shine. Additionally, weathered rubber seals can be treated with rubber conditioners or protectants to prevent further deterioration and maintain flexibility.

Preventive Measures:

To prevent future sun damage, it’s essential to incorporate preventive measures into your car care routine. This includes regular washing and waxing to protect the paint, applying UV-resistant coatings or sealants to plastic surfaces, and treating rubber seals with conditioners or protectants. Parking the car in shaded areas or using car covers can also help minimize UV exposure and reduce the risk of sun damage. By taking proactive steps to care for your car’s exterior, you can prolong its lifespan and maintain its appearance for years to come.

Can you restore sun faded car paint?

It depends on the extent of fading. Usually a good auto finish shop can rub the oxidation out with a good compound, then restore color and shine with wax. Or, you can do it yourself. It’s hard work, and takes the right tools and the right compounds and wax.

Paint Correction:

Yes, sun-faded car paint can be restored through a process known as paint correction. This involves using abrasive compounds and polishing techniques to remove surface imperfections, oxidation, and discoloration from the paint. The process typically begins with washing and drying the car to remove any surface contaminants, followed by using a cutting compound or polish to gently abrade the faded paint and restore its shine.

Polishing and Buffing:

After applying the cutting compound, the paint is further refined using finer polishing compounds to remove swirl marks and restore clarity. Finally, a protective wax or sealant is applied to the paint to provide long-lasting shine and protection against UV damage.

Professional Assistance:

While paint correction can be performed at home with the right tools and products, it’s often recommended to seek professional assistance for severe sun damage or if you’re unfamiliar with the process. Professional detailers have the expertise and equipment to safely and effectively restore sun-faded paint, ensuring a high-quality finish and long-lasting results.

Is sun damage on a car reversible?

You probably don’t need a whole new paint job. UV rays from the sun are the likely cause, and this problem is easier to fix than you might think. With some buffing and waxing, you can restore that shine and make the car look new again. When you’re done, take some steps to prevent more sun damage in the future.


Yes, sun damage on a car is often reversible to some extent, depending on the severity of the damage and the type of materials affected. For example, faded or oxidized paint can typically be restored through paint correction techniques, while discolored plastic trim can be rejuvenated using plastic restorers or trim renewing products. However, it’s important to note that severe or extensive damage may require more intensive repair methods or even replacement of affected components.

Preventive Measures:

In addition to repairing sun damage, it’s essential to take preventive measures to protect your car from future UV exposure. This includes parking in shaded areas whenever possible, using car covers, applying UV-resistant coatings or sealants to exterior surfaces, and regularly washing and waxing the car to maintain its protective finish. By incorporating these preventive measures into your car care routine, you can help minimize the risk of sun damage and prolong the lifespan of your vehicle’s exterior.

Professional Assistance:

If you’re unsure about how to address sun damage on your car or if the damage is extensive, it’s recommended to seek professional assistance. Professional detailers and auto body shops have the expertise and equipment to assess the damage and recommend appropriate repair or restoration techniques. They can also provide guidance on preventive measures to help protect your car from future sun damage and maintain its appearance and value over time.

How can I fix my sun-damaged car at home?

A fine grit sandpaper is ideal for sun-damaged areas as it effectively removes the damaged layer without causing excessive abrasion. Remember to use a sanding block or pad to maintain a consistent pressure and avoid uneven sanding. Once the damaged area is sanded, it’s time to apply a coat of primer.

Clay Bar Treatment:

One effective method to remove sun oxidation from car paint is by using a clay bar treatment. This involves rubbing a clay bar over the surface of the paint, which helps to lift away contaminants, including oxidized paint, embedded in the clear coat. The clay bar treatment leaves the paint feeling smooth and rejuvenated.

Polishing Compound:

Another method to remove sun oxidation is by using a polishing compound. Polishing compounds contain abrasives that help to remove the top layer of oxidized paint, revealing the fresh paint underneath. Apply the polishing compound to a foam or microfiber applicator pad and work it into the affected areas in circular motions. Buff away the residue with a clean microfiber towel to reveal restored paint.

Paint Correction:

For more severe cases of sun oxidation, paint correction may be necessary. This involves using machine polishers and abrasive compounds to remove deeper layers of oxidized paint. Paint correction should be performed by professionals, as it requires skill and experience to avoid damaging the paint further.

How do you fix paint damage on a car?

To do so, you will have to clean the area and smooth out the edges, apply primer, identify the correct paint colors, evenly apply paint, and then apply a clear coat, buff, and wax the area. This should create an unnoticeable repair that looks great and lasts for years to come.


Before attempting to fix paint damage on a car, it’s essential to assess the extent of the damage. This involves identifying the type of damage, such as scratches, chips, or swirl marks, and determining the affected area’s size.

Repair Methods:

The appropriate repair method will depend on the type and severity of the paint damage. Minor scratches or chips can often be fixed with touch-up paint or scratch repair kits, while deeper scratches may require professional repainting or refinishing. For swirl marks or minor imperfections, polishing and buffing with a dual-action polisher and suitable compounds can restore the paint’s shine.

Preventive Measures:

To prevent future paint damage, it’s essential to practice regular maintenance, such as washing and waxing the car to protect the paint from environmental contaminants and UV radiation. Additionally, parking in shaded areas or using car covers can help minimize exposure. To the elements and reduce the risk of paint damage over time.

Why do cars get sun damage?

Constant exposure to UV light can cause the paint’s clear coat to deteriorate (e.g., oxidation). This car sun damage happens progressively over time, causing. The paint to turn dull, fade in color and develop a crusty, white surface. Left untreated, it may eventually start to peel and fall off.

UV Radiation:

One of the primary causes of sun damage on cars is prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. UV radiation can cause paint to fade, plastics to become brittle, and rubber seals to deteriorate over time.


The heat from the sun can also contribute to car sun damage. High temperatures can cause paint to expand and contract, leading to cracking and peeling. Additionally, heat can accelerate the breakdown of plastics and rubber, causing them to degrade more quickly.


Cars that are regularly parked outside or exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods are more susceptible to sun damage. Lack of protection, such as parking in shaded areas or using car covers. Can exacerbate the effects of sun damage on cars.

How do you fix sun peeling on a car?


Unfortunately, there’s no way to restore a clear coat once it has begun peeling. You’ll need to have an auto body shop strip and repaint your car. If your clear coat has been neglected badly enough to peel in some areas. You’ll still need to have the entire car repainted so that the colour and finish match throughout.

Clean and Prep:

Before fixing sun peeling on a car, it’s crucial to clean the affected area thoroughly to remove dirt, debris, and loose paint. Use a mild detergent or automotive cleaner and water. Along with a sponge or microfiber cloth, to clean the surface. Allow the area to dry completely before proceeding.

Sand and Smooth:

Next, use sandpaper to sand down the peeling paint until the surface is smooth and even. Start with a coarse grit sandpaper to remove the bulk of the peeling paint. Then switch to a finer grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface. Be careful not to sand too aggressively, as this can damage the underlying layers of paint.

How To Fix Sun Damage On Car Exterior

Primer and Paint:

Once the surface is smooth and clean, apply a coat of automotive primer to the area to ensure proper adhesion of the new paint. Allow the primer to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then apply several thin coats of automotive paint. Allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next. Finish with a clear coat to protect the paint and give it a glossy finish.


Addressing sun damage on a car’s exterior is essential for maintaining its appearance and protecting its value. By following the techniques outlined in this guide. Car owners can effectively repair and restore sun-damaged surfaces, improving the overall aesthetic appeal of their vehicles. Whether it’s addressing faded paint, restoring discolored plastic trim or rejuvenating. Weathered rubber seals, there are various methods and products available. To help fix sun damage and keep cars looking their best. Additionally, incorporating preventive measures. Such as regular washing, waxing and applying UV-resistant coatings. Can help minimize future sun damage and prolong the lifespan of a car’s exterior. Overall, by investing time and effort into addressing sun damage. Car owners can enjoy a well-maintained vehicle that retains its beauty and value for years to come.



Vaishnavi vaish

Vaishnavi is an automotive enthusiast and writer with a passion for all things cars. With years of experience in the automotive industry, Vaishnavi brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Vroom's platform. Whether it's dissecting the latest car models, exploring industry trends, or delving into the intricacies of automotive technology, Vaishnavi is dedicated to providing readers with comprehensive and insightful content. From performance reviews to in-depth car comparisons, Vaishnavi strives to deliver accurate and engaging information to help readers make informed decisions about their next vehicle purchase. Explore the world of automobiles with Vaishnavi on Vroom and stay updated on the latest developments in the automotive world.

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