Sudden paint failure - vandalism or just a crappy car cover?

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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2024 9:46 am
I have a somewhat-neglected 2004 Mazda Speed Miata. Neglected in the sense that it's stored outdoors, mostly under an inexpensive Motor Trend cover. I've used these covers for some time on other cars, and they generally do a reasonable job.

I returned from a trip last week, during which there had been heavy rain, followed by hot, sunny weather, and found the bleached areas of paint shown in the photo. There was no moisture in the trunk, and other areas of the car were unaffected. The rear of the car does face south, so it would get the most sun.

A friend has suggested that a cat peeing on the cover might have done this, but neither the outside nor the underside of the cover show any staining. The cover is strapped down under the trunk, so getting under it, on that end of the car, would be tough.

It seems that moisture under the cover would not be so clearly delineated.

I've been told that this is three-stage paint, and, to get panels to match, I'd likely have to have the whole car painted.

Any thoughts on what might have caused this would be greatly appreciated.


John in Newport News, VA
Miata paint damage (1).jpeg

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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2024 3:08 pm
i've seen this recently on reddit.

they say it's the car cover trapping moisture. plus the heat i guess.

they recommended to wait a few weeks and see if the color will come back

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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2024 8:48 am
Yes, I've heard of this happening under even heavy canvas covers. I've seen it happen under masking plastic where the surface was wet and then the car was put out in the sun.

Will it self heal? Maybe but unlikely IMHO.

Yes, that colour is a 3 layer pearl. But these days almost any painter can blend that successfully, so, at worst you may need to have some adjacent panels painted, but not the whole car.

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