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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! We noticed this little area near the rear wheel well that looks like the paint or clear coat is coming off. We thought it was wax or something but it's the actual covering over the paint.

Car is garaged 90% of the time. Only use touchless car washes and we only have 3500 miles on the car. It's only the size of a dime, hopefully not a premonition of what is to come with the paint job.

Anyone else having this issue? I saw one other thread that seemed to have the same issue.
5360
 

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Looks like a stone/debris chip to me...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looks like a stone/debris chip to me...
It's definitely not a chip although it may look like one. You can see the white highlight edges near the wheel well plastic are also raised, the spot thats missing has just progressed further. It's an adhesion problem of some kind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks like a chip to me. View attachment 5361
Again, that's where the area is continuing to grow and bubble away from the wheel well. If you look at the line really close to the wheel well you can see where it started and where it has progressed to. It's not a chip for sure. The paint is peeling up from the factory edge along the wheel well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Isn't this covered under warranty? If so just get it fixed.
Thanks for the input!

I'd say that a lot of things are probably covered by warranty...and I'll follow up with that but that's not really the purpose of a discussion forum. Otherwise every thread about an issue would end with "take 'er to the dealer!"

That's a pretty obvious solution, I'm more curious about other's having similar issues with the paint on their Subaru Ascents.
 

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Thanks for the input!

I'd say that a lot of things are probably covered by warranty...and I'll follow up with that but that's not really the purpose of a discussion forum. Otherwise every thread about an issue would end with "take 'er to the dealer!"

That's a pretty obvious solution, I'm more curious about other's having similar issues with the paint on their Subaru Ascents.
Could be a bad batch of paint/process. There's not a million Ascents sold so you might not get the answer you are looking for.

Even if there was a mass problem, i'm sure it's covered under the 3yr/36k for paint problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Found this threat which sounds like the exact same issue:

 

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If you're looking for a lot of cases where this is happening to other Ascents, I don't think you'll find many. When a manufacturer paints tens or hundreds of thousands of vehicles, it's not unusual for a few to receive defective paint jobs. There is a lot that has to go right when painting a car, if an area was contaminated with oil left over from production, for example, the primer may not properly adhere. In this situation, the paint could flake off as you described.

This has happened to me with a different car and as long as the dealer accepts responsibility for it, it's no big deal. The defect is probably limited to this one section, so they should simply professionally repaint it. You can expect the repair to last the life of the car if done properly.

The only problem is if the dealer does not accept responsibility for it, in which case you'll need to contact Subaru of America for a resolution. This could be a hassle trying to prove that it is a defect and not due to a stone chip or other such accident. You can bring it to a local body shop to get their opinion on it. They may be able to confirm it one way or the other. If it does turn out to be due to an impact, you can have it fixed via the comprehensive portion of your car insurance.

If you believe it's due to a defect, I suggest bringing it to the dealer right away. You only have 3500 miles on the car, the sooner this is brought to their attention, the better. The lower the mileage, the better your chances of having it covered under warranty.
 

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I don't agree with the cause being the move to water-based paints. That is the typical answer given by many for years now in many vehicle forums whenever anyone experiences a paint issue. It's all too easy to blame the government. But it rarely if ever proves to be the root cause of widespread paint failures.

High VOC's in paints were like lead in gasoline and asbestos in the workplace, something needed to be done. I don't know about you, but I prefer not getting cancer to the paint finish on cars. Releasing hundreds of millions of pounds of deadly solvents into the air is not worth risking millions of people's health just to make a car's finish slightly better.

Paint and vehicle manufactures have solved most if not all of the issues with water-based acrylic polyurethane enamel paint, and while they may or may not be as good as solvent-based paints, they are not causing widespread paint failures. If that was the case, all of us would be seeing such failures with all of the vehicles using such paint, and that is simply not happening. I've owned three vehicles now with water-based paints and I've had no problems with any of them, including my Ascent. In fact, advanced water-based acrylic polyurethane enamel paints now have many advantages over older solvent-based paints, and may auto-body shops now prefer them.

Occasional paint defects on mass-produced vehicles have always occurred, well before water-based paints were used. It's usually due to something temporarily going wrong with the process on a few vehicles, not due to the paint itself.

So, let's please be realistic here, paint is not flaking off all of our Ascent's such as this. The OP deserves a reasonable explanation for his issue. The most reasonable explanation, barring an impact, is simply a defect with the painting process on this particular vehicle which should be covered under the warranty.
 

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Hi! We noticed this little area near the rear wheel well that looks like the paint or clear coat is coming off. We thought it was wax or something but it's the actual covering over the paint.

Car is garaged 90% of the time. Only use touchless car washes and we only have 3500 miles on the car. It's only the size of a dime, hopefully not a premonition of what is to come with the paint job.

Anyone else having this issue? I saw one other thread that seemed to have the same issue.
View attachment 5360
 

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We have this same issue on our 2020 Subaru Ascent with 12,000 miles. Several places on different panels of the car. Have you had any luck getting Subaru to take care of repairs? We have been in touch with our dealer and Subaru. They do not want to take responsibility. We have taken the Ascent to an independent body shop that has confirmed this is a an issue from under the paint that is coming up through the paint. Not sure where to go from here. The body shop we went to does not feel that painting over the problem will solve it. There is something under the paint causing the problem.
 

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Any "damage" caused to the paint (such as chips by stones, collision, etc.) is not covered by the 3-year or 36,000 mile new car warranty. Subaru will probably be the one to determine what they deem to be the cause of the paint peeling. If they agree that it is a defect, they will repaint that one area at no cost if you are still within the warranty period, but remember that if you drive 36,o000 miles a year you only have a one year warranty.

I personally don't think it looks like a stone chip damage either, but I could be wrong. I had another car that had a very small chip, about the size of a pencil eraser, out of a chrome covered bumper and over a period of 3 or 4 years, the chrome plate kept peeling off around the chip. You haven't had the car that long, but that may be what they tell you is happening. Still, I would definitely take it to the dealer and see what they say. If you don't, then you'll certainly end up paying for the repair yourself, so your time is all you have to lose. I will also be interested in hearing how this turns out for you.
 

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Question, does anyone know for sure the entire painting process Subaru uses for their new cars manufactured in Indiana? I was trying to find some info but couldn’t find out if they bake in the paint. Does anyone know?
 

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SHORT VERSION:
Yes, I know the entire process. Yes, they bake the cars.


LONG VERSION:
The cars are cleaned, and then dusted with ostrich feathers. Yeah, that's a thing. GM, Ford, Subaru, many others... nothing seems to do a better job of removing dust, from visible size, to microscopic size, than ostrich feathers. When they get dirty, they're recycled, like everything else Subaru of Indiana Automotive finishes using.

Once the cars are dipped and painted, they are heat lamp dried in a heat tunnel. It used to be an 8 hour process - it's shorter now, with "wet on wet" painting.

It's done in a clean "room" (more like building) environment, where everything is controlled, right down to the type of deodorant worn, and what the employees eat or touch (eg: no eating popcorn or touching tire cleaners within 24 hours). Certain personal hygiene products or perfumes and colognes can cause the paint finish to separate, or crater.
During the factory tours, even during my special one, no one is allowed into "paint(shop)" - we got to observe it from an outer walkway though a massive window. It's totally sealed "clean room" type environment, with people in special clothing, wearing only approved "personal hygiene products".

The bodies and parts are cleaned and e-coated (full submersion) then baked dry for 3/4 of an hour. They're then sealed and primed, and have the base coat applied. Then, it's on to final coats, air tunnel drying, clearcoat, and then final bake at 284°F.

And, much of the actual paintwork is done by robots, to minimize contamination. But, it does happen. Even a speck of visible sized dust can make a whole section of paint bubble or peel. :(

If there's anything else you want to know...
I have friends who work in "paintshop", so, let me know, and I can ask.
 

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SHORT VERSION:
Yes, I know the entire process. Yes, they bake the cars.


LONG VERSION:
The cars are cleaned, and then dusted with ostrich feathers. Yeah, that's a thing. GM, Ford, Subaru, many others... nothing seems to do a better job of removing dust, from visible size, to microscopic size, than ostrich feathers. When they get dirty, they're recycled, like everything else Subaru of Indiana Automotive finishes using. Once dipped and painted, they are heat lamp dried in a heat tunnel. It used to be an 8 hour process - it's shorter now, with "wet on wet" painting.

It's done in a clean "room" (more like building) environment, where everything is controlled, right down to the type of deodorant worn, and what the employees eat or touch (eg: no eating popcorn or touching tire cleaners within 24 hours). Certain personal hygiene products or perfumes and colognes can cause the paint finish to separate, or crater.
During the factory tours, even during my special one, no one is allowed into "paint(shop)" - we got to observe it from an outer walkway though a massive window. It's totally sealed "clean room" type environment, with people in special clothing, wearing only approved "personal hygiene products".

The bodies and parts are cleaned and e-coated (full submersion) then baked dry for 3/4 of an hour. They're then sealed and primed, and have the base coat applied. Then, it's on to final coats, air tunnel drying, clearcoat, and then final bake at 284°F.

And, much of the actual paintwork is done by robots, to minimize contamination. But, it does happen. Even a speck of visible sized dust can make a whole section of paint bubble or peel. :(

If there's anything else you want to know...
I have friends who work in "paintshop", so, let me know, and I can ask.
ask your friends what they feed the Ostriches. Ostriches can see over two miles, which comes in handy to see the specks of dust. To heck with the Dyson gift, I'm asking for a basket of Ostrich eggs.
 

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Hi! We noticed this little area near the rear wheel well that looks like the paint or clear coat is coming off. We thought it was wax or something but it's the actual covering over the paint.

Car is garaged 90% of the time. Only use touchless car washes and we only have 3500 miles on the car. It's only the size of a dime, hopefully not a premonition of what is to come with the paint job.

Anyone else having this issue? I saw one other thread that seemed to have the same issue.
View attachment 5360
We are having the same issue. The problem area is above the rear wheel on the passenger side of the car. It first happened ~5 months after we bought the car. We took it to the dealer and were able to get it fixed under warranty. It is now happening again in the same spot ~1 year after the initial repair. I'm trying to get in touch with the dealer again to have it repaired.
 
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