Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rock Chips

The Buddhist side of my brain says that one of the eight major types of suffering is the anxiety from protecting what you love. The car lover side of my brain says, yes, yes, but can't I just do something about the paint job first? "Give me abiding patience and acceptance of impermanence, but not yet," to mangle Saint Augustine.

The fragile, water based paint job on the GTI is disappointing. With a couple thousand miles on the car, the rock chips are coming fast and furious. We're not talking about one off chance chips, we're talking about half a dozen chips that promise to leave the car looking sand blasted in no time. Rocks appear to tumble along the hood leaving a trail of chips. It's not something I can blame on Volkswagen, as all the manufacturers have gone to water based paint to reduce factory emissions. VW's Wolfsburg plant, the biggest automobile manufacturing plant in the world, is no exception.

So for my next purchase, I'm going with a 3M treatment of the front bumper and hood.  I've gotten this before on past cars and it works very well and lasts years without trouble. These need to be professionally installed, so finding someone to do it is my next task. I also ordered a touch up pen to fix the half a dozen chips I've got now so I don't memorialize the paint chips forever in plastic.

The other issue I'm having is underneath the car. My driveway is very steep and my usual backup place is scratching the underside of the car. This may be what I need to get the wife to clean her stuff from the garage so I have a place to properly back up, but until then, I'll be doing the dangerous reverse down the steep driveway into the street to avoid the scratches.

Miles: 2229


  1. Water-based paint has gotten a lot better than it used to be. Most modern paint jobs can withstand bird droppings, for example, which was not the case with the earlier tries...

  2. would a 2011 GTI fit into "early tries"? this surprises me.

  3. I think you may have misread my comment. I was saying that the paint jobs are a LOT better now than they were back when water-based paints were brand new, in the 90s. Back then, bird droppings would eat away paint frighteningly fast, whereas nowadays a new car can shrug them off. Gary being who he is, he wouldn't let any such thing sit, but the slovenly rest of us would, and now we don't pay for it as we used to.

  4. Never did get the 3M film as it was prohibitively expensive and the two installers I called never returned my calls.