Rail Dust Paint contamination?

Hi, our 02 White Sub was washed a couple days ago (a touchless "laserwash"), and today I noticed hundreds of tiny rust "spots" over
much of the truck especially on the lower panels and rear doors. Its even on the fender flares, and moldings, so I know this is not coming from under the paint, but rather something that was sprayed or fell on the truck. Its not noticeable until you are right on top of the paint.
Originally, I had considered that the car wash itself had contaminants in their water system that was sprayed onto the truck during the wash, and we are seeing metal contaminants rusting, or its some other residue
that looks like rust. The car wash owner tried some solvent and it seems to help, but there is so much of this stuff all over the truck!
Checking Google, this sounds like "rail dust" caused by tiny flakes of iron off an active railway. Since I do not live near a railway, I wonder if the truck always had this, and we did not notice it when we bought it in December. I'm surprised I did not notice it at the time, unless the probem became more apparent after the wash.
Has anybody else dealt with this issue and have any suggestions? Again Google suggested an Acid Wash or Clay Bar treatment, though I'm not familiar with those. Does this resolve the issue for good? Will GM cover this to be fixed?
thanks Bob
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On 21 Mar 2006 18:49:27 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

that would be a very hard call to make over the Internet. I would take the car by a body shop to see what they think before you try anything. Maybe there is a body shop in your area that you've dealt with in the past? It might be something that a buffer could fix.
I would imagine that GM would say that its the owners problem? Just my guess on that part.
I would be very careful of who and what I let someone try out on your truck's paint. ----------- Elbert snipped-for-privacy@me.com
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I had a similiar problem with rust flakes appearing in the paint of a new white chev pickup. Dealer said it was a result of the vehicle being transported via rail. When the rail cars are braking small steel particles come from the steel wheels and embed in the paint. After awhile they rust. This was not overly noticable, only when you closely inspected the paint. Dealer took truck back and buffed and polished the particles out. This did the job and I was satisfied.
On 21 Mar 2006 18:49:27 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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On Sun, 26 Mar 2006 00:08:16 GMT, Cookie.Monster@SS sent into the ether:

Where I used to live the iron content of the wells in my subdivision was so high people with light/white vehicles that washed them with the well water had the same problem. I found that using an attachment with a container and putting the rinsing agent used in dishwashers worked to stop this problem. My neighbor did not believe me and had a hell of a time getting the rust spots off his white pickup truck!
I've learned that I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy it! (That is what my X-wife told me) snipped-for-privacy@charter.net Remove the x for e-mail reply www.outdoorfrontiers.com www.SecretWeaponLures.com A proud charter member of "PETAF", People for Eating Tasty Animals and Fish!!!
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on
paint.
contaminants
wash,
residue
Again
my X-wife told me)

Fish!!!
Another possibility; mulch spore spot. In the spring, mulch can contain spores that explode leaving tiny brown spots over everything. Especially visible on white/light colored vehicles.
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In any case, I recommend buying a Clay Bar Kit, like the one that Mothers sells, that includes a pint Bottle os spray detailer as well.
Wash the vehicle, and follow the instructions of the Clay Bar Kit. Best to always break the Clay Bar in two, just in case you accidently drop it. If you drop the Bar on the ground, you can throw it away.
After, wax with the wax of your choice. Mark
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I was looking for clay tonight, but local VIP does not carry it.
If this really is rail dust, which I think it is (has a gritty feel), should I be pushing to find a dealer to do it? After all, truck is 4 years old, but only 2 months old to me! One dealer I called said it was not covered, but I expected them to say that first.
thanks! Bob
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If it really was delivered new that way, I'd think it would have been addressed long ago. And if it wasn't, you could hardly expect GM to fix it. Since you didn't see anything wrong when you bought it, maybe it's something that's happened in the past 2 months.
Dave
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Sure, the Dealer will do anything you want them to do.........that is if you pay them to do it. They'll buff, detail, do anything, at probably $75-$90/hr labor. Expect a $250-$400 Bill when they're done.
The big auto chain stores should carry Clay Bars (Pep Boys, Auto Zone, Checkers, and perhaps even NAPA) If not, check in your phone book for Auto paint Suppliers. They generally carry a plethora of Compounds, Glazes, and may carry the Bars. If no luck locally, your last resort is to order a kit online. If you don't mind spending good money for top shelf products, contact Zaino, they have clay bars, and while you're at it, buy a couple of bottles of their Poly Treatment. Not cheap, but just about the best that can be had. mark
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I 2nd the zaino stuff, top notch... if you want another online source, try griotsgarage.com, I've used them for clay bars in the past with good results.
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I found some at AutoZone, not Zaino, but will try it and go from there.
I did not expect GM would offer to do this, as I (and they) cannot prove when this happened. I would think I would have seen it when I bought it, but it was December, and it was dirty. Worth a try, anyway.
So, its elbow grease time this weekend.
thanks
Bob
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Hi Bob, So post back with your results please. Other, and myself would like to know how it turned out.
If you have succeded in getting a Clay Bar, a few tips to remember.
If you can, tear the clay bar in two. Using 1/2 of the bar, flatten it out like a small pancake. be sure that the truck is totally clean (just washed) Use plenty of spray detailer as you go, constantly spraying ahead of the Bar, and do a Foot Square, or so section at a time.
It helps to have a clean, fairly damp towel to wipe the cleaned area after, then continue on.
Start at the Top of the Vehicle (Roof-Hood) then work your way down to the top of the Fenders, top of the Doors, Top of the rear Quarters, and so on.
As you are going with the Clay Bar, you will "feel" the bar actually working. At first it will feel like you are rubbing the bar over a piece of sandpaper. You may even hear the grittiness of the bar against the paint as you use the Bar.
That is actually the dirt-crud stuck to the paint. the bar produces results quite quickly, and you will be able to feel when a section is done to move onto the next area. Wipe with the damp towel, and move on.
You will probably notice some clay bar residue stuck to the paint as you go. Don't worry about it, it will come off with either Wax, or repeating the use os the spray detailer.
The most important tip: Don't drop the Bar! If you drop the bar, it will pick up debris, little stones etc., and you don't want to be rubbing this into-over your finish. If you drop the bar, throw it away, and then use the other 1/2. That's why it is wise to always break the bar in two.
As you go, fold over the Bar like a piece of silly putty to expose a clean area of the Bar.
I usually then hand glaze the vehicle afterwards, and then apply a good sealer-wax. When done, a wax towel should literally slide right off the car, it will be that smooth, just like a baby's bottom! mark
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Thanks for the details. Much better than what the package listed!
I did the rear doors and 1 rear quarter, there was just so much that it took a long time. It does work well, and has taken off all the spots in those areas. I'll finish over the next week or so.
thanks again
Bob
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That's good news Bob, and I'm glad this will correct your problems. Once through with the Clay Bar, you won't have that demanding a need for it for a long time to come provided you keep the vehicle periodically waxed. (Less chance for any nasties to adhere to the finish)
The clay bar is in essence a miracle product, and I sure wish they had these items 20-25 years ago, especially the one time one of my vehicles was completely covered in paint overspray from the city painting a bridge. Mark
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I have the same problem on 02 S10 (white) Dealer had to paint one side of truck from a collision but they decided they would clay bar the rest for me. I thought all was great tell this spring I see it's all back again and on both sides. I thought it was from the train (rail dust) but now that the fresh painted side has it as well I'm thinking it is from my own metallic brakes. Maybe undersized or the type of material. Anyway don't be surprised if it keeps coming back, I'm going to try ceramic brake pads This summer then I will clay bar the truck after they are installed and see what happens after next winter..
Tester
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Hi Tester, This is most likely not occuring due to your own brake dust. Considering all the vehicles (Cars-Pickups-SUV's) I've owned over the years, I don't believe I've ever experienced paint contamination due to this.
I would rather think it is due to where you live, and there must be industry-manufacturers, or the possibility of industry some distance away, and maybe getting the fallout on your vehicle from rain? Even if your vehicle is garage kept, when you go somewhere (Work, or wherever) it's most likely then occuring there. Mark
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Update: I've been tackling a section of the truck at a time, since it takes along time, but the clay does work. I just realized that this may have been from brake dust, which may explain why I did not notice it when I looked at the truck to buy it.
The truck had been sitting at a dealer for at least 3 months, plenty of time for the rotors to get wet and generate surface rust. I recall now that the brakes seemed a little rough the first week or so we had it. (They are fine now). I also noted that most of the dust was on the lower half of the truck, and especially around the wheel wells. Nothing on the hood or roof. I'm watching to see if it comes back.
Bob
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Bob, I've must've owned $270K worth of cars in my lifetime so far, and I've never seen what you describe happen to any of my vehicles, but as I think I said before, "never say never", and that this might be possible?
I don't know why it's taking you so long to Clay Bar a vehicle, as I can Clay Bar a full sized SUV in an hour, and that ain't no BS! What are you, 90!?
Get some good wax on that vehicle! The crap you can get at Auto-Zone I wouldn't wax a go-cart with.
Find yourself a Collinite Wax distributor online, and order yourself a Can of Detergent-Proof Super DoubleCoat Carnauba Wax (About $13). Do the vehicle once every 4 months, and you'll never have a problem with your paint again, unless you park next to a Bridge getiing spray painted by the city.
All you need again is the Clay bar, and you're go to go. Mark
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You are right, its taking along time, but I've hit it only when I had time, and was away for 3 weeks. Literally, it took me 2 hours Saturday to do just one side of this truck. The lower panels are "loaded" with the stuff, so it takes many, many passes. I should take a picture before I finish just to do a before/after... If I knew it would take so long, I would have paid somebody to do it!
Bob
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