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Brake fluid damage on paint

Jeff Erwin

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
6:57 PM
Jun 19, 2021
Reaction score
Woodinville, WA
There are several 'shiny' spots on the hood of my Superbee that look like brake fluid damage. Maybe like the clear coat is gone, actually looks like a dusty car would if you cleaned up a few spots with a rag, the cleaned area is much shinier than the rest.

Is there any fix for this other than repainting?
DOT3 & DOT4 make great paint strippers. Usually, brake fluid will blister the paint and it will peel completely off
This is just shiny areas on the hood and front fenders, no peeling or blistering. Again, looks like someone took armor-all to a dirty car in places.
I would try stripping off any wax and either rubbing or buffing an area and see if you can shine up the whole thing.
Start with fine polishing compound, if that doesn't cut it then go to heavier rubbing compound.
Keep it moist and only take off the minimum. Then a couple coats of carnuba wax or if it looks great then ceramic.
So, to finish this story, I had a detailer come in today to detail the Superbee for a show next weekend. I showed him the shiny sections on the front fender and hood and explained what I thought it was, brake fluid eating away the clearcoat. Asked him if buffing it with rubbing compound might at least help blend the shiny section in so they weren't quite so obvious.

He spent about 10 minutes examining the areas in bright sunlight where they were most obvious. He then stated that the shiny sections were actually the correct paint and clearcoat, it was the rest of the car that was a problem. Turns out the entire car was covered with a fine mist of over spray. When he had me run my hand over the shiny sections, then the areas around it, the shiny sections were very smooth. The rest of the car was slightly rougher. He showed me the mist of overspray on the striping and superbee graphics on the hood, then took a razor blade to the windows and scraped overspray off. I thought the windows were just dirty or old. It was like the car had been driven through a light fog of paint.

He and his partner then spent the next 5 hours on the car using an air-buffer and rubbing compound and removed all of the overspray from the entire car. They scraped all the windows and did some magic on the graphics and pinstriping, chrome and rims.

The car looks like it just came off the showroom floor and the paint is at least 25-years old!

I told him the history of the car, stored in a warehouse in Atlanta for unknown years. He figures it must have been parked near a paint booth at some point and the booth wasn't sealed correctly.

Needless to say, the paint looks brand new so I won't have to spend $10,000+ on a new paint job because of brake fluid on the paint. In fact, had the brake fluid not been spilled on the car I might have never figured out the overspray issue. (Don't try this at home!)

I paid them twice what they were asking for.
Brake fluid would make the paint/ clear coat dull. Glad it worked out for ya. We all of had those horrible moments of dread thinking something on our prized rides got screwed up only to realize it that scratch was just a hair or some left over wax e.c.t. Some days it's better to be lucky then good.