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I bought an '07 stang a year ago. The previous owner had just had it repainted and it looked great, but I am fairly confident it was a cheap $$$ Maaco paint job. I don't have a garage and unfortunately after a year in the sun, the clear coat has started melting severely (I assume that is what this yellow/brown is).

I have used claybar to remove it in some sections but it is very difficult and it keeps coming back. I recently did the driver's side door and you can tell it is white compared to the hood.

I really don't have any experience with paint. I would like to know if there is some way I could more quickly and permanently get rid of the clearcoat on my car? Also, its probably important to note this is my daily driver and I just want it to look presentable, I can't afford to care that the paint will fade faster and chip easier once the clear coat is removed :P Hoping for a solution that I can do myself for less than $100. enter image description here

##UPDATE## Based on the comments and answers I understand that it cannot be clearcoat. It is dried on to the car in a running/melting like pattern making me doubt its pollen. I am confident no one is intentionally messing with my car. Even more than figuring out what it is though I am not sure how to get it off. Claybar is taking way too long and is not a permanent solution.

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    That looks like someone is putting something on your finish. It does not look like anything I've ever seen associated with clear coat. From what you're saying, there's two things going on with it. First, it has changed color. Second it is physically moving (or running). Any clear coat of semi-good quality wouldn't do ANYTHING like this. I'm not very fluent with finish work, so take what I've said with a grain of salt. Sep 29, 2021 at 14:09
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Interesting, yeah I have 0 experience with paint so no clue what I'm talking about. Is there anything else that could have been applied to the car when it was painted that would do this? I am 99% sure its not something someone is doing to my car, unless its the tree its under. I was thinking the sun was reacting with something on the car to make this happen.
    – NULL
    Sep 30, 2021 at 14:07

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Based on the fact its parked under a tree, I bet this is sap or pollen from the tree, or some other type of dropping. I notice a distinct edge between the top lip of the hood and the front/top of the bumper.

Alternatively could this be polish or wax? It doesn't make sense that this is clear coat melting on the car, if it was it wouldn't come back, and the paint would be much worse.

I would start with a car wash, maybe even a pressure washer. In the future you could cover your car with a tarp as well to see if the tarp collects whatever it is.

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  • The lower left bumper shows stains running down to indicate possibly someone deliberately poured something on your hood. Any enemies? Without a clear coat, fresh paint may be damaged from stains permanently. Clear coating seals paint, provides a long term weatherproof coating, absorbs uv degradation to prevent paint fade, prevents stains to paint. A clay bar removes tiny stuck stones and debris, fine polishing paint or clear coat in preparation for wax or poly sealant. You can feel the difference between a clean wet surface and after clay bar treatment. Soapy water and clay bar cleaning.
    – F Dryer
    Sep 29, 2021 at 19:51
  • Interesting, I can certainly try to park it somewhere else to see if that is the problem. I am pretty confident its not something someone is doing to my car although I could see if it were a tree or something. I have never put polish or wax on the car but would that melt like this if someone else had?
    – NULL
    Sep 30, 2021 at 14:09
  • @FDryer its hard to see from the picture but that dripping look is on the passenger door, was on the driver door, and is on the bumper, hood, roof, etc. I am 99% sure its not something someone is intentionally doing. I would think pollen might be it but does pollen run like that? It seems like something is melting but if its not clear coat I am not sure what it is.
    – NULL
    Sep 30, 2021 at 14:11
  • Regardless of what it is though, I am very curious how I should get it off. Pressure hose? It will come off with a claybar but it takes elbow grease. Car wash sadly doesn't help. The longer I leave it on there the harder it is to get off. Once I remove it from a portion of the car it is back within a few days.
    – NULL
    Sep 30, 2021 at 14:13
  • @NULL Because the clay bar is working to remove it, I would try car soap and a rag. You could probably find a car soap you could leave on for longer. Clay bars can be rather aggressive, there other automotive towels and rags that might be more suitable.
    – Keith
    Sep 30, 2021 at 14:55

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