Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

February, 2006

Determining the Age of Automotive Paint

Q. I have a 2004 Lincoln Navigator and I brought it in for service because there was a problem with the passenger door. The dealer told me that the alignment was off and the car had been repaired before, problem is that I never repaired it, I bought it brand new from the dealership. I wanted to know if there is any way to approximately find out the age of the paint that's on the passenger door of my car?

A. A paint laboratory probably can't tell you the age of the paint, but a laboratory can tell you in the paint on the passenger door is different from that on the remainder of the car. This would indicate that someone repainted the car after it was originally painted by the manufacturer. The problem is that these tests usually require you to scratch a small sample of paint off the door and some other area. Not much paint is required, but you might not want to damage even a small area.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph


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