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Discussion Starter #1
We purchased a 2013 Enclave in January. Obviously, the '13s have the lower side panels painted instead of the gray plastic used in previous years. Here's what happened...


After 3,500 miles and a car wash, we discovered fairly severe paint abrasion and actual paint loss in the area just forward of the rear wheel. This area has a flare-out to it, and it seems to be exposed to the effects of front wheel spray. Road salt and other (typical) grit found on Ohio roads (not gravel roads by the way) have abraded the clear coat in this area, dulling the shine dramatically. The lower right rear door opening experienced paint loss all the way down to a ragged black under layer. We were quite dismayed.

Our dealer indicated the wear was caused by mechanical abrasion from road debris/splash. He agreed that the vehicle has some design issues which are now becoming apparent with the paint loss. Pretty paint...poorly protected from damage. GM agreed to do the repairs gratis...but we're advised the issue will undoubtedly return in time. What to do????

Ultimately, we struck a deal with GM and dealer to install a set of the integrated Enclave running boards on our '13 beauty. I preferred the sleek look of the vehicle without boards, but I simply see no way of preventing constant abrasion to rocker panel and moldings. I wonder if anyone else has noticed this?

btw: The images are not of our actual vehicle, but are only to show you the layout & location of the problem areas. Thanks.
 

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Wow...I live in Va with mild winters. I also have the running boards. Having said that, this is a fairly significant issue that I hope GM resolves quickly. I disliked the plastic molding and was glad to see it go. Other car manufacturers don't have this issue, so it must be a Buick -specific paint problem.
 

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other car manufacturers put a big body colored decal in that spot.
 

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We have molded running boards and I put flat mud flaps on all four wheels to control overspray. By the way ours goes in for paint repair Monday. The passenger glass was scratched and the black film was peeling on the door and during the repair the body shop must have scratched the paint and wore it down to the under coat of white on the diamond tri coat. No issue having it repaired.
 

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:clap2: And we've found our first design flaw with the 2013's. That didn't take long. FWIW: we have just a little of the bottom, second color wearing at certain spots, that I attribute from going thru an automatic car wash, but it's not noticeable until you get really close to the vehicle

mlgunn said:
Wow...I live in Va with mild winters. I also have the running boards. Having said that, this is a fairly significant issue that I hope GM resolves quickly. I disliked the plastic molding and was glad to see it go. Other car manufacturers don't have this issue, so it must be a Buick -specific paint problem.
That molding IS painted (on 2008-2012) just to be sure everyone knows, it's not just untreated plastic trim.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I just received a call from the dealership body shop. The lower chrome moldings were removed to install the running boards, and these chrome moldings were also noted to have damage from road spray. Bad enough that they are replacing them for us, and the cost is being handled by GM. The body shop manager thinks/agrees that this problem is just now beginning to surface, and GM is probably accumulating reports of it. The end result for these color-matched painted lower areas may be some type of overlay protection or clear rock-guard application. In any event, the rockers and lower areas are taking abuse. My guess is that the lighter color vehicle (paint) makes it much more apparent, vs the gray painted panels predating 2013 (thanks kidsenclave). I'm hopeful that the running boards...also color matched...will provide the necessary protection. We were hoping to pick up our vehicle today, but the bad moldings mean it remains in the shop until next Monday or Tuesday. Bummer.

:(
 

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I don't understand why this hasn't surfaced with the pre-2013's The body design in that area looks identical and the panel ahead of the rear wheels on the 2013 IS painted plastic, just like the older models, but matching the body color instead. I suspect it is merely the fact that the lighter colors allow this problem to be more visible is the real problem, and would be interested what this area looks like on other older (non-running-board) vehicles. I just looked at mine with 2800 miles, and although I've pretty much not driven on the bad-sandy-road days, it is showing some abrasion on the leading edge of the door opening on that panel. Would also be curious if the front mud flaps on the older models were enough to preclude this problem.
 

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3M protective would likely solve the issue too. I always have it installed on my headlights and sometimes other areas when I get a car. Best to do it while the paint underneath looks good!
 

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Next time I get mine washed, I'll take some photos of what mine looks like almost 5 years later, and mine does not have running boards OR the flaps.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Orion42 said:
I suspect it is merely the fact that the lighter colors allow this problem to be more visible is the real problem, and would be interested what this area looks like on other older (non-running-board) vehicles. I just looked at mine with 2800 miles, and although I've pretty much not driven on the bad-sandy-road days, it is showing some abrasion on the leading edge of the door opening on that panel.
The leading (forward facing) edge of the rear door opening (lower rear corner) is precisely the area which showed the most damage on our vehicle. The finished paint was removed all the way to the undercoat or primer...just a rough black edge was showing on both vehicle sides. That area must be receiving a disproportionate share of road debris. I too suspect that this problem was much less evident on the dark gray panels, but the it's immediately a big and noticeable problem on the lighter paints. It would be severely bad on a white or diamond tricoat paint.
 

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I purposely had front and rear splashguards installed before I took delivery of my 2009 Enclave to prevent such an issue in the future. I keep the lower panels well waxed and have prevented road rash over the 4 1/2 years of ownership. I almost opted for the running boards when ordering my options but liked the look without them better. I had RoadBlock by Autobahnd installed at time of delivery. This is the 3M clear bra product that is installed on just about anywhere you want on the vehicle as long as you pay for it. Mine is installed on the front bumper, hood, front edge of right and left front fenders, back of side mirrors, door edges, and door handle cups. I can't tell you how much this product has saved my paint finish for 4 1/2 years. I would recommend having this installed on the lower cladding to preserve the paint and finish. There are a lot of products for clear bras but they're all basically 3M products. The difference is the thickness of the film and the warranty to back it up. RoadBlock by Autobahnd comes with a lifetime warranty and is thicker than the Ventureshield product. Here are two links to look at. I won't take delivery of a new vehicle again with having this installed first. Highly recommend this. Search "clear bra" on the forum to read more about this product. Also recommend to have it professionally installed. I watched them do it. There's definitely an art to it make it look invisible. If done correctly, you won't even be able to see it.

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Scotchgard_Paint_Protection/Film/Products/VentureShield/VentureShield-Consumer/


http://www.myautobahnd.com/about.aspx

CT
 

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Not what I wanted to hear with my brand new Enclave... Hopefully the Iridium Metallic is dark enough that this won't be noticeable?
 

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GM used to treat the lower third of the side body panels with a durable chip resistant coating. The coating was clear, but was detectable by its orange peel surface.
 

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GoldEnclave said:
GM used to treat the lower third of the side body panels with a durable chip resistant coating. The coating was clear, but was detectable by its orange peel surface.
True, my 1983 Celebrity had that.....why can't they go back to doing things right, like in the 80's....LOL. (well...some of the things were right in the 80's)....depends on who you talk to, and what vehicle you are talking about.
 

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Clear chip guard is available in aerosol cans if you want to DIY. Mask and spray is all it takes. Clear vinyl appliques may also be available from other vehicles that might fit well.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
After 8 full days without our Enclave, the dealership finally called this afternoon. All areas of paint dulling and damage have been repainted. Complete new lower door moldings were painted and installed. New factory running boards have been installed. The body shop manager assured (?) me that their paint work and clear coat would prove to be far less prone to abrasion than the factory paint. I know I could've pressed him for the 'whys' of that statement, but I didn't. Time and use will be the judge of that anyway. They washed and detailed the vehicle and it's ready to pick up...but will have to wait until tomorrow.
 

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Good luck, and let us know how the paint job looks. Also, keep us updated about the effectiveness of the work done toward reducing road rash.
 

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Dogwood, would love to see photos of the running boards on your E. I'm contemplating doing the same. Are they the same color as the rest of the car or Cyber Gray? The reason I ask is that if you order them with the car new, the Build Your Buick description says they're Cyber Gray. The photos they have on the Buick web site are way too small to judge what they really look like, or if it retains the chrome strip, or if the lower door panels have to be replaced with Cyber Gray panels.
 
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