What is paint contamination?

Paint contamination is tiny metal shavings from rail dust, brake dust, and industrial fallout. This contamination affects all paint finishes. They can be felt as a “rough or gritty” texture on the paint’s finish.

These hot metallic particles fill the air on highways and near railroad tracks where they ultimately land on  car’s  finish, burning through any wax or sealant coating and embedding themselves in the top paint or clear coat layer.  This contamination affects all paint finishes and can cause serious damage when left untreated.

This contamination can not be removed by washing, waxing or polishing.


After washing and drying your vehicle put your hand inside a plastic sandwich bag and lightly run your fingertips over the paint’s surface. It should be as smooth as glass.  If your car’s surface has a rough, gritty or pebble-like texture, it indicates the presence of paint contamination.

Where does it come from?

There are three major causes of paint contamination:

  1. Rail dust – produced from the friction of train wheels against railroad tracks. Over 70% of new vehicles are shipped by rail. Rail dust can contaminate a new car’s finish before it even reaches the dealership. Anytime a vehicle is parked or travels near a railroad it is subject to rail dust contamination.
  2. Brake dust – particles produced from the friction of brake pads rubbing against the rotor. This metal on metal friction disperses tiny particles of bare metal into the air and on the highway where it collects on passing vehicles.
  3. Industrial fallout – another word for pollution, industrial fallout is a byproduct of our modern industrial age.

These contaminants may not be obvious but they cause the paint to feel bumpy and to appear patchy. The uneven appearance of the paint is caused by a patch of contaminants causing an uneven reflection.

WITH DENT PRO DETAILING SERVICES YOU DON’T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT ALL THAT STUFF. We will remove these contaminants and leave the paint silky smooth.