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'21 Outback Limited Crimson Red Pearl
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just noticed some discoloration on the side of the black roof rack right where it sits on the car. Assume it's from heat or the car wash? See photos.

However I noticed something much worse today. What I can only describe as blistering on the rear bumper. See attached pics. It looks like the bumper is blistering or warping somehow on one side. I'm assuming it's from extreme heat as well. I did a walkaround the car just now and don't see it happening anywhere else.

I got the car washed yesterday and did not notice it as I was walking around it to dry any wet spots or drips. I was in the desert for 4 days over Memorial Day. Could the extreme heat be the cause?

I'm not happy about this.Have only had it since Dec 12, 2020. I've got my 6 months service appointment on Wednesday. This has never happened in all my years of having cars, so I'm not sure how to proceed. This is a leased vehicle so it's not the end of the world I suppose. Any idea as to what their likely response will be? Thanks.

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2020 Limted XT Black/Ivory
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The roof rails just look like normal wax or other cleaner buildup. The bumper looks almost magnified like the sun reflecting off of a low-e window and melting it. I’ve seen it before. Especially since it’s all in a straight line.
 

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'21 Outback Limited Crimson Red Pearl
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The roof rails just look like normal wax or other cleaner buildup. The bumper looks almost magnified like the sun reflecting off of a low-e window and melting it. I’ve seen it before. Especially since it’s all in a straight line.

Wow. Magnified sun on my bumper? I'll need to look around my parking area and see if there's something reflecting the sun onto it.

I'll try and clean the roof rails to see if the residue comes off. Thanks for the reply and hints!
 

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2020 Limted XT Black/Ivory
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Wow. Magnified sun on my bumper? I'll need to look around my parking area and see if there's something reflecting the sun onto it.

I'll try and clean the roof rails to see if the residue comes off. Thanks for the reply and hints!
Absolutely, I'm an insurance appraiser and I've handled several claims with magnified sun damage. It can also melt siding (or anything else plastic for that matter).

FWIW, my roof rails look the same way. It's just the way the rubberized coating is.
 
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'21 Outback Limited Crimson Red Pearl
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Absolutely, I'm an insurance appraiser and I've handled several claims with magnified sun damage. It can also melt siding (or anything else plastic for that matter).

FWIW, my roof rails look the same way. It's just the way the rubberized coating is.
Thanks again for the info! Really appreciated.
 

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Interesting that is is only on the top ledge of your trim; usually mirror burns would be on the side as well. It's almost as if the curved paint near the trim is reflecting/burning in those spots, interesting.

Did you or your neighbor install Reflective Film for your house windows?
I've seen videos of those things melting house vinyl siding.

You may want to setup a time lapse camera and possibly see where those reflections are coming from.
 

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2020 OB Limited, Titanium & Magnetite Grays
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The roof rails look like mine do sometimes. It is residue from something and I am thinking it mostly comes from water. I have used polymer "wax" to reduce the effect. Also some special rubbing when washing. For hardwater build up try Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch on the plastics. I had very good results using this product to remove hard water spots on the rail area. If it is possible the scrubber may hit the paint, protect the paint areas with masking tape first.

As a side-bar, I found some fine scratches on a bumper. The scratches had berms which made them more oblivious. Using the non-scratch on the area improved the problem and did not show any change in the original texture. As always, first try it in a non-conspicuous area first to be safe.
 

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2021 Outback Touring XT
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I have to disagree about this being caused by sun and am more inclined to point the finger at the car wash.

The reason for this is that the damage to the bumper is exclusively on the top facing surface. Should this have been from the sun, it's extremely unlikely you just happened to park with the sun perfectly alone that top surface without light hitting the rear surface of the bumper. In the car wash however, the dryer blows directly down, and should it have been too hot (or you paused too long), you would expect that damage to occur only on the surface where the air was directly hitting, aka the top. The rippling is also something I would expect to see from forced hot air as it moves right and left, pushing material away from the center point. I would imagine sun damage to cause more uniform melting and blistering.

That said, it would take some serious heat to do that, or a very defective bumper.
 

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'21 Outback Limited Crimson Red Pearl
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have to disagree about this being caused by sun and am more inclined to point the finger at the car wash.

The reason for this is that the damage to the bumper is exclusively on the top facing surface. Should this have been from the sun, it's extremely unlikely you just happened to park with the sun perfectly alone that top surface without light hitting the rear surface of the bumper. In the car wash however, the dryer blows directly down, and should it have been too hot (or you paused too long), you would expect that damage to occur only on the surface where the air was directly hitting, aka the top. The rippling is also something I would expect to see from forced hot air as it moves right and left, pushing material away from the center point. I would imagine sun damage to cause more uniform melting and blistering.

That said, it would take some serious heat to do that, or a very defective bumper.
Hi. Thanks for the response. I appreciate you taking the time. The more I'm reading the more I'm inclined to blame the car wash. Although it does seem crazy that the blower could cause the damage, it does seem like a logical culprit. If it was chemical damage I would've expected to see it all along the bumper (as they tend to wipe everything in a continuous swipe) and on other rubber parts of the car.

Someone in another forum mentioned the rotating brushes and chamois as a possibility, but given the position of the damage I tend to doubt that.

Thanks again for the response.
 

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'21 Outback Limited Crimson Red Pearl
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Interesting that is is only on the top ledge of your trim; usually mirror burns would be on the side as well. It's almost as if the curved paint near the trim is reflecting/burning in those spots, interesting.

Did you or your neighbor install Reflective Film for your house windows?
I've seen videos of those things melting house vinyl siding.

You may want to setup a time lapse camera and possibly see where those reflections are coming from.
I'll check out the reflective film as a possibility. I agree that it's odd that only the top of the left side of the bumper got damaged.Thanks for the ressponse!
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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If I'm not mistaken, this rack is anodized aluminum. Such finishes are known for white spotting, and there's some information available here on the issue:
 

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'21 Outback Limited Crimson Red Pearl
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If I'm not mistaken, this rack is anodized aluminum. Such finishes are known for white spotting, and there's some information available here on the issue:

Thank you for the response and info! I will check it out now.
 

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2020 Limited XT Autumn Green Metallic/Warm Ivory, Falken WIldpeak A/T Trail, OEM Skid Plates etc
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Yep my roof gasket looks the same - I just occasionally take on a rag some of this sprayed on and carefully wipe and refresh around the rack gasket.

 

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Outback 2021 Premium 2.5L
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The white spotting is definitely on the rubberized bits, and my gasket also looks a little wobbly where it joins. If you search the forum there are complains. Some people have managed to get it replaced under warranty, I left it cause of the amount of work to change them. IIRC there is nothing underneath that will supposedly lead to a leak since it is not meant to be weatherproofing as such (right, it is open where the rails connect)

The bumper, I have no clue on.
 
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