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Hi, I have a 2019 Outback 2.5i Limited. A while back I noticed some discoloration perfectly lined up where the paint meets the bumper. It goes all the way around the front and ear bumpers. See picture. Anyone else have this issue? I’ve heard that it’s a “Known” thing. If anyone has pictures could you please post? thank you
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Even on the new models. Interesting. How come you think it’s sun exposure? It’s odd to me that it’s such a “perfect” line. Thanks
 

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Even on the new models. Interesting. How come you think it’s sun exposure? It’s odd to me that it’s such a “perfect” line. Thanks
I don't think it's sun exposure causing it, but perhaps exacerbating it. That thin strip is problematic and I don't understand its actual cause, but it didn't look that way in the showroom. Other 2020 Outback owners have shown that theirs is not doing this, so I suspect that environmental exposure might be the difference between the cars where that strip still looks perfect and those that have it seemingly deteriorate. There is a separate 2020 thread on this issue but it didn't go very far.

I can apply protectant to it to temporarily re-darken it but it doesn't last. There was speculation that it had to do with the manufacturing process but it was inconclusive.
 

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I just drive around and found a bunch of 2019 and earlier models with it. But also found a 3020 with it as well. I’m taking it for it’s 18k service and the manager is going to look at it. And now that I have others to show as well. I’m going to request new bumpers. Here is the 2020 I found
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'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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Something to check : Can the bumper cover be wiggled so that that area rubs against the body? That to me looks like the most likely cause of what you are seeing.
 

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Hi Richard, the bumper is fully intact and unmovable. Today i drove around and took pictures of at least half a dozen Outbacks with the same issue. In another forum I belong to I also got the same response about the discoloration. To me it's a defect some way some how. I'm bringing it to Service on Thursday for my routine maintenance and for the Manager to look at it. I will present him with all the other pictures I took to show him I'm not the only one. I bet if I ask him to walk his lot, we will find the same thing. Since my car is way under warranty I am going to ask for new bumpers. I hope they won't put up a fight. I'm going to "guess" that bumpers that haven't been on cars won't have this problem...but that's just a guess from someone who knows little about cars :)
 

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Hi Richard, the bumper is fully intact and unmovable. Today i drove around and took pictures of at least half a dozen Outbacks with the same issue. In another forum I belong to I also got the same response about the discoloration. To me it's a defect some way some how. I'm bringing it to Service on Thursday for my routine maintenance and for the Manager to look at it. I will present him with all the other pictures I took to show him I'm not the only one. I bet if I ask him to walk his lot, we will find the same thing. Since my car is way under warranty I am going to ask for new bumpers. I hope they won't put up a fight. I'm going to "guess" that bumpers that haven't been on cars won't have this problem...but that's just a guess from someone who knows little about cars :)
I think that if they give you new bumpers that were painted at the factory they may eventually have the same problem. I know my car did not come with that discolored stripe, but my car was sitting in an open lot on a tropical island for 9 months before I got it.
 

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Just so you know, replacement bumper covers have to be painted to match, so choose a good body shop. Fortunately ours still look new, probably from cleaning too much. I have an unlimited plan at a car wash (aghast!) and wax every other month.
 

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On my 2017, the black exposed plastic and the painted area are one piece, requiring the bumper to be masked off to be painted in it's current look. I am speculating that the adhesive the factory used to mask off this area reacts with the plastic causing long term discoloration, probably depending on how long the adhedsive masking strip was appiled (was it sitting in the subaru/plastics manufacturers warehouse all masked for paint, ready to go for a few months, or removed right away?) or how well the plastic was cleaned off after painting. As obiquitous as plastics are in this day and age, they still aren't perfect.
 

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If I weren't such a chicken I would try using a magic eraser (controlled so it only touches the discolored strip) to see if I can polish off the discolored residue. I think the painted part of the bumper has a clear coat and the black part is unpainted un-clear coated, and the discolored strip is the "transition" which could have been masked by tape or maybe a chemical barrier. No idea but my gut feeling is that it's a surface discoloration that should be able to be removed instead of painted over.
 

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I have this on my 2020 Outback as well. It thought it may be wax from washing. Has anyone tried a trim restorer on this yet?
I too thought it was residue from dealer applied gunk but we're seeing it on enough cars that it seems to be a manufacturing issue.

I've tried a couple products but nothing will permanently fix it. There are things like Solution Finish that are basically black plastic dye and I haven't tried those but those would probably last a long time.

I have some high-tech detailing tape coming and might try some more targeted intervention after it arrives.

 

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This is a long shot, and since this may be a chemical reaction rather than a stain, has anyone entertained the idea of a heat gun?
 

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I would just put reflective tape over that and call it a day.
 
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This is a long shot, and since this may be a chemical reaction rather than a stain, has anyone entertained the idea of a heat gun?
It's only a very small strip though - wouldn't we need to be careful not to blister the paint?
 

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If I weren't such a chicken I would try using a magic eraser (controlled so it only touches the discolored strip) to see if I can polish off the discolored residue. I think the painted part of the bumper has a clear coat and the black part is unpainted un-clear coated, and the discolored strip is the "transition" which could have been masked by tape or maybe a chemical barrier. No idea but my gut feeling is that it's a surface discoloration that should be able to be removed instead of painted over.
Well, I found out that a Mr Clean Magic Eraser DOES work on the unpainted bumper parts quite well. The other day I messed up and ever so lightly skimmed the door jam of the garage while pulling the Outback in. I have new to me and the first time ever bifocals/transition lenses in my glasses. It seems like it has caused an issue with depth perception for me.
Well, I was VERY UPSET with myself! So I got out my cleaning and waxing supplies and went to town on it. The WHITE paint was not coming off that easy, so I said to myself, well I can't hurt it much more so out came the Magic Eraser. With LOTS of Auto Detail Spray and the Eraser, 99.9% came off the bumper just fine. I doubt you can even tell it happened. I'll have to take a really close look this Spring when I do my Spring detail to make sure, but I am happy with the results.
 

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Well, I found out that a Mr Clean Magic Eraser DOES work on the unpainted bumper parts quite well.
Good to know!

For painted parts I have used magic eraser to remove paint transfer on the Honda Fit, but on the Outback to remove transfer I used Mother's Speed Clay thing. Both worked well, but I think the magic eraser is more aggressive and can dull the finish if you don't polish it afterwards. The speed clay might do the same thing but to a lesser extent. Speed Clay 2.0
 
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