Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Welcome to the Edmunds forums! We are changing the way you sign into our forums. Click here to learn more.

Rail Dust

libranlibran Posts: 2
edited April 2014 in Pontiac
Sorry, I think I faied at the the first attempt to post this. Recently purchased a 2001 Bonneville SSEI. Picked the car up in the evening. Next morning, sunlight revealed a fine coat of what appeared to be "paint overspray" over the entire vehicle. Dealer said it was "rail dust". Has been downhill ever since. After 3 attempts to "fix" the problem, the dealer has yet to rid the vehicle of this grit.

Have been purchasing cars for 4 decades and had never heard the term "rail dust" before. Anybody have experience with this stuff or suggestions on how to get rid of it ?

Comments

  • merle4merle4 Posts: 1
    I too had a similar problem with my Impala LS. It's a long trip from eastern Canada to California.
    I used Meguiar's Quik Clay detailing system to remove.It is available at Auto Zone. Use plenty of liquid and a very light swish with clay bar. Then wipe off residue with towel. Work's like a charm, and finish came out beautiful. Finished with my usual Zaino. Incidently clay bar was rusty color when I was finished. Hope this takes care of your problem.
  • namfflownamfflow Posts: 202
    There was a topic about this in Pickups regarding a dodge Ram. From what I remember, the paint specialist needs to neturalize the rail dust with a chemical solution. After that the dust needs to be clayed ofgf the car.

    I would suggest contacting GM customer service and tell them you have rail dust and it needs to be neutralized.

    Do a search in Pickups and you'll find more information. I remember that if it isn't neutralized it will reappear and you'll never get rid of it.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    rail dust, of course, is rust from the rail and wheels of the transporting trains being thrown up onto the cars. most evil is when it is hot little sparks from braking, at that point it is little rusty pits into the paint. rail dust on the lot causes me to just keep on walking past cars I'd like.
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    We had a lengthy discussion on rail dust under the VANS section (Full size vans>>>article 508+).
    Vguard had problems with his white Ford van, and his research may help you out. Although he had repainting done by the dealer, you may have a situation light enough to chemically treat.

    Good Luck!
  • libranlibran Posts: 2
    Hey guys,

    Thanks a lot for the advice and wisdom. The problem is obviously more serious than I was led to believe. Not sure there is a complete solution. Have had almost all of the trim and plastic parts replaced by the dealer. Still a lot on the glass and paint. A knowledgeable local car buff warned me about the underside of the car also. Doubt that it will ever be "clean". Only real solution would be to invoke the "lemon law" at some point I guess.......
  • vguardvguard Posts: 78
    I had a serious rail dust problem with my new Ford E-150 Econoline van. Because my van was white, the little brown specs showed right up! The worst was on horizontal surfaces (where any dust would settle).


    Here is a Ford link that describes the problem and offers their solution. It involves using a chemical wash to neutralize the iron particles then claying and buffing.


    http://www.autoint.com/Ford%20Bulletin%2099-12-10.htm


    My van top needed to be repainted anyway due to a scratch on the top. However, the body shop would not even repaint the top until they used the chemical wash. It was their opinion that if they started sanding before the chemical wash, they would simply "stir up" the active rail dust particles, which would only make the problem worse.


    It has been three months since I purchased my van and I am very happy with the results. So far no evidence of the rail dust has re-surfaced.


    Word of warning however.....don't blow off the chemical process and whatever you do, make sure whoever "buffs" your car knows what they are doing. Nothing will ruin a clearcoat finish faster than over-aggresive buffing.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 60,678
    I'm not sure rail dust would qualify under most Lemon Laws, so you may have to fight it out some other way.

    This is why I encourage people to really look over their cars carefully when they pick them up at the dealer. Many rail dust issues can be solved chemically, or with buffing, but sometimes you have to repaint, which creates a whole other set of problems regarding the diminished value of the vehicle.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

    Share Your Vehicle Reviews Here

  • JustinlJustinl Posts: 13
    So my wife and I are sitting in our local Ford dealer's show room, having just signed for our new van, and what nagging little thing does my memory kick to the front... "Rail Dust".

    I said it just like that..."Rail Dust". My wife asks, "What are you talking about now?". "Rail Dust", I reply, "From the Train".

    I get that look... those of you with significant others know that look. "He's nuts!!"

    Well, keeping mind that we just signed the paper work, I'm thinking "OH SH T!".

    The salesman had no idea as to what I was talking about. He thinks that I am nuts too. We get to the back where the detail guys are prepping the car, I walk up to to the hood and look... sure enough, RAIL DUST!

    We are offered another car, I go out to the other car and sure enough, MORE RAIL DUST! The salesman and my wife now think that I am actually sane, and have a clue.

    We bring the issue in to the sales manager.

    So what do you think his response was... was it - (1) "Too bad, the paper work is done"... or (2) "I don't think that you should worry, it'll come off in a few washes"... or could it be (3) "We will make it right, whatever it takes. We want you happy with the car."

    Remember, this is a Ford dealership... Time's up - those of you that thought #'s 1 & 2, nope...#3 is the winner!

    I could not believe his response! Wow! How refreshing! Someone who cares about the customer & the product that they sell. Remarkable!

    Now the proof is in the details...or is it detailing. The dealership is going to work on the car and follow the Ford TSB to remove the rail dust. If the result is not to our liking, they will find us another car.

    WOW! Now you had better bet that I will follow up with the board on this one, but so far, I am very impressed with this dealer.

    BTW - The dealer is Wickstrom Ford in Barrington, Ill. More to follow.

    One more thing, how likely is it that they will get this stuff off?

    Responses please...
  • JustinlJustinl Posts: 13
    edited May 2016
    So my wife and I are sitting in our local Ford dealer's show room, having just signed for our new van, and what nagging little thing does my memory kick to the front... "Rail Dust".

    I said it just like that..."Rail Dust". My wife asks, "What are you talking about now?". "Rail Dust", I reply, "From the Train".

    I get that look... those of you with significant others know that look. "He's nuts!!"

    Well, keeping mind that we just signed the paper work, I'm thinking "OH [non-permissible content removed]!".

    The salesman had no idea as to what I was talking about. He thinks that I am nuts too. We get to the back where the detail guys are prepping the car, I walk up to to the hood and look... sure enough, RAIL DUST!

    We are offered another car, I go out to the other car and sure enough, MORE RAIL DUST! The salesman and my wife now think that I am actually sane, and have a clue.

    We bring the issue in to the sales manager.

    So what do you think his response was... was it - (1) "Too bad, the paper work is done"... or (2) "I don't think that you should worry, it'll come off in a few washes"... or could it be (3) "We will make it right, whatever it takes. We want you happy with the car."

    Remember, this is a Ford dealership... Time's up - those of you that thought #'s 1 & 2, nope...#3 is the winner!

    I could not believe his response! Wow! How refreshing! Someone who cares about the customer & the product that they sell. Remarkable!

    Now the proof is in the details...or is it detailing. The dealership is going to work on the car and follow the Ford TSB to remove the rail dust. If the result is not to our liking, they will find us another car.

    WOW! Now you had better bet that I will follow up with the board on this one, but so far, I am very impressed with this dealer.

    BTW - The dealer is Wickstrom Ford in Barrington, ILL. More to follow.

    One more thing, how likely is it that they will get this stuff off?

    Responses please...
  • darbhdarbh Posts: 51
    Refreshing to hear of such an honest response. Thanks for letting us know that ethics and integrity is not totally lost. As you said, however, we will see what actually happens.
  • JustinlJustinl Posts: 13
    Question,

    What is the long term damage to the overall vehicle if this problem is not correctly fixed?

    Will one of those little pin sized iron particles eat itself right through the finish, and through the sheet metal?

    Please advise. I go to look at the clean-up effort this evening and I am looking for additional input.

    Thanks in advance.
  • jfz219jfz219 Posts: 63
    I would guess that most cars are delivered new with a significant amount of rail dust or other contaminants. Virtually all the material is picked up in transport. I have even noticed a significant amount on my E320 and my son's 325i. These cars are transported domestically in enclosed trucks.

    I cannot impress upon you enough the dramatic improvement that you will see and feel with clay barring. The finish will be very smooth and the shine will be more brilliant. I also use the clay bar to remove road tar, water spots, and paint from parking lot digs. Use of buffing, hard chemicals, or abrasives is eliminated.

    Use Dawn dish washing liquid, all cotton towels, and a quality clay bar and polish/wax. I have had excellent results with the Zaino line of products.
  • namfflownamfflow Posts: 202
    Sorry but without chemically neaturalizing the rail dust, claying will only be a temporary fix. If not taken care of chemically it will continue to eat into the finish and the metal.
  • darbhdarbh Posts: 51
    I started a discussion on the Zaino site on the above subject. The discussion begins at post 2274 and continues, on and off, until 2283. You may find it interesting.
This discussion has been closed.