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Monday, August 21, 2017

Fiat 500X Matte Paint Care

Fiat 500X in Bronzo Magnetico Opaco

The 2016 Fiat 500X was available in the matte paint finish called Bronzo Magnetico Opaco or simply Matte Bronze. A matte paint finish used to be reserved only for exotic show cars but is now available to everyone at their local Fiat dealer. A matte finish is especially good looking on a car that is sculpted like the Fiat 500X where it highlights the shapes and shadows.

To keep this highly specialized paint looking good for years requires cleaning and maintenance techniques that are much different than traditional methods. Below for your convenience, is a guide Fiat has put together to clean and preserve this attractive paint.

2016 Fiat 500X  in Matte Bronze

Fiat 500X Matte Finish Care And Protection

Matte paint is a unique exterior treatment that gives your Fiat 500X a distinctive appearance. Matte finishes are different from other automotive paints and need special care to maintain their appearance. Typical gloss paints use a high gloss clear-coat finish that reflects light and gives a shiny appearance. A matte finish uses a different coating that diffuses light, providing a unique “flat” finish.

Unlike a typical high gloss clear-coat, damage to the matte coating (such as scratches or wear from aggressive cleaning) cannot be polished or buffed out. Once an area is damaged or becomes shiny, the “flat” appearance cannot be restored.

Qty. - Part No. Description

  • 1 - (AR) NPN Swissvax Brand Opaque Products And/Or Dr.Beasley’s Brand Matte Series And/Or Equivalent
  • 2 - (AR) NPN Wash Buckets With Grit Guard Inserts
  • 1 - (AR) 04318014AB Glass Cleaner
  • 1 - (AR) 04318020AD Total Clean
  • 1 - (AR) 04318068AB Windshield Washer Solvent
  • 1 - (AR) 04886330AC Super Kleen Bug, Tar & Spot Remover
  • 1 - (AR) NPN Meguiars M34 Mirror Glaze Final Inspection
  • 1 - (AR) NPN Car Wash Soap Designed Specifically For Matte Paint
  • 1 - (AR) NPN Soft Car Wash Mitt, Wash Pad Or Microfiber Sponge
  • 1 - (AR) NPN Hose And Sprayer With Shut-off Nozzle


  • Pressure Washer With 45 Degree Or Larger Tip And Pressure Less Than 1200 PSI Held At Least 12 Inches From The Paint)
  • 1 - (AR) NPN Microfiber Cloth

2016 Fiat 500X Lounge in Matte Bronze

Treating your matte finish paint regularly with paint protection will protect the finish, make it easier to keep clean, and prevent water spots from forming. Use products made specifically for matte paint such as:

  • Swissvax Opaque Matte Paint Wax
  • Dr. Beasley’s Matte Paint and Sealant.

NOTE:Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Always test the product in a hidden area before using in a visible area.
Apply the product evenly with a minimum amount of wiping to prevent burnishing the matte finish.

NOTE: Lightly wipe the surface in a forward and backward motion; avoid circular motions, which can leave swirls in the finish.

Fiat 500X with Matte Paint Finish

• Areas such as fuel door, door handles, door edges, liftgate, and hood that are touched regularly are more prone to texture changes. These areas will develop a shiny, smooth appearance due to polishing from repetitive contact. It is preferable to use clean gloves; otherwise, ensure hands are clean and free of oils or lotions.
• Gasoline will degrade the top coat of the matte finish. Spills and drips around the fuel door will result in shiny areas in the pattern of the contamination. Always use clean towels to protect the painted surface around the fuel door from inadvertent fuel drips or splashes.
• Water spots may form on the fuel door, hood and rear fascia liftgate surface which will permanently change surface texture if allowed to repeatedly dry and leave mineral deposits. The deposits and efforts to clean the area will polish the surface and result in shiny lines.

Areas That Require Additional Care Below:

Fiat 500X Front Fascia

1 - Hood And Fascia

Fiat 500X Liftgate

2 - Liftgate

Fiat 500X Fuel Filler Door

3 - Fuel Filler Door

Fiat 500X Handles and Mirror

4 - Door Handles And Mirrors

To maintain your vehicle’s matte paint appearance for many years to come, please refer to the following care and maintenance tips:

• Do not use commercial car wash facilities or their shine enhancement products. Most car wash brushes, large mechanized towels and shine enhancement products can damage matte paint.
• Do not use wax, detail spray, Armor All® or any products made for high gloss paint. Only use products specifically developed for matte finish paint.
• Do not use products that are even mildly abrasive, such as polishes, glazes or rubbing compounds.
• Do not use mechanical cleaners or polishers.
• Do not use terry cloth, cloth or paper towels.
• Do not rub the finish vigorously. This will burnish the paint finish, causing a permanent shiny spot. Shiny spots cannot be removed.
• Do not wipe the vehicle in a circular motion; lightly wipe the surface in a forward and backward motion.
• Do not use any products that are not listed under the Parts/Equipment required area of this service guide.

• Remove foreign substances such as insect remains, tar and road debris using a soft applicator and a mild solvent; saturate and soak area before cleaning - rub lightly.
• Hand-wash with a soft wash mitt and mild cleaning products safe for matte paint (see Matte Finish Care Resources).
• Use microfiber cleaning cloths with alcohol-based and ammonia-free window cleaner for basic surface clean-up.

The preferred method for removing dirt and debris is pressure washing (see Washing Your Car), but for those times when you need to do a quick spot cleaning to remove tree sap or road debris before it causes damage to the finish, follow these recommendations:

Fiat 500X at 2014 LA Debut

• Apply alcohol-based window cleaner or matte paint cleaner to a cloth and surface to be cleaned; do not wipe a dry towel on paint finish - a dry towel will damage the finish.
• Soak the spot and allow the foreign substance to soften.
• Lightly wipe the surface in a forward and backward motion; avoid circular motions, which can leave swirls in the finish.
• Rinse with water so cleaning product does not remain on finish.
• Repeat if necessary.

• Spray the stained area with water to remove any loose debris.
• Spray the area with an alcohol-based window cleaner, matte paint cleanser, or a solution of 50% alcohol / 50% deionized water.
• Apply cleaning product on a damp microfiber sponge or microfiber towel.
• Wipe car finish lightly to remove debris.
• Dry with a clean, damp microfiber soft cloth.
• Lightly wipe the surface in a forward and backward motion; avoid circular motions, which can leave swirls in the finish.

Fiat 500X at Paris Debut

• Spray the stained area with water to remove any loose debris.
• Dampen remaining debris with tar remover and allow it to soak.
• In a controlled indoor environment, apply tar remover to a damp microfiber soft cloth and follow manufacturer’s recommendations.
• Lightly wipe the surface in a forward and backward motion to remove debris; avoid circular motions, which can leave swirls in the finish. Minimize rubbing and let the solvent do the work.
• Once debris is removed, wash with matte paint finish soap, using a damp microfiber soft cloth, then rinse well with water.
• Dry with a clean, damp microfiber soft cloth.

NOTE: Saturate a microfiber soft cloth with tar remover and place it on the debris to soak for five minutes before washing.

Inspect the entire vehicle for areas with heavy soiling or spots, and if necessary, treat these areas first.

NOTE: Always test cleaning products in a hidden area before using in a visible area.

For hand washing, park the vehicle in a cool shaded area out of direct sunlight. Read the following procedures thoroughly and prepare your equipment and supplies before soaping up the car.

Pressure washing (with pressure no greater than 1200 psi) is the best way to remove heavy soiling before washing your vehicle. Use a 45 degree or larger fan tip and hold it at least 12 inches from the paint.

Fiat 500X Alloy Wheel

If you plan to clean the wheels, do this before washing the car. Use a Mopar Tire and Wheel Cleaner developed for cleaning coated alloy wheels. Do not drive the vehicle until the product has set to prevent it from contacting the matte finish. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

• Pre-rinse the vehicle with a hose or pressure washer to cool it and to remove large pieces of dirt that can scratch the paint.

NOTE: Keep the hose nearby for frequent rinsing.

• Prepare one bucket (with dirt separator grid at the bottom) with matte paint car wash solution and water, according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
• Fill a second bucket with clean water for rinsing the wash mitt. When washing the vehicle, always rinse the wash mitt to ensure it is clean before placing it into the wash solution.
• Soak the soft car wash mitt, wash pad or microfiber sponge in the wash solution.
• Wash the vehicle lightly, working in small sections from the top to the bottom.
• Wash a section of the vehicle then rinse completely before moving to another section.
• Continue the wash and rinse steps for each section until the car is clean.

Fiat 500X at LA Debut

• For best appearance, use a clean damp chamois, sponge cloth or microfiber towel to dry your vehicle before it air dries. If the paint surface is starting to air dry, dampen the areas that you are not drying. Water blades are not recommended for drying the matte finish.
NOTE: Keep the clean sections wet as you finish the next section. This thoroughly rinses any remaining soap residue and prevents water spots from forming


Source: Guide courtesy of FCA US LLC
Images: FCA and Author

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