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I recently purchased a pre-owned 2015 Mazda 3 GT (I think Americans would call this trim a S Grand Touring).

Anyway, the previous owner applied a vinyl decal to the bottom of the doors (as seen in the attached photo).

What are the odds that if I remove that decal the paint won't match anymore, or they'll be some other horrible marks in the paint if I removed it?
 

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Mazda "E" Division
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I recently purchased a pre-owned 2015 Mazda 3 GT (I think Americans would call this trim a S Grand Touring).

Anyway, the previous owner applied a vinyl decal to the bottom of the doors (as seen in the attached photo).

What are the odds that if I remove that decal the paint won't match anymore, or they'll be some other horrible marks in the paint if I removed it?
You can compare the exterior paint to the inside paint patches: engine bay, door latch, trunk.

Just use a heat gun to soften the removal process.
 

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Or for a more closer comparison to the doors, you can compare it to the metal just next to the step sills. The paint job shouldn't be too worn there I think.
 

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Your mom goes to college.
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As long as he protected the paint with a wax or sealant, I don't see why it would have noticeably faded.

That decal is going to have to come off at some point -- it won't last forever. Better to take it off now rather than later.
 

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I've had a Soul Red 15 Mazda 3 for about three years now. The paint doesn't fade. If anything, you should be worried about paint chips because the paint is very soft.
 

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I know this post is old but I was recently looking at two different Soul Red Mazda6s and both of them showed considerable paint fade. One was a 2018 and the rear bumper was almost an orange tint while the trunk still looked pretty dark. The other Mazda6 a 2017 model had almost the entire car faded into an almost orange red color especially noticeable when parked next to an newer vehicle.
 

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I know this post is old but I was recently looking at two different Soul Red Mazda6s and both of them showed considerable paint fade. One was a 2018 and the rear bumper was almost an orange tint while the trunk still looked pretty dark. The other Mazda6 a 2017 model had almost the entire car faded into an almost orange red color especially noticeable when parked next to an newer vehicle.
The paint on the bumpers is sometimes different than the rest of the car as they are painted separately. The bumpers quite often look mismatched. This can be even worse if parts of the car have been repainted.
Newer cars have different Soul Red paint. The newer Soul Red Crystal is more red than the older Soul Red Metallic, so if the two are parked along side each other you'll see a color difference.
 
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