It’s amazing how just a few small dings, scratches, or paint chips can ruin the appearance of an entire car. But, the problems with paint chips on cars go much deeper than just appearance. Auto exterior paint provides the first line of defense against rust, which can cause significant damage to the body of your car.
The problem with paint chips, even small ones, is that they can expose the bare metal underneath the paint. Bare metal will rust over time, especially in coastal areas where there’s a lot of salt water in the air and in wintry climates, where road salts and de-icing chemicals can quickly eat away at exposed metal. They can also increase the size of a paint chip, thereby exposing even more bare metal to potential rust. Once a patch of bare metal rusts, the rust can spread other areas underneath the paint. That’s an outcome nobody wants!
What Causes Chipped Paint on Cars
In addition to extreme weather, or even normal weather depending on where you live, many other factors can contribute to chipped paint on your car. These include:
- It doesn’t take much to chip paint or leave a permanent scratch on the exterior of a car. Someone opens their door into yours. A minor fender bender that looks harmless but, upon closer inspection, reveals a number of paint chips. It’s not your fault, but it still needs to be fixed.
- The Environment. Daily exposure to the sun, droppings from birds and trees, wind-blown dirt and dust, and other environmental factors all eat away at the integrity of your paint, making it easier to chip over time.
- Harsh Cleaners. Cleaning chemicals made with harsh abrasives do more than just remove dirt. Overuse can also remove the outer layer of your car’s paint and cause paint chipping.
- Someone keys a door or side panel, or scratches the paint when attempting to break into your car. Left alone, these minor scratches can lead to underlying damage to the body of your car.
How to Fix Paint Chips on Car
To get the best finished look, any paint chip should be left to the professionals.
Taking your car to a qualified auto body shop will ensure that your paint chips are fixed and any underlying damage to your vehicle’s metal is assessed.
Preventing Chipped Paint on Cars
Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize the chances of getting paint chips on your car.
Wash your car regularly (using mild soap) to remove dirt, oil, grease, and harmful chemicals that can eat away at your car’s paint. Always dry your car after washing. Letting it air dry softens the paint and allows water spots to collect, which can eventually lead to rust.
Park your car in a garage or other covered area. If that’s not possible, using a car cover helps protect your car from sun exposure and other types of weather that could erode the integrity of the paint. Parking in the shade is a good option, but not underneath trees that drop sticky materials that are really bad for car paint.
If you can, wax your car once a month. A fresh coat of wax goes a long way towards protecting your paint. For the ultimate in paint and rust protection, apply a sealant to your car with sealant. When done by a professional, so much the better.
Don’t let small paint chips ruin the appearance and structural integrity of your car. When paint chips rear their ugly heads, bring your car to the professionals at Fix Auto – before the paint chips get out of control!