March 10th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
A shiny coat of paint can make just about any vehicle look good, no matter its age. At the same time, it’s surprising how just a few small dings, scratches, or paint chips can ruin the appearance of an entire car and make it appear much older than it actually is.
If you have more than one or two blemishes on your car, you’re probably wondering how to fix paint chips on a car.
How to Touch Up Your Car’s Paint Chips
Basically, there are two ways you can go – do it yourself or take your car in to have the paint chips professionally repaired. We recommend having the pros handle it for you. But, it’s important to understand why paint chips should always be fixed as soon as they occur. When it comes to paint chips on cars, the problems can run much deeper than just appearance. If left unrepaired, paint chips can eventually lead to rust, which further degrades the appearance of the car and can threaten its structural integrity.
Auto exterior paint provides an important 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 they can expose the bare metal underneath the paint. Bare metal will rust over time, especially in coastal areas where the air contains a lot of salt water and in wintry climates, where harsh road salts and de-icing chemicals can quickly eat away at exposed metal.
Weather and chemicals can also increase the size of a paint chip, thereby exposing even more bare metal to potential rust. Once a patch of bare metal becomes oxidized (rusts), the rust can spread to other areas of the car underneath the paint where you can’t see it. As the rust spreads, it can reach the point where the body of your car becomes structurally unsound.
What Causes Chipped Paint on Cars
Weather isn’t the only factor that causes chipped paint on your car. Other common causes include:
Minor Accidents. It doesn’t take much to chip auto paint or leave a permanent scratch on the exterior of your vehicle. Someone opens their car door into yours, leaving a small ding and a scratch. Someone rear-ends your car at a low speed, causing no structural damage, but leaving a number of paint chips behind. It’s not your fault, but the chips and scratches still need to be fixed.
The Environment. Daily exposure to the sun’s harsh rays, bird and tree droppings, and wind-blown dirt and dust are just some of the environmental factors that can damage the paint on your car. Many times they don’t cause immediate damage. However, over time they gradually start to wear away at the paint, making it easier to chip over time.
Harsh Cleaners. Cleaning chemicals made with harsh abrasives may keep your car looking clean and shiny. But, they do more than just remove dirt. They can also remove the outer layer of your car’s paint and cause paint chipping, especially when improperly applied or overused.
Vandalism. Someone keys a door or side panel, or scratches the paint when attempting to break into your car. Or they bump into your car while riding a bicycle, leaving minor scratches, and don’t report the damage. Left alone, these paint chips can lead to underlying damage to the body of your car.
How to Fix Paint Chips on a Car
How to fix small paint chips on a car can often be a relatively simple task. How to fix large paint chips on a car involves a more complex process. With small paint chips, it’s usually a matter of filling the damaged area with paint, leveling the surface, and then buffing to blend and restore the paint’s luster.
Large or deep paint chips require more skills and tools. You may need to do more prep work on the area to be restored. And, it may take more skill to blend the new paint with the existing paint over a wider area. If rust is showing through the paint, it takes the repair job a whole new level.
So, before deciding if you should repair the paint chips yourself, consider the following:
- Do you have any experience with how to fix paint chips on a car?
- What color is your car paint? (Some colors are easier to work with than others.)
- How big or small are the paint chips you need to repair?
- How deep are they?
- Can you get an accurate color match with your current car paint?
- Is there rust showing through the paint?
Your answers to these questions will determine the level of skill required to restore the paint chip to its former condition and your level of confidence in your ability to do the job. Again, we recommend letting the pros handle the repairs—regardless if it’s a small or larger repair.
Car Paint Chip Repair Costs: Why You Should Leave It To the Professionals
A qualified auto body shop will fix your paint chips in a fast and professional manner. This includes inspecting your car to detect any underlying damage to the metal. A professional body shop will also ensure a perfect color match. Today’s cars come in many different colors, and a repaired paint chip that’s a bit off in the color shade can stand out like a sore thumb. Many of today’s auto body shops – including Fix Auto – use sophisticated technology to ensure a perfect color match when applying new paint.
Here’s what seals the deal for many auto owners – having the pros fix your paint chips is often the best route to go—it’s faster and easier. Having it done by the pros will prevent further damage to the car, saving you time and money in the long run. The new paint will match perfectly with the old and you won’t be able to tell there was a paint chip that needed fixing.
Preventing Chipped Paint on Cars
If you take care of paint chip repairs while they are still small, it doesn’t cost a lot of money. However, the better solution is to prevent them from happening in the first place. It’s not possible to prevent all paint chips and scratches. But, you can prevent many of them by doing the following:
Wash your car correctly and often. Use mild soap and soft sponges to remove the dirt, oil, grease, and harmful chemicals that can eat away at your car’s paint. Keep the sponge wet when scrubbing, as a dry sponge can create “micro” scratches than can grow into bigger ones. Thoroughly dry your car with a chamois after washing.
Park your car in a garage or other covered area. If covered parking isn’t available, use a car cover. Never park underneath trees that can drop rough objects like pine cones or sticky materials onto your car.
Wax your car once a month. A fresh coat of wax is your car paint’s best friend. For the ultimate in paint and rust protection, nothing beats applying a sealant to your car. 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 they rear their ugly heads, bring your car to the professionals at Fix Auto – before the paint chips get out of control!
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto Daly City, a leading industry expert and collision repair shop servicing the Daly City area.