Your car paint not only makes it look good, but it also protects the body from bad weather and other external factors, some of which can cause oxidation (rust). You have owned your vehicle for several years and recently noticed some paint chips on the front of the hood that worried you. When you find another chipped and bubbled region on one of the quarter panels you wonder under your breath how this might have happened. Several sinister forces will cause your paint to begin chipping. There are some of the more popular ones which follow.
Have you been involved in a defense recently? Accidents between two vehicles are the most obvious ways to damage a car’s paint. Then there’s that careless motorist opening his car door to his, or when he gets distracted and hits a concrete barrier or a metal pole. Every time your car’s paint is blunt, it can cause damage to the underlying layers above and beyond what is noticeable on the surface.
There are times when your car is exposed to moisture in the form of dirty rain, sleet, snow and ice that can damage the paint. Other potentially damaging environmental forces to the paint your vehicle encounters include:
- Sun’s UV rays
- Dirt, dust, and pollen
- Berries or fallen leaves
- Road salt
- Stained Errors
- Temperature change (more on this later)
Many commercially available car cleaners and soaps contain harsh chemicals. Although they are good at removing grease, asphalt, and road dirt from the surface of cars, they are not very “paint friendly.” In addition to removing dirt and debris, they also remove the top layer of paint and weaken the underlying layers, enough to promote chipping. Always read the label before using any cleaner or soap to clean the surface of the car.
In the past, suppliers and body shops used durable lead- automotive paints. Today’s cars are made with more eco- water- paints that just as their predecessors did, do not hold up. While water- paints are better for the environment, they are notoriously more vulnerable to impacts from incidents and environmental forces. Shoddy DIY paint jobs can also make a vehicle more vulnerable to cracks and chips.
How many times have you followed a gravel truck that hits a bump and then watched small stones bounce off your mask? What about those choked summer road construction zones? In addition to rocks and dust, other forms of flying road debris that can cause paint splinters to include broken glass, loose concrete pieces, metal auto parts, pieces of rubber for tires, sand and road salt.
Have you ever accidentally hit a car with a jagged metal corner of a ladder or heavy tool? In addition to these examples caused by the owner, many vehicles suffer random damage every year, including keys, razors, knives, and scissors. The resulting scratches damage the hard protective shell of the paint and expose the fragile lower layer to debris.
Your car paint expands and contracts in response to changes in air temperature, and rapid swings between heat and cold affect you the most. For example, if you go from freezing winter temperatures through a heated car wash and then return to the cold, your car’s paint coat shrinks quickly and grows in response. Intense heat can also cause bubbles in the paint.
HOW TO PROTECT MY PAINT
There are several ways to help protect your car paint from cracks, especially when you live in places with drastic temperature fluctuations. Here are some of the best methods to use:
- Park your car in direct sunlight
- Wash your car frequently with soaps and mild cleansers
- Remove worm spots, guano, leaves and berry stains immediately
- Keep it in the garage or use a car cover
- Wax it every year with a professional finishing product
- Run it only through “non-contact” car washes