When should you fix the paint chips on your car?

Extreme example of corrosion from car paint damage

Can paint chip repair wait?

I fix paint chips and scratches on cars for a living. People tell me all kinds of reasons why they use my services: lease return, hate the way it looks, scratched dad’s car and need to fix it before he finds out, etc. It’s typically an emotional decision.

But how quickly must you act to prevent further damage? It really depends on the extent of the damage. For small rock chips and surface scratches, there really isn’t much urgency. Yes, it will rust eventually. However, most people don’t own their cars for more than 6 years, and little rock chips here and there won’t amount to much in that time. Water, dirt, and salts will eventually get under the paint and start to spread. This can get really expensive to fix, but it may take years before it becomes urgent.

Something else to note is that rock chips are most commonly found on front bumpers, which are generally made of plastic. And of course, plastic doesn’t rust.

Life on the Beach and Corrosion

On the other hand, I’ve seen many cars where the owner lives right on the beach – that’s a different story. Constant exposure to salt air and water will greatly accelerate corrosion on your car. I once worked on a woman’s car who lived right on the beach in Malibu. Even though her Honda Pilot was only a few years old, the windshield no longer fit because saltwater had gotten under the paint, expanded the metal, and pushed the windshield out. Her car had to be totaled. That may be an extreme example, but keep the elements of your specific location in mind when deciding whether or not to repair car paint damage.

Why should you fix car paint chips?

Some of the most common reasons to repair minor paint damage are:

  1. Lease return: If you’re returning a car to the dealership, they will charge you a lot more for repairs than a mobile touch-up company like PaintCraft.
  2. Selling/trading: Repairing eyesores on your car will add a lot of value to your car when selling it or trading it in.
  3. Good looks: Sometimes it’s just nice for your things to look good. It makes you feel good! We are products of our environments. Taking care of your belongings is taking care of yourself.
  4. Prevent damage: As mentioned above, minor car paint damage is usually of little concern in the here and now. However, if you have major damage like peeling paint or deep scratches or your car is often exposed to harsh elements, you may need to take action soon to protect your ride.

What now?

You can make paint chip repairs yourself if you’re feeling crafty (check out our article on DIY chip repair here), or you can hire a professional team like PaintCraft! We’ve been in business for about 12 years in Southern California and use the Dr. Colorchip paint system exclusively.


We’re Here to Help

If you want more information about car paint repair, we’re always happy to help! I have been doing car paint scratch repair for 15 years. All of our techs here at PaintCraft are highly-skilled artists with direct training from me. Even if you’re not in our service area, we can point you in the right direction. Just send us an email! 

You can also check out our YouTube channel for tutorials.

Click here to make an appointment with us in the Orange County and Los Angeles areas.

We look forward to restoring beauty and value to your vehicles!

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