How To Deal With Stone Chips On Your Car

Cars that spend a lot of time on the road often have a higher chance of getting body and paint damage, and stone chips are most common on the front of the car from the bottom of the bumper to the hood's leading edge. Stone chip repair involves fixing the chips and painting the area, but it needs to be done correctly or the repair can look just as bad as the chips did.

Cleaning The Chipped Area

Before you start looking at the stone chips closely, wash the car thoroughly to ensure that you are not looking at dirt in some places that mimics the stone chips. Get all the dirt off, and then you can get a better look at what needs repairing. And it will also make it easier for the stone chip repair service to see what needs attention when you take the car to the shop for an estimate. 

Don't wax the area or add any polishes to it. The idea is to expose the damage so that it is easier to evaluate the damage and assess the needed repairs, and anything you add to the body can impair that process. 

Getting An Estimate

Getting an estimate for stone chip repair means taking the car into an auto body shop so the tech there can look at the paint damage and determine what will need to be done to fix it correctly. If you have a large area that is chipped, it is often easier to sand out the chips and repaint the entire panel at once. If there are a few stone chips scattered around the front of the car, it may be better to deal with each area separately. 

In either situation, the best fix is to sand the stone chips out, feather the sanded area back into the paint, and then prime and repaint the area. It is critical that when the paint is applied to the car, it is color-matched first. 

Most body shops have the tools to mix the paint so that the color will match your existing paint and account for weathering and fading so that when the new paint is applied, the entire car looks the same. You may want to have the whole vehicle buffed and polished while it is in the shop so that the paint looks great when you get the car back. 

Protecting The New Paint

Once the stone chip repair is complete, you may want to have a sheet of clear, heavy-duty vinyl applied to the front of the car to protect it from further damage. The body shop can add the stone chip protection to the vehicle for you, and the additional cost could save you money on further repairs later. 

To learn more, contact a stone chip repair shop.