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This is Why Your Car’s Paint is Chipping

Here is the reason why, as well as how we can help you restore your paint and prevent it from happening again.

Your car’s exterior paint is its first line of defense against rust, as well as a major component in the aesthetic appeal of your vehicle. Chipped paint not only looks bad, but also catalyzes the effects of rust and oxidation. Common factors that cause chipped paint include weather, environmental factors, accidents, poor quality paint, and harsh cleaners. Here is how these factors effect your vehicle’s paint.

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Extreme Weather

Extreme weather conditions, especially rapid oscillations between hot and cold, can have disastrous effects on your car’s paint job. Vehicle paint expands as temperature rises and contracts as temperature falls – this happens on a daily basis, as well as season to season. Regular growing and shrinking of the paint causes it to lose its shine, and eventually it will flake off due to weakened grip on the surface of the body panel.

Environmental Factors

Every day of its life your car is exposed to harsh UV rays from the sun, bird droppings, dirt, dust, and moisture in various forms. This continuous assault of the elements causes the paint to lose its quality and chip away easily.


Accidents are the most obvious way to damage a car’s paint. All it takes is the smallest fender-bender in a parking lot, the carelessly opened door of an adjacent car, or a distracted motorist to cause a chip or scratch. Paint chips caused by even minor accidents can have severe impacts on your car’s paint because it can damage underlying paint layers as well as the top coat.

Poor Quality Paint

Due to changing environmental and health standards, car manufacturers have had to shift away from durable lead-based paint. Most modern cars are painted with water-based emulsions that are cheaper, and also satisfy the demands of the regulatory bodies. Unfortunately, water-based paints tend to be less robust than their lead-based predecessors. Water-based paints are notoriously vulnerable to slight impacts and natural phenomena.

Harsh Cleaners

Many industry cleaners rely on harsh abrasives to get the dirt off your car. While these chemicals are effective at removing dirt, they can also be effective at removing the outermost layer of paint. Regular use of these harsh cleaning chemicals can eventually weaken the paint enough to result in chipping.

These factors can all cause paint chips on your vehicle. Fortunately, there are many ways to protect your car from damage, including a protective film, use of a car cover, avoiding direct sunlight, and using mild car soap. If it’s time to repair a paint chip on your vehicle, just give us a shout. At Island Color, we are always excited to help you get your vehicle back into tip-top shape.

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