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Rock Chips: How To Protect Your Car’s Paint

Imagine driving down the street on a beautiful summer day in one of your most prized possessions. As you cruise down the street, with the A/C blasting and music blaring through the speakers, a car in front of you passes over a patch of loose gravel, making the individual pebbles and road debris torpedo towards your car. You immediately snap out of your delighted mood when you hear the sound of rocks hitting your vehicle. You slow down and exit the car, examining the extent of the damage.

There are scratches everywhere. Your pristine windshield is cracked, and your fresh coat of paint is now ruined by small scratches and dents. You try to remedy the problem with water on cloth, as you convince yourself that the scratches can be wiped away.

Damage to your car’s finish can leave you shattered. When things like this happen, it could leave your car looking scuffed and marred with chipped paint. Before jumping into the reasons as to why paint chip repair is such a necessity, let’s discuss the different causes of chipping paint.


  • Road Debris: Whether it’s from a gravel truck that hits a bump, sending small rocks flying everywhere or a dusty construction zone, road debris can be quite damaging to your paint job and cause it to chip. Other forms of flying road debris that can cause paint chipping include rock chips, broken glass, pieces of loose concrete, metal car parts, chunks of tire rubber, sand, and road salt.    
  • Weather Conditions: When there are constant temperature fluctuations, your car’s paint job can suffer. At low temperatures, the paint tends to contract, while at higher temperatures, it expands. Because of this regular contraction and expansion, the paint starts to lose its luster and begins to chip over time. This is due to the decreased grip on the surface of the car.
  • Environmental Forces: Your car is exposed to various forms of moisture such as rain, sleet, snow, and ice. Long-term exposure to moisture can damage your paint job and lead to chipping. Other natural causes of paint chips include the sun’s UV rays, bird droppings, falling berries or leaves, and splattered bugs.
  • Accidents: Accidents are the most common and obvious causes of chipping paint. Certain mishaps like a careless motorist opening their car door into yours and bumping into a concrete barrier or pole can cause paint chipping as well. Anytime there’s an impact to your car, it can damage not only the paint’s top layer, but the underlying layers as well.
  • Low-Quality Paint Jobs: The car painting industry has shifted from heavy, lead-based paints to less reliable water-based formulas. This shift makes car paint easier to use and more affordable, but can lead to a lower-quality paint job. Water-based paints chip easily, even from a slight impact to the vehicle’s surface and are typically less resistant to natural causes of paint chipping.
  • Harsh Chemicals: Many car cleaners and soaps contain harsh chemicals. They may be effective at removing tar, bug splatters, and road grime off your car’s finish, but they’re not very “paint-friendly”. As these chemicals remove dirt and debris, they may also be getting rid of the top layer of paint. This causes the paint to weaken, promoting chipping.
  • Sharp Objects: There are times when you may accidentally hit your car with a sharp object like the corner of a metal ladder or a heavy tool. As you can imagine, these objects can damage your paint job considerably. Other times, you may be a victim of vandalism and your car is scratched with things like keys, razors, knives, and scissors. These cause scratches that penetrate the paint’s hard protective shell, exposing the more vulnerable lower layers to chipping.


Paint chip repairs are necessary for several reasons:

  • Prevent Rust: When your car has experienced chipping paint, the underlying layers and eventually the metal is now vulnerable to rust. Rust can spread beneath the paint, eating away at the metal. This process is accelerated by exposure to salt such as salty air in coastal areas or salted roads in the winter.
  • Maintain Value: Fixing paint chips on your car will make it look nicer and thus, keep the value high. This is especially important if you’re trying to resell your car or trade it in. 
  • Improve Appearance: This reason is obviously the least important in comparison to the others, but everyone wants a nice-looking car. When paint starts chipping and rust sets in, your car may start to look like an eyesore.

While paint chips aren’t a serious problem, they can take away from the overall beauty of your car. As time passes, your car is exposed to natural elements and road debris. Eventually, paint damage can occur.

At Sticker City, we bring a solution to car owners worried about significant paint chip damage occurring to their vehicle. One of the solutions is the Xpel paint protection film, also known as the “Clear Bra.” Xpel paint protection film (PPF) is a clear polyurethane film, applied to the surface of an automobile to protect the paint from scrapes, dents, and scratches due to road debris.

The other option is known as Xpel Stealth Ultimate Film with a satin finish. This option is designed specifically for cars with a matte finish. Matte paint is known for having difficult preserving the quality of the material, especially in comparison to standard finishes. For this reason, XPEL Stealth is an ideal option for owners. This film seamlessly blends in with your vehicles current paint job, protecting it against road debris and other external factors that could create blemishes. If a mark does occur, no worries. They simply disappear within minutes in the sun or garage. 

Sticker City offers different packages depending on your needs and budget.

  • Little Bear Package – The most economical package, entailing full hood, fenders, headlights, mirrors, and front bumper coverage.
  • Papa Bear Package – The most popular package, entailing full hood, fenders, headlights, mirrors, front bumper, and rocker panels.
  • Big Mama Bear Package – The top-tier package, entailing full coverage of all painted portions of the automobile. 

At Sticker City, we specialize in helping you maintain the quality of your vehicle. If you’re interested in not only preserving your vehicle’s resell value, by keeping it looking as pristine as the day you bought it, consider getting your car wrapped in the innovative Xpel paint protection film from the professionals at Sticker City today.