Oakland Berkeley Auto Body

The Importance of Repairing Paint Chips and Dents in Your Car

Repair Tips from an Oakland Auto Painting Shop

El Cerrito Auto Body ShopMost car owners will not hesitate to bring a car in to us when a collision has caused a serious dent. Along with auto body repair, restoring the proper shape of the damaged area, comes careful work to repair the paint.

As to paint scratches and other lesser injuries to the car’s finish, some owners are inclined to regard them philosophically, as inevitable and ignorable. But there are more than cosmetic reasons for seeing to them quickly.

The components of a car’s finish (more below) are engineered to be tough to protect the steel sheeting from which the car’s panels are made. And yet a scratch, chip, or ding, even when it does not reach the metal, compromises the paint and subjects the paint and eventually the metal to degradation. This means rust.

Rust does not stay directly under the scratch or ding; it spreads beneath the paint, eating the metal. This process is accelerated by exposure to salty air as in coastal areas or to salted roads in winter. And rust is harder to repair than paint. The resale value of a car with rust plummets. Thus the importance of quickly and competently fixing damage to the paint. The question then becomes whether to do a DIY job or bring the car in to the auto body shop.

In either case, it is helpful to know a bit about the finish on the car. Auto painting is a good deal more technical than house painting. The paint finish on a new car is in at least three different kinds of layers, not counting sealant.

An ultra-thin corrosion-resisting phosphate coat may be the first layer. Another corrosion-proofing layer is the electrocoat (e-coat), obtained by immersing individual panels or the entire frame and body in a bath of electrolyzed paint emulsion. Before the base coat can be applied, primer is laid down in one or two coats; in addition to providing adhesion for the base coat, primer shields the e-coat from UV light. The base coat is the paint layer with the color. It is topped with a clear coat to provide further UV protection and a glossy finish. The clear coat is the thickest of the layers, normally about as deep as the primer and base coat combined. That being said, the thickness of all these layers together may be about the same as a human hair.

Contact the Auto Body East Bay Experts Today

Can an auto body shop replace six layers of paint, including the electrocoat, when repairing a scratch? No, but with precision tools, professional paint matching, and professional expertise, it will restore the damaged area to be durable and to perfectly match the surrounding paint. The car will look great and be protected from complications of that simple-looking scratch or dent. Contact Shattuck Auto Collision Center today at 510-848-6281 for all of your auto painting needs today!


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