What Is Road Rash?
Ah, the open road. There's nothing like an adventure... Just you, your car, and wherever the roads take you to, experiencing the freedom of exploring the world larger than our own. Nevertheless, the roads are never short of dangers, obstacles, and most importantly, tiny little things that your car hits constantly while driving along. This here is where we have a phenomenon called, 'road rash'.
And to be clear, this is a type of road rash affecting your car. There's also another type of road rash that affects people personally. This other road rash is an injury sustained against the skin when it's rubbing harshly abrasive materials. Falling off your bike, for example, and then being dragged on the road is one cause of road rash. But we're here for that other, automotive road rash.
Why Is My Car Suffering From Road Rash?
No car is immune from road rash. The more we drive it, the more susceptible it is to suffer from this disease. But what exactly is road rash, and what's causing it? Road rash can be explained by the numerous scratches, chips, and markings on the surface of your car's paintwork. Mostly, they appear in areas along the tyres, bumpers, side mirrors, bonnet, and most of the front fascia.
The cause of road rash is quite simple - stones, gravel, salt, and other debris that you might find on the road, including bits of litter. As you keep driving, these might be thrown up by the car in front of you. The individual hits by themselves aren't serious. But multiply that by the thousands of tiny stones that may have been striking your car over years of driving, then it gets really ugly.
It won't affect anything serious on your car, of course. However, it can have a huge effect on how your car will look. The paint, especially in those aforementioned sections, will appear as though it's been through hell and back, significantly more scratched, and have become dull or worn. It may also have an impact on the resale value of your car, because who'd buy it in its post-road rash condition?
Could You Prevent Road Rash?
Unless you've paid to have an expensive protective film or wrap over your car's paintwork, then road rash is a natural part of a car ownership experience. You can't prevent it from happening, but there are ways that you can do to stop it from getting worse. You could consider choosing a different road to drive on, preferably one that doesn't have a lot of loose stones or gravel.
Changing your driving style might lessen the impact and frequency of micro road rashes. One of the main reasons why you're getting a lot of road rash is perhaps due to you tailgating the car in front a bit too closely, or if you're driving too quickly. This makes it so that debris will kick up from the road much more frequently from the car in front, and will strike your car harder at speed, respectively.
If you regularly detail and wash your car, you can try to polish and wax the parts of your car that often fall victim to road rash. Polishing may smooth out some of the smaller chips and scratches, as the wax forms a protective layer over the paintwork. The other option is simply to not drive your car as much, which may be impractical. Thankfully, at least, road rash damage can be fixed.
How Can You Fix Road Rash?
There are more than a few ways to fix road rash on your car. The first thing that might come to mind would be a full repainting job, which is a very expensive task to undertake. Depending on the type of paint, and with the quality that you desire, it can cost thousands just for the frontal section of your car. That's not to mention the weeks you'll have to wait as your car is being painted.
The good news is that there are cheaper alternatives. This comes in the form of paint touch-up kits, which can be found for less than $100 in most cases. Not only could the brands that produce these solutions be able to colour match the exact paint of your car, but also make it so that its repair kits are very easy to do. Even for a novice, you can have your car un-road rashed in no time at all.
Step 1: Order your paint touch-up kits from countless different brands online. They can have your car's paint matched simply by make and model, or sometimes using your registration plate.
Step 2: When you have the touch-up repair ready, get your car cleaned up. Use some water, mixed in with mild soap. Having washed your car, you should then dry it out thoroughly with a microfibre towel.
Step 3: Now it's time to apply the touch-up paint. They can be painted on in various ways depending on the kit that you've picked. Generally, paint touch-ups will come as a paint pen (which is best for smaller repairs like individual chips or scratches), or a brush that you can dip into a paint bottle. This latter method may be better for larger road rash damage that covers a large surface area.
Step 4: Next, smear the paint carefully, and let it dry. Based on the quantity of paint that you used, and what type of paint it is, it may take a few minutes for it to dry - 5 to 15 minutes for most repair kits.
Step 5: After this, we can start to add the blending solution on top of the touched-up paint to finalise its finish. You can use a cloth or paper towel to rub the blending solution over the paint, gently so using only very light pressure across the surface. Do this until all the excess paint is gone.
Step 6: Let the blending solution dry, and start with polishing your car. This will smoothen out the surfaces, while also removing any final imperfections and impurities that may remain. Add a bit of polishing compound onto a microfibre cloth, and gently rub it over the touched-up area. When the polish has dried up, use another microfibre cloth to wipe it off.
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