Every time you drive your vehicle, its paint is at risk of becoming damaged from rock chips. That is just one of the facts of life. No one wants their paint damaged.
If you own a particularly expensive vehicle, like one of the six most expensive Mercedes Benz cars in the world, the desire to protect your paint is probably enhanced. Although you can never completely eliminate this risk, it’s easy to substantially decrease it.
The following are six ways you can avoid and prevent rock chips from damaging your bumper:
Adhesive Bumper Guards
When we think of our bumpers, we often think of the parts we can easily see. Just as important is the underside of our bumpers.
If the underside of our bumper gets scraped or dinged by flying rocks, it compromises the surrounding paint that you may be able to see. Adhesive bumper protectors, such as SLiPLO’s Universal Bumper Scrape Guard Kit, can help shield the underside of your bumper.
If you’re unfamiliar with this type of guard, Adhesive Rubber Bumper Protector Strips for Cars – Facts, Tips, and Prices, can help give you a better understanding.
Adhesive bumper guards are able to protect your bumper from accidental scrapes on curbs or due to potholes.
It is true that if you are careful enough you can avoid potholes and curbs, but you can not easily avoid rock chips and this legal option for bumper protection can some of that do that for you.
Skid plates are a no-brainer when it comes to protecting your vehicle from rocks, but many of them require you to install hardware, drill into your bumper, or have adhesives that will ruin your paint.
Choosing one of the best skid plates without drilling [AM1] is advisable instead of options that will cause you to damage your bumper while trying to protect it.
Front Bumper Masks
Any barrier between your vehicle’s paint and hazards will help to protect against paint damage. Front bumper masks, such as NoviStretch’s Front Bumper Masks, are a simple, easy to install, way to shield the front end of your vehicle.
There are all different materials available for front bumper masks and bras, such as stretchable polyester knit fabric that contours to the exact shape of your bumper.
Primarily, these masks are meant to protect your car finish from the damage that can result from bug guts eating away at your paint, but it also protects against impact by other debris.
These products are easy to install and remove, allowing you to get the dirt, mud, ice salt, and bug guts off of your front end mask without much hassle.
Avoid Roads That Are More Likely to Have Loose Rocks
Some roads and streets are more likely to cause your bumper to get scraped up. Of course, you can’t always avoid these areas but you can plan to use them less often and find alternative routes.
Roads that have been repeatedly patched, have many potholes, or are made of rough material are more likely to kick up rocks. If you can avoid them, do.
Gravel driveways and roads are probably the worst, being made up of nothing but rocks waiting to get kicked up by your tires.
If the driveway is yours and it is at all possible, the gravel should be removed and replaced with something that poses less risk to your vehicle.
If the driveway is not yours, you may want to consider if it is safer to park on the street than to drive on gravel. If you decide the gravel is safer, just make sure to drive slowly so your tires do not kick them up.
Considerations for Lowered Vehicles
As is expected, a vehicle that is closer to the ground is more likely to get scraped and dinged up. When getting a lowered vehicle or lowering your vehicle, this problem probably crossed your mind.
The behavioral rules like driving slowly over gravel and speed bumps, and avoiding road hazards, are extra important for these vehicles.
SLiPLO’s Universal Bumper Skid Plate, for example, will not only protect you from rock chips, but also from scraping your bumper along the road after your tires dip into a road defect or pothole, along with protecting you from inclines that standard vehicles would clear but yours may struggle with.
No matter how smooth the road is, how recently it was paved, how careful you are, or anything else, sometimes rocks will collide with your bumper.
Ceramic coating over your paint can help protect against this and keep your vehicle’s paint in pristine condition.
Instead of only having the normal topcoat over top of your paint, this coating acts as an incredibly strong, invisible armor. It is much more expensive than the other options but it gives you premium protection. Not only will it help to ward off damage from rock chips it will also protect against contaminants such as oil, grease, salt, and acids.
Some ceramic coatings even cause water and oil to bead up and roll off of the vehicle, making washing your vehicle a walk in the park.
Paint Protection Film
Paint protection film, also known as PPF, though expensive like ceramic coating, can protect your paint from dings resulting from rock chips. This option can be installed over your paint or underneath of ceramic coating for double the protection.
Depending on the type of paint protection film you get, it may also be self-healing.
Some paint protection films will return to their original shape after being nicked with a rock after being exposed to heat. This means that if a rock chip comes into contact with the paint protection film over your bumper, all you have to do is park it in the sun and wait for the paint protection film to melt back into place.
No one wants their paint damaged by rock chips, and your bumper is especially vulnerable because of its proximity to the ground.
Paint protection like PPF and ceramic coating, behavioral changes, front end masks, and adhesive bumper skid plates are all great ways to prevent and avoid rock chips from causing damage.
For more info on the features, benefits, and pricing of skid plates, click here, alternatively, use our interactive map to find an authorized installer near you. If you enjoyed this article, check out our blog.