Do you get irritated when you see a fresh scratch on your vehicle? The exterior of your car got ruined, and now you have a task before you. But don’t worry. With my easy-to-follow guide on how to remove scratches from car surfaces, you’ll solve the annoying problem. There won’t be any need to visit the body shop. You’ll see just how easy the entire process is.
How Do Cars Most Commonly Get Scratched?
Cars get scratched in numerous ways. Perhaps you once opened the door too forcefully and hit the high curb, or pebbles from the road damaged the paint while you were driving off-road fast. Sometimes the scratches appear and you can’t put your finger on where it comes from exactly. I might know where your car has been scratched. Every part of the car can get markings, even tail lights. Here’s what might cause markings to appear.
Parking Lot Mishaps
Yes, parking is complex for many inexperienced drivers. But those that have been driving for a while can also make mistakes. When attempting to park in small and compact spaces, cars get easily scratched. This often happens in parking lots at shopping centers.
However, even though you’ve successfully parked your car in a compact space, vehicles that will be next to you can cause problems. Actually, people who are leaving their vehicles might damage your vehicle’s body by slamming the door into your car.
Another thing to watch out for is shopping carts. Someone might push the cart too close to your body or even ram it into the vehicle accidentally.
Even though a self-serving car is extremely convenient for many drivers, it can be a major cause of scratches on vehicles. The paint can be harmed by the brushes that are used here. You might not notice the tiny lines at first, but soon there might be numerous tiny scratches that will indicate the body has been damaged. However, if you decide to go to touchless car washes, you won’t have these issues since you can use water jets to get the vehicle cleaned.
The Car Got Keyed
The scratch may have not appeared by accident. Someone could have scraped the paint off with a key. When someone does this in a forceful manner, deep scratches can appear. Someone who has been angry at you for a long time might be to blame. But someone can do this randomly as well. During acts of vandalism, cars can get spray painted. Spray paint can be hard to remove, but just like with scratches, it’s not impossible.
When You Cleaned Snow Off
People that live in colder parts of the world have to manage snow in winter in various ways. The most tedious task that needs to be done is cleaning the snow off before entering the vehicle. You might do this too quickly, which can only result in scraping paint along with the snow. This needs to be avoided at all costs. Managing everything with gloved hands is a better option, but it is not the best. There is a possibility of hitting the body with buckles on the gloves. Also, pay attention to how you break the ice that is on your windows. Ice will leave markings.
Driving on Dirt Roads
Individuals who live in city centers where the road is paved do not struggle with dirt off the road. But, outside cities, there are gravel roads everywhere. The car’s exterior can suffer while you drive on dirt roads. The unpaved road has a lot of debris and pebbles that will be stirred and damage the paint. The only way to minimize the risk of scratching on dirt roads is to drive a bit slower.
How Should You Remove Barely Visible Markings?
When you notice small, barely visible lines on the paint, do not freak out. This can be solved in 30 minutes or less. The first thing you need to do is – inspect. Gently go over the line with the fingernail. In case you are able to glide the nail over the line, you will only need to polish it out. But when scratches catch your fingernail, the body shop will need to be involved. I’ll now explain the step-by-step process of polishing the scratch out.
What Materials and Tools Do You Need?
Before you make your shopping list for polishing out the scratch, don’t forget to add these items from my list.
- Microfiber towel,
- Cordless drill,
- Polishing compound,
- Polishing compound pad,
- 3,000-grit sandpaper,
- Rubbing compound.
You want to begin the polishing process by lightly sanding the surface. Wet the sandpaper and the scratch. While you sand the surface, keep checking the scratch. When it is no longer visible, take the microfiber towel and clean the spot. Next, use your polishing pad. Add a couple of drops of rubbing compound on the pad and then start spreading it with the polishing pad. Then you can use a drill and even it out. The drill should work at 1,200 rpm. When a visible haze appears, add a polishing compound, and the surface will be cleared of scratches.
Getting a Small Scratch Removed? It’s Very Simple
Has a small scratch stopped your fingernail while you were inspecting the paint? Even though they are not hugely deep, they have reached the base of the coat. It might be more complicated to remove them than barely visible lines, but with a similar technique, these scratches can be erased as well. You’ll need the same tools as the previous example. But, this time, you should wash the car before doing anything else.
Step-By-Step Process for Removing Small Scratches
Start removing the paint by dabbing a bead on a scrubbing pad. Apply this immediately on the marking. The product should be worked properly into the surface and the area around the marking. When you accomplish this, use a microfiber towel to wipe the residue away.
But the process is not over yet – you will need to do this a few times. The point is to do it until the scratch is gone. Try a couple of times, and you’ll see the marking fading away.
What If a Deep Scratch Is a Problem?
Most people wonder – how can I get rid of a deep scratch on a car? However, even though this might be a trickier issue, with time and patience, it’s possible to erase it as well. I will show you a way to do it quickly and easily. Use this method in case you can see your metal panel. Again, wash the vehicle first.
What Materials and Tools Do You Need?
The list of tools and materials is a little bit different when it comes to deeper markings. Here is what I usually order:
- Masking tape,
- Chemical Guys polishing pad,
- Chemical Guys car wax,
- Chemical Guys microfiber towel,
Step-By-Step Instructions for Getting Rid of a Deep Scratch
A 2,000-grit sandpaper will help you with the sanding process. Keep sanding until you can see the vehicle’s metal panel. Bear in mind that it is a mistake to sand in the opposite direction of your marking. In this way, you will create new ones. Do it in the same direction as the marking is.
Spread masking tape and paper on the areas you don’t want to get new paint on. Then, treat the scratched surface with an automotive primer. Wait a bit until it dries. Then, use the matching paint to cover the surface. The trick here is to use a lot of paint and then wait until it dries.
A finishing touch should be making sure that the new and old paint match. Just polish the area. A microfiber cloth or polishing pad can be used. Keep rubbing the area with the cloth in circles. The polish will quickly get removed.
Do You Own a Black Car? Here Is What You Need to Know
Vehicles that are painted black get scratched very easily. You will spot them quickly since the light gets reflected differently when the scratch is on an uneven surface. It can be a nightmare trying to avoid scratches on black cars. Black used cars often have a lot of markings, and new owners want to do everything to remove them. Luckily, you can get rid of them in a few simple steps. The method that you should use is not completely the same as with previous examples.
Step 1 – Clean the Car Exterior
You won’t be able to get the job done without first making sure that the entire car is free from debris, dirt, and smudges. You should focus primarily on the area where the scratch is. However, you can also clean the interior as well such as the seat belts, car seats, your headliner, car carpet, and steering wheel.
I recommend washing the vehicle and making sure that any contaminants are removed with the help of some clay bars. Don’t forget to get some detailing spray on the vehicle before using some clay bars. The detailing spray will prevent new scratches from appearing since it serves as a lubricant.
Step 2 – Polish the Surface
This step is the same as with previous methods. Use a bit of polish and your microfiber applicator to apply it on the vehicle’s surface. Bear in mind that moderate pressure is needed when applying polish. The same thing should be done as with previous methods, dry the surface with a microfiber towel when you finish with this step.
Step 3 – Use Orbital Polisher
This is the trick that makes this method work for all black cars. Any type of polisher will get the job done. But with an orbital polisher, it will be much easier to apply uniform pressure on the area where you want the marking to disappear.
But, these types of polishers may be tricky. If you are not careful, a larger amount of clear coat will get removed. Go slow and check every time how much paint was taken off. If you are not sure how to do it correctly, go to the body shop and ask for help.
Step 4 – Wax Your Vehicle
The last step that is essential for making this method work is layering a bit of wax on the vehicle’s paint. It’s necessary to do this so you can protect the body from contaminants and UV damage. After you’ve done this, the surface will repel water, so you’ll know that the job has been done correctly.
Ready to Restore the Original Shine of Your Car?
Taking necessary precautions might help you avoid scratches on your car for some time, but inevitably, markings usually appear even when we do everything right. The good news is that there are simple DIY methods that can help you restore the original shine of your car. You can sell a car for a high price if it has no scratches whatsoever. Whether it’s a deep scratch or a barely visible marking, you can make it disappear with a polisher, microfiber towel, car wax, and polishing pad. Do everything properly, and there’ll be no problems.