Do it yourself!

Monday, February 22, 2010

How to Fix a Scratch On Your Car

It happens to everyone at some point.  You come out of the grocery store or leave your child’s school, only to find that your car has a new scratch.  While exceptionally frustrating, you might be surprised to learn that you can likely fix the problem yourself for a great deal less than you would be charged if you took your car to an auto body shop.  Today we will look at what it takes to repair a scratch on your car.

The first thing that you should do when looking at the scratch is to determine if it is really a scratch at all.  In many cases, impact from a shopping cart or other item with a rubber or protective coating will leave a faint line on your car.  While it may look like a scratch, these marks are often caused instead by material from the object being left on your vehicle.  If the mark is raised rather than indented, you will likely be able to easily remove it with aerosol tar.  Paint transfers can be a bit more difficult, but acetone applied in a circular buffing motion can often help to get rid of the mark without too many problems.

If the mark on your car is definitely a scratch, you will want to look at just how deep the scratch goes.  In many cases, the scratch only goes into the clear coat that is placed over the color.  If this is the case for you, you will find that you can gently sand the scratch out.  Take caution that you do not sand the color itself, as this can make the scratch worse.  Ideally, you will want to sand down the surrounding area until it is the same depth as the scratch and the area has been blended.  A clearcoat spray can help the area to look as good as new.

Many modern car manufacturers also offer small containers of touch up paint that are created in all of the colors that the company uses for factory vehicles.  If you have a newer model car, purchasing the correct clear coat and gently sanding the area can be all that you need to do.  Once the area is sanded, even, and clean, use the paint, which will resemble a container of nail polish, to gently fill in the scratch.  Apply clear coat when you are done and seal the area with car wax.

Scratches are without a doubt one of the most frustrating things that can happen to your vehicle.  When you take a great deal of pride in the car you drive, ensuring that scratches do not damage it is important.  While scratches cannot always be prevented, however, they can be treated.  The next time you notice a scratch on your treasured vehicle, take the time to examine it closely and determine more about it.  With that information and the steps listed here, your vehicle can look as good as new in no time.


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