Scratches, dings and dents on your car can be as inevitable as they are frustrating. If you’ve ever returned from the weekly shop to find a gallery of unsightly blemishes on the bumper, then you know where we’re coming from. And even if you pride yourself on how careful you are on the road, unexpected pebbles, overgrown hedges and careless drivers can all take their toll on the paintwork.
Surface damage like this isn’t just a problem for aesthetic reasons either. If you’re planning on selling your car, then scratches and dents can all affect its value. And while extensive damage should be dealt with by a professional, minor issues can be taken care of at home with products that are specifically made for owners.
Here, we’ll offer up some tips for minor repairs, from identifying the depth of the scratch to some common remedies such as toothpaste and soapy water.
Before you get to work repairing your paintwork, it’s important to determine the depth of the scratch. The deeper the scratch, the tougher it’ll be to fix it yourself. Anything that goes beyond the surface of the paintwork, for example, will probably be a job for the professionals.
A brief pointer in a car’s factory paint finish, which is usually made up of three layers:
If you gently run your fingernail over a scratch and the depth is similar to the thickness of a piece of paper, then it’s probably just the clearcoat which has been damaged and should be a relatively simple problem to fix.
Anything that feels more like a ridge means that the base coat and primer may have been penetrated. Here’s where you’ll need to get the professional to take a look.
As beneficial to your car’s paintwork as it is to your dental hygiene, a bit of toothpaste can take care of surface scratches with ease. Providing the scratch isn’t too deep, try the following:
If any scratches remain, repeat the process up to two more times, being sure to rinse and dry between applications to check on the progress. We’d advise not repeating it any more than twice to avoid doing lasting damage to the paintwork.
If the scratch has moved onto the base coat, then scratch removal products designed to take care of deeper issues might be of benefit. These are abrasive fluids, also known as cutting compounds, which serve to ‘polish out’ the scratch.
Before you repeat the process, read the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you don’t over-apply and risk doing further damage to your paintwork.
While it may sound counterintuitive to repeatedly take a piece of sandpaper to your paintwork, it’s a technique that works – it’s just a case of making the scratch worse before you make it better.
We wouldn’t recommend trying to repair anything that’s penetrated and gone beyond the clear or basecoat yourself. Instead, you should take your car to your local dealership and let them take a look. How much this will cost depends on how severe the damage is. Professional repairs may cost more than a tube of toothpaste, but it’s well worth it to get your car looking as good as new.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article. Looking for more from Brindley Garages? Head here to check out more news from the motoring world, or whether you’re in the market for a new car, see how we can help at our homepage.
Disclaimer: Brindley Garages Group cannot accept any responsibility for further damage caused following the advice in this blog post. If in any doubt, always seek professional help.