Did you know that, on average, cars tend to last around 12 years? This may sound like a long time, but after a few years, you may find that your car is already starting to suffer from several ills, the most visible of which is your car’s paint job.
Car scratches are one of the most common causes of damage to a car’s paint and they can be quite hard to get rid of if you don’t know where to start.
Fortunately, how to fix a scratch on a car and removing car scratches isn’t an impossible task as long as you act fast and know the right steps to take. Keep reading to find out more.
Clean the Area around the Scratch and Buff
Before you begin the process of car scratch removal, you will need to clean the scratch and the surrounding area. You can’t skip this step because if you do, the repairs you make won’t look as good as they should. Even if your car looks clean, you should still clean the area because there are, more than likely, particles of dust and dirt still on your car’s paint.
However, you won’t want to bring your car through a heavy-duty carwash for this step. Instead, you will want to be very gentle because otherwise, the scratch might get worse and end up chipping some paint in the surrounding area. You don’t need any fancy equipment to clean the scratch; just use some ordinary soap and warm water.
Use a soft washcloth as well so you don’t end up giving your car’s paint more scratches. By washing the area, you can make sure that no debris on your car’s paint job will end up creating more scratches. After you wash and dry the area, you’ll want to get yourself a piece of 3,000-grid sandpaper to buff the scratch.
While it may seem counterintuitive to use sandpaper on your car’s paint, this kind of very fine sandpaper can do a lot of good when it comes to reducing the appearance of fine scratches. This is because it wears down the clear coat on your car. The clear coat is not your car’s actual paint but instead is the clear protective layer that covers the paint.
When you buff down the clear coat layer around the scratch, you can get closer to the depth of the scratch and even it out. This way, the scratch won’t be as deep as it was before and it will be easier to work with.
Work the Polish into the Scratch
Once you sand down the scratch and the surrounding area, the area should be much smoother. However, you still might be able to see the scratch quite clearly at this point. If you can, don’t worry, because the next step will significantly reduce the appearance of the scratch.
Get yourself some rubbing compound and apply some to your car’s scratch. Then, you will need a polishing tool.
A polisher is an ideal tool since it comes with a polishing pad and it is meant for buffing cars. However, if you don’t have a polisher and have a drill instead, you might be able to get away with applying a polishing pad to your drill and then using the pad to buff out the rubbing compound.
You will want to buff the rubbing compound at a high speed. As you do this, the compound should become a light translucent shade. Once you reach this point, you can stop buffing and wipe away the excess rubbing compound.
You will find that the scratch will be much less visible, if not impossible to see. For the final touch, grab some polishing compound and buff it into the scratch. This will make the area shine and look finished.
This process is best for very light scratches. If the scratch on your car is deeper or if you don’t see an improvement after following these steps, you may need to put in a little bit of extra effort to completely remove the scratch.
The best thing you can do is repeat these steps to see if the appearance of the scratch improves. Deeper scratches tend to require more sanding because, after all, you will need to remove more of the clear coat to reach the scratch’s depth.
Tips for Deep Scratches
Deep scratches are the hardest to remove and you might benefit from letting a professional handle the job for you. While you’re at the auto shop, you can ask the workers to apply a clear protective film over your car. This will prevent any more scratches and will give your car a great new shine.
But if you don’t want to go to the auto shop, you might have to buy some car paint. After sanding down the scratch, you can try priming and then painting over the scratch. Then, to make sure you blend everything into the car’s surface and to make sure the paint matches your car’s paint as much as possible, you should use a polisher.
By that point, you should no longer be able to see the scratch on your car. If you can, the professionals at your nearest auto shop should be able to help.
How to Fix a Scratch on a Car
How to fix a scratch on a car, as you have seen, is not all that difficult as long as you know the proper approach. By cleaning and sanding the scratch and then finishing it off with some polish, your car should look as good as new.
To learn more, check out the automobile section on our website.