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Car scratch repair: A Complete Guide

10/11/2016 16:15:57

Minor car damages are almost inevitable, regardless of how careful or smart the driver is. Scratches from tree branches, car park scrapes and stone chips can, however, be repaired effectively with the right car scratch repair kit. 

Car scratches can be sometimes expensive to repair if you take the option of a professional car repair garage or even when you decide to sell the car, especially if the scratch is left untreated. While home repair kits are great for small scratches especially as they save you the cost and time involved in hiring a professional, bigger scratches usually require the attention of professionals to ensure the car is restored to its original state. 

Below is a comprehensive car scratch repair guide for persons that would want to take the DIY approach. 


The Depth of the Scratch
 

This is the first assessment to be done on your vehicle as the deeper the scratch, the more required and the higher the possibility of having a paint job 

The paint of a car comes in three layers – the primer coat, the base coat, and the protective clear coat.  

The easiest way to assess the depth of the scratch is by running your fingernail over it. If it feels as deep as the thickness of a piece of paper, then you are lucky, as this is the easiest of fixes. A deeper scratch might need the intervention of a professional repair for the best results. 


Requirements Of  Repairing a Car Scratch
 

The deeper the scratch, the more equipment and time required for fixing. It is important to inspect the surrounding areas of the scratch for rust, and if any is found, the application of a rust converter will be required. It is required that this is done and left to dry completely before the paint damage is repaired. 

A scratch-removing liquid like T-Cut or Autoglym Paint Remover can be used to remove minor scratches. These fluids are also referred to as cutting compounds. 

Deeper scratches that have damaged the base coat needs some touch-up paint. It is usually advised that you visit your main dealer to get the correct colour for your car. Another option will be to find out the paint code of the manufacturer and sourcing your colour from your local car spare store using the code. 


Keep It Clean
 

One of the most important things to do before starting work on your vehicle is to clean the affected area to avoid the paintwork being damaged. It is also important that you keep the working surface area as small as possible. 


Using a Scratch Remover or Cutting Compound
 

This process is quite different from applying wax. Here, the fluid is applied using a clean and lint-free cloth, in gentle circular motions until the scratch becomes totally invisible. The compound is left to dry completely after the scratch is gone and the dried excess can be subsequently brushed away. 

It is important to note that some of the protection must have been removed using the cutting compound and the application of a coat of wax might be needed to bring back the beauty of the vehicle. 


Using Repair Kits and Pens
 

Touch-up pens are relatively cheap but come in different grades as regards their effectiveness. Using touch-up pens, however, does not guarantee consistent results. 

A comprehensive touch-up kit will also be a very good addition. They usually consist of a series of slightly abrasive cloths and a spray lubricant for polishing out the scratch and blending it in with the existing paint.  


Regardless of the choice of repair one decides to use, it is always important to get the necessary details on how to go about it to avoid a counterproductive result.