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Scratches are frustrating to look at. You don’t know where it came from and the best course of action we can take is to try and protect them to prevent further damage. With the right tools and technique, you are able to remove non severe scratches on your car.

Here, we’ll discuss a few viable strategies you can do at home.

Tools You Need:

  • Car Polish: This is vital to the whole operation. Car polish is formulated to help remove minor scratches, swirl marks, and other imperfections. It is used after proper washing and drying of a car to remove any remaining contaminants and to restore the shine of the paint.
  • Car Wash Shampoo: Important to not skip this. A proper pH neutral car shampoo is key to this as well. Remember that it has to be pH neutral.
  • Microfiber Cloth: Using a microfiber cloth, not just any other cloth, you can clean your car effectively without damaging the paint.
  • Rubbing Compound: Commonly used in the auto detailing industry, it is a pasty substance that has an abrasive quality. It is used to correct paint scratches during buffing or polishing. It acts like a liquid sandpaper that removes very thin layer of the top coat.
  • Touch-up paint: Look for the correct colour suitable for your car. The goal is to apply a thin layer of paint that fills in the scratch or chip as a finishing touch.
  • 1000-grit and 2000-grit sandpaper: These are automotive industry standard sandpapers that are commonly used to remove scratches and imperfections from a car. The grit numbers represent the coarseness with higher number indicating finer grits that are less abrasive.

Types Of Scratches:

There are three main types of scratches that can occur on your car – clear coat, primer, and deep scratches. You need to identify what type of scratch it is before you can correct it. It is easier to remove clear coat scratches compared to deep scratches. The latter requires professional help.

Clear Coat Scratches:

This type of scratch is common and is only found in the outer layer of your car’s paint. It is usually caused by minor scrapes, small rocks, or other debris. These are correctable at home with the right tools.

Base Coat Scratches:

This is a little deeper than clear coat scratches because base coat scratches are penetrations through the clear coat layer. These types of scratches are usually caused by larger rocks or debris. This is still viable to fix at home but the results might not be perfect.

Primer Coat Scratches

These scratches are also known as deep scratches. The most severe out of the three and this requires professional help. These scratches are usually caused by accidents or other serious impacts.

How to Identify What Type of Scratch You Have?

One way to do this is by using your fingernail and lightly go over the scratch. If your fingernail catches on the scratch, it is a clear indication that it is a deep or primer scratch. If it doesn’t catch, you are likely to have a clear coat scratch.

Steps to Remove Scratches:

Since there are several types to go over, here are a few steps for each type in order. Read on below.

Clear Coat Scratches:

Step 1: Clean the Area

Always start by washing the car with a pH neutral shampoo. Dry thoroughly using a microfiber cloth. (Internal Link to a title of proper way to wash a car)

Step 2: Apply Rubbing Compound

Apply a small amount onto a clean microfiber cloth. Rub the compound into the scratch using a circular motion. Remember to do it with a light pressure and continue until the scratch is gone.

Step 3: Apply Car Polish

Once the scratch is gone, apply a small amount of car polish onto a clean microfiber cloth and with the same circular motion, buff the area to restore the shine. Find out more about [car polish] here.

Base Coat Scratches:

Step 1: Clean the Area

Similarly, use a pH neutral car shampoo. Use a microfiber cloth to dry thoroughly.

Step 2: Apply Touch-Up Paint

Apply a small amount of touch-up paint using a small brush. Allow the paint to dry completely. [Create a new article on how to apply touch-up paint and link from here]

Step 3: Sand the Area

Using a 2000-grit sandpaper, gently smooth of the damaged surface in a circular motion.

Step 4: Apply Rubbing Compound

Apply a small amount onto a clean microfiber cloth. Rub the compound into the scratch using a circular motion. Remember to do it with a light pressure and continue until the scratch is gone.

Step 5: Apply Car Polish

Once the scratch is gone, apply a small amount of car polish onto a clean microfiber cloth and with the same circular motion, buff the area to restore the shine. Find out more about [car polish] here.

Primer Coat Scratches:

Again, these are deeper scratches compared to the earlier two. Repairing this requires professional help but keep on reading to see how you can do it by yourself.

Step 1: Clean the Area

Similarly, use a pH neutral car shampoo. Use a microfiber cloth to dry thoroughly.

Step 2: Sand the Area

Using a 1000-grit sandpaper, remove any rough edges first before moving on to the 2000-grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface.

Step 3:

Apply a small amount of touch-up paint using a small brush. Allow the paint to dry completely. [Create a new article on how to apply touch-up paint and link from here]

Step 4: Sand the Area (2000-Grit Only)

Using a 2000-grit sandpaper, gently smooth of the damaged surface in a circular motion.

Step 5: Apply Rubbing Compound

Apply a small amount onto a clean microfiber cloth. Rub the compound into the scratch using a circular motion. Remember to do it with a light pressure and continue until the scratch is gone.

Step 6: Apply Car Polish

Once the scratch is gone, apply a small amount of car polish onto a clean microfiber cloth and with the same circular motion, buff the area to restore the shine. Find out more about [car polish] here.

PSA: If you noticed that the scratches are too deep and you’re anxious of doing it yourself, have it done with us to have it corrected. [Link to WashAway]

Tips for Preventing Scratches

We always believe that prevention is better than cure because the damage to restore is always pricier than to prevent.

  • Get your car a coat of wax: It is an important layer of protection which strengthens the clear coat. Learn more about [car wax] here.
  • Protect your car from external damage: Remember to park in a shaded area or wherever that is safer than exposing it to multiple unforeseen risk.
  • Avoid parking near trees or bushes: Not only it is potentially a scratch hazard, with our unpredictable weather, parking near a tree seems to not be the best idea. We want to avoid that at all cost.
  • Wash your car regularly: Get into a routine. Better yet, have a professional tend to this need while you tackle other daily routines.
  • Use a microfiber cloth: This has been mentioned several times throughout the article. Microfiber cloths are a great investment to get.
  • Avoid Automatic Car Wash: Hard brushed with risk of getting scratched.

Conclusion

Following these tips are beneficial in the long run. They are not a one-off thing because like many other detailing factors, it is a constant upkeep we choose to take.

While removing scratches can be a DIY project, we understand it can also be time consuming and it takes a certain level of skill and expertise to execute. If you truly feel you do not have the time to spend, always consider us an auto detailing service to help you.

Come check us out on all social media platforms available or visit any of our 5 locations in Sunway, Salak South, Kota Kemuning, Balakong, and Kepong. You may also contact us at 03-9543 2605.

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