What Are the Best Tips for Repairing Car Scratches?

Patti Kate

Repairing car scratches can be accomplished in several ways, depending upon how much money one is willing to spend, and how deep the scratches are. For an inexpensive fix of minor scratches, several products may be effective and relatively inexpensive. Cleaning the scratched area with gentle dish washing solution will remove dirt and grime near the scratched surface, and this should be done before applying a commercial product. Car polish is a good way to hide minor flaws and scratches, but sandpapering the area first will smooth out any rough spots.

Car polish helps remove dirt, grease, and scratches from car paint.
Car polish helps remove dirt, grease, and scratches from car paint.

When using a car paint for repairing car scratches, finding a close match to the car's original color is important. If the scratch is very miniscule, an exact color match may not be needed, but for a larger area, the color needs to match perfectly. An auto supply store or car dealer can help find a good color match for the scratched vehicle.

Rubbing compounds may help remove stains and rust spots.
Rubbing compounds may help remove stains and rust spots.

Repairing car scratches that are very small generally will not require professional service, however. It is important to understand, though, that commercial products for repairing car scratches should not be applied before using a protective car wax first. When a deep scratch is involved, body compound will typically be needed. It's important not to apply the compound using a metal knife, as this can cause further damage to the car's exterior surface.

Rubbing compounds may also help correct small scratches. These can generally be purchased at auto supply stores and some car dealerships. These compounds are inexpensive and can also remove stains and minor rust spots.

Another thing to keep in mind when repairing car scratches is to do the task as soon as possible. The longer a car's surface is exposed from a scratch, the greater the risk of rust formation. Once rust forms, the task becomes more difficult to accomplish.

For those who plan on repairing car scratches with products available at the auto supply store, some careful research is advised because some products work better than others. Some may produce a high gloss finish, which adds a nice touch as well. If using a product for car scratches, it's best to avoid those that leave a filmy residue after application. Asking questions before buying the product, or better yet, asking for a demonstration, may be helpful.

Another option may be a product called an auto scratch repair pen. This item is relatively simple to use and very inexpensive. It should be noted, however, this is typically used for very fine marks, dings, and light scratches.

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Discussion Comments


PDR can be a great tool but sometimes can't repair all dents especially in hard to reach places such as sealed units or restrictive access. This is when you have to fill and spray the damage.

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