Questions on how to fix car scratches have been asked countless times. Car scratches absolutely look bad no matter the age of your vehicle. Unlike other problems in your vehicle, external issues such as car scratches are easier to fix. There are different solutions you can try out minus the aid of a professional. In this guide, you will learn how to get your car back to looking great. You will know which repair methods actually work and which ones will only waste your time. Keep reading to get rid of those unsightly scratches on your car today.
Can you fix scratches on your car yourself?
Yes. You can absolutely fix the scratches on your car all by yourself. However, you also need to consider the pros and cons of such a project. Looking at the bright side, learning how to fix car scratches on your own will save you a lot of money. As scratches in the car happen more often than you may want to, learning how to cover the scraped parts of the car’s exterior is a handy skill. Not only that, you will be more confident as you drive your “good as new” vehicle down the road.
On the other hand, there may also be instances that the project won’t go as well as you planned. For instance, the scratch repair you use may not be a good fit for your car. If that is the case, repairing car scratches all by yourself may only lead to the depreciation of your car’s finish permanently. If you intend to sell your car down the road, you may find that a lousy repair job will only drop your vehicle’s resale price.
In addition, DIY scratch repair jobs can only take you as far as minor scratches. Sure, you can take the risk of fixing deep scrapes by yourself. However, this action may only get the car surface in a much worse condition. You also need to consider how deep the scratch has gone into the paintwork before you begin the repair job. It is important to know that your car has three coats of paintwork. This means that scratches don’t automatically scrape through the metal body panel. If you are certain that the scratch goes deeper than the paint job, you may need to have it fixed by a professional.
How much does it cost to fix scratches on the car?
A full-on scratch repair job costs more or less $3,500. The cost for a scratch repair job also depends on how extreme the scratches are. Your car may also have more than one scratch therefore, expectedly, having them fixed by a professional will cost a lot more. Scratched car surfaces cost between $150 to $2,500 depending on the severity and quantity of the car scratches.
You may be wondering why scratch repair costs so much. Unknown to many, once the scratch grazes through the paint layers, there are several tasks that professionals do in order to fix it. The repair will require the whole car’s surface area to be sanded, buffed, and repainted. Deeper scratches that scrape through the metal body panel need to be fixed right away. Severe scratches are likely to cause the car’s body to rust.
You will save a lot of money if you know how to fix car scratches. In the next sections, you will get acquainted with some of the ways on how to fix car scratches using simple tools. The materials you will need for the DIY scratch repair job will cost you $20 at most.
How do you prevent scratches on your car?
You can definitely save a lot when you know how to fix car scratches. When it comes to practicality, nothing comes closer to knowing how to fix car scratches than knowing how to prevent them in the first place. You can steer clear from the hassle of paying a thousand bucks for exterior repair. In this section, we have a list of things you can do to prevent scratches on your car.
- Mind how and where you park
Every car owner will agree that most, if not all, car scratches happen in the parking lot. Make sure to park your car in an area where there is less possibility of contact with others’ car doors. Try to practice parallel parking. This will provide a wider space between your car and other vehicles in the parking lot. You can also prevent scratches by parking your car inside the garage instead of leaving it out in the open for a long time.
- Protect your vehicle from extreme weather conditions
The winter season can give you a lot of headache when it comes to car scratches. Hail storms are the most problematic for your car’s exterior. Avoid scratches from the harsh weather by equipping it with a protective car cover when you can’t take shelter in a garage yet.
- Use car protection film
A professional is required to install the car protection film. This protective plastic film is applied to the surfaces of your car that are susceptible to scratches and scraping. The additional protection for your vehicle is a bit expensive but it will last long. The cost for installation varies but usually goes between $500-$2,000.
Does toothpaste work in fixing car scratches?
You may be amazed with all the things you can use to cover up the scratches in your car. First things first, you need to know how deep the scratch is before you try anything out. One of the tried and tested ways to fix a minor car scratch is to use toothpaste. Run your fingers over the scratch to see if it has gone down to the last layer. If your fingernails are not caught in the scratch, it’s safe to say that toothpaste can work well enough. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to fix car scratches with toothpaste.
- Wash and dry the surface
Before you apply toothpaste, wash the scratched surface with warm soapy water. Rinse then dry. This way, you can prevent debris from getting further into the scratches that will damage the metal body panel.
- Apply toothpaste
Squeeze a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, about 25 milligrams. The most effective toothpaste to use is one with a whitening formula. You can use regular toothpaste if a whitening toothpaste is not available. Rub the toothpaste gently into the scratched surface. It is easier if you rub in a circular motion.
- Finish and rinse
Now that you’ve applied the toothpaste evenly into the scratched exterior, remove excess toothpaste by rinsing the surface thoroughly. Dry the area with a microfiber towel. You can repeat this process twice if the scratch is still visible. If the scratch is still evident after two tries, stop the process as this may damage the paintwork. Have your vehicle checked by a professional right away.
How do I fix light scratches on the car?
One way to fix light scratches is by polishing the area where the scratch is. Car scratches have different levels from light to deep and the ways to fix them also vary. Knowing how to fix car scratches starts with being aware of the depth of the scrape. Light or superficial scratches are usually those that did not reach the metal of the car part but only penetrated through the paint. Sometimes, light scratches almost look invisible and you need to take a closer look to inspect.
As mentioned earlier, polishing can do the work and how to fix car scratches can be easier than you think. However, it is not the only way to fix car scratches especially if it is only a shallow scratch. This list can help you find solutions for this type of car problem.
- Fix light car scratches with finger pressure
Once you have confirmed that the scratch in your car is not too deep, you can try flattening the surface area with the scratch with your fingers. Usually, that area will have a bulge of paint. You can press it down by wrapping a towel around your index and middle finger. After doing so, rub the surface gradually and put some pressure while you move your fingers back and forth at least 20 times. Do this until the surface flattens and the scratch disappears.
- Sand the scratch away
If you are wondering how to fix car scratches quickly, sanding is the way to go. Make sure that the sandpaper and the surface are both wet to reduce friction when you start rubbing the sandpaper. Be sure to follow the direction of the scratch. You can also put a sponge behind the sandpaper to even out the pressure. If the scratch is small enough, you can just gently polish the scraped part of the car with bare hands.
- Apply polishing compound
This is a quick way on how to fix car scratches that only reached the paint layer of your car. Polishing compounds are handy since they can effectively conceal small scrapes in the car paint. You can use a polisher drill and then apply the polishing compound on the pad. After doing so, simply turn on the drill and let it run until the car scratch is no longer visible.
How can I cover up scratches on my car?
Car scratches can usually be covered up with a new layer of paint. While painting the scratch works to conceal its existence most of the time, there are instances when painting the car is not enough. You still have to assess if the depth of the scratch can be easily covered up. In the end, covering and removing car scratches require different techniques and tools. A touch of paint can be applied from light to moderate scratches and depending upon the layers of car paint that the scrape has penetrated into. Here are steps you can follow to cover up the scratches on your car:
- Inspect the severity of the scratch
Causes of car scratches differ so it is only right that each scratch differs in depth. Knowledge on how to fix car scratches generally depends on assessing the situation and taking the best plan of action for it. If you are dealing with car scratches that have not yet reached the metal of the automobile, then you can continue with these steps. If not, you can skip to the next section to help you learn how to fix car scratches that are already too deep for paint to fix.
- Clean the scratched car surface
Do not forget to wash at least the area where the scrape is. This will help you make sure that there will be no particles or debris that you might rub and deepen the scratch. Also, it is always best to work on a clean space if you are to apply how to fix car scratches.
- Sand the scratched area
You can apply the steps from earlier in how to fix car scratches that only penetrated the surface. Simply rub sandpaper to the scraped area before proceeding to the next step.
- Retouch your car’s paint
Make sure that the touch-up paint you get matches the color of your car. To be extra sure, you can check your vehicle’s manual. You will find the paint code so you are to get it right. On the other hand, you will only need a clear coat if the scratch barely reaches the deeper layers of the paint. This technique is called buffing.
- Work in a shaded area
Do not work under direct sunlight since the increase in temperature will not be good for the paint. Do the repair in a shaded area, your garage, for example. Make sure that you only start touching-up your vehicle with paint when it is completely dry and clean.
How do you get deep scratches out of a car?
Executing how to fix car scratches that penetrated beyond the paint, primer, and the metal part of the car is more difficult and trickier. This involves expertise on your part if you plan to do it yourself. Nevertheless, the basic steps to get deep scratches out of a car are still applicable such as buffing and polishing the scratched surface. You can also try scratch removers. If the use of primers still does not fix the problem, then there is a need for you to take your automobile to a car repair shop.
First appearance lasts and that statement cannot be more true when it comes to the appearance of a car. Keep in mind that the external segment of your automobile matters as much as its internal parts. The outer layer of the car houses the most crucial parts of the vehicle after all. How to fix car scratches may be easier said than done. The difficulty level of this project depends on the depth of the scratch in your automobile. While there are countless ways or hacks that you can find to have the problem solved, this guide will help you deduce the steps into the most effective ones.