How to Fix Car Scratches

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It never fails that just after you've spent all day washing and waxing your new car, someone comes along and scrapes their key down the side of it, ruining both your mood and your car's paint job. Of course not all scratches are intentional. Maybe you drove too close to your neighbor's shrubbery and the result was several scratches on your door, or maybe you scratched your door or trunk while trying to insert a key. Regardless of how the scratch occurred, car scratches are unsightly. Although there are varying levels of severity, you can fix most common car scratches yourself. The following steps will show you how to fix car scratches.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing compound
  • A soft cloth
  • Fine sanding paper
  • To fix car scratches, first, wash your vehicle using soapy water and dry it thoroughly.

  • The next step to fix car scratches involves using a fine sand paper and gently sanding down the area immediately surrounding the scratch. You must be extremely careful to only skim off some of the paint. You do not want to sand all of the paint away or reach the primer level.

  • After you have sanded down the area surrounding the scratch, wipe away any residue from the sanding and once again clean the area.

  • The next step to fix car scratches requires the application of a rubbing compound to the sanded area. Once you have applied the rubbing compound, use a soft cloth to buff out the compound and smooth out the surface of the vehicle. If you have a polishing device, this can make the process of fixing car scratches easier.

  • Finally, apply car wax to the vehicle to protect your car from further scratches.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your car has a clearcoat layer above the paint, you will need to reapply a clear coating after repairing the car scratch. Clearcoat can be purchased from almost any auto part supply store.
  • If you have a car scratch that has began to rust, or if you can see the metal or primer beneath the paint job, then your car will most likely require the entire affected panel be repainted.
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