Table of Contents
Car scratch repair can be costly, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve all walked out of the grocery store to find our car scratched because of a misplaced cart. Seeing this can feel devastating because of the cost. Taking your vehicle to have bodywork done is not in everyone’s budget.
The good news is you can take care of some pretty significant scratches at home. Taking care of the problem by yourself is a great way to save money and keep your car looking great. Repairing a scratch is a lot easier than most people expect and can be completed in no time.
Not all scratch solutions are created equal. Many of the fixes you find will provide you with a temporary hold. Ultimately, if it’s a nasty scratch, you will probably need to visit a body repair shop to take care of the damage permanently.
Different Options for Different Car Scratches
You won’t need to do as much work to handle a light scratch on the trunk or the hood of the vehicle as you would a deep gouge from a key down the side. A simple tinted wax may do the trick for the light scratches, but a multistage system may be required for the latter.
You may not even be dealing with an actual scratch, but a chip in your paint. These little chips can lead to much more significant issues. If left alone, they will rust and spread, which can cost a small fortune to fix if it gets that far. Chips in your paint can be handled with similar, if not the same, products as scratches. However, you’ll want to look over what your scratch removal method is capable of before working on chipped paint.
Truly deep scratches that involve dents may not be fixable at home. Many auto body mechanics will take a look at your vehicle’s problem and give you an estimate and run down of what needs to happen to get rid of the scratch. You will find that in some situations, you can handle it. In others, it will be best to let a professional work on the problem.
3 Scratch Repair Options for Your Vehicle
While there are many ways to handle a scratch on your car, they are not all created equal. Here are 5 of the top ways to handle scratch repair without needing to involve an autobody technician.
Scratch Repair Kits
You can pick up a scratch repair kit for your car from a lot of different vendors. You can find them at places like Amazon.com or Advanced Auto. No matter where you decide to go for your scratch repair kit, spend some time reading about it. Some kits are only rated to handle minor scratches, while others will take care of deeper gouges.
If you’re dealing with significant scratches, you’ll want to purchase a kit that has a filler. This is going to fill in the scratch temporarily. This will last quite some time, but it’s not a forever fix. The only permanent solution to a scratch is the bodywork.
Many people find success in repairing car scratches by merely using some touch-up or some spray paint. Touch-up paint is preferred among users because it is easier to work with. It usually comes in an apparatus that looks just like a pen, which provides the user with a lot of control.
Touch-up paint is an excellent option when dealing with a light or moderate scratch. It may not be enough to handle deep scratches.
Spray paint is a good option if you have a lot to cover. However, it can be a bit difficult to match the exact shade of your vehicle. Spray paint is going to cover a larger area more quickly. This is a great choice if you are dealing with multiple scratches.
People are frequently surprised at all of the uses that toothpaste offers. When removing scratches from DVDs, smartphones, laptop screens, or tablets, people often recommend toothpaste. It can remove scratches because it’s an abrasive substance. It’s like using very gentle sandpaper to reduce surface scratches.
If you’re dealing with minor scratches on your car, toothpaste may work wonderfully. However, if you’re dealing with moderate or deep scratches, it probably isn’t going to give you the desired result. On small scratches, you will see that they become less noticeable, and this can give you the time you need to save up money to take it to a professional.
Prepping Your Car for Scratch Repair
Dealing with scratches on your car at home can be a money saver. Additionally, it can make your car look much better and stop harmful rust spots from occurring. Prior to working on the scratch, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure that the fix sticks.
When prepping your car for scratch repair, you need to:
- Clean the area: Most people will take this time to wash the entire vehicle. After your car is clean, you’ll also want to make sure it’s dry before dealing with the scratch.
- Look at the scratch’s depth: If you are dealing with a surface scratch or a moderate scratch, the fixes we have listed should work well. If you’re dealing with a significant scratch or rust has already set in, you will likely need to go a different route to fix it.
- Prep the area: If you’re using spray paint, you can use masking tape and newspaper to avoid spraying areas of your car that don’t need to be sprayed. Once you’ve covered the areas that do not need attention, you should use fine-grit sandpaper to sand the area flat.
Once the area is ready, go ahead and apply your touch-up paint, spray paint, or other fixes. If you’re using spray paint or touch-up paint, do not forget to add a clear coat after the paint has dried completely. Some scratch repair kits may suggest a different prepping process. If that’s the case, it’s always best to follow the recommendation of the manufacturer.
Fixing a scratch on your car is not a hard thing to do. This is especially true when dealing with a surface or moderate scratch. Know that all of these fixes will help temporarily, but eventually, you will need to take it to a professional. If you’re handling significant scratches or areas that are already starting to rust, it’s advantageous to let an auto body technician handle the job. If you disregard scratches, you are enhancing the chance of having further problems in the future.
There are other options to handle scratches that can save you money. Some people even turn their scratches into artwork on their vehicles and then cover them with a clear coat. As long as you address the scratches, your vehicle won’t succumb to rust, which will save you a reasonably large headache and a lot of money in the future.