An Expert Opinion on Repairing Car Scratches Yourself

Mechanics Hub - May 9, 2013
Any car owner knows how easy it is to get the odd scratch or dent on your vehicle, it’s almost inevitable but can be frustrating nonetheless. The question then becomes should you fork out to have it fixed at the local garage or do you tackle the problem yourself? You don’t have to be a mechanic to fix a scratch and luckily there are products on the market that can easily help you to get your car looking as good as new in no time. When should you attempt the repair yourself? If the scratch looks to be white, then the chances are that it hasn't penetrated through the clear coat of paint on top of your colour, this is relatively easy to fix, other problems are more difficult and should be determined by your confidence. You also need to ensure that you have the right environment in which to make the scratch repair. Indoors is best and you need a reasonably warm temperature, 70 to 85 degrees F is ideal and being away from wind or sun is a must. You don’t want to be working in an environment where condensation is produced as moisture on the car can affect the paint finish. What tools will you need? Depending on the depth of your car scratch, you will need all or some of the following products, a good car shampoo, polish, 1,500 grit sandpaper, primer, paint (colour can be checked in the owners manual to ensure you use the correct paint code) and wax. How to correct the problem Clean the surrounding surface first to remove any dirt, ensure this is thoroughly dry before you move on. Using the sandpaper, carefully begin to sand the damaged area, only press lightly to ensure you have good control. If the scratch is up to the primer, apply a fresh coat of primer to the area and allow to dry overnight. When it comes to applying the paint, be sure to shake well first and follow the manufacturers instructions, which can vary slightly. When doing this, be careful to ensure that the new coat is level with the rest of the car. Again, allow this to dry, preferably overnight and apply the clear coat of paint to the top. Once the paint has completely settled, wet sand the area to make sure that it blends with the rest of the car and apply a polish. A wax finish will add extra protection to the new paintwork if required. When attempting to fix a car scratch yourself, the key is to be patient, the drying in between stages can feel unnecessary but will ultimately produce the best finish. Don’t be tempted to leave a scratch unattended, as this can lead to rust and a bigger problem for yourself in the future. This guest post was contributed by Dave James on behalf of Howard Basford Accident Repairs Wirral.