How to Repair Scratches on a Car
It seems like no matter how carefully you drive, dents, dings, and scratches find their way onto your car. It’s frustrating to see a big, ugly gouge caused by someone else’s mistake. Fortunately, you don’t have to resign yourself to driving around in a scratched-up car. Here’s how to repair the damage yourself rather than paying top dollar at an auto body shop.
Use a Scratch Repair Kit
If the scratch is shallow or moderately deep, a standard scratch repair kit should be all you need. You can find this convenient solution at most auto supply stores. Here’s how to use it:
- Clean the scratch and surrounding area with regular soap and water. This removes dirt, dust, and other debris, preparing the surface for you to work.
- Apply a quarter-sized glob of scratch remover to a buffing pad or microfiber cloth. Avoid applying the paste directly to the scratch, which could damage the paint.
- Work the paste into the scratched area with your buffing pad or microfiber cloth. This removes a thin layer of the clear coat so the scratched surface becomes smooth and flat. It may take several minutes to see results, so keep scrubbing.
- Wipe excess polish away. If you can still see the scratch, repeat these steps once or twice more until the scratch is nearly impossible to see.
Use Glazing Putty & Touch-Up Paint
You may need a different technique for deeper gouges. Here’s how to use glazing putty and touch-up paint to repair deep scratches on a car:
- Clean the scratched area with rubbing alcohol to remove residual wax and dirt. Use a microfiber cloth to avoid damaging the paint.
- Apply the glazing putty. Use a spreader tool to fill the scratch completely with putty. Then, give it two to three minutes to cure.
- Remove excess putty using liquid paint leveler and a microfiber cloth. Gently rub the area around the scratch until all excess putty is gone.
- Paint over the filled-in scratch using touch-up paint in your car’s exact color. Apply the paint with a fine-bristled micro brush for the best results. If your touch-up kit didn’t come with one, check an auto supply store for the product you need. Allow the paint to dry for eight to 12 hours.
- Apply polish to a polishing pad or microfiber cloth. Rub in a circular motion over the newly repaired area. Continue polishing until all the polish is removed.
Repairing scratches is a great way to boost your car’s value before applying for a title loan. It’s a smart move because the more your car is worth, the larger loan you can potentially qualify for.
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