How do you remove scratches from your car?

Scratches on the bodywork are a dreaded problem for most vehicle owners. They are unsightly and can cause a loss in the resale value. Fortunately, there are solutions for removing micro-scratches and treating deeper scratches to prevent corrosion. We explain how you can restore your car's original shine.
How do you remove scratches from your car?
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A question of depth

Not all scratches are the same. Caused by the rubbing of a hard or very sharp object, scratches are not classified by shape or length, but their depth measures them. Your car’s metal body is primed, painted and finished. The deeper a scratch is, the more it impacts the different layers and becomes more difficult to treat.

Surface scratches that only affect the varnish

This type of scratch can be treated by effective polishing. Ideally, use a quality electric polisher. A microfibre pad’s action will abrade the varnish layer much more effectively than trying to do it manually. These scratch removers or polishes, combined with vigorous polishing, provide very nice results. It will sometimes be necessary to use a specialised product to fill in a groove left by a scratch. These scratch removers or polishes, combined with vigorous polishing, provide very nice results.

Good to know: avoid treating your scratches in good weather. The sun and the heat will cause your scratch remover to dry too quickly and cause marks to appear. Choose a dull and dry day, or park your car in the shade and wait for the bodywork to cool down.

Scratches that have penetrated the paint or primer

Like the professionals, you can treat these scratches by touching up the paint. You can easily find a touch-up pen that matches the make and colour of your car. This technique aims to fill in the scratch with a small amount of paint. The difficulty lies in deciding how much paint to apply. For the touch-up to be discreet, the paint must be carefully measured and applied in such a way that avoids any relief or raised areas. Start by cleaning the scratch with a cleaner like white spirit. Then degrease the surface with a dry cloth before carrying out the retouching with a pen that corresponds to the colour reference for your vehicle.

If the scratched area is large and eye level (doors as an example), it is best to leave the repair to a professional. The latter will have to sand the affected area to remove the layers of varnish and paint. This is done with a sander equipped with sanding sheets or sanding blocks. A wide range of sanding papers, with coarse and fine grit, are used to treat all types of surfaces. The surface is then cleaned before it is repainted.

Scratches that have penetrated the metal of your bodywork

It isn’t easy to treat this type of scratch by yourself. Only a body repairer will know how to sand, apply the necessary polyester filler, sand again and repaint the affected area. The operation requires specific know-how and tools: sander, coating knife and a putty block in particular. If you cannot carry out this operation quickly, treat the impacted area with clear varnish to prevent corrosion from settling inside the wounds of your bodywork.

As you can see, beyond a simply superficial scratch in the varnish, deep scratches are difficult to treat without a body repairer. The help of a specialised professional is not without cost, but it does ensure a perfect finish. An expense that will facilitate your vehicle’s resale when the time comes and improve its trade-in with vehicle professionals!