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What Not To Do When Your Car Gets Scratched

Posted by Marc Michelsen on


As well as getting us from A to B, our cars are an extension of who we are. So that moment when you spot a scratch on your paintwork triggers a range of emotions – it’s annoying, upsetting and sometimes (if you have no idea how it’s happened) puzzling.

You might be angry at yourself for a careless maneuver or concerned the damage will affect the value of your vehicle if you’re planning on selling it.

However they happened, there are a few things you shouldn’t do when there are scratches on your car.

Ignore them

It’s tempting to leave them, especially if they’re not that bad. Once the initial irritation has faded, you might think they’re not that noticeable after all and put off getting them removed. Don’t. Even if the visual impact doesn’t bother you that much, it’s important you don’t ignore scratches on your paintwork.

Once your car is scratched, the clear coat protecting the paint is removed or damaged. That means damp and dirt can get to the bodywork, risking further damage such as rust. And once rust takes hold, it spreads.

The longer you leave it, the more chance there is of it happening. By dealing with scratches as soon as possible, you’re protecting your vehicle and its paintwork.

Wash your vehicle roughly

If your car is scratched, you’ll need to take extra care when washing it. Minor surface scratches are less of a problem, but over-vigorous washing over deeper marks can result in chipped paint and increased damage.

Of course, you shouldn’t use anything abrasive to wash your car anyway, but additional caution is needed when it’s scratched. Use a soft cloth and take extra care. Avoid automatic car washes until you’ve had the scratches repaired, and don’t blast the damaged area with a pressure washer.

Use touch-up paint

If you’re looking for a quick fix, it’s tempting to reach for a touch-up pen – especially if you’ve got an older car you don’t really want to spend money on. You’ll likely have seen them in stores selling auto spares and accessories or in your local fuel station. You might even know someone who’s used one successfully to repair scratches on their vehicle.

The problem is, they’re a lot more difficult to use than you might think. A touch-up pen isn’t a speedy option – there’s prep time, drying time, and you’ll still need a clear coat. They’re often messy to use – it’s not a case of just dabbing on the color. And while we’re on that topic – just think of how many different shades and finishes there are when it comes to cars. Will you be able to find an exact color match, or will the repair be as obvious as the scratch?

Of course, if the scratch is on your wheels, then look no further – we’ve got the best way to repair minor scratches on your wheels right here and it’s quick, clean, simple and inexpensive. 

Otherwise, for major scratches and bodywork damage, it’s best to have a professional repair. You’ll be protecting your vehicle and it will look better, too.