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Car Repair

Jul 4, 2006 - 2:39:00 PM - Print

Car Scratch Repair Tips and Quick Fixes

You accidentally scratched your car door with your keys while you had your hands full and now you have an awful mark staring back at you every time you get into your car. Do you have to go to a professional who will charge you for labor? Or can you do it yourself for a fairly cheap price? Well, the answer is, an undersized scuff is something you can most likely fix at home by yourself. However, if you’re small scratch looks more like a tree branch than a stick; it’s time to consult the professionals.

Car scratch repair requires a couple of research steps before you can proceed on the actual scratch repairing. First you have to determine if your car has an enameled based paint, because some of the paint jobs on newer model vehicles won’t blend well with lacquer-based primer paint. Before you get started on the actual work, you can consult your local auto parts store to help you determine the exact color of your car. Take your VIN number so that you can match up the cover-up paint with the car’s original coat. You may be able to find the paint color code listed on the edging of the doorframe or in the glove compartment. A dealership would also be able to tell you the exact color paint you’ll need to repair the car scratch.

Next, buy primer paint labeled for automobile use in a lighter color and body compound that will go on easily in one coat. Then, wash the scuffed area with a laundry detergent to remove any wax or grit that might affect your recover paint. After that, take some fine-grained sandpaper and sand along the scratch, polishing away any rust you find. When sanding the scratched area, you may find that it is easier to buff out enamel with 1500-grit or 2000-grit sandpaper to avoid sanding marks. Be sure to blow or brush away any dust that accumulates and then use masking tape and newspaper to separate the scrape. Leave half an inch of room around the car scratch to work.

As you continue, you’ll need to use a plastic putty knife to apply body compound to any deep scratches; a metal one will cause more damage. Make sure to read the instructions on the label and follow them closely. After the body compound hardens, you can sand the spot flat and blow away all the dust again. Then, spray the primer onto the scratch and let it dry overnight. In the morning, use the brush from the touchup paint to paint the area, and then let it dry overnight. You may find that a finish polish is less abrasive than a regular compound.

It’s time to consult the professionals if the scratch on your car is stretched across a door or the hood, because you’ll find a better finished-product by having a body repair shop repaint the entire panel. If a scratch or scrape is left alone for a long time without repair, the area could start to rust, which is nearly impossible to stop once it has started. A small scratch, though, should be easy to tackle with the car scratch repair instructions given here.







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