Auto Care Articles

How To Repair A Scratch On Your New Car

You just walked out of the local mega-mart, bags in hand, and noticed that something was wrong with your car. It looks scratched! After close inspection, you see that the mark isn't rubbing off and that your new car is now scratched. What to do - get out the touch-up paint?

Often times, your dealer will give you a bottle of touch-up paint with your new car, but this is NOT the time to use it. Touch-up paint is a bad idea 90% of the time.

Unless the scratch is HUGE, touch-up paint in the bottle is a bad idea. It's hard to apply (unless you've got experience) and it's usually overkill. The good news is that there are some methods that will remove or greatly reduce the appearance of the scratch on your new car, and they're surprisingly inexpensive.

Most scratches can be fixed with a process called "wet-sanding". Wet sanding is done by a professional, and it involves moving paint and clear coat molecules around to reduce the appearance of a scratch. It works on light scratches, but deep scratches are another matter.

How do you know if you have a deep scratch? Can you feel it with your fingernail? Is bare metal showing? Is the scratch longer than 10"? If you can answer any of these questions with a yes, go to the local body shop. Make sure to get a written guarantee and a few quotes -- repairing a deep or big scratch can cost anywhere from $50 to $1000 dollars, so check around.

If the answer to both of the questions above is "no", then you've got a light scratch in your new car and fixing it is easy. Go to a local body shop, preferable one with a written guarantee, and ask them for an estimate. Expect to pay around $40.

One last thing - these are only methods to reduce or diminish a scratch, not to truly repair it. A true repair would involve a new paint job for the scratched panel and paint blending for the nearby panels, and I think that's a terrible idea to fix a light or even heavy scratch. It's better to fix these things inexpensively - they're just going to happen again. Just remember, the scratch isn't going to miraculously disappear. It will look a LOT better though.

About the Author

Author Jason Lancaster, a car industry veteran, created You'll find accurate advice on touch up paint and new car warranties.

Article obtained from: free automotive articles

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