How to Remove Scratches from Your Vehicle

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How to Remove Scratches from Your Vehicle

The old saying that only death and taxes constitute the certainties of life needs to be amended. British car owners know that car scratches are just as certain, as dozens of possible scenarios lurk on every work commute or country ride. Car scratches can turn a proud Peugeot owner into a blubbering fool who desperately seeks help to make the car surface imperfections vanish. Many car owners believe that removing car scratches involves the stillness of a surgeon's hand and the deft touch of an accomplished painter. Yet, removing car scratches can be accomplished at home, with car owners enjoying huge savings.

Car owners can find all of their car surface restoration products at car supply shops or they can go online and look for deals at the leading ecommerce site, eBay. Many eBay sellers bundle car maintenance products with more expensive items, such as a new or used automobile. Before going online to eBay, car owners should first learn about the causes of car scratches, and then review the steps involved in removing both fine and deep car scratches.

What Causes Car Scratches?

Car scratches can be repaired by a mobile car body repair service or an accident repair centre. In either case, paying for the removal of car scratches can run consumers over 100 pounds per panel, depending on the make and model of the automobile. A heavily scratched vehicle that incurs damage on multiple panels takes a huge chunk out of a monthly automobile maintenance budget. Therefore, it is important to know what causes car scratches to avoid unnecessary automobile repair expenses. Consumers can avoid the following causes of car scratches by taking measures to prevent the scenarios that cause the scratches.


Over two-thirds of all car scratches occur in supermarket parking lots. The parking lot spaces are often too close together and stationary objects, such as shopping carts, are easy targets for automobiles. Moreover, people passing in between the tight spaces that divide parked cars can scratch a car's surface in several ways. Most supermarkets have large, sprawling parking lots that contain sections of unused parking spaces. The walk may be further, but the car owner eliminates the causes of car scratches.


Think of all of the objects a car makes contact with everyday. From dangling tree branches to mailboxes, cars come into contact with objects that cause scratches. Most of the contacts initiate with the car's bumper, which can have sensors fitted to alert drivers whenever contact has been made. Car scratches caused by contact can be deeper than scratches caused by other factors, and hence, the cost of repair can run into the hundreds of pounds.

Lack of Washing

Car owners wash and wax their cars to highlight their car's appearance. A shiny, bright red Ferrari exudes elite status. However, car washing represents one of the many neglected chores of a bustling lifestyle. While on the other side of the severity spectrum, car scratches caused by the accumulation of debris and grit can be avoided by regularly washing and waxing a car's surface. At the very least, wipe the panels with a wet cloth to remove dirt and grime.


Think of the vengeful rival who gets back at an adversary by keying the adversary's car. While this can cause immense damage by creating deep, long running scratches, simply inserting a key and turning a car door lock causes more car scratches. The scratches can come from the other keys that make contact with the car surface or the car key that misses its mark and makes small, yet discernible streaks on the car door surface.

Mother Nature

Cars parked in driveways or on streets are susceptible to the whims of Mother Nature. Hail cannot only shatter windshields and cause lunar-like deep dents on a car surface, it can also cause long, streaky scratches that require professional repair. The best way to avoid Mother Nature is to park cars under multi-level parking garages when out shopping. At home, park the car in a fully enclosed garage.

How to Remove Fine Car Scratches

Most car scratches are nothing more than short, thin eye nuisances that car owners can take off by conducting minor repair work. The scratches can derive from light contact with a wayward bush branch or tiny gravel pellets that a car kicks up from the road during acceleration. In any case, the following chart lists the steps for eliminating fine car scratches.



Wash the entire car

Eliminates harmful elements that chemically bond with car paint

Removes dust and pollen

Two soapy wash-rinse cycles for maximum effect

Dry the vehicle

Must be thorough

Should not attempt to remove scratches on wet car surface

Any residual soap or water dilutes scratch removal substances

Apply scratch removal product

Use a well-respected brand

Read label to see what types of scratches the product removes

Fine car scratches can include chemical etching, acid rain spots, and buffer swirls

Removal technique

Dispense a small dab of product on the applicator pad

Lightly rub product over scratch area until area is completely covered

Work the product into the scratches


Use a dry terry cloth

Polish with a high-quality spray wax

Move the terry cloth over the scratched surface until a shine appears in the car paint.

The ideal waxing temperature is close to room temperature, which makes a garage one of the best places to remove car scratches. Apply wax paste in thin, even coats to ensure complete scratch removal. Most waxes and polishes possess mild abrasives that can cause more damage to a car surface. Never apply wax under direct sunlight, as the sunlight inhibits the chemical interaction that prompts scratch removal.

Removing Deep Car Scratches

Deep car scratches require more skill to remove and additional equipment that some car owners do not know how to operate. While removing deep car scratches appears complicated, car owners can save some money by following a few time-tested scratch removal steps.

Establish Scratch Depth

The scratch must be deep enough to break out the heavy equipment. Cars possess four main surface layers of clear coat, colour, primer, and steel. If a scratch only digs into the clear coat or colour layer, then it only requires little exertion and time to remove. However, deeper scratches require more intensive work to remove. Car owners who are unsure of scratch depth levels should consult with an auto accessories and parts professional.

Prepare the Vehicle

Thoroughly wash and dry the car surface using two cycles. Any lingering dirt can cause additional scratches during the sanding and buffing process. After cleaning the surface, spray water on individual scratches.

Sand the Scratches

Wrap high-quality, 2000-grit sandpaper around a sanding pad and secure using the pad's clips. Sand in the direction of the scratch, which usually runs horizontally. Many car owners erroneously believe power sanders do the best job of removing vehicle scratches. However, longer hand sanding prevents more scratches. Periodically rinse the scratch areas. The deepest scratches may require the use of 1500-grit sandpaper at first, followed by 2000-grit sandpaper.

Polish Scratch Areas

Apply rubbing compound to the scratched areas, and using a buffer pad, spread the compound evenly over the sanded area by moving the buffer in circular motions. Then, turn the buffer on to the lowest level and move it over the scratched area for roughly 10 seconds. Increase the buffer speed to about 2000 RPM and buff for one to two minutes, depending on the depth of the scratch. Buffer movement should be side to side, while going slowly down the scratched area. Repeat movement until the scratch fades.

Wash and Wax

A thorough second shampoo after buffing removes any impurities that a coat of car wax can embed in car paint. Use clean, warm water and a dry towel to remove any residual compound that remains on the paint surface. Apply wax with a dry terry cloth in small circular motions that go over the same spot numerous times.

Buying Car Scratch Materials on eBay

eBay offers buyers a wide selection of sellers who can fulfill shopping needs. For buying car scratch materials and equipment on eBay, simply type keywords into the search engine, and then vet the list of sellers that eBay returns. You can search for power sanders and buffers by typing "power tools" into the search engine. This approach provides you with a large number of search results. To pare down the results, type specific words into the search engine, such as " Silverline buffers" or "Bosch sander". Many eBay power buffer and sander sellers bundle the power tools with the compounds and sanding paper required to remove car scratches.

After narrowing your seller list to a manageable level, the time has come to further scrutinise each seller before deciding on the one who meets your shopping criteria. Examine the large product photograph that seach seller prominently displays on the product page. The next step is to review seller terms, such as accepted payment methods and delivery times. eBay compiles customer reviews on seller product pages so you can confirm that a seller under consideration consistently meets delivery deadlines. Consider eBay sellers who have established track records of selling products that have earned high praise from customers.


The new Alfa Romeo glistens in the family driveway. The sparkle that emanates from the shiny surface attracts the awe of neighbours and family members who visit to look over the beautiful piece of machinery. After the accolades from friends and family, the new car goes for a quick spin around the neighbourhood, only to return with myriad fine scratches that have transformed the sleek vehicle into a shell of its former state. Panicked, the first call made by the car owner goes out to the nearest body repair shop.

Car owners should not fret when they incur car scratches. In fact, with just a little planning and some patience, car owners can remove the scratches caused by tree limbs, gravel, keys, and Mother Nature. The first step requires car owners to analyse the car scratch to see if it is fine or deep. Depending on the depth of the scratch, car owners execute a few easy-to-learn steps that expunge the car surface scratches. Fine scratches typically only require a soapy water cleaning and water rinsing cycle, while deeper scratches involve the methodical movement of a power buffer and hand operated sander.

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