There is nothing more annoying than scratches on your car. Even if you are the most careful driver in the world, scratches on your car’s paintwork are inevitable. However, there are some things that you can do and precautions that you can take to limit the number of scratches your car develops. After all, cars are a big investment so keeping them in good condition is important. To help ensure your paint job never tarnishes, we created this guide to everything you need to know about car scratches.
Different types of scratches
There are three main different types of scratches that you can get on your car. From light scratches that are easy to fix to deeper scratches which require more time, effort and money to fix. Below is a brief breakdown of each type of scratch:
- Clear coat scratches: These are superficial light scratches. The clear coat is the layer of protection on top of your paint so a surface scratch on this coat will do minimal damage and can be fixed with a microfiber cloth and rubbing compound.
- Paint scratches: If a deep scratch forms on your car, it will go through all the protective layers and damage your paint. If this happens, you need to take your car to a professional who knows how to reapply all the lost layers of paint and protection.
- Glass scratches: In addition to your paintwork being in danger of scratching, your glass is also in danger. However, your windows, windscreen, and rear windows don’t have the same protective layers, making them more vulnerable to scratching.
Why does my car get so many scratches?
Here are some of the most common reasons cars experience scratching:
- Other cars in car parks
- Automatic car washes
- Debris from trees
- Debris from the road (dirt, gravel, etc.)
- The weather
- Bird droppings
- Road salt
- Bristle brushes
The risk of scratches on your car come from a wide variety of factors, most of which are out of your control. However, there are protective steps that you can take to avoid serious damage to your vehicle.
Do car scratches go away?
Whether or not a car scratch goes away easily depends on the type of scratch. If your car has only experienced a surface-level scratch that affected the initial layers of protection before your paintwork, they can easily be fixed with a simple cleaning process.
However, if your car has experienced anything more than a micro scratch, you will need to take it to a professional to fix the problem. If you try to fix a deep scratch on your own, you might make the problem worse as you need to know how to properly reapply the paint as well as all subsequent protective layers.
How to avoid scratches on your car while washing
Washing is one of the most common ways drivers scratch their cars. Most people don’t realize how gentle they need to be with their car to ensure that all the protective layers and paint remain intact. In order to ensure that your washing routine prevents scratching, we have put together this step-by-step guide to washing your car.
Start with the wheels
You should always wash your car in parts. First the wheels, then the body of your car, and finally the windows. Many people make the mistake of doing it all together, which leads to cross-contamination and more chances of scratching occurring. In order to properly clean your wheels, you will need a bucket of soapy water, wheel brushes, and a microfiber wash mitt.
Start by wiping down the alloys with your microfiber wash mitt, making sure to get rid of all the stubborn dirt particles that attach themselves to the metal. You should then use the wheel brush to get to the hard-to-reach places on the inside of the wheel. This area usually has a build-up of oil and dirt so it will take some scrubbing to clean it.
Rinse the car
Once the wheels are out of the way, you can start working on the body of the car. The first thing you need to do is rinse it off with clean water to remove any loose debris and dirt. Lightly running water over your car ensures that it will seamlessly fall off your car and you won’t have to use pressure, which could scratch your car.
Rinsing the car is a step in the pre-wash stage of your car washing process, which includes the use of a snow foam cannon. If you don’t already have one, it is worth investing in one because it works great to break down the loose dirt on your car before you properly wash it. Coupled with a light rinse of your car, a snow foam cannon will have most of the cleaning done for you before you even touch your car. Once you’ve used the snow foam cannon, you’ll need to rinse your car once more.
Wash the car
Once it has been rinsed off and you have broken down the dirt on the car, it is time to clean the paintwork. The best way to clean your base coat of paint is with a bucket of fresh water, car wash shampoo, and a quality microfiber towel.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t use a sponge to wash your car as sponges are abrasive and more likely to cause scratches. When cleaning your car, we recommend moving your wash mitt or microfiber towel in circular motions as it ensures a gentle and even clean of your vehicle.
How to repair scratches
The best way to repair scratches is to take your car to an automotive shop where a professional can take a look at it. It’s difficult to fix a scratch without making the problem worse, as you need to use an abrasive tool to sand down the edges of the scratch, which could end up creating more scratches if not done properly. You then need to fill it with a special treatment that will fill in the scratch and match the paint.
Automotive paint protection film services
If you are worried about scratching your car, the best thing you can do is apply a protective film on your vehicle. A layer of paint protective film, such as the one provided by Protex Canada works to seamlessly prevent any kind of surface-level damage to your car.
The transparent film sticks onto your car so you can’t see it but it works around the clock to make sure that your paintwork doesn’t get damaged. If the film itself becomes scratched, all you need to do is peel it off and apply another film, providing an ongoing system of protection for your vehicle.
Protex Canada offers customers a range of different paint protection kits, depending on the part of your car you are most worried about. We sell a partial protection kit that includes film for partial hood, fender corners, and mirrors, an intermediate paint protection that also covers your headlights, a deluxe protection kit that additionally protects your front bumper and fog lights, and finally a full protection kit that covers your entire car.