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What is a car scratch repair?
Your car’s paintwork isn’t just there to make it look good, it also provides protection to the metal underneath it. Vehicle paintwork is usually three separate layers: The primer, the colour base coat and clear coat, which is the main protective layer.
The paintwork is designed to stop rust and other environmental contaminants penetrating and damaging the panels, and these outside elements can often scratch the paintwork when they come into contact with the vehicle.
These scratches can vary in depth, from a light scratch in the clear coat to deep scratches that penetrate to the primer or bare metal underneath. Scratch repair removes or lessens the look of these scratches, depending on the severity of the scratch and the location on the vehicle.
How to tell if you need a car scratch repair
Looking at your vehicle in good lighting will help identify if you have any lighter scratching in the paintwork. Deeper scratches will be easier to see, and you may be able to catch your fingernail in these - these scratches may not be able to be repaired unless the panel is repainted, but they can be reduced so they are less visible.
How important is it to repair scratches on your car?
Scratches in your vehicles paintwork can not only make the appearance of your vehicle suffer, but can let corrosion attack the bare metal if the scratch is deep enough. When this takes hold, it can require a specialised body repair shop to strip off the old paint and repair any damage before applying a fresh coat of paint. This is an expensive process, as well as a time-consuming exercise that can be prevented by having scratches repaired as soon as they are noticed.
How are car scratches repaired?
Clear coat scratches are the easiest to repair, often only requiring the clear coat to be polished to level out the scratch, rendering it invisible. Deeper scratches that strike through the clear coat down to the base layer or primer are more difficult to repair, often requiring paint to be built up into the scratch, before being flattened down with sandpaper and then polished to bring back the shine.
If the scratch is severe, repainting the panel may be the only option to completely remove the scratch, as well as preventing corrosion from taking hold of the metal underneath.
How much does a car scratch repair cost?
Depending on the severity of the scratch and the location on the car, a simple polish to remove small scratches can start around $150 and full repairs of a panel including repainting and removing corrosion can add up into the thousands.
Where can you get a car scratch repaired?
Small scratches that are in the clear coat can be repaired by a reputable detailer or panel shop, with deeper scratches usually taken care of by specialty repairers or panel shops to ensure a proper repair.
Depending on your area, there may also be mobille options that can come out to you to repair light scratches.