Discovering a scratch on your car is an unpleasant and upsetting experience. Scratches on the finish aren't just unsightly, though. Depending on the severity of the damage, a scratch can expose the underlying metal to moisture and corrosion.
How to Prevent Scratches to Car Paint
There are smart ways to prevent scratches to car paint so you don't have to deal with the consequences.
- Don't park where the car is vulnerable. Avoid pulling in next to a vehicle that's not lined up properly, and don't park where pedestrians have to pass close to your car. It's better to choose a spot in an empty area of a parking lot and walk a little farther than risk scratches from adjacent vehicle doors, shopping carts or passersby.
- Allow ample space around the car when you're driving. Avoid any situation that puts you in too close a proximity to other vehicles, stationary objects, low hanging tree branches or overgrown shrubs that could scrape the paint and cause a scratch.
- Bath your car regularly and carefully. Dirt and grime are abrasive and can easily create nicks, swirls and scratches on a beautiful, shiny finish, so you need to take care when washing your car. Hand washing is safer than using an automatic car wash, but always rinse off accumulated dirt first, starting from the roof on down. Never use a dry cloth or your hands to wipe away dirt instead of washing the car properly.
- Don't place foreign objects on the car. If you want to protect the paint from scratches, never sit on your car or place an object on the hood or roof for convenience sake.
Even if you take a proactive approach to prevention, scratches can happen. Making a scratch disappear requires specialized skills and equipment, so it's best left in the hands of a knowledgeable professional. An auto finish expert can assess the damage and tell you whether just a touch up is necessary or if the entire panel needs repainting.