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Removing Scratches on a Machine

No matter how carefully you treat your car, scratches will inevitably appear on its body. The reason may be branches, dirty rags of car washes, small stones that bounced off the wheels - all that the driver can’t influence. The only way to avoid them is simply not to use the vehicle. But was the car bought in order to gather dust in the garage?

Fortunately, car owners, there are ways to eliminate such damage at home, which will not "hit" the budget. In this article we will talk about the most popular and effective ones.

What is LCP?

First you need to figure out what the paintwork of a car is. Everyone knows that this is the coating of the car body with paint and varnish. In addition to providing aesthetics to the vehicle, the paintwork system is designed to prevent premature destruction of the metal due to corrosion.

The paint system includes the following categories of layers:

  • Primer The primer includes substances that are resistant to temperature extremes and slight deformations. Among this category, there are acrylic (used in the repair and restoration of the body), epoxy (have anti-corrosion properties) and acid (used before painting the body and are designed to prevent metal oxidation).
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  • Intermediate. This layer is responsible for body color. Acrylic enamels are distinguished among auto enamels (they dry quickly, do not shrink, are resistant to mechanical damage, and do not deteriorate when changing atmospheric conditions), alkyd (budget option, polishes worse, it is difficult to achieve a mirror effect; auto painters recommend them for local work), metallic the composition includes aluminum powder, giving the body an original shine). Some types of paints do not require the use of varnishes. Special varieties of paints have been created for rims and bumpers.
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  • The coverslip. The purpose of the varnish coating is to protect the base layer from ultraviolet rays and the aggressive effects of atmospheric conditions. There is a huge variety of auto lacquers. The list includes acrylic (they require adherence to the application technology, dry quickly), cellulose (practically not used for repairs), glyphthalic (composed of synthetic resins providing a protective layer of elasticity), polyurethane (they are resistant to brake fluid, gasoline and acid ), acrylic polyurethane (two-component varnishes with the properties of acrylic and polyurethane analogues).
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For more information about the functions of the paintwork, see this video:

What is a paint coating

Each manufacturer at the stage of processing the body with protective equipment uses different materials, which may differ from their analogues in chemical composition. The longer the coating will be, the less corrosive the car body will be affected.

That is why every motorist needs to monitor the cleanliness of his car, and be careful about the appearance of scratches on the paint.

Where do the scratches come from?

When the varnish is destroyed, the car body loses its original shine. Due to the violation of the protective layer, ultraviolet rays freely reach the paint layer and change its color over time. The thinner the layer of varnish becomes, the greater the exposure to the weather. Over time, microcracks and bundles appear on it. If you do not care for the paintwork of the car, these cracks become more expressive and can lead to chipped paint.

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In addition to the natural aging process of the protective and decorative layer of the body, scratches on it can appear for the following reasons:

  • Dirt, dust, stones. While driving, a lot of small particles are hit on the car body (they can be thrown out from under the wheels of an oncoming or ahead vehicle), which scratch the varnish or form chips.
  • Sloppy driving. An inattentive driver may inadvertently catch the gate support when leaving the yard or during a parking push a nearby car. When traveling on a picnic in the forest, a car can catch a branch.
  • Inaccurate washing. Some motorists save on basic things. For example, they use dirty rags, sponges to wash the car and do not use car shampoos, thinking that this is a waste of money. In fact, soapy water eliminates the abrasive effect, and special rags (for example, wet suede or microfiber) easily collect microscopic particles, so that after washing there are no scuffs on the body.
  • Attackers can specifically scratch the car. A cat or a bird can go over it.

Here is another option where scratches can appear on the paintwork:

Where do the scratches on the body come from?

This is actually not a complete list of the causes of scratches. It all depends on the operating conditions of the machine and the situations that occur on the roads. As you can see, not all causes can be prevented.

Remedies

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Since the nature of damage to the paintwork can be different, the methods for their elimination also vary. Among all the methods, three main ones can be distinguished:

  1. Polishing. It is enough if the damage depth is within the varnish coating.
  2. Painting and polishing. This method is used for deep scratches. To do this, paint is applied to the damaged area, and polished after drying.
  3. Abrasive polishing. It is used in the presence of numerous small scratches. It should be noted that during the procedure a thin layer of varnish is removed, so you should not use this method constantly.

In many car service centers, after repair work, the car body is covered with wax or liquid glass. These products provide additional protection against moisture and sunlight.

Here are answers to the most common questions about polishing a car:

Polishing cars for beginners with Victor Platonov. Part 1

Choosing a polishing agent

Modern manufacturers provide a huge selection of tools for polishing the car body. Conventionally, they are divided into two categories:

  • Protective. Their purpose is to protect the paintwork from exposure to ultraviolet rays, they collect less dust due to the statics of the body. According to the principle of action and composition, there is a great variety of them, so before using them, you should consult with specialists.
  • Abrasive Such polishes are designed to eliminate scratches of varying degrees of complexity. They differ in grain size: coarse-grained, medium-grained, fine-grained and microabrasive.
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Among the protective polishes there are synthetic and organic. The advantage of the first category is that such products remain longer after application. They may contain substances for the effective removal of oil and bitumen stains. Synthetic protective polishes, unlike organic ones, more effectively eliminate micro-scratches from varnish, and give the car's color the same freshness. They are mainly used after the main polishing.

Abrasive products have a pasty or liquid structure. The former have a fatty base, while the latter have a silicone (or water) basis. When treating deep scratches, several types of abrasive substances should be used - gradually reduce the graininess as the area is treated (before using the following product, the remaining paste must first be removed and then a new one applied).

For a more detailed overview of abrasive pastes, see the following video:

Tools for abrasive polishing of a body

To date, there are universal means for polishing the body. One of them is 3M paste. It also includes organic and synthetic substances, which expands the range of protection of the paintwork.

Recently, manufacturers are developing alternative means for protective treatment of the body. For example, one of these polishes is NanoWax. It is used not only for processing plumage cars, but also suitable for glass and plastic elements of the machine. Another protective tool that is gaining popularity is the "liquid glass".

How to remove minor scratches on a varnish

Scratches on a car - 2
Minor scratches on the machine can be fixed quickly and easily. To do this, you only need a finely abrasive paste. However, before proceeding directly to the removal of scratches, you need to perform preparatory work.

First, thoroughly clean the car of dirt. To do this, wash it with a car shampoo and dry it. It is advisable to put the vehicle in the shade so that it does not heat up in the sun. After that, take masking tape or a simple adhesive tape, and glue over the damaged areas to work only with them, without touching the rest of the body.

Now you can proceed to the removal of scratches. To do this, apply a finely abrasive paste to them, and begin to overwrite them with smooth circular movements. Terry or microfiber fabric can be used. When the polishing agent is evenly distributed, the rag should be replaced with a dry one and continue.

The procedure should be repeated until the defects have completely disappeared.

How to remove paint scratches

Paint scratches - 3
More serious defects are removed with a restoration pencil. This is a simple and effective way to eliminate mid-depth scratches.

Before starting the main work, the car should be washed from dirt and dust, as well as degreasing damaged areas in order to eliminate the possible presence of extraneous chemical compounds.

Next, you need to carefully cover up the defect, trying to minimally hurt entire areas of the body. When everything is ready, let the paint dry for a day and rub the surface to get rid of the traces of the pencil. To do this, use a fine sandpaper or a rubber sponge. The main thing in this process is not to rush anywhere.
Car paint scratches
The resulting damaged area is removed with a simple polishing agent. Apply it and rub it in a circular motion, using a terry cloth. As a result, the defect will completely disappear, and the body will again become smooth and shiny.

How to remove glass scratches

Glass scratches
Damage to the glass is not only a matter of appearance, but also a matter of safety, because scuffs and a spiderweb worsen the driver's view. The most effective way to get rid of them is to contact specialists. However, if you want to save, you can do everything yourself.

To eliminate defects on the glass, a special abrasive paste is used. The most effective is a brown polish - based on cerium oxide.

Wash first and wipe dry the area to be worked on. On the back of the glass, we recommend making marks to indicate where the defects are. Thus, you will not miss a single damaged area, because in the process of mashing, it will be almost impossible to discern minor scuffs.

The next step is polishing. Rub the paste thoroughly into flaws to fill them as much as possible. To simplify the work, you can perform these actions not manually, but put on a special nozzle on the drill. Do not forget to take breaks so as not to overheat the glass.

Polishing can take from 30 to 60 minutes. Continue until the result suits you.

Small scratches and traces of the wipers will go away completely, and deeper ones that cling to the nail will become less pronounced and smoothed out.

How to remove scratches on plastic

Scratches on a car occur not only outside, but also in the passenger compartment. One inaccurate action may be enough to leave a long and unpleasant mark on the plastic.

There are two ways to remove such defects.
Scratches on plastic auto2
The first is more expensive and time-consuming, using special restorers. A lot of such products are sold in car dealerships - in the form of aerosols, sprays, etc. However, they have a similar operating principle. Due to their good penetrating ability, they effectively fill in scratches, and the polish included in their composition returns the plastic part to its original appearance.

Before using such tools, the work area should be washed and degreased, and in especially severe cases - primed.

The second method will allow you to quickly repair small, and significantly tighten deep scratches on the plastic in the car. You will need a building hair dryer. Set the device to a temperature of 500 degrees Celsius, and at a distance of 30 centimeters, bring it to the place to be processed. As a result, the defect will be “magically” delayed. If you don’t have such a device, you can replace it with a simple lighter.
Scratches on plastic
The main thing here is to be careful so as not to overheat the plastic. Otherwise, the part may melt and will have to be completely replaced.

For more information on how to remove scratches from plastic, read separate article.

How to remove headlight scratches

Headlight scratches
Scuffs and defects on headlights are eliminated by the same principle, as on glasses. Garage craftsmen often get rid of the clouding with ordinary toothpaste. However, it’s better not to risk it, and purchase a special set for polishing, because it includes all the necessary components.

The use of such sets is not difficult.

  • It is necessary to wash and dry the treated surface.
  • Stick a masking tape on the bumper, doors and other adjacent parts of the body to protect them from the ingress of mortar.
  • The glass surface is sanded with a damp sandpaper.
  • Optics is processed by coarse-grained, then fine-grained polish.
  • The headlight is cleaned and washed, after which a layer of UV varnish is applied to it.

After completing the procedures, the car cannot be used for a couple of hours until the varnish is completely dry. Full polymerization takes place during the day; washing the machine at this time is prohibited.

How to remove deep scratches and chips

If the scratch on the machine has reached metal or a chip has formed, you will need a special restoration kit. As a rule, it includes all the necessary tools - anticorrosion and ordinary primers, degreasers, paints and varnishes.
Scratches and chips on a car
The principle of action is as follows:

  • Rinse and dry your car.
  • Using sandpaper, clean the rust, if any.
  • Apply anticorrosive primer to the surface and allow time for it to dry. Following is applied ordinary soil, which levels the surface and prepares for painting.
  • The damaged area should be painted over twice. First apply the first coat of paint, and when it dries - another.
  • Apply clearcoat.

Thus, you will not only improve the appearance of your vehicle, but also extend its service life, saving the body from the development of corrosion. Serious defects on the body should be eliminated as quickly as possible, otherwise the repair price may increase at times.

How to prevent defects

A well-known saying goes: "Better to warn than to heal." Based on this principle, instead of frequent restoration work, it is necessary to carefully operate the car and apply protective equipment to handle the body.

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Standard precautions include:

  • careful care of the paintwork (do not rub it with dry rags with dry rags, do not handle the body with aggressive agents containing acetone and similar substances);
  • accurate riding (to be careful when parking and driving near overall obstacles);
  • use of protective equipment (wax coating to protect against dust and moisture).

Compared to repainting a car, the use of protective equipment will be much cheaper, so do not ignore minor scratches on the body. If there are doubts about the quality of work, you should seek the help of specialists.

And here is another short video about car paint care:

How to care for the body
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