Does Car Detailing Fix Scratches? What You Need To Know

Car scratches can result from animals, debris, humans, or parking mistakes. But does car detailing fix scratches? The short answer is yes, but only under certain circumstances, which are explained below.

Minor Car Scratches

Minor car scratches that only harm the clear coat can be repaired by car detailing. Buffing or polishing the clear coat will level its paint, which will make the scratch disappear. However, if its base coat has been damaged, car detailing alone will not be enough. Scratches come in multiple forms, which are:

  • Basecoat scratches: A scratched basecoat can be a significant problem, because it gives the vehicle its color, and is not transparent like the clear coat. This means polishing away basecoat scratches is not possible, since it is necessary to add color to conceal the blemishes. Since the primer will be visible, repainting will be necessary.
  • Primer scratches: These are severe. If a scratch occurs in the vehicle’s primer, this means its clear coat has been cut through and the underlying metal might be damaged. Polishing alone won’t remove it, and the metal will often be visible. Repainting will be required.
  • Clear coat scratches: These scratches appear in the form of marring or swirl marks and most vehicle owners will encounter them at some point. This is because the clear coat is quite delicate, which means that mechanical forces of various kinds will leave behind these blemishes. The good news is that they are simple to remove via polishing, can be concealed using car wax, and don’t require repainting.
Techniques Car Detailers Use to Remove and Prevent Scratches

Polishing is a time-tested technique that is used to eliminate most scratches. The detailer will apply polishing compound via machine to remove them, and for scratches that are severe, there are numerous compounds and pads which can be utilized to remove some clear coat so the scratches can be accessed and repaired. The area will be buffed afterward, which will provide a clear coat with a lovely shine while ensuring its surface is level. This will often make the vehicle appear brand new.

One of the best ways to protect automobile paint from scratches is with sealant. The sealant will shield the vehicle’s surface and paint against natural elements like adverse weather, and ceramic coatings are widely regarded as being the best. This is because they consist of liquid polymer which will bond chemically to the vehicle’s paint, which offers an additional protective layer, while also adding resale value to the vehicle.

Simple Things You Can Do to Avoid Scratches

While it’s inevitable that your vehicle will sustain minor scratches over time, things you can do to avoid serious scratches include not parking under trees. While trees do provide shade during hot summer days, twigs, sticks, nuts or acorns can also fall down onto the vehicle which can scratch it. Plus chipmunks or squirrels might decide to climb on the vehicle and their claws might create scratches. Avoid touching the vehicle’s paint and be sure to wash the car correctly.