How to Repair Car Dents and Scratches

man polishes car paint 

In the event that you find a new scratch or dent on your car, you may want to correct the issue yourself. With us, you can learn how to easily remove scratches and minor dents from you car. We'll also help you learn how to determine if a scratch or dent is indicative of more serious damage, which requires professional care. Our service professionals at Chicago Northside Toyota are here to help, so check out our guide below!

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polishing car paint

Remove Scratches from Your Car's Paint

Finding scratches on your car can be both frustrating and baffling. Depending on the severity, scratches can impact the car's paint job, and even small marks are real eyesores! While some scratches can be waxed or buffed off, others aren't so simple.

Unfortunately, a few scratches are inevitable over the lifespan of a vehicle, but they can always be removed. There are a few different types of scratches, but the most common are clear coat scratches. Follow along as we detail removing clear coat scratches from you car.

Removing Clear Coat Scratches

Clear coat scratches only affect the vehicle's clear coat, and they can be acquired in many ways. Sometimes they can appear when you're washing your car, if dirt or grit is on the sponge or towel used. In other cases, your dog may have jumped up on the side of your car, excited to see you. Regardless of how the scratch came about, removing these types of scratches is simple and easy.

  1. Run your fingernail across the scratch to determine if it's deep or not. If your nail doesn't catch, the scratch isn't deep. If you nail catches, the scratch is deep, but no worries. As long as it's in the clearcoat, you'll be able to remove it.
  2. Clean the area with soapy water and a towel. You want to make sure that no dirt or debris gets rubbed into the paint and cause more damage.
  3. Next, tape off the scratch so you'll know exactly where it's at. As you start fixing the scratch, it may become difficult to see where the scratch is.
  4. Now that the area is taped off, you want to sand the scratch down. If the scratch is deep, use 3000 grit sandpaper; if it's fine, use 5000 grit. Smooth out the area by going against the grain of the scratch. Before you start sanding, make sure you spray down the scratch and the sandpaper with water.
  5. Continue respraying and sanding the scratch until it disappears. If you started with 3000 grit, move to the 5000 grit to blend the scratch into the surrounding area.
  6. It's time to polish! With the scratch completely gone, clean the surface again. With a microfiber towel, use a swirling motion to add "fine" polish onto the area. Once the area is polished, use a microfiber towel to remove any excess polish and lightly buff the surface.
  7. Add wax to the surface to protect your clear coat and add a protective layer to your paint.

Now that you're finished, your vehicle should be scratch free!

*Note: This method won't work for deeper scratches. If your scratch has exposed the car's primer, you'll need to fill the scratch with paint and add a clear coat on top. While paint correction can be done at home, it's best to leave the job to a professional to ensure that it's done correctly.


man points at dent on silver car

Fix a Car Dent Yourself

In the parking lot. On the road. In the driveway. Small dents just happen. Fortunately, minor body damage can often be fixed at home. Don't let a small dent ruin the curb appeal of your car. Learn how to remove a car dent at home before bringing your car to a dent technician:

  • One method removes dents with a suction cup. Pick up a suction cup dent puller from your local auto store or parts department. With this tool, you create a strong vacuum with the suction cup, making it easy to pull out a dent.
  • One popular diy method involves a hair dryer and mallet, but this method requires you to remove the body panel you're trying to fix. Use the hair dryer to heat the dent for several minutes. Then take the mallet and knock the dent back into place. The heat from the dryer expands the metal making it easier to be pushed back into shape.

Though you can find many DIY dent removal methods online, there's a lot of skill behind repairing body work. To make sure your dent is removed correctly, consider bringing your vehicle to a pro. DIY methods can make your dent worse and harder to fix later. Remember, it's easier to repair than replace. Call for help when you need it!

Car Dent or Paint Scratch Repair in Chicago

If your car's has dents or scratches that require more than a simple DIY fix, contact our Chicago Northside Toyota service center. Our staff have the know-how to remove dings, minor dents and creases, and scratches from you car's exterior. We can even help you care for your vehicle's interior. Schedule an appointment today at our Chicago area Toyota dealer.

Chicago Northside Toyota Scion, Auto Dealers - New Cars, Chicago, IL
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