The Truth About Scratch Removal
Updated: Jul 28, 2020
One of the most frustrating things, when it comes to your vehicle, is the unattractive blemishes that inevitably happen to the exterior. Add insult to injury when they are caused by other people and you're left with correcting the problem or living with the sight of it. A huge misconception we encounter time and again, is that theses unsightly scratches or paint transfers are expensive to correct or that you must visit an auto body repair shop to correct it. The other thing we often see is the ill-advised DIY advice on various social media sites that make us cringe and want to yell "DON'T DO IT"!
What NOT to Do
So let's first examine what you shouldn't do when faced with unsightly scratches or paint transfer. As with anything on the exterior of your vehicle, put down the household cleaners or scrubbers. Those can easily lead you to inflicting more damage to your vehicle that you will have to pay extra to correct or live with (looking at you mr. magic eraser, basically like using sandpaper).
The other thing we caution is reaching for your touch-up paint before you've consulted with a professional on your options. So many people think that because the touch-up paint came with your vehicle or was purchased at the dealership and is brand name and matches your paint perfectly, it is the best solution for making your car look new again. While touch-up paint can definitely be useful, people often forget that it doesn't contain the top clear coat which is what gives your vehicle it's gloss and shine. Touch up paint will leave a slightly dull spot where it is used.
We recently had a vehicle in that wanted us to buff and "shine up" a large spot where they used touch up paint. Unfortunately, we weren't able to do much because the area covered almost an entire door panel and had we tried to buff it, it would have removed the touch up paint. Ultimately they were left with a very noticeable dull area on their vehicle and the advice that if they wanted it to look new-ish again they would have to go to a body shop to have it repainted/blended to match the rest of the vehicle. While we don't know what it looked like before the touch up paint was used, had they consulted with a professional prior to DIY-ing the touch up paint there's a good chance that scratch removal could have saved them the more expensive trip to the body shop.
What Should you Do?
Consult a professional, almost all detailers offer free consultations. At Eco Car Spa, we will do our best to give you a range estimate via email or text, with pictures provided. However, until we can see it in person it's hard to give you an accurate description of the results you can expect. Our estimates rarely increase when we see it in person, unless we weren't able to accurately see how large the affected area is in the pictures. As for results, if you run your fingernail over the affected area and it does not catch, then we will most likely be able to buff it away completely. If your nail catches it means it's a deeper scratch; we should be able to make a significant improvement but it likely won't go away completely. In this case, after we have made improvements, the touch up paint can be useful. We will even help you apply it if you provide the paint.
How Much does it Cost???
Let's get to the most important question you most likely have, how much does it cost to do scratch or paint transfer removal? The frustrating answer is it depends, but probably less than you're expecting. At Eco Car Spa, every scratch or paint transfer removal we have done has been under $100. Below are some before and after pictures we have done with the price listed for each; including the most expensive one which was $75. You'll see that for most we were able to completely remove the damage, while one has significant improvement but there is still some slight damage present.
Next time you're faced with frustrating blemishes to your vehicle, reach to Eco Car Spa for your free consultation and let us take care of it for you!