During the operation of the vehicle you often have to ask yourself a question: how to get rid of minor scratches and damage that appear due to careless driving, the interaction of paintwork with foreign objects or other factors.
And we are talking not only about the body defects, but also about the chips on the windshield, endangering the safe driving in the dark time of day.
Different types of scratches
Before proceeding to the elimination of scratches on the car body, it is necessary to understand their main varieties and causes of occurrence. For example, in some cases, it is enough to paint over the problem area or perform superficial polishing without any additional manipulations.
Depending on the degree of damage, scratches are of the following types:
- Cobweb. The weakest defect of the paint coating, not affecting the metal parts of the body;
- Fine scratch. Affects several layers of paintwork, but without affecting the metal;
- Deep scratch. A more serious problem that reaches the primer layer, but without the appearance of corrosion;
- Chipping. A large defect that requires a professional approach and special equipment to fix;
- Scratch with traces of rust. Critical damage that compromises the integrity of the metal. Without proper repair and maintenance of the defective area, corrosion will only worsen.
Danger of body coating damage
As you know, different materials are used to manufacture car body parts. Among them: steel, aluminum, plastic, etc. In this regard, body defects can be of different nature and have a certain degree of danger.
For example, if we are talking about a small chip on the plastic bumper, it does not pose a serious threat and only worsens the aesthetic appearance of the vehicle. In the case of steel or aluminum elements, they are vulnerable to corrosion and require special care.
Corrosion is the main enemy of any car. This process compromises the integrity of the metal, reducing its strength and resistance to mechanical stress. And if you ignore the traces of rust, soon the iron part will literally become dust.
Deformation of aluminum is slower, but it is also a vulnerable material to corrosion, which can completely “eat” it. The task of the paint coating is to protect the body from the negative influences of the environment, so responsible motorists carefully monitor its integrity and condition. After all, it determines the service life and trouble-free operation of the vehicle.
Degree of damage to the paintwork
If you find that a chip or scratch has affected the metal part, it is important to competently assess the extent of the problem. The fact is that the paintwork in any modern car includes three layers:
- Primer. Represents the initial layer, which is on the metal surface and improves the adhesion properties of other materials with the body.
- Paint. A special mixture based on a pigmenting component and a base. The pigment determines the shade of the paint and its resistance to fading under the influence of the sun. The base in its turn influences the performance properties of the composition, namely – adhesion, hardness, plasticity, etc.
To improve the paint properties it is often diluted with lacquers, which allows classifying the product as an enamel. Most of the brands of automotive paints released in recent years are water-based, as this technology is the safest from an environmental point of view.
- varnish. The final layer that creates the gloss effect and protects the paint from negative external factors. Usually, this part of the paint coat is the thickest and hardest.
All the above mentioned layers of the paint coat may be distributed in several layers with observance of drying time between each stage.
How to determine the severity of paintwork damage
To understand how seriously a chipped or scratched paintwork has affected the body paintwork, it is necessary to use additional lighting and perfectly wash the car. Visual inspection is carried out during the daytime with the use of a flashlight.
Lacquer defects are best seen on bright and dark cars. Small “cobwebs” and scratches on the finish coat have a light tint. At the same time, the edges of these areas are almost invisible, as they have no sharp edges. In order to locate the problem areas, it is necessary to perform a review from different angles.
How to get rid of paint scratches
To remove minor defects in the varnish, you can use abrasive polishing, also called restorative polishing. During maintenance of the problem area, it is necessary to remove a layer of varnish to the depth of the scratch. In this way it will be possible to obtain a thinner, but perfectly smooth and “clean” layer.
For the most effective restoration it is necessary to use special equipment for polishing and abrasive mixtures with different levels of “coarseness”. Before carrying out the work, the part should be thoroughly washed of dirt. Otherwise, dust particles will get into the polishing paste, which will disturb the coating.
How to remove paint and varnish damage
If chipping has affected the enamel and varnish, the metal parts are still protected from corrosion. Although the factory primer layer is extremely thin (about 20 microns), it is quite strong. In addition, the primer contains anti-corrosion additives that provide reliable protection for the body.
To get rid of a visual defect on the paint coating, you can use different methods. Small “cobwebs” are best dealt with with a wax pencil with the appropriate shade. This is an inexpensive and effective method, but without a long lifespan. The pencils themselves contain a wax base, color pigments and oils, due to which they are not able to remain on the body for a long time.
It is better to restore the body after scratches when the surface temperature is about 20 degrees. Before using a pencil, the part should be thoroughly washed, dried and degreased. Then it should be shaded.