How to Measure Scratch Depth
The nauseating feeling of buying a new vehicle and parking it all alone is a safe parking spot only to have an unknown object scratch your new vehicle. The same can be said of older vehicles. A scratch is a scratch, but scratch length and scratch depth will determine how an auto body repair shop can make it look new again. The type of scratch will determine the approach to scratch repair. There are surface scratches, paint scratches, and deep scratches.
Surface scratches are known as light scratches and are the most common and least severe type of scratch. These scratches are usually caused by dirt or rocks hitting the vehicle’s surface. They tend to be shallow scratches and are usually buffed out with wax and polish.
Paint scratches come in second and are usually caused by another driver hitting your vehicle with their vehicle. A common paint scratch occurrence is when a driver opens the door in a small parking space the door contacts the other vehicle. Paint scratches are the most difficult to fix. Paint matching or repainting may become an issue.
Deep scratches are caused by abrasive objects like rocks, keys or an unknown foreign object that bounces up from the road and strikes your vehicle.
The three main options for repairing scratches are: manual, chemical, and auto paint repair. Manual repair usually requires a holistic approach. Toothpaste and baking soda are two scratch repair favorites because of the abrasive materials found in these products. Baking soda and toothpaste gently remove a surface scratch and avoid paint damage. Just add a little bit of elbow grease and the scratch may vanish.
Chemical repair is usually performed for deeper scratches. An acidic solution is used to etch away the affected area. Chemical repair is similar to sanding and polishing but uses acid rather than sandpaper or a polishing compound. After the damaged area has been etched with the acidic solution, it’s filled with primer or paint and polished to restore the finish to its original condition.
If you have a scratch that goes through the paint down to the metal, auto paint repair may be necessary. This type of scratch usually requires the removal of paint by etching and removing the paint down to the metal and then repainting the damaged section of paint.
Scratches and tire tread have something in common. They’re measured with your finger or a coin. If your fingernail doesn’t go deep into the scratch, it’s a minor scratch.