Simple car repair options for scratches and minor dents
06 July 2023
Small dings and scratches can be annoying. They can also seem too minor to warrant an insurance claim, even though leaving them unrepaired can lead to greater damage – like rust and other wear and tear. This damage may not be covered by many insurers, Suncorp Insurance included.
The good news is that these dings can often be fixed with a quick pit-stop at a car repair garage, or even by booking an at-home visit!
There is nothing more annoying damaging your car with scratches, dents, or paint chips – the type that can easily happen in the supermarket carpark!
And that sound when you scrape your wheels on the kerb……… which leaves unsightly gouges to your wheel rims, can be enough to make you cry!
I should know, I’ve just scraped the side of my car…
What’s worse is that these small types of damages to your vehicle can sometimes be too minor to warrant an insurance claim, yet still leave your vehicle looking unsightly and detracting from your ownership experience.
If left unattended, minor damage can develop into more significant issues, reducing the value of your car.
So today, we are going to take a look at a range of solutions to consider that provide a quick, cost effective repair to your vehicle.
In many instances these repairs can be performed by mobile services who can visit you at home, work, or on the weekend.
This car has suffered the classic dent and looks ready for a trip to the panel beater – however modern technologies in many instances can ‘re-form’ the metal back to its original shape and avoid the need for panel replacement or re-spray!
Sean Charles, Paint and Panel repairer:
The one on the tailgate is probably a little bit more than average. It’s sort of a dent within a dent. Its got quite a sharp spot in it, so for that dent we will use both PDR techniques. We’ll actually glue pull the dent first. Glue Pulling means we actually glue a little plastic tab onto the dent and use what’s called a slide hammer to pull most of the dent out. And then we will use traditional tools to get the low spot out. If it becomes a little bit high, we will then tap it down with a nylon nail. And then after that process is done, we’ll de-knib the area and polish it back to original.
How good does that look!....and it’s been completed in little under an hour.
This looks all too familiar – the result of misjudged car parking that has caused a deep scrape to your moulded bumper bar, taking the paint with it!
Well the techniques we used for this one, we started off with a coarser grade sandpaper to rip down the paint back to the substrate, then we went to a finer grade sandpaper just to smooth it all off, and then we went to a paper that’s called Wet ‘n Dry which is rubbed down with water which makes the fine scratch marks disappear. Then what we did is we primed it and in this case, we used new technology with a UV primer and with the UV technology we can dry it quickly with a UV lamp, which allows us to rub it quickly and finish the job much quicker.
After that we mixed up the base coat, we got the colour code - we have full mixing system in the vans and we can mix the colour, we blended the colour out so it matched the surrounding panels and then over the top of that we put two coats of a two-pac polyeurothane clear, to finish the job off
I think this type of repair would make a big difference to many people’s cars ….let’s see what else can be repaired.
This is one that unfortunately we know only too well!......it’s the dreaded wheel scrape that damages alloy wheels on the kerb and leaves these unsightly scrapes and gouges!
The alloy wheel had what’s commonly known as gutter-rash. It had been damaged on a gutter, so what we do is start off with a coarser grade sandpaper, we actually sand the gutter-rash out of the wheel, then we go down to a finer grade of sand paper to get rid of the fine little scratch marks. After that, we use an adhesion promoter on the wheel, then we apply the colour – whatever colour the wheel is…silver or black, whatever that maybe…then over the top of that again, goes a two-pac polyeurothane clear, which makes everything go hard and shiny and finishes the process.
It’s like it was never damaged at all.
We hope that you’ve found this video informative, with potential options and solutions that may save you time, money and preserve the appearance and value of your car.
Remember when searching for a good car scratch remover or car dent repairer – it pays to do your research. Ask a family member or friends for referrals or check out the online reviews for paint-less dent repairs on social media.
There’s nothing more annoying than a small damage to your vehicle that is left and worsens over time. So consider these quick and cost-effective solutions that might be right for you and only use a trained technician. And don’t forget to find out what type of warranty your repairer provides on their work!
Oh…and they fixed the damage to my car….and no-one will ever know!
Should I repair my car dent or scratch myself?
If you’re confident in your own ability – and have the right tools – you can choose to attempt the repairs yourself. This might save you some cash in the short term, but you may want to consider a few things before opening the toolkit.
- How bad is the damage? A ding here or there may be straightforward to fix, but more extensive damage – or even a whole lot of minor scuffs – may warrant an expert’s help.
- How confident are you? If you’ve never had to undertake a fix like this yourself, it could be a hard job, even for minor damage. If you aren’t comfortable, you may want to contact a professional.
- Will this impact your warranty or insurance? Depending on the damage and the type of repairs required, it may be worth going with a professional from the beginning. This is because an incorrect self-fix may lead to more damage down the line, which may not be covered by your insurer and may void your car’s warranty. Check your insurance Product Disclosure Statement and your owner’s manual.
How to repair a car scratch or dent
While you can try to fix a deep scratch, scrape or dent at home, a professional can help get these fixed ASAP.
Car dent repair
Using a technique called ‘paintless dent repair’, a pro panel beater can remove dents from your car without damaging the paint.
- If there are sharp dents, they may use a glue pull and a slide hammer to pull the dent out.
- Next, they’ll use panel beater tools to tap the low spot out.
- If the dent becomes a protrusion and comes out too high, they may use a nylon nail and tap it back down.
- Then they’ll finish it off by removing any imperfections, and polishing the area to make it as good as new!
Car scratch repair
For nasty scratches or gouges, the paint can be removed by a professional and reapplied as good as new. Here’s what they may do:
- Use coarse sandpaper to remove the paint back to the substrate.
- Smooth it down with a finer-grade sandpaper.
- Use wet/dry sandpaper with water to sand the finer scratches until they disappear.
- After the scratch is removed, reprime and repaint the affected area.
- Apply a couple of coats of polyurethane clear to it, to finish the job and protect it from the elements.
Wheel scrape repair
Commonly known as “gutter-rash”, alloy wheel scrapes are also – luckily – something that a professional can easily fix! They may:
- Use coarse sandpaper to sand out the affected area.
- Smooth out the smaller scratch marks with a finer-grade sandpaper.
- Reapply the wheel colour with the help of an applied adhesion promoter.
- Finish by applying a few coats of polyurethane. It hardens the wheel’s surface and makes it more resistant to what the road will throw at it.
Maintenance tips to prevent future damage
- Clean your car regularly! Not only will this keep your car shiny, it may also reveal minor scrapes and scratches that were previously hidden.
- If you’re able, park in a garage or shelter. This not only protects your car from the elements, but also other drivers. That way, you won’t have to worry about dealing with someone hitting your parked car.
Need to claim?
If you’re with Suncorp Insurance you can always make a claim online. It’s quick and easy! All you need is:
- Your Suncorp Insurance policy number.
- Details about what happened and when.
- Details of other people or vehicles involved.
- At fault with no car insurance: What happens now?
- The most common car insurance claims
- What happens after a car insurance claim
Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. The Target Market Determination is also available. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.
The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.