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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!

Easy repair options for 3 common car scratches and dents

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.

  1. If there are sharp dents, they may use a glue pull and a slide hammer to pull the dent out.
  2. Next, they’ll use panel beater tools to tap the low spot out.
  3. If the dent becomes a protrusion and comes out too high, they may use a nylon nail and tap it back down.
  4. 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:

  1. Use coarse sandpaper to remove the paint back to the substrate.
  2. Smooth it down with a finer-grade sandpaper.
  3. Use wet/dry sandpaper with water to sand the finer scratches until they disappear.
  4. After the scratch is removed, reprime and repaint the affected area.
  5. 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:

  1. Use coarse sandpaper to sand out the affected area.
  2. Smooth out the smaller scratch marks with a finer-grade sandpaper.
  3. Reapply the wheel colour with the help of an applied adhesion promoter.
  4. 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:

Make a claim

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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.