Paint and Body Care

notmyrealnamenotmyrealname Member Posts: 3
I have a fairly new car and it has a small but
barely visible scratch above the front left wheel
rim, probably from some chrome that was protruding
from a car that I passed.

How can I prevent this scratch from really
deteriorating the condition of my car and
ultimately causing the body to rust? If repair
work is required what should it reasonably cost?
The scratch is probably less than 2" long and
1/16th of an inch wide, if that.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    There's really not much you can do in terms of touch-up that's going to look really good. Part of how it turns out depends on the color of your car and where exactly the scratch sounds like it is in a fairly visible area. You might try a professional detail shop, which shouldn't charge too much for a touch up--but don't expect it to look great.

    The only other alternative, for a "like new" look, is to respray the entire area, which is usually a $200-300 job where I live.

    I wouldn't worry about rust of any serious nature, but you might get little brown staining if the scratch is down to bare metal.
  • notmyrealnamenotmyrealname Member Posts: 3
    Actually, I can barely see the scratch in sunlight. The car is black and with road dust on the body, you really don't notice it.

    I'm more worried about deterioration than appearance - but if it can be fixed well for a few dollars, that might be worth it. If I do nothing (and it's not scratched deep down to the metal - grazed is more like it) what happens to the body from ordinary weather conditions?
  • MongoaPawnMongoaPawn Member Posts: 19
    Deterioration probably not a problem. If the scratch is so slight that it is difficult to see, it may be some scuffed residue that would possibly come off by using Blue Clay Magic. Pep Boys carries it. This stuff is really good for cleaning paint/clearcoat, leaves a smooth finish, and is not abrasive. Follow up with a good quality wax.
  • 97grandamgt97grandamgt Member Posts: 11
    Something else you could try is that new GS-27. I don't know how well it works though.
  • bigfur1bigfur1 Member Posts: 34
    Another opion is to try to buff it out with a light duty rubbing compound. I have seen it take out some deep scratches in the body shop were I work.
  • boyd1boyd1 Member Posts: 2
    Can anybody recommend a product for removing water spots and/or light paint scratches? I tried some rubbing compound on the scratches but it must not have been fine enough or wet enough because now I have some new fine circular scratches. Thanks
  • krumskrums Member Posts: 1
    I have this problem with my 1996 Buick Skylark all the time; as I live in a larger city. I have found that one of the best ways to get the fine scratches out is to purchase some Meguiers cleaner (stage 2) and wax (stage 3). You will probably invest about seven dollars in each, but it will pay off in the long run. I first used this because a complete stranger suggested it to me in the store, and since then, I swear by it! I have used this on several vehicles other than my own as well. I think it works best on darker tones than lighter. Give it a try -- I think they even have a money back offer?
  • cdg19cdg19 Member Posts: 15
    I have a 96 grand cherokee laredo with the grey molded bumpers. I had a few white looking scratches on the front bumper so i went to a body shop to find out how to get rid of them. They told me to use Meguries wax and polisher and this would get rid of the white looking scratches. Now it is worse. There are white circles on the bumper from where I put the wax and they don't seem to ever come off. I tried Black Magic which covers them up until it rains then they are back again. Is there anything else I can use to permanatley get rid of these white spots? Thanks in advance.
  • MongoaPawnMongoaPawn Member Posts: 19

    Have you tried Blue Clay Magic. This product is excellent for removing surface contaminants and making the surface as smooth and clean as you can possibly get it. It is non-abrasive. For more information on clay, how it works, and what it does, check out They make a clay product also. I have found the blue clay at Pep Boys. On the web, it is available at This stuff is really magic! (no pun intended)

    Although I haven't tried it, a wax "pro" told me to use lighter fluid to remove wax residue off of rubber and plastic molding.
  • DrGtrDrGtr Member Posts: 4
    Hi! Great topic! I'm hoping someone can help me with the following problem. I have a black pearlcoat finish on my '99 Passat and recently picked up a pinhead-sized paint chip on the hood, after briefly following a truck carrying gravel (could've been worse, I suppose).

    In any event, I'm wondering what I can do to repair this paint chip. It's a brand new car and I'm a little leary of my artistry, or lack thereof, regarding touch-up paint (the dealer says that the touch-up comes in two (2) tubes, one for the paint and the second for the clearcoat (?)). Should I take this course of action, and am not satisfied how can I then make the job unnoticable?

    Any ideas? Thanks.
  • cowboycowboy Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone had problems with the paint on their Buick Regal Custom Coupe, My 94 purchased used only two years ago was never supposed to have been damaged in any way. Now, just two years later the pain, (white) is peeling off in sheets 6 to 8 inches wide. Just wondered if anyone else has experienced the same problem.
  • alienmdalienmd Member Posts: 1
    Could someone tell me for sure if it's possible to put the front clip from a 91 cavalier on a 91 sunbird.I'v got a 91 sunbird with crunched front end and somewhat bad interior,I'm trying to find a parts car for it,I'd like to know if I could be looking at the cavalier as a substitute.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioMember Posts: 851
    I think a quick call to a junkyard would get you an answer to that one :)
  • sd99sd99 Member Posts: 65

    Back in the late 80's, GM had a ton of paint problems. The paint would flake off in large 6inch pieces, just as you mentioned. While there were no recalls, GM was helping or repainting vehicles for customers who complained. I worked for a Chevy dealer as the service manager in the early 90's, and I have seen Chevy completely repaint a vehicle with over 100,000 miles on it. I don't know if their paint problem still exists since I no longer own GM products. FYI
  • C13C13 Member Posts: 390
    Are you saying that you own no GM products at the moment, or you'd never purchase another one under any circumstances?

    If it's the second one, is it your opinion that the trucks are not to be trusted either?
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    I would either use the touch-up paint, or just wait for other rocks to create matching stone chips for me.
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    I would second the opinion of krums who said McGuiars (Step 2) Cleaner. I'm having trouble finding it where I bought it last, Checkers. Pep Boys did not have it either.
  • jerry16jerry16 Member Posts: 22
    I have a 93 firebird. The problem is on my front
    left fender and on the lower "nose" portion of the
    front clip. There are tiny bubbles on both surfaces. You can't notice them unless you catch them in the right light or you rub your hand over them. Anyhow, my fear is that they will get worse if I don't address them now. What is the best way to fix that type of problem, preferably doing it myself. Thanks a lot.
  • C13C13 Member Posts: 390
    What's the "front clip"?
  • jerry16jerry16 Member Posts: 22
    Front clip is a term that insurance companies and body shops use to describe the front of the car. The front clip is the left and right fender and the front of the car. Front clip is a generic term for the three parts combined. Instead of saying "we need to repair the left and right fender and the nose" they just say "we need a front clip." The reason is because if there is a front end collision it almost always requires all three parts be fixed or replaced.
  • C13C13 Member Posts: 390
    Thanks, Jer.
  • jvcnjvcn Member Posts: 50
    I think you mean Meguiar's Fine Cut Cleaner which is #2 in their pro series (yellow bottles). Step 2 usually means the Polish in the Deep Crystal Consumer line.
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    Correct jvcn, thanks.
  • shcst12shcst12 Member Posts: 34
    Can someone recommand me a car wax?? I just own a new car and I want to wax it! What kind of wax do I need for a new car?
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    I could, but it would deny you the fun of it. You can make a good choice. You might start with a liquid wax for clear coat finishes. Don't use a powered buffer machine. Just apply the wax in a circular motion with a dampened sponge. Let it dry to a milky haze, then buff it off by hand with a soft, clean terry cloth. Do one section of the car at a time. Good luck.
  • 1timer1timer Member Posts: 2
    need some advice. Took a rock off the leading edge of a 98 Bonneville SLE. Nice chip showing bare metal. Now a little bubbling around the wound.

    How do I go about fixing this? Scratch off bubbled up and touch up or try to fix the chip and worry about the rest later?

    Suggestions on good touch up paints? Repair kits? Where to find them?
  • jvcnjvcn Member Posts: 50
    I'm just an amateur, but I have achieved modest improvements by lightly sanding away the damage, then applying thin coats of touch up paint, followed by polish then wax.

    I buy an ultri fine sandpaper (about 1500 or 2000 grit), cut little pieces which I glue to a pencil's eraser, which can then be used to VERY carefully sand the d$%*'*#@NNNN chip!

    Frankly I'm not very patient, but when I've done this right, it looks ok.

    It beats swearing at the gods who frown on unblemished paint :)
  • C13C13 Member Posts: 390
    Hey, I need something new to complain about. How about those boneheads at the dealerships who burn MAJOR swirl marks into the clear coat with their buffers? I've even seen them bear down extra hard, I guess in the belief that the harder they're working, the better the result. "It must look good. I'm worn out!"

    I used to work at a dealership where I could walk down a long line of cars in the lot and every single one had a paint job that I would have rejected the car for if I were the buyer.

    This dealer had a separate body shop off-site. I asked the bodyshop manager about this practice and he just shook his head and said they have tried to train the prep guys. There's nothing left to do but either fire the whole crew or just live with it.

    On dark metallic colors it's so obvious I can't believe it. I guess it's not costing them any sales or they'd figure out how to solve the problem.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
    Someone here mentioned small scratches in posts prior, so I wanted to share my story.

    Three months ago, I bought a new van, and a few weeks after, I got several long scratches along the passenger side door. This probably happened from driving up against a thorny bush, not exactly sure. Needless to say, I wasn't too thrilled.

    I tried clay, and that bearly did anything... the scratches were a little too deep. Touch up was out of the question, because some of the scratches were several inches long..., it would have just been too noticeable. I honestly thought I'd eventually have to repaint the whole passenger side door panel if I wanted it looking new again.

    On my first dealer service (last week), the dealer buffed them out; it took all of a few seconds.... and they are now totally gone. The paint is smooth and shiny as though it had never been scratched in the first place. In addition, he did this gratis. ;-)

    So, I wanted to suggest people try having try having scratches buffed out professionally, before they start messing with compounds and touch up paint... and making them look even worse.

    My 2 cents.
  • eshuntereshunter Member Posts: 1
    I recently bought a used '91 Integra that has been "keyed". The scratches are long but not deep. The problem seems to be that wax has dried in the scratches, leaving white lines in the black paint. Is there any wax that dries clear? I really don't think I could touch up the marks without making it look worse, so I'd just like to minimize their appearance.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
  • wonderfulifewonderfulife Member Posts: 1
    Got myself the first "ding" on my month old Odyssey. Any ideas how to repair a messy and deep scuff mark on my fiberglass body-colored bumper. I sure wish they used black rubber bumpers!

    Yesterday, while doing vehicular contortions, trying to back out of my kid's dentist's teensy parking lot, the bumper rubbed up against a bush that had -SURPRISE - a big old log under it. Pushing back into the bush...I rubbed into the log and PRESTO, it looks like I took the tines of a fork and played with a quarter-sized section of the bumper. It's not the worst thing...but can this be fixed with some miracle sander, buffer, waxer, etc.?

    In advance, thanks.
  • DarknessDarkness Member Posts: 24
    Yeah what's with those damned dentists parking lots, you would think with all the money they make, they'd put a decent lot in there, every dentist i've ever gone to has always had the smallest parking lot in down, and the most crowded for size... Damn them all.
  • sebargesebarge Member Posts: 50
    I know it's off topic, but I had to laugh at the above 2 posts concerning dentists' parking lots. I thought about our dentist's lot, and it's incredibly small. The max cars it could fit would be about 10. Hmmm, what's up w/ that?
  • jlc4jlc4 Member Posts: 16
    well, when you think of it your right, but then again dentists are acclimated to dealing in small spaces. ;-} jlc4
  • gusgus Member Posts: 254
    Why do I feel like I've wandered into a Jerry Seinfeld routine?
  • ruking1ruking1 Member Posts: 19,826
    Well, we are denying the obvious!!! Select your dentist based on the good doctor having the right sized parking spaces!!! Accept no less!!
  • DarknessDarkness Member Posts: 24
    I agree, we should all choose our dentist by the size of his parking lot... it is a little bias, and I can already see the comments coming,
    "It's not the size... but how you use it." It's all a conspiracy, they gas you up, or put something screwy in the novacaine, and then send you out in the parking lot to drive home! Insurance nightmare...
    -The Darkness
  • hudginshudgins Member Posts: 1
    Can anyone give me an idea what it would cost to completely repaint a 1997 Pontiac Sunfire. It has a couple of scratches and dents that would have to be taken out. I want to put a good paint job on it.
  • gusgus Member Posts: 254
    That's really a question you need to ask the body shop people when you have them standing right there, looking at the car. Different shops will give you different estimates, so shop around.
  • buddhaseedbuddhaseed Member Posts: 26
    Went to the beach on weekend. When came back I noticed that the sand has cumulated up on the window trims. I wiped all the sand up. Then when I drove and pulled down my power windows, I started to hear a scratchy sound coming from every window. Terrible. But after a detailed check I could not find any sand attached on the windows. I guess the sand has slipped into the window slots.

    Can anyone kindly advise me how I can "deep clean" the window slots. I don't want to see my windows scratched with vertical lines. Would there be any service that helps this kind of problem?

  • C13C13 Member Posts: 390
    Wow. What kind of car?

    I guess you could pop the rubber trim off and wash it. Some cars it might be tricky to get the stuff off.

    This is a new one on me and I used to live really close to the beach, go there every day and sometimes drive on it.
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    I'm not sure the scratches are from the sand. Vertical scratches I always get on my windows, even with no sand.
  • buddhaseedbuddhaseed Member Posts: 26
    It is a 99 Accord EX-V6 sedan. I guess I am not able to install the rubber trim back after I pull it off. Shall I instill water into the slot as an alternative way?

  • shamnershamner Member Posts: 1
    I have a 95 Odyssey with a bad bug mark problem. The previous owners obviously did not clean the van very well. Spots are from the front bumper, across the hood, up to the front of the roof. I have tried all kinds of different waxes that have been suggested, but they only leave white marks where wax is left in the holes in the clearcoat. Does anyone have suggestions short of getting it repainted?
  • fetch33fetch33 Member Posts: 3
    My husband bought a used Chevy S10 in the early 90's. We had the peeling paint problem. HUGE sheets of paint coming off when the truck was only 5 years old. I called Chevy and they denied there was a problem and refused to fix it. My husband even had pulled some info off the internet to use as proof there was a problem, to no avail. Anyway, now the truck really looks like a piece of junk, with mostly denuded doors, hood and sides. I have often thought of getting some of those magnetic signs that you put on car doors saying 'PAINT JOB COURTESY OF CHEVY' and parking the truck across from a Chevy dealer just to get a little sweet revenge. BTW, I have heard this problem occurred mostly with blue pigment,,, and yes, our truck is blue.
  • scarconkscarconk Member Posts: 3
    I recently ordered a new car with metallic paint. While waiting for delivery, an opportunity has arisen to buy essentially the same car with 1800 miles on it for much less dough, but with "standard" paint with clearcoat. What is the real difference between the two paints? With today's paints being of such high quality, is the difference material? What about five years from now? Will there be a notable difference then?
  • sd99sd99 Member Posts: 65

    Sorry to hear of your paint problems, and just so you don't think you are going nuts, Chevy did indeed have all kinds of problems in the late 80's and early 90's with the paint flaking off in large chunks. I was a witness to this many many times as a service manager of a Chevy dealership. I even saw a 88 Chevy Suburban with 100,000 miles on it get a new paint job at no charge to the owner. I know this to be true because I filled out and signed the claim to Chevy.
    The point is, don't give up. Yell, scream, write letters, and demand that action be taken to satisfy you, their customer. Document everything you do, and remember, the dealership can only do what Chevy will allow them to do, so direct your actions at the factory. The factory does not like to hear people bad mouth their product, especially if you tell them you will talk to everyone you know about the rotten vehicle you have the the poor service you have received.
    The point is, they had a problem, they know it, and you have to fight for anything you get.

  • C13C13 Member Posts: 390
    Depends on the paint and the application, which in turn depends on the manufacturer and which factory was used and which model it is. In other words, there's no way to generalize. You can't say that one is inherently superior to the other. If it's a decent car, the paint on both cars should be the same in 5 yrs. A more important factor will be how you take care of it.

    Are you sure that the used car (or demo, or whatever) is discounted enough to compensate for its sizable depreciation? Will you be sacrificing your deposit on the one you ordered, or were you planning to try to get that back when you break your contract?
  • scarconkscarconk Member Posts: 3

    Thanks for the response. The car in question is a 99 Carrera Cabriolet. No deposit was required and I can walk away any time before delivery in late June at no expense. Moneywise, I'm not sure if I am getting compensated enough for depreciation at $1000-2000 below MSRP,while new car sells for MSRP. Scarcity of this car is a factor. The key is I can avoid paying a roughly $3000 luxury tax. Otherwise, options are roughly similar, with exception of metallic v. standard paint.
  • vivonavivona Member Posts: 410
    I live in Central Florida. I occasionally find a small brown lump on my car. It looks like something liquid has fallen on it and dried. If it falls on a vertical surface, it runs before it dries and leaves a "thread" of brown on the surface. The color is somewhat like a pine needle. I don't park under a tree. The total volume of each lump is a small drop. The only thing I can think of is that it is, well... bird piss. (Do birds pee?) It is not bird crap. I can recognize that!

    Anyway, the other day I washed off one of these lumps and noticed that it had eroded the clearcoat. I now see a small crater where the lump was. I know I could polish the surface to get rid of the crater, but that would also take off clearcoat. Not worth it.

    Anybody ever see such droppings on their car? Any idea where they come from? I now find myself looking over the car each night and washing off any lumps I find. The car was recently waxed, so evidently wax doesn't protect against whatever it is.
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