How You’re Scratching Your Car Without Even Realising It!

Touching your car causes scratches
Car paint is very delicate and chances are, you are scratching and marring your car on a daily basis without even realising. 
Over time, these marks will accumulate and will not only worsen the appearance of the car but also lower its value.
 
We want to help…
 
First off, let’s clarify what scratching and marring actually is and then we can identify the causes and solutions. 
You may only be thinking of the obvious deep scratches that remove a lot of the paint and stand out immediately. But even micro marring can have a big effect if left long enough, even if at first you cannot notice it.
 
 

WHAT IS MICRO-MARRING?

AND HOW DOES IT OCCUR?

Micro-marring is caused when particles like dust and dirt are agitated or dragged across the surface of the paint. This can happen while washing and drying the car if done incorrectly or with general touching and wiping of the paint. 

Over time, micro scratches, swirls and marring can build up and create a spider web effect on the surface of your car as seen in the picture. When seen in the sunlight, they are more significant than you initially think. 

Micro marring
Micro-marring (spider webbing)

SCRATCH & MARRING HOT SPOTS

THE AREAS YOU NEED TO BE EXTRA CAREFUL

As we interact with our vehicle day in and day out, we tend to go into ‘auto pilot’ mode. So here are 3 common hot spots we regularly touch on our car’s paintwork without paying much attention, and cause unintentional scratches and marring in the paintwork.

Opening and closing the car bonnet can causes scratches
Opening and closing the hood incorrectly is a common way of micro-marring your car's paintwork

BONNET/HOOD

HOTSPOT 1

Chances are, you lift/shut the bonnet of your car by touching the paint. Sometimes this is very obvious when you can see hand and fingers prints where the bonnet has been handled, or even a dent of where the bonnet is repeatedly pushed down on! This can move dirt particles on the surface and leave you with micro scratching.

How can this be avoided?
Some cars have an emblem on the hood of the vehicle like the one in the photo below. These can be used as a handle of sorts to prevent unnecessary paint marks. 

If your car doesn’t have this, simply place a micro fibre cloth down before opening and closing the hood, or drop it from a low height so that the bonnet latches without additional downward pressure.

DOOR HANDLES & DOOR PILLARS

HOTSPOT 2
What are door handles for? Silly question right? …They’re obviously used to open doors. Well remember, they are also there to close them.
 
What do we mean?
We may have the tendency to push the doors closed by touching the door panel and even the frame when getting out of the vehicle leaving fingerprints and micro scratches behind.
We may also use the pillars and frame of the doors to pull ourselves out of the vehicle. This is another cause of unwanted marks on the vehicle’s paintwork.
Detailer removing scratches behind the door handle
Fouad from A Buff & Beyond safely removing scratches behind the door handle
Opening and closing the car door causes scratches around the handle
Opening and closing the door incorrectly is the number one and easiest way to scratch your car's paint on a regular basis
 Another habit we may have is that of pushing closed our door with our legs or hip whilst carrying things in our hands. Our clothes can also leave micro marring that will eventually damage the smooth finish of the paint.
  

And last but definitely not least, is opening and closing the car door with the car keys in the same hand or whilst wearing rings and bracelets. This is probably the most common mistake and most probable cause for paint scratches. 

Even if the handles are painted, the marks are still likely to show on this small detailed area. 

So next time you are getting into your car, have a quick look at the paintwork on your car behind the door handles. Are they scratched? It might be time to take these few suggestions on board and be a little more cautious when you touch your car.

So… Use the handles with an empty hand and be cautious of your rings and bracelets.
 
And kindly remind family and friends as well.

BOOT/TRUNK

HOTSPOT 3
This area, too, tends to get very marked up as people push shut the boot without thinking of what they are touching. No doubt, next time you pull up behind a vehicle at the lights, you will most likely see finger prints and dirt there, indicating how easy it can be for scratches to appear there.
 
What can you do?
Rather than push it closed by placing our hands directly on the surface paint, you can simply use the license plate or car emblem to safely shut it without disturbing the paint.
 
Another reminder: Do not rest or place items on any part of the exterior!
This is an easy mistake to make especially when we are juggling things, but it too can agitate any surface particles and scratch up the paint.
 
We want to share these tips and reminders to save you from the trouble of micro scratches that, at first, may seem unimportant, but can put you out of pocket later on. 
 
These small changes can have great benefits, such as:
•A better looking car for longer 
•Resale value kept higher
•Money saved 
 
If you do, however, notice this issue on your vehicle, don’t fret! We can help!
 
Check out our other blogs for more information on our services and contact us for further information. 
We would be happy to help!
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