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Old 01-17-2015, 02:31 PM   #1
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Ugly scratch - can it be fixed?

After a wash and wax I noticed this long scratch on the pillar next to the windshield (is that called the "A-pillar"?). I don't know if there was some debris on my wash mitt, drying cloth, or wax pad, but the scratch is there and I want it gone! I can feel it with my fingernail, and from what I've read, that means it has to be repainted. Am I wrong? Will buffing at least lessen its visibility? Here are a couple of pics with different reflected backgrounds.

Ironically, I had just bought a grit guard and this was the first time I'd washed with it!






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Old 01-17-2015, 02:51 PM   #2
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You can try polishing it out. It will at least make it less visible.
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Old 01-17-2015, 03:22 PM   #3
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might have to wetsand it with some 2500 then polish. If anything, it will be way less noticeable if sanded and polished.
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Old 01-17-2015, 05:04 PM   #4
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As always with suggestions, start with the least aggressive method first. So attempt to polish it starting with least to most aggressive polishes. If you are not satisfied after, you can look into wet sanding but sometimes that can create more problems if not done correctly.
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Old 01-17-2015, 06:45 PM   #5
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Does not look too bad, as others have said, start with least aggressive actions first.

I always remove my ring and watch now when I wash/wax the car. Found that was a way to get random bumps to the paint.
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:10 PM   #6
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Do NOT wet sand that. It can easily be removed by hand with Meguiars M105. Your local car parts store carries it.

As others have said, ALWAYS use the least aggressive method.
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Old 01-17-2015, 09:29 PM   #7
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From the pic it doesn't look like it's through the clear, I'd clay they area all around it, wipe down with IPA to remove any wax/sealant left, and then use a DA (I'm assuming you have one) with a microfiber cutting pad.
I actually took a smaller length, but similar looking scratch off today using Megs D300 compound (It's a little less aggressive than M105), with their microfiber cutting pad. Took 4 passes with very slow arm speed, used speed 5 and it was gone.
The biggest thing is to figure out what caused it, so you won't do it again.
You mentioned you bought a grit guard, did you get just one? If so you'll want another for the rinse bucket as well.
Inspect your mitt/wash pad thoroughly prior to using, and after rinsing to make sure you have no debris on it. When using it do not apply a lot of pressure to the paint, just glide it slowly across, rinsing it often.
I see you have a convertible, I would use a different mitt/wash pad for the paint then what I use on the top, as loose impediments can gather easily on convertible tops.
When drying blot or drag the towel across the paint with very light/no pressure.
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Old 01-17-2015, 09:51 PM   #8
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I believe so. Try with a polishing compound (for clearcoats) and/or as the others have suggested. A small pad with a DA polisher would be good for this task.

Work in short stages as you see the progress. Also use a less aggressive polish (like a swirl remover type) when you've achieved results from the polishing compound, with a polishing pad.

I've had bad looking scratches myself in the past that I was able to alleviate with these methods. A scratch always looks terminal, but with some careful technique many times you can fix a cc scratch and/or make it look acceptable or much less noticeable.

Edit: I misread the photos. I actually thought those were gashes. Forget the compound. Use a swirl mark remover and a 3" polishing pad, and you should be able to fix those. Those marks are smears or marr swipes that can sometimes happen with a dirty mf or even with some polish residue on your towel. I call those marks cat-scratches, but if I am looking at them correctly, then they should be entirely fixable.
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Old 01-18-2015, 05:52 PM   #9
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Thanks for the detailed reply!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe M 2012 2SS View Post
From the pic it doesn't look like it's through the clear, I'd clay they area all around it, wipe down with IPA to remove any wax/sealant left, and then use a DA (I'm assuming you have one) with a microfiber cutting pad.
"IPA"? Is that something like all-purpose cleaner? Certainly you don't mean India Pale Ale! Seriously, I'll use something to de-wax the area.
I do have a DA, I just need to order some 4" pads (I already have the 3" backing plate). Do I need to change the counterweight for that, or will the 5" weight be sufficient?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe M 2012 2SS View Post
The biggest thing is to figure out what caused it, so you won't do it again.
You mentioned you bought a grit guard, did you get just one? If so you'll want another for the rinse bucket as well.
At the time I was just using one in the rinse bucket, but I've since bought a second one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe M 2012 2SS View Post
Inspect your mitt/wash pad thoroughly prior to using, and after rinsing to make sure you have no debris on it. When using it do not apply a lot of pressure to the paint, just glide it slowly across, rinsing it often.
That's another thing - right now I'm using a mitt I picked up from a local auto parts store. I'm going to order a couple of name brand ones (everyone seems to like the Incredi-mitt; I'll probably go with that).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe M 2012 2SS View Post
I see you have a convertible, I would use a different mitt/wash pad for the paint then what I use on the top, as loose impediments can gather easily on convertible tops.
I have a brush from Adams that I use solely for the top, so I'm covered there.
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Old 01-18-2015, 07:25 PM   #10
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IPA= Isopropyl alcohol

Again, that can be removed by hand with M105 and a Micro Fiber applicator.
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Old 01-18-2015, 07:38 PM   #11
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Seal glaze would take that right out no problem
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Old 01-18-2015, 08:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scandata View Post
"IPA"? Is that something like all-purpose cleaner?
Isopropyl Alcohol, it removes wax, sealant so your compound has nothing between it and the paint, you can also use it to remove any excess compound on the paint after your done using the compound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scandata View Post
I do have a DA, I just need to order some 4" pads (I already have the 3" backing plate). Do I need to change the counterweight for that, or will the 5" weight be sufficient?
It depends upon the machine your using. I'm guessing you have a PC, which does need a different weight as far as I know. Buff/Shine makes some really good microfiber 4" cutting pads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scandata View Post
That's another thing - right now I'm using a mitt I picked up from a local auto parts store. I'm going to order a couple of name brand ones (everyone seems to like the Incredi-mitt; I'll probably go with that
The Microfiber Madness products are expensive compared to others, but you get what you pay for with them, best quality. I thought the 55 dollars I spent for the mitt and drying towel was a little too high. After using them I feel it's the best purchase I've made.

You could try the hand removal with 105 as suggested. I have tried it with the D300, which is kind of in between 105 and 205 for abrasiveness, and I can't remove anything.
Course I'm 48 yrs old now, but I somehow feel if I was back to 25 when I had 5% body fat and worked out 6 days a week, I still wouldn't get much farther, the clear on my car is hard as a brick .

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Old 01-18-2015, 09:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arkentect View Post
Seal glaze would take that right out no problem
Would that take it out (remove it), or just fill it in/cover it up? I have a bottle of Adam's Brilliant Glaze, but as far as I know, it's not abrasive at all.
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe M 2012 2SS View Post

You could try the hand removal with 105 as suggested. I have tried it with the D300, which is kind of in between 105 and 205 for abrasiveness, and I can't remove anything.
Course I'm 48 yrs old now, but I somehow feel if I was back to 25 when I had 5% body fat and worked out 6 days a week, I still wouldn't get much farther, the clear on my car is hard as a brick .
I have a bottle of M105 in my car cabinet. I haven't tried out yet, so I guess this will be as good a time as any.

I'll start out polishing by hand, then move up to the DA (as you guessed, it's a PC-XP) if that doesn't work. I also have a bottle of M205 in the arsenal if I need to step it up a notch. I'll post before and after pics if I get worthwhile results.
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