I was driving to a farm park with the young get children this week and heading down a narrow lane I came across another vehicle barrelling towards me. I steered as far over as I could and winced as I heard the scrape of a branch from the hedge running the length of my new-to-me car.
Reaching our destination I got out of the car and walked round to examine the damage -it looked bad but thankfully a wipe with a licked finger was enough to get rid of the marks left by the hedge. It felt like a lucky escape!
Luckily minor scratches and scrapes can often be sorted without involving body specialists - there are a few things you can try if the marks look minor and you can't see metal or denting.
Firstly, use a soft clean slightly damp cloth (rather than a licked finger!) and wipe any dirt and debris away. You might find that's enough to get rid of the worst of the marking.
Wash and polish the whole vehicle using a specialist wax finishing product to fill in any minor scratches.
If that hasn't worked maybe consider using a more specific product for removal/disguise of minor scratches. Check out videos on YouTube or TikTok to learn the best techniques. Be aware - treating part of the car like this can damage paintwork. The area being treated must be clean and dry and you have to be careful not to strip too many layers of paint off.
If you want to hand the job over to someone who has been trained for this kind of thing ask friends and family if they recommend a garage or specific body detailing/repair place. Maybe take photographs of the damaged area and email to ask for quotes being specific, for instance email pics with the message: "I need scratch repair for Acura" Or take your vehicle to a couple of places so they can see the damage and discuss a potential repair plan and costs.
When you consider how much vehicles cost to buy and run and how long many people spend in them it proves it is worthwhile getting even small dents and scratches repaired to keep the paintwork and bodywork underneath free of rust and further damage. A well maintained car is also much more likely to attract a better price if you decide to sell or trade your vehicle.
The best option of course is to avoid scratching your car in the first place. Try to avoid driving too close to shrubs along the road or driveway, park whenever possible away from other vehicles or at least park well to avoid the dreaded grocery store parking lot open door dent.
Be careful squeezing in between parked cars to get to yours, especially wearing jeans with studs or with big bags. Buckles, zips and studs are not paintwork friendly!
And. finally keep your car clean so any damage is not hidden by dirt and salt. You don't want scratches and dents festering underneath a layer or dirt potentially damaging the car permanently.