Most problems with a car are best left to professionals, but a few things like light scratches and flaking paint, for example, aren’t worth bringing a car into the shop for.
You’ll often be able to deal with minor surface damage to a paint job on your own.
First, you’ll need to clean in and around the scratch, before applying some touch-up liquid with a soft cloth. The key thing here is to not use too much liquid and to polish in circular movements, not sideways wipes, which can leave streaks.
Stains and uneven sections of paintwork can be treated with a paint restorer. These are lightly abrasive and remove the damaged paint particles, allowing the surface underneath to be polished to its usual sheen.
If the scratch is still visible after this, you’ll probably need to get professional help. The same goes if you’ve spotted some rust on the scratch.
To ensure any scratches don’t need a professional and costly paint job, it’s worth tending to them before rust has a chance to set in.
To prevent scratches, you can avoid going to older automatic car washes, which often use abrasive brushes instead of softer cloths.
These will only scratch the paintwork, since the dirt and grit removed during the pre-wash phase adheres to the brushes and gets rubbed back into the paint surface.
Your best option is a touchless car wash, which use high-pressure water jets with detergents to hose off the dirt. With no brushes or cloths to touch the paintwork, the risk of cosmetic damage is minimal. Self-service, coin-operated wash areas, on the other hand, are ideal for getting rid of a heavy dirt build-up, especially on the lower half of the car.