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That clear white line there is a paint scraped on the car. I am a new car owner and I am not sure if I can repair that by myself or I need go find a car mechanic, if I can repair it by myself, what sort of stuff I need?

  • It really depends on how deep it is or if it's just some paint over your clear coat. It's kind of hard to tell with the picture. Dec 14 '14 at 20:18
  • how to tell if is deep? Dec 14 '14 at 21:34
  • Follow @BobCross instructions ... he's spot on (pun intended). Dec 14 '14 at 23:46

tl;dr: Give it a try. You probably won't make it worse.

The real questions here is whether you are looking at a mark that was left on the surface of your car's paint somehow. An easy way to check is to just run your finger nail across the mark: if you nail catches on the outside move in, the paint is on the surface. If it catches inside the mark moving out, your paint was gouged and something was left in the scrape. The first is better: if your paint is still healthy, you can eventually remove the extra gunk (given enough patience, elbow grease and time).

My recommendation is always the same: purchase some cleaner wax and give it a try:

  1. Purchase some cleaner wax AKA a combination of car wax and mild abrasives (e.g., Zymol which works pretty well and smells nice in the process...)

  2. Wash the area with nice sudsy dish soap. This will strip off any waxes that are currently on that body panel. You want easy access to the accidental paint.

  3. No, seriously: wash the panel really well. You don't have to do the whole car, just the panel of interest.

  4. Dry it well: again, you're trying to prevent any barriers between your upcoming efforts and the bad paint.

  5. Apply the cleaner wax to a target area according to instructions. Don't get aggressive at this point: you're trying to lift a little of the mark, not scratch or haze the surrounding area. I usually use an all-cotton cloth with cross-hatch motions with a bias towards vertical passes on side panels.

  6. Again, following instructions, buff the area when the wax dries / gets hazy. See above note for a reminder that impatience and / or direct sunlight can add to your misery factor.

  7. Inspect: better? Good enough? If not, return to step 5. Again, patience is your friend.

  8. If all is well, rewax the entire door panel that you stripped with the dish soap above. Nice cleaner wax will do a swell job for the larger panel as well.

  9. Show the tolerant spouse the fruits of your labors. Receive accolades.

This might not work. In fact, it almost certainly won't get rid of all of the mark in one pass. Worst case, you've made that part of your car really clean. You can always take the car to a body shop and ask for an estimate.

  • If it's a surface scrape, and it doesn't just clean off, there's a lot to be said for just leaving it. This won't be the last scrape the car gets. Save them all up until just before you intend to sell the car. Then decide whether it's worth doing or not. Feb 11 '17 at 18:28

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