Guides

How do I.....Repair Minor Cosmetic Damage?

Two recent experiences suggested that there might be a benefit to sharing a couple of simple methods that can minimize minor cosmetic damage

By Brian Early Wheels.ca

Nov 22, 2021 2 min. read

Article was updated 6 months ago

Join the Conversation (0)
Two recent experiences suggested that there might be a benefit to sharing a couple of simple methods that can minimize minor cosmetic damage, the sort that might occur at low speeds in a parking lot or garage.

Paint transfer scuff marks are a common occurrence. The side of my friend’s lovely MX-5 recently fell prey to a door from a crossover that parked next to him. The resulting thumb-sized mark was mostly paint from the edge of the offender’s door, though there was a shallow indentation too. Similar transfers often occur from lightly rubbing garage door frames and bollards.

Gasoline, applied very sparingly on a cotton rag, will make quick work of paint or tar without damaging your car’s finish. Officially, gasoline is not a cleaner, so use it at your own risk.

Clean up with a dry cotton cloth, and apply wax to help fill any remaining scratches or swirl marks and restore the finish.

A gentle caress from another vehicle or stationary object can often pop a dent into a plastic bumper cover, which just happened to a customer’s Pilot. Provided the cover isn’t punctured, split, or torn, and you can access the backside of the area, there’s a good chance that it can be pushed back out and at least be made less obvious.

Warm the cover carefully with a heat gun, blow dryer, or hot water (use caution not to burn yourself or melt the cover) and push it gently from behind by hand using gloves or a rag. If additional leverage is required, use a rounded tool like a bat, not a pry-bar, or you’ll leave visible marks. Try to hold it until it cools for best results.

Done soon enough, it may even completely return to its original shape; I’ve won with this method a few times for my customers.

 

Brian Early is a longtime Wheels contributor and a Red Seal automotive technician with over 25 years experience.

YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN...

userIcon

YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN...

0