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What’s the Damage? How Body Shops Evaluate Car Paint Scratches

Discovering a new scratch on your car is a stressful event. Car scratches can be expensive to fix. They lower the value of your vehicle, are unsightly, and can lead to rust spots.

It makes sense to seek a remedy as soon as you discover a new scratch, and many car owners turn to a local auto body shop to help them make the damage disappear. Here’s how many auto body professionals classify various car paint scratches:

Car paint scratch severity scale
Surface level scratches aren’t all the same. Depending on their depth and thickness, they are rated on a scale from 1A to 4.

1A: Visible in the right light and only as deep as the clear coat. You can feel this scratch with your fingernail.

1B: Visible in any light and through the clear coat. You can feel this scratch by running your fingers over it.

2: Easily visible, even from a few feet away. This scratch is through the clear coat and paint.

3: This scratch goes all the way to the primer but is either small at a length of less than a few inches or very narrow.

4: Through clear coat, all layers of paint, and primer. Deep and several millimeters wide, this is the most severe type of scratch and fixing it requires professional assistance.

The type of car paint scratch determines the repair method
Your car’s clear coat serves as protection from fading, spotting, and superficial damage to your vehicle’s paint. A scratch that goes through the clear coat but leaves the paint underneath intact is the least problematic to fix.

In fact, using a simple and inexpensive DIY product like Quixx High Performance Paint Scratch Remover, you can fix this type of damage at home in just a few minutes. This product simply smooths things out to reverse clear coat damage using Quixx’s patented Plastic Deformation Technology.

It’s important to pay attention to clear coat scratches. They can compromise the clear coat’s ability to protect your car’s paint. Oxidation in the area that starts at the scratch can cause cloudy spots, peeling, and fading.

Scratches that go all the way into your car’s paint are more complicated to fix. If you don’t want to pay a professional to sand and repaint the panel of your vehicle, which is the only way to completely erase the scratch for good, you can use the Quixx Paint Repair Pen, with genuine clear coat, to prevent the paint from blistering or oxidizing.

Another option for a full repair is a combined base and clear coat. It’s typically less expensive than taking the entire panel down to the metal and having it professionally repainted. If you have a deep scratch that requires professional attention, ask your body shop about this option.

Airbrushing is a temporary fix
While many professional body shops offer the quick fix of airbrushing, this typically lasts only a few years, depending on the climate where you live and whether you park your car in a garage regularly.

If your car has a trendy flat paint job, airbrushing may be your best option to keep the finish consistent across the damaged body panel. It’s an inexpensive fix compared to other body shop options but watch the area closely for peeling and flaking over time.

All cars get the occasional scratch, especially if they are on the road every day. That doesn’t mean you have to live with body damage, though. Staying on top of small scratches by using a proven product like Quixx High Performance Paint Scratch Remover or Quixx Paint Repair Pen is a smart way to maintain your car’s good looks while preserving its value.

You can find Quixx products, the one with the double “XX” on the box, at big box retail stores like Walmart, and auto parts stores like Pep Boys, Advance Auto Parts, and AutoZone.

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