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Car Care & Detailing
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:59 PM   #1
e46ATX
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Scratches in paint from an exterior detail

I just got an exterior detail yesterday from a mobile detailer. When I left, the guy was using a brand new microfiber cloth and only Meguiar's products (good enough for me, at least to my knowledge). When I picked up the car, it hadn't gotten dark, and all I noticed were how nice and shiny the black-wetted tires and chrome rims looked.

This morning, I went out to my car only to find an abundance of scratches on the hood and trunk lid (pics attached).

1. The main concern is whether these scratches are going to get worse or create other problems. Is there something I need to do know to protect the car?

2. Aesthetically, is there anything I can do?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:02 PM   #2
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no offence but your car looks filthy and it looks like they've just put a polish over the top of the dirty layer...

can you feel the scratches when you glide over it with your fingers?
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:05 PM   #3
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Those are really bad scratches, looks like the scratches are deep. I don't even know if wet sand and buffing will get those out 100%
What the hell was on those rags? A new micro fiber and some wax would never do that!
Run your fingernail across it, if it catches you maybe screwed...my guess is your finger is going to catch!

Last edited by Herbalicious; 10-29-2012 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:14 PM   #4
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Doesn't look like marring from having dirty towels unless he had a small rock imbedded in the towel or something, which I guess isn't out of the question.

Depending on how deep the scratch is it may polish out. Really depends on if it's gone through the clear. If your fingernail catches in it then polish probably won't be enough. It will make it less obvious in most cases, though.

Best advice is to call a detailer. A real one. Someone who does paint correction, not a "car washer."
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:25 PM   #5
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Did he wash the car before detailing it? *lol*
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choxor View Post
Doesn't look like marring from having dirty towels
[...]
Best advice is to call a detailer. A real one. Someone who does paint correction, not a "car washer."
Looks a bit like sombody put some stuff on the flat, horizontal surfaces that then slid a bit and scratched.

Can't tell you how many times I've seen women (I've never witnessed a man do this) put shopping bags and their purses (with metal feet) on the car beside theirs while they root around for whatever. I park where people can't conveniently reach my car, to avoid not just door dings, but scratches like these.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:32 PM   #7
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Did he wash the car before detailing it? *lol*
+1

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Originally Posted by e46ATX View Post
I just got an exterior detail yesterday from a mobile detailer. When I left, the guy was using a brand new microfiber cloth and only Meguiar's products (good enough for me, at least to my knowledge). When I picked up the car, it hadn't gotten dark, and all I noticed were how nice and shiny the black-wetted tires and chrome rims looked.

This morning, I went out to my car only to find an abundance of scratches on the hood and trunk lid (pics attached).

1. The main concern is whether these scratches are going to get worse or create other problems. Is there something I need to do know to protect the car?

2. Aesthetically, is there anything I can do?

Thanks for your help.
1) If it's deep enough, there's the chance that it can turn into rust.. It isn't really likely, but if you wanted to do something to ensure that it doesn't rust, a paint sealant should do the job.

2) Cosmetically, you could try wet-sanding it. Just make sure you read directions on how to do it or you could worsen the damage. I really can't tell how deep they are but they look too deep for a rubbing compound to be of any use, so I'd go with the sanding if you wanted to try and fix it yourself.

Best of luck!

Last edited by k20z1 L; 10-31-2012 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:51 PM   #8
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Are you sure those scratches weren't there before? I know you don't think they were, but is it possible that they were there from a PO who maybe had used some touch up paint which maybe was removed when the detailer was polishing it. How does the surface look next to the scratches. Most detailers would have so many towels, they wouldn't use one if it dropped on the ground. Just saying.

There are crappy paints, like that dr. color chip, that I could see lifting off pretty easily.

If you're the original owner and know it wasn't scratched there...nevermind...lousy detailer!
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:04 PM   #9
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Thank you

Thanks to all of you for your helpful comments. Fingernails do catch on the scratches, but they are not down to the metal. It sounds like a buffing job from a good detailer might be able to do the trick.

If you guys have any further recommendations, they are always appreciated.

Best,
David
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:30 PM   #10
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Scratched up, were they there before? Or After. If before, it's just deep defects a correction can fix usually. If after, talk to them and discuss what the package should have fixed.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Herbalicious View Post
Those are really bad scratches, looks like the scratches are deep. I don't even know if wet sand and buffing will get those out 100%
What the hell was on those rags? A new micro fiber and some wax would never do that!
Run your fingernail across it, if it catches you maybe screwed...my guess is your finger is going to catch!
+1 on that. Those scratches look really deep. Remember anyone can call themselves a detailer. Just make sure that next time you find someone good.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:45 PM   #12
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I wonder if the OP contacted the guy who damaged his car? I'd flip if this happened to me, and ensure he was on the phone with his insurance company pronto.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e46ATX View Post
got an exterior detail yesterday from a mobile detailer...When I picked up the car, it hadn't gotten dark, and all I noticed were how nice and shiny the black-wetted tires and chrome rims looked.

This morning, I went out to my car only to find an abundance of scratches on the hood and trunk lid (pics attached).
While the OP asked about how to fix the scratches, too many replies have been about the supposed incompetence of the detailer. Reading this again, the time to notice imperfections would have been upon pick up.

The fact is that the scratches weren't noticed until the next morning. And they don't really look like they'd have come from detailing. Although it is within the realm of possibility, it is not very probable. Where I live, leaving a car out overnight can result in a very dirty looking car the next morning, even if it doesn't rain.

Put another way, would you hold a body repair shop responsible if the car looked OK when you picked it up, but when you came out the next morning, you found that someone had "kissed" the same fender?

To be sure, truly expert detailing is as much art as science and you can get as esoteric as you want. But anyone doing it "mobile" is not an artist. Any half-awake teenager could do the job and not screw up. All one needs is a truck, a few pieces of equipment, a tub of products and towels, and a some business cards.

I'm guessing that the detailer is not to blame because 1) it is hard to screw up that way and 2) scratches like that would be quite noticable, especially on a clean, shiny car. They'd have been pretty hard to miss at pick up. And, as the detailer, I'd have brought them to the owner's attention before starting, if they were already there.

e46ATX, what did you end up doing?
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