How to Fix a Car Dent or Scratch

Mechanic Fixing Car Scratches

Whether there’s a fine scratch or a good-sized dent in your vehicle, it’s good to know how to fix a dent in a car. Even though some clear-coat scratches can get buffed away with a microfiber cloth, some situations call for a more robust solution. The service technicians at Mercedes-Benz of Charleston compiled this step-by-step guide for how to fix scratches on a car. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team if you need help along the way or would prefer expert dent and scratch repair services.

How to Fix Scratches On a Car

Supplies Needed:

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Fine-spray spritzer bottle of water
  • Piece of 3000 grit sandpaper
  • Piece of 5000 grit sandpaper
  • Clearcoat polish
  • Car wax

Although a scratch is less immediate, learning how to fix it is just as essential. Untended scratches easily turn rusty or grow into a bigger issue, so fixing them as soon as you can is crucial. Before you attempt dent and scratch repairs, make sure the scratch only affects the clear coat of your car’s paint. If your fingernail doesn’t catch when you run it over the scratch, it’s only in the clear coat. If you find the paint underneath is scratched, don’t fret – our certified service center can fix deeper scratches and exactly match your Mercedes-Benz paint color with ease.

Clearcoat scratches can happen lots of ways – for example, from dirt caught in a sponge during cleaning or a jacket zipper dragging against the car door. Fortunately, removing them is simple. Follow these steps for how to fix a scratch on a car’s clear coat:

How to Fix Scratches on a Car: Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Attempt to clear away the blemish with a soft microfiber cloth.
  2. Clean the area with soapy water and a towel. Dirt or debris rubbed into the paint can cause more damage.
  3. Tape off the scratch so you don’t lose track of it.
  4. Lightly spray the scratch and the sandpaper with water.
  5. Moving against the grain of the scratch, gently sand it down with 3000 grit sandpaper. Start with 5000 grit if the scratch is very fine.
  6. If you started with 3000 grit, move to 5000 grit to blend the scratch into the surrounding area.
  7. Continue respraying and sanding the scratch until it disappears.


  1. Clean the surface again.
  2. Apply clear coat polish with a microfiber cloth, using a swirling motion.
  3. Buff away access polish.
  4. Apply car wax.

How to Fix a Dent in a Car: Step-by-Step Guide

To fix a fix dent in a car right at home, follow these quick and easy steps:

  • Use heat. If the dent is on a plastic part of the car like the bumper, you may be able to fix it with heat. Try a hairdryer set on high, followed by compressed air. Another heat option is boiling water followed by a manual push-out.
  • Use a plunger. If the dent is in the steel body of the car, you may be able to pull the dented area back into place with a plunger.
  • Use an auto dent removal kit. You can purchase kits online for repairing auto body dents. If you’re feeling uncertain about fixing a dent, call our service center for details!

Visit Mercedes-Benz of Charleston for Dent and Scratch Repairs

Even when you know how to fix a dent in a car with confidence, the do-it-yourself approach is not for everyone. Schedule an appointment and our team will make your vehicle’s exterior shine again! Contact us if you have questions about Mercedes-Benz oil service or for service tips like how often to rotate your tires or how to jump-start a car.

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