How to Avoid Scratching Your Car

We think it may just be coded in human DNA to want to take care of your car, at least its appearance. At the very least, that means avoiding scratches to keep the paint and clear coat intact.

Obviously, avoiding scratches means avoiding contact with sharp objects, like keys, guard rails, other cars, etc. But a lot of scratches come from less obvious sources. To really avoid scratching your car, here’s what you should/should not be doing.

NOT Wiping Your Car with Your Hand

It’s tempting to see just how thick caked-on dirt may be on your car by swiping your finger through it or brushing leaves and twigs off your hood with your hand. Resist that temptation!

No matter how light your touch, your hand is rubbing fine grit and/or sharp edges of contaminants against your car. The scratches that result may not be eyesores, but they are there, exposing your car’s paint to the elements, and that invites bigger problems—peeling, flaking and rust.

NOT Using Your Car as a Shelf

Even if it’s only for a few seconds, placing stuff on your car is no good for the exterior. While you may think you are placing items down and lifting them up without any sideways movements, that’s not what’s really happening. Whatever it is you placed on your vehicle—a sack of groceries, your purse or briefcase—sweeps fine grit across the coat, creating minute scratches that can grow.

Worse, though, is if you place items with spill potential on your car because a lot of seemingly harmless substances, like soda and coffee, eat away at the exterior.

Parallel Parking

Most people avoid parallel parking whenever possible, but you should not be one of them. When you parallel park, no one can park next to you, and that significantly reduces the chances that your car is going to get dinged or scratched while you are away. Think about it—the areas of your vehicle at greatest risk are the front and back end, which other drivers are striving to avoid because that makes them liable for collision damage.

Parking under Cover

Parallel parking helps you avoid scratches from other people. Parking under cover helps you avoid scratches from the weather. When your vehicle is exposed, wind can whip fine particles against your car (and especially during Albuquerque springs when winds are strong and carry a lot of sand, dirt and debris). Rain even deposits scratchy stuff on your car.

These scratch prevention tips are, of course, in addition to ones we’ve already said a million times, like using a rinse bucket when washing your car. Do you have any ideas we forgot to mention? Post them on our Facebook page.