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Scratches Happen: The Keys to Saving Your Clearcoat

Whether you buy a new car or you've had it professionally repainted, the one thing you won't find is a scratch ... well, at least for a day.  The minute:   

-        Someone "accidentally" leans on your car holding a key in their hand; or

-        Puts a bag on top of your hood (which just happens to slide a bit); or

-        You fiddle around with your lock and end up keying the nearby paint; or

-        You drive through the edge of an untrimmed tree branch; or

-        The list goes on and on,

... you'll get light surface scratches.  And that doesn't even include what can happen over the longer term: faded paint due to oxidation, swirl marks, medium depth scratches and environmental contaminants.  These take the factory gloss off your paint and make it look like you need a new paint job.


Fortunately, Surf City Garage has products specifically designed to deal with these problems.  For those really light surface scratches, use Wipe Out™ Scratch Eliminator. Apply Wipe Out by hand because it's designed so you don't even need a buffer or a lot of elbow grease. Unlike other products that just hide scratches, Wipe Out really erases them - for good.  In fact, Wipe Out will do a great job on light swirl marks and early stage oxidation, too. 


For deeper scratches that still haven't gone all the way through the clearcoat - and for environmental contaminants, more serious swirl marks and oxidation, use Beyond Clay® Paint Polish. In fact, use Beyond Clay any time you'd usually use a clay bar, because while clay bars are effective at first for removing contaminants, the problem is that those very same contaminants get caught up in them and it's very easy to end up scratching your paint instead of polishing it.  Overuse of clay bars - because they're pretty expensive - turns out to be one of the most common causes of scratches!  On top of that, clay bars can't remove oxidation and swirl marks.  Beyond Clay is a liquid polish that's applied with a low-speed buffer.  Our customers like to say that it does everything a clay bar can - and a lot more.  Well, except cause scratches!


But it's not all about what you do use.  Sometimes keeping your clearcoat in the best possible shape is about what you DON'T use: specifically, dishwashing liquid.  Unfortunately, tens of millions of people use dishwashing liquid to wash their cars.  The problem is that this is so aggressive - after all, it's got to remove 4-day-old spaghetti stains from dishes - that it damages your clearcoat. (Clearcoat, for readers new to The Surf Report, is just what it sounds like - a clear, colorless paint that is applied at the factory over your base coat, the one that gives your car its color.  The gloss you see from waxing is actually on your clearcoat, plus the clearcoat protects the surface of your car from damage.) After a while, the clearcoat starts to peel off your car, exposing the basecoat and just making your ride look like it's been through a disaster.  At that point, you're looking at thousands of dollars to bring your car back.  To avoid getting there, keep dishwashing detergent - and all other household cleaners - in your house and never use them anywhere on your car.


The best regimen to keep your factory gloss, and what we do here in the shop, is to wax 3-4 times/year with an Enthusiast Grade® carnauba like Barrier Reef® Carnauba Wax.  Each time before you wax, run your fingers softly over the paint and if it isn't perfectly smooth and you can feel imperfections, then use Beyond Clay® to eliminate them.  After Beyond Clay, wash with Barrier Reef® Wash & Wax. Use Nano Seal™ Protective Coat, wait 20 minutes for it to cure, and then you're ready to apply the carnauba.  Every week, inspect your car's surface for minor scratches and use Wipe Out to remove them.  Follow with Speed Demon™ Wax Detailer or Hot Rod™ Protective Detailer for maximum protection and gloss. 


The result? A ride that looks factory new every single day.


Surf City Garage™ Premium Car Care Products. If you love your ride, treat it to the best car care products on the planet with waxes, polishes, exterior and interior cleaners from Surf City Garage. We're the only company in the business that restores and maintains its own collection of over 125 vintage muscle cars. Every single one of our products is formulated to our specs and manufactured by us right here in the USA. Put us to the test on your Hot Rod today. Try ours on one-half and your favorite product on the other. Then, if our products aren't the best you've ever used, we'll give you your money back and pay the shipping, no questions asked. At Surf City Garage, Your Ride's Worth It.

Surf City Garage
5872 Engineer Drive
Huntington Beach, CA 92649