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  1. #1
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    I need help getting out these scratches

    Hello guys!

    First time posting on this fantastic forum so I apologise if this topic has been gone over before (I do know how frustrating it is sometimes for new people to post obvious questions on forums).

    I've been working on my mother's 1999 Audi A6... and it's in bad shape. I mean (with all respect to her) driving-through-thorn-bushes-bad-shape. I've managed to get rid of all major scratching and holograms using a rotary polisher and Meguiar's Ultimate Compound (amazing stuff).

    But there are some scratches that aren't even budging. It's like the equivalent of an ant getting squashed by a truck, the scratches don't seem to be responding to a wool pad/hard foam pad and UC.

    I even went a step further and, after doing a lot of research and doing the "fingernail test", bought some 1500 and 3000 wet sanding paper... and nothing helped. Like I said, it's as if the scratches themselves weren't there, to begin with. If that makes any sense.

    I must admit that I am at a bit of a loss here... I would like the car to be as well done as possible and, being the perfectionist, I just wouldn't feel right with walking away leaving those scratches everywhere and call it a job well done.

    I was hoping you experienced guys could chime and tell me what I'm dealing with. Maybe even you might all agree that there's nothing I can do and should just walk away. At least I'll know I had the pros opinions.

    I've attached a bad quality photo (as my phone had a hard time focusing, what, with all the reflectivity), but just imagine that these lines all over the car in random places.

    Thank you all so much, and I hope you're having a great day!

  2. #2
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    Re: I need help getting out these scratches

    I cannot seem to be able to attach any image. When I click on upload file it loads and then nothing happens.

  3. #3
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    Re: I need help getting out these scratches

    Has the panel been repainted? If so, it could be that you're seeing a scratch that is under the clear or base coat.

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  4. #4
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    Re: I need help getting out these scratches

    Not that I know of, it's a very old car. But that does actually sound like a plausible problem. That would explain the sandpaper not working.

  5. #5
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    Re: I need help getting out these scratches

    Is the surface smooth or can you still feel the scratch?

    Audi clear is notoriously hard. Is it a dark colored paint? If so, theoretically a contact that would normally cause a scratch could cause the harder clear to leave an impression in the color coat below, just enough to retract the light wrong and look like a scratch.

    If you legitimately sanded them properly with 1500 then 3000, the surface should be cloudy but level. Unless you sanded in such a way that somewhat leveled the surface but didnít flatten the scratch.

    If it didnít go with wool and ultimate, didnít go with 1500 and 3000, I wouldnít go any further. If you havenít gone through the clear yet, youíre getting dangerously close.


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  7. #6
    Senior Member Calendyr's Avatar
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    Re: I need help getting out these scratches

    I wish I had pictures but I will try to be clear in my explanations.

    When you wet sand with 1500, first make sure to use a block of some kind. I like the blocks that are square shaped (all long sides the same lenght) and are about 1 inch in diameter to remove scratches. They let you be very precise in the area to sand compared to the rectangular ones that usually are way too wide and force you to remove paint you don't need to.

    With that being said, make sure the paper and surface is wet. I like to apply medium pressure on the block and sand a few strokes at a time (usually about 5 strokes). Then I wipe the area clean and blow on it to dry it quickly. You should now see a patch of the paint that is mate in color and whitish in color. If you stilll see the scratch in the sanded area, you need to wet the paper and area again and do 5 more strokes. I suggest you sand in a cross hatch pattern from 45 to 90 degrees to the original sanding. Then wipe clean again and look for the scratch. You need to repeat this process until the scratch is no longer visible.

    Now you take your 3000 grit paper and sand the area by making sure you go a little outside the 1500 scratch pattern so you don't miss any of them. Once you are done, when cleaned and dry, the sanded area should appear much smoother but still mate and white.

    Then you get your DA polisher with your cutting pad and compound and correct the paint, again going a little outside the 3000 grit sanded area so you don't miss any scratches.

    When you clean the compound off the pannel with your Isopropyl alcohol solution, the sanded area should be almost as shiny as the rest of the pannel and no mate spot should remain. If you still see some, compound some more.

    Then you just need to polish with a polishing pad and your favorite polish or cleaner wax. And you have 1 repaired scratch.

    Repeat for every scratch on the car... the whole process usually takes about 15 minutes per scratch, maybe more your first time around but after each one you do you will gain confidence and efficiency.

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  9. #7
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    Re: I need help getting out these scratches

    Quote Originally Posted by JCDetails View Post
    Audi clear is notoriously hard. Is it a dark colored paint? If so, theoretically a contact that would normally cause a scratch could cause the harder clear to leave an impression in the color coat below, just enough to retract the light wrong and look like a scratch.
    Wow, there's a theory I've never heard before. I think a more important question is the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by JCDetails View Post
    Is the surface smooth or can you still feel the scratch?
    If you never could catch your fingernail in the scratch, it means it could be a light mark that you haven't removed enough clear to polish out, which seems unlikely if you have been using a rotary with M105...so I vote for this:

    Quote Originally Posted by subyfan View Post
    Has the panel been repainted? If so, it could be that you're seeing a scratch that is under the clear or base coat.
    I personally spent a lot of time trying to polish out swirls/scratches on a set of GM High Polish wheels (polished aluminum with clear over them) until I realized the swirls were in the aluminum under the clear. Even if your mother says she never had the car painted...things happen during shipping and on the dealer lot...until the government passed (or maybe it was the state here in NJ) a lemon law 10 or 15 years ago a dealer could do an unlimited amount of repair on a car that had never been titled and still sell it as a new car. The law put a dollar threshold on those repairs which forces them to sell it as a used car (if it exceeds the dollar threshold).

    Anyway, all I'm saying is you can (still) buy a new car that has had a panel repainted after it left the factory.

  10. #8
    Senior Member WillSports3's Avatar
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    Re: I need help getting out these scratches

    Are you sure it's not a clearcoat failure issue and that's why you can't buff them out? Pictures would help a lot.
    2016 Mazda 3 Sports GT
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  11. #9
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    Re: I need help getting out these scratches

    Share picture of it let's see clearly what is wrong

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