Every now and again at my auto repair shop, we see a car that has numerous scratches in the door behind the handle. Most often, it’s because the client has longer fingernails or big rings. That manicured and accessorized hand looks great, but the client unknowingly scratches the door every time they grab the door handle and pull to open the door. For me, it would be something I wouldn’t even think of or notice, because opening the car door only takes a split second, then I’m in the driver’s seat and gone. Another common reason why the scratch marks appear is because some drivers grasp the door handle with the same hand that’s holding the keys. As the keys swing, they may scratch the door.
What are the solutions?
Well, the obvious would be to not grow your nails long or wear big rings! But there are a few other options. When you grip the car door handle, avoid twisting your hand down as you open the door if you're wearing big rings. Take your ring off before you open the door or get used to opening the car door with your other hand if you’re not wearing large rings there. If you have long fingernails, close your hand firmly around the door handle, rather than leaving your hand slightly open with the opportunity to scratch the door with your nails. Last option we could think of—enlist the hot pool boy as a concierge and have him open your car door with a white glove every time. =)
What about the scratches?
If they’re superficial, you might want to try using a rubbing compound to treat them. It won’t necessarily take out the scratches, but will buff out the scratch marks so they’re not that obvious. At our shop, we use 3M Perfect-It Rubbing Compound. You will find these products in any auto parts store, and they're great for minor scratches from small dents!
So, go have a look at your car’s door handle and if you have scratch marks, be more conscientious when opening your car door next time.
Do you have any other tips to avoid these types of scratch marks?