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?
From the time my boys were young, they were fascinated with anything that moved. Cars, planes, trains, etc. So when we got the call that Isaiah (host of Treehouse TV's This Is Scarlet & Isaiah) wanted to come to our shop and talk cars, we were really looking forward to having some fun!
Here's a sneak peek—check it out:
There's lots that we can do with a 6-year-old, in terms of introducing them to cars. Isaiah and I loved going underneath the car and taking a look there. I mean, how many times do you get to look underneath your car? What's interesting about the Dodge Caravan that we demonstrated on is that the spare tire is actually located underneath the driver and front passenger—typically spare tires are located in the rear of the vehicle. Trying to reign in on Isaiah wasn't easy, he was like a kid in a candy store!
Next was under the hood, and here is where Isaiah caught me off guard. His skill-testing question? "What is engine oil?" Now, I can explain engine oil to grown-ups. You understand the concepts of friction, heat, and lubrication. I admit, I was at a loss for words when Isaiah quizzed me! Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t get the questions ahead of time to anticipate what he would ask. My response to him was that engine oil made things softer, so there's more lubrication—when I completely meant to say that things are more slippery. It was such a "d'oh" moment for me, but Isaiah graciously moved on with his next questions. What a good host! Let's hope if I ever have to undergo an interrogation, they don't question me with a 6-year-old . . .
Lastly, we changed a spare tire together. Isaiah helped me check the tire pressure on the spare, pump the jack, take the wheel nuts off and on, as well as torqueing the nuts. It was great working with him! All this goes to show that there’s lots you can do with your kids when it comes to teaching them about the basics of car maintenance. Why not expose them to car care when they're at the inquisitive stage?