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2019 Challenger GT
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, everyone. This is a two part question that I hope you can answer for me... the first is non-mopar related and is actually about a relative's Chevy Silverado. It's a 2019 that he just got a few months ago. The other day, while merging into a turn lane at a traffic light going less than 10mph, some dummy sped past him and nicked the front bumper. There is some surface marring, but no structural damage thank God. I included pictures of the damage below as thumbnails. We already applied some Scratch Doctor and some of the scratching was removed, but there seems to be some more stubborn marks. My question is, could this damage be removed with a cutting/finishing polish applied with a DA random orbital polisher? Or would this need to be taken to a body shop?

The second part to my question is about polishing/paint correction in general. I've had my Challenger for almost a year now. I am meticulous with cleaning my car and make sure to avoid creating microscratches through unsafe washing/drying practices as best I can, but as we all know, they still show up, especially on black paint. So my car has minor microscratching and I've been looking into getting a polisher of my own to correct the paint. I've been watching a bunch of YouTube videos on it and have been learning a lot, but in your opinion, is polishing worth it? Since polishing removes small layers of the clear coat, are you doing structural damage to the paint just for visual peace of mind? Microscratches are inevitable and once you polish, more will show up. I've heard it is best to get a ceramic coating following a polish so you protect the paint in the long term and that not doing so basically makes polishing pointless, but I'm currently not trying to spend $1000 on a ceramic coating, so would the time spent polishing even be worth it? I'd really appreciate any info you had on polishing, personal experiences, etc. Thanks so much!

-Patrick

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2019 Challenger GT
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Discussion Starter #2
Also, I should mention that I have used the Chemical Guys product Blacklight in the past and it has worked quite well in removing the swirls and microscratches. I typically followed that up with Butter Wet Wax and it lasts around a month, but the downside is just that, it's temporary and only lasts a month. So that has been a pretty decent alternative to polishing for me, but again, any suggestions or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone!
 

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2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Classic
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Since polishing removes small layers of the clear coat, are you doing structural damage to the paint just for visual peace of mind?
You're not removing enough of the clearcoat paint layer to do any damage. When you polish paint, you're abrading the clear coat layer. Abrading removes micromillimeter layers of paint from the clearcoat layer. You're not removing scratches or swirls, you're leveling the clearcoat paint layer. FWIW, a detailing buddy of mine posted a YouTube years ago in which he attacked the paint on a junkyard hood with a direct drive (rotary) polisher. It took prolonged time and hard pressure to finally burn through the paint. He was not able to achieve the same result with a dual action polisher and finally gave up after about an hour.

Microscratches are inevitable and once you polish, more will show up. I've heard it is best to get a ceramic coating following a polish so you protect the paint in the long term and that not doing so basically makes polishing pointless, but I'm currently not trying to spend $1000 on a ceramic coating, so would the time spent polishing even be worth it?
You can apply a ceramic coating yourself after performing a full paint correction with a dual action polisher. 3D offers an easy to apply ceramic coating kit for $65. Ceramic coating doesn't really protect your paint from scratches. More accurately, ceramic coating works like an old school glaze and fills in swirls and scratches which gives the appearance that the paint defects are gone, but are actually hidden and will reappear as the ceramic coating gradually wears off. That's why a full paint correction is recommended before applying the ceramic coating.

And yes, detailing your car is absolutely worth it as little else will give you the satisfaction of polishing your Challenger to a wet paint appearance, wow-factor gloss outside of personally wrenching on your Hemi.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You're not removing enough of the clearcoat paint layer to do any damage. When you polish paint, you're abrading the clear coat layer. Abrading removes micromillimeter layers of paint from the clearcoat layer. You're not removing scratches or swirls, you're leveling the clearcoat paint layer. FWIW, a detailing buddy of mine posted a YouTube years ago in which he attacked the paint on a junkyard hood with a direct drive (rotary) polisher. It took prolonged time and hard pressure to finally burn through the paint. He was not able to achieve the same result with a dual action polisher and finally gave up after about an hour.


You can apply a ceramic coating yourself after performing a full paint correction with a dual action polisher. 3D offers an easy to apply ceramic coating kit for $65. Ceramic coating doesn't really protect your paint from scratches. More accurately, ceramic coating works like an old school glaze and fills in swirls and scratches which gives the appearance that the paint defects are gone, but are actually hidden and will reappear as the ceramic coating gradually wears off. That's why a full paint correction is recommended before applying the ceramic coating.

And yes, detailing your car is absolutely worth it as little else will give you the satisfaction of polishing your Challenger to a wet paint appearance, wow-factor gloss outside of personally wrenching on your Hemi.

Thanks so much for the comments and advice! That's good to know about the minimal clear coat removal...that was something I was pretty apprehensive about. Thanks for helping me feel less afraid to polish lol. About the ceramic coating, I don't have a garage and my car is parked outdoors 24/7, so would that affect the curing of the ceramic coat? Thanks again!
 
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