If there's a deep scratch on your car's paint that reaches the underlying metal, you need to get that area repainted as soon as possible, as the underlying metal is vulnerable and will rust. Rust is like cancer to cars. It can easily spread amongst the metal and end up being rather costly to repair. In fact, rust repair costs an average of between $500 to $1,000. This is significantly more than how much it would have cost you to get the deep scratch repaired. With that said, if you don't have time to bring in your car immediately to get the deep scratch repaired, here are 3 things you can do to prevent the metal from rusting.
Apply a Temporary Clear Coat
As the underlying metal is vulnerable to rusting, the best thing you can do is to create a barrier between the metal and the external environment by applying a temporary clear coat or a paint additive that is often added to paint to improve its sealing properties and to stop rust from forming. While the paint additive or clear coat can be applied to bare metal, it won't hold up for too long. You'll still need to get the deep scratch professionally repaired.
Before applying the clear coat or paint additive, make sure you clean the deep scratch first with alcohol and a soft towel or a microfiber cloth. This will remove any contaminants that are caught in the scratch and will ensure that the clear coat or paint additive will adhere better onto the car's surface.
Keep Your Car In the Garage Away from the Elements
Rusting is often caused by exposure to the elements. Oxygen and water will accelerate rust formation on steel and iron. With that said, your next best bet is to keep the car away from direct sunlight, rain and snow. Store your car in the garage until you can take it to a mechanic to reduce the rate of rust formation within the deep scratches.
As moisture can accelerate rust formation, make sure that the garage is properly sealed. You might want to keep a bag of charcoal lying around the garage, as charcoal absorbs moisture and prevents the garage from becoming too humid. You want to keep the environment in your garage as dry as possible.
Cover Up the Scratched Area
Although you may already have placed your car in the garage, it is still susceptible and vulnerable to the environment within the garage. You want to keep contaminants away from the surface of the metal and prevent it from getting within the deep scratches. To do so, cover up the scratched area with a piece of fabric, a plastic liner or anything that you have sitting around at home. Covering up the scratched area will also prevent contaminants from getting stuck within the scratch.
When covering up the scratched area, make sure that you don't completely seal the scratched area off from the external environment. Fluctuations in the temperature and humidity levels between the external environment and the sealed area will cause moisture to accumulate within the crevices of the deep scratch.
Make an appointment with an auto shop as soon as possible in order to get the deep scratch fixed. This is the best way for preventing rust from forming and becoming a major problem in the future. Only a professional paint job can properly cover up the underlying metal in the scratch and prevent it from rusting. If the metal does rust, you'll need to get in touch with an auto body repair service, such as Aldrich Auto Body & Repair, Inc.