Everyone loves an easy fix to a small problem. That’s exactly why there is a market for things like Magic Pens for car scratches. The claim is that these little instruments fix car scratches by simply pressing the tip of the pen into and along with a scratch and the scratch disappears, like magic.
But… is it too good to be true?
Usually, if you are asking that question, the answer is YES. But let’s be fair and take a closer look at car scratch repair pens. We’ll talk about how they work, and if they work at all.
Part of living and driving in a city like Vancouver is accepting that your car is probably at some point going to pick up some scratches here and there. It’s pretty frustrating to find new scratches in your car’s paint job.
Scratches occur at different depths, and how deep the scratch goes will determine what kind of repair is needed to get the paint job back to pristine. It’s the shallow, surface scratches that dig through just the topcoat that magic pens claim to fix.
How do they work?
The pen is filled not with coloured paint, but with a clear coat resin, basically the same material as the topcoat of the vehicle’s paint job. By pressing the applicator of the pen along the scratch, the resin fills in the gap and effectively removes the scratch. The instructions recommend that after the new coat has dried, you should gently buff or polish the area to remove and extra product and ensure that the surface is smooth.
Why try a magic pen?
Part of the appeal of these pens is that they are affordable (somewhere around $10) and easy to use. For a small scratch, it seems like an extreme use of time and money to take the vehicle into an auto body repair shop, and taking all the steps of a proper home paint touch up can be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s no wonder that people are happy to give magic pens a try.
Are there any downsides?
The biggest complaint we have heard with magic repair pens is that they are difficult to use with precision. The applicator is a lot like a felt-tipped marker and is too large for small scratches. And it’s difficult to control exactly how much resin comes out, leaving a thick trail of product over the shallow scratch.
That means there will be excess product for the size of the scratch that will need to be buffed out, leaving a definite spot which is not invisible at all. In fact, after this home repair, the scratch and the area surrounding it is even more noticeable than it was before. Now, you’ll have to take your car in to fix an even bigger problem!
What should you do instead?
It can also be hard to tell whether or not the scratch has penetrated just the top coat or if it has gone through into the primer. In this case, an auto body repair shop is the best way forward to repair the scratch properly.
Auto body shops have all the proper tools and expertise to repair scratches of all shapes and sizes. In order to protect your vehicle and its paint, we recommend you bring your vehicle to a trusted auto body shop like Grandcity.