Why Do Cars Get Swirl Marks & How to Prevent Them?

Ollie Barker

Why Do Cars Get Swirl Marks

Why Do Cars Get Swirl Marks

On a beautiful day, you saw a few swirl marks on the car clear coat and decided to ignore them. The day after, there were more…and they couldn’t be ignored anymore. Why do cars get swirl marks and how do we prevent them. In this blog, I will share with you my experience in dealing with swirl marks.

Why Do Cars Get Swirl Marks?

Swirl marks are minor scratches on large scales and they are very outstanding on a dark color car. So what causes them? They are mainly caused by improper washing, drying, and waxing of your car’s clear coat. You see, your car has a clear coat that is very sensitive and can be easily scuffed without proper washing.

The next time you wash your car, make sure to use a non-abrasive sponge ( I like the Optimum All-Purpose Cleaning Sponge ) and avoid rubbing the panels as much as possible. The same goes for drying.

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So, here are the main causes:

  • Wash with an abrasive sponge or using the wrong washing products
  • Rub hard when drying your car
  • Use a car wash that is too strong
  • Scratch your car’s paint using a metal object (like some tools and brushes)
  • Wash your car when it’s still wet (it’s easier to scratch a wet surface)
  • Use poor quality car soap, wax, and polish.

As you can see, most of these problems come from improper washing.

Can Swirl Marks Be Removed?

Of course, there are ways to remove swirl marks. The best way is to polish the car. However, it’s not that easy to polish a car because if you try to polish a car with swirl marks, you will probably get the worst results. The most common way to remove swirl marks is through paint correction or bodywork

Paint correction is the method of removing swirl marks without removing too much of the clear coat. However, if you want your car to be perfect, even after the paint correction, you might need to have a wash and wax anyway.

Read more: How to wash your car without scratching the paint!

You can use other methods like glazing but they only cover the swirl marks and they will reappear in no time. For the best results, however, you have to use a paint correction.

If you can’t afford to get your car polished or if you don’t have the time to wait for someone else to polish your car, then there are some things that you can do yourself. For example, Meguiar’s M105 Ultra-Cut Compound is one of the best products for removing swirl marks and it is very easy to use.

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Swirl Marks Prevention

Actually, swirl marks are something inevitable during a car’s lifetime but there are things you can do to lessen its appearance. Well, you should pay attention to washing tools and washing practices.

Getting your car washed at an auto detailer before you actually need it. This will have your paint ready for polishing when you really need it.
Get your paint correction service done when needed – after a wash and wax. I think this is the best way to take advantage of getting swirl marks removed without having to pay someone else to polish your car.
Get your car washed at an auto detailer when you know that it’s about to be serviced, such as when your car’s service date is coming. This way, the technician will rub your car correctly and avoid swirl marks.

Find out: Effective ways how to protect a black car from swirl marks & scratches!

Wash your car in late afternoons and early mornings. This is actually the best time to wash a vehicle because it dries quickly and removes most contaminants from the paint.

Also, make sure that you use top-quality products for washing that are non-abrasive.
As for waxing, if you will use it, some products like Meguiar’s M105 Ultra-Cut Compound can help with swirl marks.

And the only way to prevent swirl marks completely is by polishing your car so if you can afford it, get your car polished. Of course, there are some things that you can do on your own and some methods that you should avoid.

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Some Questions and Answers

Q: How Do You Stop Swirl Marks?

A: The only way to prevent swirl marks is by getting your car polished. However, if you can’t afford it, some methods of prevention can help you lessen them.

Q: How Do I Remove Swirl Marks?

A: Usually, removing swirl marks is very easy and it’s considered buffing or “polishing” as most people call it. However, the best way to remove swirl marks is through paint correction or bodywork where a technician will blend the paint and remove swirl marks completely without having to polish it afterward.

Q: Do Microfiber Towels Scratch Car Paint?

A: Yes. However, they don’t scratch your car to the point that it’s noticeable unless you use a real abrasive towel or scrub hard on your car while drying it.

Q: Are Swirl Marks Normal?

A: Yes. You will probably have to live with them if you don’t polish your car regularly. However, there are some things you can do to lessen their appearance.

Final Words

It may scary to see a lot of swirl marks on your car paint at first. But don’t worry. They are a fact of a car life due to improper washing. You can prevent it with the correct car wash and polish your car regularly.