Does Meguiars Ultimate Compound Remove Scratches?

The G17216 Meguiar’s Website is certainly one of the biggest selling car compounds on the market? The question that I get asked most about it, is does it remove scratches from vehicles?

For light scratches the answer is yes it does and works really well for those. The bigger problem though is how people describe a scratch. Scratches on cars, and how easy they are to remove will always depend on the depth of the scratch in question.

Light scratches, similar to swirl marks can appear on cars for a whole variety of reasons. Most of these can, with a little care and attention, be easily removed.

However any damage that has penetrated underneath the paint coat will never be removed without it being properly fixed by an expert in vehicle body work.

What Are Car Compounds Used For?

You can use a car compound such as the Meguiars Ultimate Compound to remove light scratching, water blemishes and spots and general oxidation. Many car detailers use these to restore the color and clarity of neglected vehicles.

Typical compounds though will scratch paintwork and are used when a full treatment is being done to a vehicle. The beauty of this product from Meguiars is that it acts like an abrasive compound, but does not scratch the surrounding paintwork.

Understanding the problems with Paintwork

When you examine the paintwork on any vehicle, you should really look out for a couple of slightly different problems. In the car detailing industry, these are often referred to as “defects.”

These can be above the surface of the paint or underneath the surface of the paint. To be able to identify the exact nature of the problem with the paint on your car, it will need to be washed and dried, so as you can easily identify what the problems actually are.

When that has been done, it is actually hard to see on surface problems. However you can feel them by running your hand gently over the surface. If it feels rough or gritty, then the on surface contaminants are present.

On Top Paint Issues

On top of the paint you will normally find issues like bird droppings, the sap from trees, oil and water splashes from the roads and generally anything that happens regularly in your environment.

For example people living close to the ocean may experience salt in the air, and that does get onto and inside vehicles.

As I mentioned earlier you can detect this type of problem by gently running your hand over the surface. If it feels rough or a little gritty, then you can improve the car a lot by using the right treatment.

External above the surface issues are always better dealt with by using a clay bar.


Under the Paint Issues

When a car leaves the showroom it has been polished and waxed to a very high standard. If a car is then neglected the paintwork will suffer. Over time it picks up small scratches, oxidation and swirl marks.

It is almost impossible to feel under the surface paint problems. The only real way to do that is to wash and dry the car. Then you need bright sunlight to see the defects. If you don’t have sunlight, then fluorescent type lighting does a similar job.

These are so much harder to deal with than on surface problems. For example although a bird dropping can be quickly washed off, it depends how long it has been there.

If that has been for a long time, then it will have got into the paintwork, known as etching, and will have slightly damaged the surface.

Similarly swirl marks from poor polishing techniques or using low quality products also impact under the paint surface.

It is these under the surface paint problems where something like the Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound should be used.


How To Use Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound

This compound can be applied manually by hand or by using a dual action polisher.

By Hand

Use a small amount of the compound and put it onto either a foam applicator pad or a small cotton towel. The key thing here is to use a small amount and work only a very small section at a time.

Use a small circular motion and make around 6 overlapping passes. When the compound turns clear, make one final pass to polish the surface. Then by using a cotton cloth wipe off any residue, before it gets the chance to dry.

You can then move on to the next area of the paintwork and repeat as often as you need to.

Please note that compounds will remove any wax and polish from the vehicle.  Therefore when you have finished with the compound, you will need to polish and wax the car to give it a full shine and protection.

By Dual Action Polisher

If you own a dual action polisher then one of the attachments should be a compounding pad.  Apply a small amount of compound to the pad once it has been attached.

Makes sure the face of the pad is flat on the paint. Turn on the polisher and begin buffing using light pressure in an overlapping pattern. Like with the manual process do a small section at a time.

Then by using a cotton cloth wipe off any residue, before it gets the chance to dry.

You can then move on to the next area of the paintwork and repeat as often as you need to.

Please note that compounds will remove any wax and polish from the vehicle.  Therefore when you have finished with the compound, you will need to polish and wax the car to give it a full shine and protection.


What Buyers Say About Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound

Overall buyers rate this Meguiar’s compound with an 84% buyer rating which is a very high rating. There are many thousands of online buyers for this compound and the rating have held up very well.

  • Buyers state that this compound removes light to medium scratches
  • Buyers also said that this was great for bringing life back into dull paintwork
  • Around 8% of buyers said this had little or no effect on scratches

Our Conclusion & Verdict on the Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound

This effectiveness of this compound will mainly come down to a couple of things. All buyers agreed that this was a great choice for reviving paintwork and for removing any type of dullness from body paintwork.

It was good at removing water spots and contaminants to leave paintwork smooth and shiny.

The difference from buyers online was how effective it was at removing scratches. As I mentioned at the start, the depth of the scratch is essential to understand.

This compound will remove light scratches such as those made by jeans rubbing against a door. It will not remove scratches that have penetrated under the paintwork.

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