How to Fix a Keyed Car

by Chris Lewis.

People take great care to ensure that their expensive automobiles remain beautiful, glossy, and dent-free. It gives them pleasure to hear other people compliment their vehicles on their appearance and how well maintained they are. In contrast, a keyed scratch, whether done intentionally or accidentally, takes away the owner's pleasure in his or her possession. As soon as we notice the scratch, we become so uncomfortable with it being on our cars that we attempt to remove it as soon as possible and look for a person who may be able to assist us.

It's a feeling that no driver wants to experience - coming out to your car and finding that someone has keyed it. If the scratch is small, you may be tempted to try and fix it yourself. But before you do, there are a few things you should know. In this blog post, we'll walk you through the process of fixing a car keyed scratch, as well as some of the mistakes to avoid. By following our tips, you can make your car look good as new again!

How to Fix a Keyed Car
How to Fix a Keyed Car

How to Fix a Keyed Car

At first, you must know that the paint on any car has usually three main layers. The first Layer is called "Primer", which goes over the bare metal of the car, the second layer is the "base coat" which gives the car its color and the third layer is called "clear coat" which protects the paint and gives it a glossy shine.

How to Fix a Keyed Car
How to Fix a Keyed Car

There are two types of scratches, first type is the minor scratch (in the clear coat) and the second type is the deep scratch which goes deep till the bare metal surface. (You can see the exposed metal body)

Here we will remove the scratch from the clear coat which involves following steps.

  • Clean the scratch area
  • Tape the surrounding area
  • Sanding the scratch area
  • Polish the scratch area
  • Waxing and buffing the scratch area

Things you will need:

1. Soapy Water.

2. Microfiber Cleaning Cloth.

3. Towel.

4. Tape.

5. Sandpapers (2000 & 3000 Grits)

6. Fine Scratch Polish

7. Paste Wax

Things you will need:
Things you will need:

Scratch on the Clear Coat

Step 1: Cleaning the Keyed Area

Remove all of the dirt and debris from the area that we are currently working on by washing it with soapy water.

Step 2: Taping Around the Keyed Area

Mask off the scratch using the tape about a half of inch on each side because it would be hard for us to see the scratch later after we start fixing it.

Step 2: Taping Around the Keyed Area
Step 2: Taping Around the Keyed Area

Step 3: Sanding With 3000 Grits

Now take the sandpaper and sand the scratch down. If a scratch is deep enough to catch your fingernail, then start with the paper with 3000 grits. But is the scratch being that deep and it really doesn't grab your fingernail that much then uses the 5000-grit sandpaper.

Use the grit perpendicular to the scratch (up to down and up). If the scratch on your car is vertical, then you may need to use the sandpaper horizontally (right to left and right)

Apply pressure to the surface evenly by wrapping the sandpaper with a kitchen sponge or another object such as a wooden block or a rubber sanding block, among others. Keeping the surface wet while sanding the area is important; additionally, spray the sandpaper with soapy water before beginning the process with medium pressure. Sand the area for approximately 15-20 seconds across the entire scratch, and check periodically to see if the scratch has disappeared completely. Keep going with the sanding process until the scratch is almost completely removed.

Step 3: Sanding With 3000 Grits
Step 3: Sanding With 3000 Grits

Step 4: Sanding With 5000 Grits

Remove the tape to allow for a more complete installation, and then use a 5000-grit sandpaper to extend the sanded area to approximately another inch or two in order for it to more easily blend into the body. Apply soapy water to the affected area once more, as well as to the sandpaper. Rubbing this larger area in a circular motion will reduce the number of scratches in all directions. Once you've finished, clean the area and remove the tape.

Step 4: Sanding With 5000 Grits
Step 4: Sanding With 5000 Grits

Step 5: Polishing

Clean the surface area to make sure all the debris is gone before starting to polish. Use the polish whose label says it will remove the fine scratches and swirl-marks. Most polishes have 3000-5000 grit in it, so using it would work greatly.

Take the fiber cloth and some polish on it, then rub the sanded area and slightly extend this out to the glossy area in a circular motion with the fiber cloth and polish. Because this pressure is of a fine grade, you may need to apply medium to heavy pressure to it. Continue polishing and inspecting the hazy area by wiping down the unused portion of the fiber cloth to ensure that the polish has covered the entire hazy area.

Step 5: Polishing
Step 5: Polishing

Step 6: Waxing

It is preferable to use paste wax rather than liquid wax in this situation because it performs significantly better in our situation. Not only does it fill in microscopic scratches, but it also serves to protect the clear coat from damage. Apply a small amount of wax to the affected area in a circular motion. Allow it to haze up for a few minutes before wiping it down with the fiber cloth.

Here is the result.

Step 6: Waxing
Step 6: Waxing

The ability to repair a keyed car necessitates a certain level of technicality, as well as a certain amount of effort and patience. Minor scratches are simple to repair, but some major ones require the expertise of a professional. And if you want even more hassle-free and cost-effective repairs and don't want to bother with do-it-yourself methods, Insurance can take care of it for you.

Get your car insured, and make sure you choose an insurer that includes coverage for Dents and Scratches in their insurance policy. It will be of greater assistance to you.

Summary of Best Ways to Fix a Keyed Car

Ok, so you got some jerk that keyed your car. What can you do to fix it?

The first thing you want to do is clean the area. Use a terrycloth towel or something similar and use Windex or any cleaner with ammonia in it. You don't want to use alcohol because it will dry out the plastic and make it look worse in a short period of time. Also, use a pencil eraser to get rid of any excess damage.

Once you have that all done, take a cotton ball and put Windex on it. Dab the Windex-covered part of the cotton ball onto the scratch. You will notice that the scratch will turn black. This is good. Once you have that all smudged into the scratch, take a little bit of elbow grease and rub the area down. Then you might want to clean it off with Windex again, just to make sure it's all gone.

Now your car isn't going to be PERFECTLY looking like it did before the jerk decided to key your car, but this is an easy fix that you can do at anytime. It might not last for more than a few months, so it's something you'll have to redo every now and then.

Conclusion for Ways to Fix a Keyed Car

The car scratch analogy can be applied to online reputation management. Just as a keyed scratch diminishes the owner's pleasure in their possession, an unflattering article or review about someone can cause them discomfort and affect their overall well-being. Online reputation management is the process of attempting to remove or lessen the impact of such negative content.

Just as people take care to keep their cars looking good, they should also take care of their online reputations. There are many ways to do this, but one of the most important is by monitoring what is being said about you online. If you see something that you don't like, take action immediately to try and remove it or lessen its impact.

About Chris Lewis.

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