How to Fix a Keyed Car: Tips and Tricks

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How to Fix a Keyed Car, you must first clean the affected area and determine the depth of the scratch. Depending on the severity, you can use touch-up paint, rubbing compound, or seek professional help from an auto body shop.

Coming back to your car and finding it keyed can be a frustrating experience. A keyed car occurs when someone purposely or mistakenly scratches it with a key or any other sharp object. Even though its repairs can be costly, fixing a keyed car is necessary to maintain its appearance and prevent the damage from worsening.

In this article, we will discuss the different methods you can use to fix a keyed car, including diy solutions and professional assistance options. We’ll also offer some tips for how to prevent future incidences of car keying.

Assessing The Damage

We’ve all been there – you walk out to your car, only to find that it has been keyed. It’s a frustrating and infuriating experience, but it’s important to stay calm and assess the damage before taking any action.

How To Identify The Extent Of The Damage

Here are the steps you can take to determine the extent of the damage:

  • First, take a close look at the scratch. Is it shallow or deep? Is it just one scratch or are there several?
  • Next, run your finger over the scratch. If you can’t feel it when you run your finger over it, it’s likely a superficial scratch that can be easily fixed.
  • If the scratch is deep enough that you can feel it with your finger, it may require more extensive repair.

Factors To Consider Before Deciding To Fix The Car Or Not

Before deciding whether to fix the car or not, there are a few factors to consider:

  • The extent of the damage – if it’s a minor scratch, it may be more cost-effective to fix it yourself or have a professional do it for you. If it’s a deep scratch, it may require more extensive repairs that could be more expensive.
  • Your insurance policy – if the damage is significant, it may be covered under your insurance policy. Be sure to check with your insurance provider before making any repairs.
  • The age and value of your car – if your car is older or has a low value, it may not be worth the cost of repairs.

Steps To Take If The Damage Is Beyond Diy Repair

If the damage is extensive and beyond diy repair, there are a few steps you can take:

  • Contact your insurance company and report the damage.
  • Take your car to a reputable body shop for an estimate.
  • If your insurance covers the damage, they will likely work with the body shop to arrange repairs.
  • If the damage is not covered by insurance, you will need to decide if the cost of repairs is worth it.

Remember, the most important thing is to stay calm and avoid taking any impulsive actions. Assess the damage and make informed decisions based on the extent of the damage, your insurance policy, and the value of your car.

Preparing To Fix The Car

Tools And Materials Needed

Before you start repairing the keyed car, there are some essential tools and materials you will need. These include:

  • Sandpaper
  • Bondo
  • Paint scraper
  • Putty knife
  • Automotive primer
  • Touch-up paint
  • Clear coat
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Masking tape
  • Protective gloves

Safety Precautions To Take Before Starting The Repair Process

Fixing a keyed car can be a physically demanding process. Before you begin, make sure you take all necessary safety precautions to protect yourself:

  • Wear protective gloves to avoid contact with potentially harmful chemicals.
  • Work outdoors or in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes.
  • Avoid prolonged skin contact with bondo and other repair materials.
  • Follow the instructions on all materials used carefully.
  • Make sure to take enough breaks to avoid overexertion.

How To Create An Efficient Workspace To Minimize Errors

Creating an efficient workspace can help you save time and minimize errors in the repair process. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Set aside a dry, well-lit area to work on the car.
  • Cover the workspace with a drop cloth to avoid spillage of materials.
  • Arrange all materials and tools within easy reach.
  • Keep a trash can or bag nearby to dispose of debris.
  • Use masking tape to protect the car’s undamaged areas from contact with repair materials.
  • Place a microfiber cloth on the workspace to wipe off any excess repair materials.

By following these tips, you can create a comfortable and efficient workspace to repair your keyed car with minimal error. Good luck with your repair process!

Diy Fixes For A Keyed Car

Diy Fixes For A Keyed Car:

A keyed car is a frustrating and devastating experience. Ignoring the scratches may lead to further issues such as rust formation. Hence, it’s essential to fix the scratches as soon as possible. Diy fixes for a keyed car can save you money and time.

Follow the instructions below to repair the minor scratches and large dents on your car.

Step-By-Step Instructions For Using Car Scratch Remover To Fix Minor Scratches:

Minor scratches can be annoying but are easier to fix than deep dents. You’ll require a car scratch remover, microfiber towel, and water. Here’s a step-by-step guide to using a car scratch remover:

  • Wash the scratched area with water and dry it with a microfiber towel.
  • Apply the scratch remover to the area using a microfiber towel.
  • Rub the area with moderate pressure for a few minutes.
  • Wipe off the excess scratch remover with a microfiber towel.

Tips For Sanding And Repainting Larger Scratches And Dents:

Large scratches and dents require more work than minor scratches, and most of the time, it’s better to seek professional assistance. However, if you have experience with auto body repair, you can fix them by following these tips:

  • Wash the scratched area with water and dry it with a microfiber towel.
  • Sand the scratched and dented area with a 320-grit sandpaper.
  • Clean the area with a wax and grease remover.
  • Apply a primer to the scratched area.
  • Paint the area with a matching color paint.
  • Let it dry for at least 12 hours.

How To Fill In Deep Scratches With Body Filler And Sand Them Down:

Deep scratches can be tricky to repair and will require some additional materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Body filler
  • Hardener
  • Sandpaper
  • Wax and grease remover
  • Epoxy primer
  • Paint

Follow these step by step instructions:

  • Clean the scratched area with a wax and grease remover.
  • Mix a small amount of body filler with hardener. Most body fillers require a ratio of two parts filler to one part hardener.
  • Fill the scratched area with body filler.
  • Wait for the body filler to dry and sand it down with sandpaper.
  • Clean the area with a wax and grease remover.
  • Apply an epoxy primer to the scratched area.
  • Paint the area with a matching color paint and let it dry for at least 12 hours.

By following these diy tips, you should be able to fix the scratches on your car with ease. However, for more extensive damage, it’s always best to seek professional assistance. Remember to keep your car looking pristine by washing and waxing it regularly.

Professional Fixes For A Keyed Car

When it comes to fixing a keyed car, some car owners prefer handling the repairs themselves, but for others, seeking the assistance of a professional is the best option. If you don’t have the technical know-how or the tools and equipment required to repair your car, then hiring a professional is a no-brainer.

Here’s what you need to know when considering professional fixes for a keyed car:

Explanation Of When To Hire A Professional To Fix The Car

Hiring a professional to fix a keyed car is an excellent idea if you want to guarantee an excellent repair job. Here are some scenarios when hiring an expert is your best option:

  • If the keyed area is too significant or deep, you will need to hire a professional to repair it.
  • If the keyed area is located on tricky surfaces, such as curved or textured areas.
  • When you don’t have the time, skills, or equipment to fix your car.
  • If you don’t want to risk damaging your car’s paint job by doing repairs yourself.
  • If your car’s warranty is still active, hiring a professional ensures that the repairs will not void the warranty.

Factors To Consider Before Choosing A Repair Shop Or Mechanic

Choosing the right repair shop or mechanic to fix your keyed car is essential. Here are some factors to consider before making a final decision:

  • Reputation: A reputable repair shop will provide quality workmanship and customer service.
  • Expertise: The mechanic must have the necessary qualifications, skills, and experience to fix your car.
  • Equipment and tools: Ensure the repair shop has the necessary tools and equipment to fix your car properly.
  • Turnaround time: How long will it take to repair your car? Ensure that the repair shop can fix your car within the agreed-upon timeline.
  • Cost: The cost of repair shouldn’t be your only consideration, but it is important to compare prices to ensure that you get a fair deal.

Overview Of Professional Services For Fixing A Keyed Car

Professional services for fixing a keyed car range from touch-up paint and clear coat application to complete repainting. Here are some of the most common professional services for fixing a keyed car:

  • Touch-up paint: This service is ideal for minor keyed areas. The mechanic will apply paint to the keyed area, matching it to the original paint color of your car.
  • Clear coat application: If the keyed area has damaged the clear coat, the mechanic will apply a new coat over the keyed area, ensuring that the newly applied clear coat matches the rest of the car.
  • Repainting: If the keyed area is too significant or deep, a complete repaint may be necessary. The mechanic will strip down the paint, sand down the area, and then apply a new coat of paint that matches your car’s original color.

Hiring a professional to fix your keyed car ensures that the repairs are done correctly, and you won’t risk damaging your car further. When considering professional fixes for a keyed car, it’s essential to take into account the reputation, expertise, equipment and tools, turnaround time, and cost of potential repair shops or mechanics.

With the various services offered by professionals, like touch-up paint, clear coat application, and repainting, your keyed car is sure to be looking brand new in no time.

Preventing Future Damage

Tips For Avoiding Future Keyed Car Incidents

There’s no fool-proof method for preventing your car from being vandalized, but there are ways to reduce the likelihood of it happening again. Here are some tips to help you avoid future keyed car incidents:

  • Park in a well-lit area: Darkness can provide cover for vandals. If possible, park your car in a well-lit area to make it less appealing for someone to target.
  • Use a garage or cover: If you have access to a garage or a car cover, use them. This can act as an extra layer of protection for your car.
  • Install a security camera: A security camera can deter vandals from targeting your car. If you park in an area where it’s possible to install a security camera, consider doing so.
  • Be aware of your surroundings: Take note of any suspicious activity in the area where you park your car. If you see someone acting suspiciously, report it to the authorities.
  • Use a car alarm: A car alarm can be a useful tool for deterring vandals. Make sure your car alarm is working and use it when you park your car in public.

Ways To Protect The Car From Vandalism When Parked In Public Areas

If you frequently park your car in public areas, here are some ways to protect it from vandalism:

  • Use designated parking spots: Park your car in designated parking spots, especially if they’re close to a popular or well-lit area.
  • Park near other cars: Park your car near other cars to make it less appealing for vandals to target. Vandals are less likely to vandalize a car if there are other cars around.
  • Remove valuables from the car: Remove any valuable items from your car before you park it. This includes things like phones, tablets, and cash.
  • Use window tinting: Window tinting can make it harder for vandals to see inside your car. This can make your car less appealing to potential vandals.
  • Use a steering wheel lock: A steering wheel lock can make it more difficult for someone to steal your car. It can also discourage vandals from targeting your car.

How To Maintain The Car’S Exterior To Minimize The Effects Of Wear And Tear

Preventing keyed car incidents is one thing, but keeping your car’s exterior looking good is another. Here are some tips on how to maintain your car’s exterior to minimize the effects of wear and tear:

  • Wash your car regularly: Regular car washes can help remove dirt, dust, and other debris that can cause damage to your car’s exterior.
  • Avoid parking under trees: Tree sap and bird droppings can cause damage to your car’s paint. Avoid parking your car under trees if possible.
  • Use paint protection film: A paint protection film can be applied to your car’s exterior to protect it from scratches, dents, and other types of damage.
  • Consider ceramic coating: Ceramic coating can be applied to your car’s exterior to protect it from uv rays, environmental contaminants, and other types of damage.
  • Fix any damage promptly: If your car does sustain any damage, such as a scratch or dent, fix it promptly. This can help prevent further damage from occurring and keep your car looking its best.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Fix A Keyed Car?

How Does Keying Damage A Car?

Keying a car removes its protective layer of paint and exposes it to rust, which can cause further damage to the body.

Can A Keyed Car Be Fixed Without Repainting?

Yes, a keyed car can be fixed without repainting by using a touch-up paint pen or dabbing clear nail polish on the scratch.

How Can I Fix Deep Key Scratches On My Car?

Fixing deep key scratches on your car involves sanding the area, applying primer and touch-up paint, and blending the color to match your car’s paint.

Can Insurance Cover The Cost Of Fixing A Keyed Car?

Yes, car insurance can cover the cost of fixing a keyed car if you have comprehensive coverage included in your policy.

Should I Report A Keyed Car To The Police?

Yes, it is advisable to report a keyed car to the police as the perpetrator can be charged with misdemeanor vandalism and held liable for damages.

Can A Car Detailer Fix A Keyed Car?

Yes, a professional car detailer can fix a keyed car by polishing, buffing, and using specialized techniques to remove some of the scratches.


To conclude, fixing a keyed car can be a frustrating and expensive experience. However, with the right approach and knowledge, it can be a manageable task. If you notice your car has been vandalized, the first step is to assess the damage and determine whether it can be fixed at home or if it requires professional help.

Depending on the severity of the damage, fixing a keyed car can range from using a simple touch-up paint to repainting the entire panel. Remember to take proper precautions and protect your car from future incidents by parking in well-lit areas and investing in security cameras.

By following these steps, you can restore your car’s appearance and protect your investment without breaking the bank.

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