Thursday, July 11, 2024

How To Fix Key Scratch On Car

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Removal Of A Scratch On Car Door Or Body


The ways to get scratches out of car doors, trunks, hoods and other parts of your vehicle varies greatly based on the depth of the scratch. Your options may include:

  • Polish or buff out the scratch. If your car has a small scratch that just affected the top layer of your vehicle the protective clear coat, then you may be able to buff it out or have a professional do it to a nearly unnoticeable level.
  • Reapply clear coat. If the scratch has damaged the clear coat and reached the paint then it may be necessary to have a professional reapply the clear coat.
  • Touch-up paint or repaint. If the scratch has gone deeper than the clear coat and paint and has reached the primer and/or metal then deep scratch repair will be necessary. This would require the use of touch-up paint or the need to repaint the vehicle.

How To Remove Deep Car Key Scratches

A deep car key scratch does not necessarily mean an expensive new paint job. Cars have a thick layer of paint, which means removing the top layers does not diminish its appearance. Removing the scratch successfully involves using certain products and procedures to ensure no other damage is done to the car’s paint.

Step 1

Clean the scratched area with a soapy sponge. Mix 1 tsp. liquid dish soap into a bucket of warm water. Wash dirt and dust from the area. Rinse with cool water and wipe dry with a soft cloth.

Step 2

Put 1/2 tsp. black shoe polish onto a rag. Rub the polish into the scratch mark. Use black polish for light-colored cars and white polish for dark colors. Remove any excess polish from around the scratch area with the rag.

Step 3

Moisten a wet/dry 2,000- to 3000-grit ultra-fine sandpaper with cool water. Squeeze a drop of liquid dish soap onto the sandpaper.

Step 4

Sand the scratches slowly using gentle pressure. Rub the sandpaper back and forth, wetting it after five or six strokes. Continue rubbing the scratch until you no longer see the shoe polish.

Place 1 tsp. rubbing compound on a soft cloth. Rub the compound into the affected area using circular motions. Remove the cloudy compound from the paint with a clean cloth, buffing it to a clean shine.


  • Use car polish and wax to add a protective coat to the car’s paint.

Things You’ll Need

  • Black or white shoe polish
  • Rags

Can I Repair A Keyed Car Scratch Myself

If the scratch is only superficial and on the very surface of the car, then it may be possible to repair it yourself using a car scratch repair kit. If the scratch is deeper though and cuts through into the metal then it is best to contact a professional. This is because a deeper scratch needs to be treated properly in order to ensure that it does not rust or lead to larger amounts of potential damage at a later date.

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Will Claiming For A Keyed Car Affect My No Claims Discount

Some insurance providers will protect your no claims discount when claiming for a keyed car, but its always best to check your policy with your provider.

RAC Car Insurance Plus customers are covered by our Vandalism Promise. If your car is damaged through vandalism , any claim you make won’t affect your no claims discount.

Youll still have to pay any excess, but your no claims discount will be protected.

Things You Will Need To Fix A Keyed Car


Before you learn how to fix a keyed car, make sure you have the following:

  • Paint Make sure the paint you choose matches your cars original paint as much as possible. For a more natural look, we strongly recommend buying paint in spray cans. There are also touch-up pens as well as other styles of applicators. Usually, this boils down to personal preference.
  • A brush Ensure that the brush has a fine tip and is suitable for small touch-ups you will need to do.
  • Masking tape Needless to say, you need to choose tape that will not cause any further damage to the original paint.
  • Sand block and grain paper – Depending on the size and the depth of the scratch, you might need several different types of grain paper . We suggest choosing at least three types with different coarseness.
  • Primer You might not need to use it, but in case you take it too far with the sanding, it is a good idea to have it around. The touch-up paint will apply better, and you will minimize the risk of visible difference between the shades.
  • Clear Coat Again, buy it in a spray can, as it will be easier to apply.
  • Polish or Wax Choose this one based on your personal preference.
  • Cloth We suggest using a clean, or new, microfiber cloth.

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Options To Fix Keyed Car

You can either take the car to a professional body shop or you can do the repair work yourself. Auto body shops have plenty of experience in repairing such damage, so with them you are assured of a flawless finish. However, it is also possible to do some great repair work on your own with the right products and techniques. Sometimes without even having to repaint!

For a complete guide, check out our ultimate guide to car scratches.

Diy Method 1 Remove Scratches On Most Keyed Cars

Going the DIY way will save you money. One of the products you ought to try when doing DIY car scratch repair is Torque Details Reverse. This is an all-in-one paint detailer that removes scratches, repairs swirls, and gets rid of water spots on your cars surface.

Understanding layers of paint on a car

Most cars have three layers of paint. Understanding them will help you to choose the right paint scratch repair procedures to perform on your car.

Clear Coat

The outermost layer is called the clear coat. As its name suggests, the clear coat has no color. Its primary purpose is to protect the base coat from harmful UV rays and environmental damage.

Base Coat

Under the clear coat lies the base coat. Being the main constituent of a cars paint, this layer provides the color of the paint.


Under the base coat is the primer. The primer is sprayed onto the cars metal surface to enable the base coat to bond evenly with the cars surface. It is often in shades of grey or black.

Wash and dry the car

Before you repair the scratches on your cars paint, you must first clean the scratched surface thoroughly to keep dirt and debris from causing additional scratches when you are doing your repairs. Torque Details Decon Soap can help you to do this well. It is designed to decontaminate your vehicles surface, removing contaminants that ordinary car wash soap cannot remove, e.g. iron deposits and brake dust.

Using Torque Detail Reverse

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Is It Worth It To Fix The Damage If Someone Scratched My Car

If your car was keyed then the damages are cosmetic and repair may not be necessary. Consider these questions before fixing your keyed car:

  • How old is my car?
  • Am I planning to resell it in the future?
  • How costly is the damage to repair?
  • Is the car scratched to the metal?
  • How much does this damage bother me?

If you are considering having your vehicle fixed, speak to your insurance representative to determine the most affordable way for you to do it.

Are you paying too much for auto insurance? If youre not insured by Freeway Insurance, chances are youre paying more than you need to. Get a free car insurance quote online, over the phone at , or at one of our offices near you and find out how much you can save on auto insurance. It takes less than three minutes to get a quote.

Scratch #1 Clear Coat Scratch

Easy Remove Keyed scratch mark from your car. Deep scratch removal. How to fix key-ed car

The most commonplace, and easily fixable automotive exterior scratch, is the clear coat surface scratch.

Not to be confused with paint spider webbing and other forms of fracturing, clear coat hairline blemishes dont take much to form, and are commonly caused by things like poor car washing practices and diminutive drying materials.

Rough, or filth-filled sponges, mitts, and cleaning cloths can quickly cause clear coat surface scratches to materialize, and when rubbed in a circular pattern, can create whats known as swirl marks. This is why it is important to always use a clean detailing cloth or wash mitt, and to never buy the cheapest car wash sponge on the shelf.

Quick Nerd Note: Dirt and sand are essentially tiny pieces of earth and stone, while road salt is just flat-out coarse and corrosive, and brake dust is little more than pulverized metallic compounds and various man-made, mortar-like materials. Once applied to a painted surface, and then swirled around under pressure, these forms of media will generate scratches faster than you can crack a beer.

A series of scratches and scuffs that have been forcefully drawn across the surface are subsequently embedded within the paint itself.

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Keyed Car Scratch Repairs And Removing Scratches From Your Car

To help you get your car back to normal, at ChipsAway, we have developed a vandal scratch removal process to fix the damage and repair the paint around the scratch. Our process has been designed to make keyed car repairs and vandal scratches as painless as possible, using the latest technology in order to provide a flawless finish on your car. What is more, our repairs can be completed your convenience at a time and a place to suit you. Whether you are at home, at work, or on holiday, our local experts are positioned all around the UK, waiting for your call.

The ChipsAway keyed car repair process eliminates the need for expensive bodyshops and insurance premiums, because it uses SMART Repair techniques. Our SMART Repair techniques allow for us to quickly and efficiently remove keyed car scratches and vandal damage with ease, creating a flawless finish. If your car has been scratched by a vandal you probably feel stress from the unfortunate situation. Let us take the stress out of the repair.

Carfidant Scratch And Swirl Remover

If scratches you wouldn’t consider ultrafine bog your paintwork down, Carfidant can help save the day. We’re not talking giant scratches, but if you have some pesky surface scratch imperfections worse than swirls or a medium scratch, Carfidant’s Scratch and Swirl remover does a superb job at more difficult jobs.

The neat thing about this car scratch removal product is Carfidant says it’s also a paint restorer, though it doesn’t cut like a compound does. In our experience, paint did shine with some more depth after use, which is really a bonus to a scratch removal product. We also love that it’s super easy to work with by hand with a microfiber cloth, or with a basic orbital polisher. It even comes with its own hand buffer.

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Someone Keyed My Car Now What Do I Do

Since your car was vandalized it is important to inspect the scene and see if there were any witnesses or security cameras in the area. It is a good idea to document the incident with a police report in the event the culprit can be identified. The next step is to bring your vehicle to a repair shop for an estimate on the damage.

Spray Primer And Then Paint Onto The Sanded Area

How to Repair a Key Scratch on Your Car


Mask off the area with paper and masking tape to prevent spreading paint/primer to any other area. Spray automotive primer onto the area and let it dry. Next, spray the area with your cars matching paint. It can be difficult to find the correct paint shade, but your manufacturers specs will give you the code that matches your paint. Lay a heavy amount of paint onto the area and let dry.

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How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Scratch On A Car

Scratches may not look expensive. Unfortunately, many drivers are surprised at the cost of scratch repair.

It costs anywhere from $125 to $2,000 to repair scratches on your vehicle. The cost varies depending on the depth of the scratches, the make and model of the vehicle, and other factors.

Keep reading to discover how much it costs to repair scratches on a car.

Apply A Glazing Putty

You can pick up glazing putty at most auto repair shops or supply stores. To use glazing putty, first thoroughly clean the scratch with rubbing alcohol. This will remove any residual wax and dirt from the scratch and surrounding areas. Remember to use a soft and microfiber cloth to prevent damaging your paint.

Next, fill in the scratch with your glazing putty. As opposed to a scratch removal paste, you want to put the putty directly onto your cars surface. A dime-sized amount will typically suffice for most scratch sizes.

Use a spreader tool or squeegee to spread it into the gouge smoothly. The putty should fill the scratch space and help restore it to its original structure. Allow the putty to cure for two or three minutes, giving it time to harden without interruption.

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How To Remove Small Car Scratches

Small scratches are just big enough to stop your fingernail in our test. These scratches have dug down into the base coat. But dont worry, you can still get them out using basic tools and materials. Remember to wash your car before attempting to remove the scratch. See the simple process below.

Materials Youll Need

  • Rubbing compound

How To Remove Deeper Key Scratches

How To Repair A Key Scratch On A Car

In case you didnt succeed in getting rid of the groove with a compound, you are dealing with a deeper mark. The repair is still possible, but it will require more steps, time, and patience. However, considering the money youll save in the process, the effort is more than worth it!

What youll need:

  • Primer
  • Car scratch repair pen in a matching color
  • Clear coat spray
  • Hair drier or heat gun
  • Car wax
Step 1: Clean the Panel

Clean the scratched area with a damp microfiber cloth to get rid of any dirt. That will help you get a better look at how deep the scratch is if you can see the steel, it means that the gouge has damaged both the paint and the primer. Besides, a clean surface will be much easier to buff and repaint later on.

Step 2: Protect the Surrounding Area

Use masking tape to mark the perimeter roughly 23 inches on either side of the scratch. That way, you will make sure you dont buff the unaffected areas by mistake. It is also a good idea to put newspapers around the spot you will paint later. This will protect the rest of your car from the spray coat mist or any paint droplets.

Step 3: Wet Sanding

Wrap the paper around the sanding block and dip it in the soapy solution it will act as a lubricant and ensure smooth sanding. Remember to wet the paper often throughout the process.

Buff the area until you even out the scratch and can no longer see it. Allow the sanded surface to cool before you paint it.

Step 4: The Paint Job
Step 5: The Final Touches

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Cover It With Duct Tape

If the deep scratch runs the entire length of your car, this trick might not be the best solution since youre talking about covering it up with an adhesive tape. The idea is to cover up the scratch with a duct tape that has exactly the same color as your cars body paint.

Todays duct tapes already come in various colors so it should be fairly easy to choose one that will fit the color of your car. Just make sure to apply the duct tape as evenly as possible without creating any crease lines or other potentially-distracting lines. At least this will buy you some time before you can gather all of your resources for a really nice paint job on your car.

When Should I Use A Garage To Repair Keyed Car Damage

A sensible approach would be to repair smaller scratches to the clear coat and base coat yourself and allow an expert to deal with anything deeper. Scratches to your primer coat should always be repaired by a garage or body shop.

Make sure you use a reputable garage. You can find one from the RAC-approved garage network.

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Sometimes I Wonder If Its Even Worth Fixing The Damage On My Keyed Car

Cars are keyed with the intention of causing expensive cosmetic damage. The scratches arenât enough for the car to stop functioning obviously. So, itâs largely determined how you feel about the scratch or if it bothers you.

However, marks such as scratches affect your carâs resale value. That could put a damper on any plans to resell your car at the desired price in the future. Of course, if the scratch isnât too deep, you can also go the DIY route sans the professional quality at no cost at all.

How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Car Scratch

Removing key scratches from a car?

As cosmetic damage, car scratches are often among the cheapest type of car repairs. The price will vary, however, depending on how deep the damage goes and sometimes where the damage is.

If the damage is light, its almost always cheaper to try to repair it yourself with some of the readily available tools and materials mentioned in this guide, but deeper scratches may be worth taking to a professional to make sure its done right.

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