How to Fix Keyed Car

Published by Jeff Torres

Published on

How to Fix-Keyed Car

How to Fix Keyed Car

You left your car in the parking lot, and when you came back, you saw key scratches all over the vehicle. Could it get more frustrating than that? Regardless of the reason behind it, key scratches not only get you worried about your car’s appearance, but they can lead to corrosion or rust if left untreated. So, if you’ve been a victim of getting your car keyed, be it a minor or a deeper scratch, it’s crucial to own the situation and know how to fix keyed car effectively to avoid further issues. 

To do so, you will have to learn how to detect minor or major scratches that can go deep into the car paint layer, the insurance costs, when to consult a reputable expert, and how to fix a minor scratch yourself. In this article, we will guide you through all these steps.

How to Fix Keyed Car

Understanding Car Paint Layers

You can determine the type of scratch based on the depth of the paint layers. Typically, the automotive industry uses three paint layers– primer, base, and top. 

The primer paint is the first layer covering the car’s metal. It serves to help the second layer spread evenly and protects the metal from the outside elements .The second layer is the base color. It’s spread generously 13-38 microns to give the car’s final look. The last layer is the top coat spread from 38-102 microns.

Usually, key car damage is superficial surface scratches that only damage the outermost layer (the top coat) of the car. More often than not, the damage is noticeable only up close and can be fixed in several steps.

However, if you see white marks on your car or metal, it means that the key damage got through the second and first paint layers. In that case, it’s important to take the car to a mechanic to check if there is damage to the metal and consult with a reputable car service to assess the damage. Neglecting a keyed car allows outside elements like rain, humidity, and temperature variations to affect the metal and corrode. 

DIY Fixes for Minor Scratches

When looking for tips and tricks on how to fix keyed car, we’ve got you covered. If you have minor scratches on your car, then you can fix the damage with these easy ideas:

  • Magic eraser – you may have seen these magic erasers as pens or markers. They contain melamine foam and buff out surface paint scratches. However, they should be used gently because rubbing aggressively may damage the top coat.
  • Clear nail polish– this is an ideal temporary solution that acts like a filler for the paint scratches. Plus, it’s cost-effective, and you probably have it at home. All you have to do is just brush the scratch with nail polish and leave it to dry. If the scratch is only on the surface, you may not need to take the car to repair at all. The clear nail polish will do the trick.
  • Toothpaste– this is one of the oldest methods for fixing car stretches. You need a white toothpaste to put it on a cloth and rub it over the scratched area. This method works only for minor top coat scratches.

Consulting with an Insurance Agent

Depending on the severity of the scratch, the repair costs can be hefty. Therefore, before you take a car to the mechanic, you need to consider consulting an insurance agent.

Typically, the insurance covers the keyed car repair expenses. You can call the agent to help you file a claim or fill out an online form. The only problem with the insurance coverage can be the type of plan. 

Consult with your insurance agent, and check your insurance coverage to decide your further steps. If not stated otherwise, the insurance coverage should cover the accident. Comprehensive plans cover the keyed car expenses, but liability plans may not cover them. Ask them if they have a preferred body shop or if you can choose on your own. You may be asked to pay your deductible to the body shop, which can be as little as $150 or as high as $1,500.

Be it as it may, call the insurance policy immediately for further instructions.

Choosing a Reputable Body Shop

If you cannot fix the scratch of the car with the abovementioned hacks, then you probably need to fix the car at a reputable car service. But, finding a quality car repair service can be challenging. Therefore, we provide several criteria that can help in finding the right body shop:

  • Certification– when choosing a body shop, please look for legitimate certification that can confirm the knowledge and work of the mechanic experts. 
  • Customer reviews– aside from the formal certificates, check for real user testimonials to see the customer experience. 
  • Transparency in pricing– another potential green flag about a body shop is a transparent pricing plan. If the prices are transparently and openly displayed on the site or in the store, then you should go for it.
Choosing a Reputable Body Shop
Source: / Photo Contributor: aleksandarlittlewolf


Car scratches affect not only the aesthetics of the car but also its overall quality. The key may pierce through the paint layers and reach the metal. If you leave the scratch like that, exposing the metal to outside elements, you risk rusting and corroding your vehicle. Therefore, it’s important to act on it promptly.

Keep in mind that repair costs for keyed incidents can be costly, and we recommend contacting the insurance policy for the expense coverage. Now that you know how to fix keyed car, follow our tips and tricks with some household items. But, if the scratch did affect the base color, consult with a reputable body shop to assess the damage.

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