Admit it—a car is the most prized possessions, and there are plenty of worst things that can happen to it. Wouldn’t you agree? Let’s face it the obnoxious world has spared no one! As some people in our lives can turn to disrupt and make life difficult for even the most honest people and it’s hard to survive. And the only way out of such life disruptions is to be ready. How? A person who is prepared for any situation such as a “KEY CAR” and keeps calm is a person going places. Learning how to fix a keyed car can help you control your anger every time the innocuous act take place.
What is a keyed car?
Regardless of how much you put in taking care of your car one strike of a vandal, an angry ex, or kids and there is a “keyed” vehicle. A keyed car is the kind of scratch caused by a key on your car peeling off the paint. Although insurance covers such damage to your car, it’ll still be best if you know how to fix a keyed car.
There are four types of keyed scratches!
- Scratch Type 1: Scruffs- scuffs are a light collection of surface scratches that only damage the clear coat of the car panel. You can get rid of them by rubbing compound from a local store or have an auto shop do it.
- Scratch Type 2: Clear-coat scratch- deeper, longer scratches, that haven’t penetrated past the clear coat layer. It’s cheaper to fix this at home or have it done by a professional.
- Scratch Type 3: Paint scratch- the scratch has already penetrated into the paint layer and fixing involve repainting. An auto shop will charge more than a clear coat scratch.
- Scratch Type 4: Deep paint scratch that penetrates all 3 layers and reveals the exposed metal. The repair is expensive as it involves fixing very deep scratches that have exposed bare car metal or plastic.
If your car has only suffered a small, shallow key scratch, you can easily repair it yourself. The scratch isn’t deep enough to expose the metal, and may not need repainting.
Wash and dry the affected car panel
To fix a keyed car, start by washing the scratched area. This helps to assess and to visualize the extent and depth of the scratch. Right after cleaning dry the area using a microfiber towel preventing more scratching. Allow the area to dry before applying any fix (touch-up paint may not adhere well to surfaces that are damp or moist).
How to check the depth /extent of the damage?
If the scratch only affects your vehicle clear coat, then it’s possible to apply quick fix by simply buffering the scratch it’s also cheaper to restore such a scratch.
A scratch deep enough to penetrate the clear vehicle coat, and affect the paint is hard to repair it at home. You need an auto body repair specialist to restore paint.
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How to check the depth and extent of the keyed scratch?
- Prepare a soapy solution;
- Spray the scratch and wipe it dry using a microfiber cloth;
- Take note of the scratch; clear coat damage of the scratch” disappears” after drying, but repair after a few minutes
- A scratch that doesn’t disappear after drying, then you have a deep scratch.
So, how much is it to fix a keyed car, and restore the finish of the paint? The scratch fixes so deep that it already scratches the metal, the cost will be high especially if the damage isn’t insured. The fixed cost will also depend on how many body panels hot keyed.
Protect the area around the scratch
A keyed vehicle often ends up with an elongated scratch that needs protection to avoid more damage. You can simply isolate this section by creating a frame using masking tape around the scratched panel. To be precise leave about 3 inches on both sides of the scratch. This comes in handy when sanding the scratched area and when applying the paint, you don’t have to worry about spraying over areas that don’t require a retouch.
The masking tape coupled with some old newspapers spread over your car panel will help protect your car from unnecessary spray mists.
Apply a differently-colored substance into the scratch
The next step involves sanding the clear coat, and you don’t want to overdo it. Sand the damaged area up to a level of depth of the scratch since it’s the clear coat, it can be quite difficult to ascertain if the “sanding” at the right level or not. To solve the problem, apply a substance with a different color. How?
For example, you can rub shoe polish with color that’s different from the vehicle color, and the differently-colored polish will offer a way to the actual color of the car and you will know when you huge reached to the bottom of the scratch.
How to sand the scratched car panel?
Sanding is the most tedious part-and you can never rush this. Spend several hours trying to sand the keyed scratch away and make sure you get it right. Use a 2000 or 3000 grit sandpaper and a sanding block and use a soap solution to search as a lubricant during the sanding process.
Be mindful of the amount of pressure that you exert- not great; otherwise, you risk sanding will beyond the clear coat. Moisten the sandpaper with every pass.
Dry, polish and wax
Allow the area to dry well before polishing and waxing. You can hasten the process using a heat gun or a hairdryer. Use a polishing wheel or your hand with the best price of cloth-you’d want to use the best possible microfiber cloth you can get.
The last step in fixing a keyed car is waxing. How? Simple, you can skip the step if you wish, but most car owners attest to waxing the whole car anytime they fix the clear coat scratch. It feels like breathing new life into your prized possession.
Fixing a keyed car is easy only if the layer keyed is the clear coat-a scratch cutting through the paint, primer, or metal. You have a much better chance of getting it fixed by an auto body repair specialist.
How much does it cost to fix a keyed car?
The cost of fixing a keyed car depends on the type of scratch implicated. Even though the size and the length of the scratch determine the cost of repair- it also depends on the layer of the car affected. All cars have three layers that make up the paint job. How much is it to fix a keyed car depend on how many layers the key passed through, as seen above there are four types of paint scratches.
Lastly, before you finally decide to plunge in and fix your keyed car consider if the cost is worth it especially an old car. Is your insurance covering the cost? Don’t leave your car fixed as the scratch deep to the metal can lead to rust which is more expensive to repair. Learn How much is it to fix a keyed car at home if you can’t afford the auto shop cost!