The daily life symphony includes a few things striking a discordant note, for instance – seeing your  iconic “Smokey and The Bandit” car has fallen victim to the unsavory act of keying, driving you crazy in seeking how to fix keyed car.

Those angry scratches, etched into the paintwork, are like a personal assault on your joy. Fear not, there exists a virtuoso measure.

Turn those blemishes into mere whispers, fading into the car’s allure background. 

DriveRevolve embarks on a renewal journey, guiding you through the steps of auto’s pristine recovery. 

What Does A Keyed Car Look Like?

It can be the superficial surface scratches or deep gouges in the paintwork. 

Superficial scratches stem from a key or another sharp object scraping the outermost layer of the car’s paint. Lucky you, it’s simple to handle such scratches. 

Meanwhile, deep key marks have the potential to penetrate the clear coat and may reach the car’s metal body, presenting a more complex repair process.

What Does A Keyed Car Look Like?
The keyed car looks like that. Source: d2yrzan8q3e3gn

How To Fix Keyed Car

The whole process looks more straightforward than coping with the key won’t come out of the ignition.

Let’s check it!

Step 1: Collect All Required Tools

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Clear coat
  • Automotive wash shampoo or soap
  • Sandpaper (1500- and 2000-grit)
  • Water
  • Wax
  • Buffing pad
  • Touch-up paint
  • Polishing compound

Step 2: Clean The Keyed Area

Just use car wash shampoo or automotive soap and water. 

This cleaning step erases any dirt to a tee, including wax residue and debris. From there, it offers a clear and exact assessment of the scratches.

How To Fix Keyed Car: Clean The Keyed Area
Ins and outs of car’s keyed area cleaning. Source: i.pinimg

Step 3: Sand The Scratch

Dampen the 1500-grit sandpaper before delicately sanding the scratched area using a circular motion. 

This process smoothes out the surface and eliminates imperfections. Regularly rinse the area to halt the sandpaper from clogging.

Step 4: Apply The Touch-up Paint

Shake the bottle of touch-up paint for an effective mixing.

Use a fine brush to apply this paint to the target area, starting from the center and working outward. 

Opt for multiple thin layers to boost coverage, ensuring each layer is dry prior to applying the next.

Step 5: Buff and polish the area

Once the touch-up paint dries, you should moisten the 2000-grit sandpaper and sparingly sand the repaired zone for a smooth finish. 

Affix a buffing pad to and apply a meager amount of polishing compound. Delicately buff the repaired section in circular motions till it’s done with a classy look.

Step 6: Apply the clear coat

Thereafter, apply a protective layer of clear coat to the repaired area to safeguard the paint and extend its longevity. 

Stick to the instructions provided for accurate application and allow drying time.

Step 7: Wax the vehicle

Finalize the whole restoration using waxing, imparting an extra layer of protection and a lustrous, polished outlook. 

Adopt a clean microfiber cloth to apply the wax, adhering to the product instructions. Buff the waxed surface meticulously for a glossy finish.

How To Fix Keyed Car: Step 7: Wax the vehicle
What to do with keying scratches. Source: spraybayleeds

Tips On How to Prevent Cars From Getting Keyed

Here you go with 3 simple methods:

Park center in the parking lines

Parking off-center or engaging in double parking can lead to frustration among fellow motorists attempting to use adjacent parking spaces. 

This may prompt retaliatory actions, such as keying your improperly parked vehicle. Also, you ensure adequate space between your car and those parked on either side. 

What’s more, this minimizes the likelihood of disputes with other motorists over parking habits.

How about using WD40 and fire in such cases?

Find the answer here: 

Park your auto in the visible areas or secured regions with cameras

Do this way and those engaging in such acts feel hesitant. Indeed, they are scared of being apprehended.

Surveillance-cameras-equipped areas do the same as the keying potential culprits are likely to be apprehended if detected.

Mount dash cams/car alarm

This way can’t halt car keying yet it will catch the offender to a tee, by warning both you and guys nearby. 

Dash cams also make sense in pinpointing the perpetrator and offering vital evidence.

Mount dash cams/car alarm
Feel low with countless scratches? Source: oasisinsurance


1. How long does it take to fix a keyed car?

It hinges on the repair option and severity. While minor tasks take just a few hours, complex issues can last longer, even days. 

2. Is it feasible if I use touch-up paint for deep key marks?

Touch-up paint just does wonders for tiny chips and scratches. With deep key marks reaching the bare metal, seek the professional services for certainties. 

3. Will keyed car fixing entirely erase the scratch?

Minor scratches can vanish with efficient measure, restoring the car’s outlook. Even so, deep and extensive ones seem more tricky, and may cost more using pro help for feasible resolution. 

4. How much does it cost to fix a scratch on a car?

Long story short: It’s up to the factors, like the damage’s severity, the scratch size, the repair measure (DIY clear coat repair or technician supports) In other words, minor damage goes with a lower repair cost. 


Car keying is an unfortunate event beyond your complete control. It might happen due to personal animosity, yet, worry not if this is the case. DriveRevolve has no trouble in stating ways on how to fix your keyed car, aligning with your budget.

Plus, it’s advisable to verify whether your auto insurance policy is available for coverage for such incidents.

Fun-auto-part threads seem non-stop in creating a boon for readers. Keep discovering!

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