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Someone keyed my car


Pierre ZFP

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Why would anyone do this? It was parked neatly in a supermarket parking bay, not obstructing anyone and both sides have been scratched along the doors.

They are not deep but it is a black car and they show as white lines.

Now, you clever people, what's the best way of getting these scratches out or at least covering them up?  I don't really want to go to a garage and get it seen to if I can avoid it.

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There are some nasty people about. Somebody 'tied a knot' in my rear wiper arm a few years back (French car, French plates) and an acquaintance has had several Merc (English car, French plates) badges taken and has now given up with replacing it.

The fact it is showing white means it has more likely to have than gone through the paint to the undercoat. I don't know what make your car is but if you go to one of these car parts shops (or a main dealer even) they may be able to help. I had a short scratch on by Discovery years ago and I got a pen type thing from the dealer that you went along the scratch with then polished off the next day with some special polish (probably mildly abrasive) and it was OK afterwards. I always claimed I could still see it but friends said they couldn't, perhaps it was because I knew where it was.

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Keyers usually pick on cars that are different from the clapped out old "Cortinas" that they are used to driving or stealing, or foreign plated ones. The motives are jealousy, as inculcated by the 'bring 'em all down to our level' brigade or nasty nationalism. Thus, a Rolls with Luxembourg plates is, in the mind of a keyer "Duh, why 'az this burk got a car wat I cant have. Just key it a bit. Ohhh foreing plates - bloody fornrs takin our jobs or tax exiles - just key it a bit so he knows we're watching 'im". Duh, pass us a can of beer. Wher's me giro, then.

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I hope it wasn't an irate horsemeat trader who's had enough of our jokes!  [:-))]

I had my previous French car (with French plates) keyed in the UK shortly after I bought it and we were visiting friends back there; it's not uncommon in UK and I think in this case it was a bit Francophobia perhaps.

I wouldn't have expected it to happen here in France, but maybe I'm being naive; we live in the country and folk are more "gentile". The worst I expect is "dings" in the supermarket car park so I try to park out of the way.

As already noted, if the scratch is showing as a white line it means the paint layer has been penetrated and the only good solution is to re-spray the panels; ouch!  Metallic paints need a lacquer too sometimes. You could try a small touch-up paint which will have a small brush, but I always find this unsatisfactory for lines as the brush is never fine enough and it leaves a "scar" which then stands proud of the rest of the panel. I usually use these only for small stone chips.

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Well my car does have 'foreign' (well Luxembourg) plates but was parked at a Luxembourg supermarket and it isn't anything special, just a 6 year old Hyundai and there are always plenty of other nicer/newer cars in the carpark.

Thanks for the above suggestions, I really don't want to go down the respray route, in fact I'm about to trade it in for a new car, I'm sure the garage will make a suitable deduction for the marks.

What about something like T cut?  or is it true what Saint Clarkson said that you can't polish out scratches?

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I disagree, the very thick lacquer coat on modern paints shows as white when scratched especially over a black base coat.

A girlfriend bought an MX5 from japan that hed been keyed all over and then badly touched in with black paint, I brought it up like new by flatting with progressive grades of wet and dry and finishing with 2 pack cutting compound.

There remained a couple of places where the scratches were deeper but the paint levelled them out and they barely showed, black being the best colour for that.

You have nothing to lose Pierre but you will really have to put your back into it, if the first go with 600 grade appears to work then try a small area with finer grades and then 2 grades of cutting compound, G3 and G6 from memory, if it works you may want to invest in a polisher and mop, not one of the toy 12v ones but either an air compressor one or a 2.2Kwatt mains one.

They would actually have to be very deep scratches to have gone through the lacquer and paint to the primer which is very unlikely to be white.

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If it is a metallic colour, it is almost certainly just the lacquer that is damaged. To scratch right through laquer and base coat to expose the primer requires a massive force that will generally leave a jagged, rough edge to the scratch, unless they have used a knife blade to cut through the paint, which is unlikely.

start out as Chancer suggests with buffing it up. A decent machine polisher is a must really, especially if its a long scratch...chances are you will have to give the entire panel a buff as if you just concentrate on the area around the scratch, you will create a very clean, glossy zone that will show up against the rest of the paint. Go steady though - its easy to get carried away and scrub through the paint, especially on panel edges, swage lines etc, or burn swirl marks into the paint.

If there is anywhere that is through the paint and down to primer, get a touch up paint, but forget the wee brush in the cap - may as well use an old bog brush - but use a toothpick to place drops of paint exactly where they are required.

If in doubt, get a pro to at least have a look at it. and if you are not confident, leave alone. There is a Nissan Serena that rolls near me that looks like someone has "polished" it with Brillo pads mounted on an angle grinder!

I have no idea if they exist in France, but in UK there are various franchise companies like Chips Away and Dentmaster etc who do various spot repairs and the prices can be very reasonable.
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Something similar happened to us when we about to sell our last car, we took it the local garage who did a surface polish and said they were unhappy  and it should have a deeper polish, it looked better but not perfect, however we sold it as it was with no trouble....cost about £20 for one side...
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 It has to be worth taking to a garage and explaining that as you will shortly be selling the car you don't want to spend much on remedial treatment and seeing what they say.

When we our car we were offered the book price, we sat waiting for him to knock something off because of the scratch, he didn't...but then I suspect they knew they could sell it on pretty quickly.

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What is the most effective yet simple way to do this so that it is difficult and expensive to repair?

The number of thoughtless drivers who block access for those of us in Electric scooters or wheelchairs by their 'don't give a toss' parking is making my key itch....

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I do sympathise with you Norm, in all fairness I wasn't blocking anybody, being neatly parked in a bay, not close to another vehicle.  In the same car park as I used, there are many disabled parking spaces close to the shop entrance, what makes my blood boil is able bodied drivers using these instead of walking the extra 50 metres.

At another car park there was a sign by the 'disabled ' parking spaces which read 'If you want to take my space, take my disability too' I like that.

Anyway, I will look at my local Brico Shed tomorrow which has a large car department and see what they have, I also have to see the garage that I'm buying a car from so before doing anything I'll see what they have to say.  Whichever way it's gonna cost me.

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I don't now if France has any of the mobile scratch repairers that exist in the UK? I've no idea if they are any good and whether your particular scratches could be resolved by them. I have used a (recommended) mobile car interior repairer and he was excellent and not expensive.

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In the many of the dealers, the car is vetted by someone while you're having a chat about your new car over coffee; mileage, interior and paint condition being the 'key' items and then rather than referring to book values which are so fluid, two or three associated dealers are rung for a telephone offer, in many cases the car is sold over the phone 'subject to description' before it is even traded in and your deal is done. Your deal also may include some allowance in the profit level of the car you intend to buy. Of course if the trade-in vehicle is subsequently returned in a different condition to its inspection, a deduction may be made to allow for that.

Anything you can do to touch in the scratches will disguise the level of damage, and then a good polish, some even suggest a coating of 'gods polish', (go back in the rain, or chuck a bucket of water over it before pulling onto the forecourt!)

 

 

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