How To Fix A Car Dent
Learning how to fix a car dent can save hundreds of dollars in repair costs. Nothing makes a car look more worn and used than dings and dents. As long as you are willing to invest the time and effort, you can remove the dents yourself.
Car repair shops sell kits just for dent removal and they usually contain everything you will need to remove small dents. Different kits use different methods. Some use suction cups and others use glue on plastic caps to anchor the puller to the dent.
If the dent in your car is large or in a complicated area, you might be better off taking it to a professional. But first, try to push the dent out by hand. Sometimes the dent will “pop” back into shape with little or no damage to the paint and finish. If that doesn’t work, make a visit to the car repair shop and purchase a dent repair kit, a ball peen hammer and a dolly, which is a small tool used in flattening and shaping metal. Keep in mind that pulling the dent out is just the first step in the repair process. After the dent is gone, you will still have to sand and repair the paint job for the car to look good as new.
- Car body repair kit
- Ball peen hammer
- Small wood block
- Electric sander
- Auto body filler kit
- Auto paint to match your car
- Using a hot glue gun and the glue provided, glue the plastic cap that comes with the kit onto the center of the dent.
- Attach the dent pulling tool onto the plastic cap and pull firmly to pull the dented metal back into place. The dent will often just “pop” out.
- Heat the glue that attaches the cap to the car to remove it when finished pulling the dent.
- Before going any further, examine the area around the pulled dent. Look closely for any cracks or chips in the paint. It is rare to find no paint damage because the metal was stretched when it was dented, which also flexed the paint and caused cracks to form. If you see cracks, you must repair the paint and finish or rust will develop at the dent site.
- Use an electric sander with medium grit sandpaper to sand away the paint one inch out from the dented area. Do not press too heavily on the sander. You want to remove the paint, not the metal. Once the paint is removed and you can see bare shiny metal, you are ready for filling.
- Using the applicator that came with the kit, spread a light coat of body filler over the exposed bare metal, keeping the filler as smooth as you can. Allow the filler to dry. Prepare a sanding block by wrapping a sheet of sandpaper around a small wood block and attaching it. You will start with 36 grit sandpaper and work up to 120 grit. Sand slowly and thoroughly, making sure you don’t miss spots. These will show when you apply the paint.
- After the sanding is complete, wipe down the area with a tack cloth to remove all grit.
- Use spray auto primer to cover the sanded area, keeping each six coats light, even and drying in between sprays.
- When the primer is dry, sand it with 600 grit wet and dry sandpaper, which will remove any remaining small scratches. Paint the filled area with automotive paint that matches the rest of your car. You can sand and paint the area several times until the surface blends in with the rest of the car finish.
The dent is now gone and you can be proud you did the job yourself and saved money in the process.