How to Remove Small Dents from Your Car, auto body repair ft lauderdale

Do you think of yourself as a good driver?

Whether you are a good driver or not, one thing is for certain – you will encounter an accident at some point in your life.

In fact according to statistics, over the course of a typical, driving lifetime, you may have a total of three to four accidents.

Most of these accidents will be minor and more annoying than actually life-threatening. So time to grab your wallet and head to the mechanic.

But wait a minute…

When it’s smaller dings and dents, can you DIY?

Yes, you can! Read on for some tips and hacks on how to achieve your own dent repair from home.

The Plumbing Method

Did you know a toilet plunger can be used for more than unclogging drains? Using a toilet plunger for dent repair may not be the most sophisticated method, but can be extremely effective.

How to do it:

First, assess the size and location of the dent. Using a plunger works best on shallow dents on flat components of the car, such as the door or hood. Use a clean plunger to prevent any debris getting on your car.

Moisten the rubber edging and suction surface of the plunger with clean, plain water. Position the plunger over the dent and press onto the area. Push and pull the plunger in short jerking motions, just as you would when plunging a blocked drain.

If the plunger pops off before the dent is removed, be sure to re-moisten and start again.

Things to Note:

  • A plunger cannot remove creases; it can only pop dents back out
  • If the dent is smaller than the plunger, put the plunger directly over the dent
  • If the dent is bigger than the plunger, first start on the edges and work your way to the middle
  • If the dent is very small, a plunger may not resolve it
  • The flatter the area, the more likely it will work

The Suction Method

Another suction method is to repair the dent by using simple household items such as a vacuum cleaner and a pot.

How to do it:

For this method, all you need is a pot or bucket (depending on how big the dent is), a vacuum cleaner and some tape. Make a small hole underneath the pot or bucket. Then tape the pot into the dented area. Place the vacuum over the hole and turn it on. The Suction should pop out that pesky dent.

Things to Note:

  • If the dent is too shallow, this probably won’t work
  • Choose the tape carefully not to damage the paintwork
  • The flatter the area, the more likely it will work

The ‘Hot Stuff’ Method

Using hot stuff can also be an effective way to repair dents on your vehicle. Intense heat followed by cold can force the metal of the car to snap back to its original shape. This also works with plastic by causing the plastic to contract and the dent to pop out.

How to do it:

Place aluminum foil over the dent, then with a heat gun, lighter or even a hairdryer, direct heat over the dent for about 30 seconds. Remove the foil and immediately blast the area with an air duster.

The direct heat followed by cold air elasticizes the metal or plastic and can make it flexible, allowing it to return to its proper shape.

Another method using heat is just with hot water. Throw boiling water onto the area and push the dent back up from behind. This may take a few attempts.

Things to Note:

  • Take care not to blast the air duster onto the open flame
  • Since the heat doesn’t last very long, you must act quickly

The ‘Ice Ice Baby’ Method

Just as heat elasticizes the metal or plastic, so can cooling agents. Dry ice may seem like something from a mad scientists laboratory, but it is actually readily available for day to day use. You can even buy it from many large retail stores.

How to do it:

Assess the dent and check the angle and location. Place a chunk of dry ice onto the dent for a few minutes, rub it around and then remove it. Let the ambient air work its magic! This interaction of cold followed by heat will cause the metal to shift, and the dent should pop out.

It may take a few attempts due to the size and severity of the dent. Just make sure to allow the area to warm up back to normal temperature before you reapply.

Things to Note:

  • Always use gloves and wear safety goggles when handling dry ice
  • If the dent is on the side of the vehicle, you will need to use tongs to hold the ice
  • Do not leave dry ice on the vehicle for longer than a minute

The ‘Under Pressure’ Method

A simple way to achieve dent repair without any fancy dry ice or such like is to just apply pressure using your hands.

How to do it:

Evaluate the location of the dent; you may need to remove some components from behind the dent to access it easily.

Once you have located the backside of the dent, apply pressure with your hands to pop the dent back out. For smaller dents, you may need to use an object to pop the dent back out. For example, the handle of a hammer.

If it’s not working, use a mallet covered with a cloth and hit lightly until the dent pops back up. Don’t hit it with a bare mallet, as you may cause even more damage.

Things to Note:

  • Once the dent has popped back up, stop hitting, as you may cause the metal to bow out slightly
  • Before you remove any components, be sure you know how to replace them correctly

DIY Dent Repair

So did you try any of these dent repair methods? Did it work?

Although these dent repair methods may work for some, for others you may just need to bite the bullet and hire someone to do the work for you.

For over 50 years, we at Lee’s Car Care have been fixing collision damage. From dents and scratches to full body work. You name it; we’ll fix it. Check out our services page for more information.

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