Can You Fix Dents at Home? 3 DIY Auto Body Repair Tips to Know

Can You Fix Dents at Home 3 DIY Auto Body Repair Tips to Know - banner

There’s nothing more annoying than getting into your car and realizing that there’s a dent in it. Some auto body dents are small and inconspicuous, while others might be large and unsightly. Luckily, for most dents, especially ones that don’t have any paint damage, getting the dent out can be pretty easy and straightforward.

Before you take your vehicle to your local auto body repair shop, read on to see how you can remove dents all on your own.

Is it Fixable? Know Your Auto Body Dents

Before you attempt to fix a dent on your own, you’ll need to know whether it’s one that can be fixed in the first place. Dents come in all shapes and sizes, with some being easy to remedy and others — well, not so much.

  • A ding is a small area of damage, maybe the size of a coin. Small dings or small scratches are pretty easy to fix with a simple at-home buffing kit.
  • A dent that is round with minimal to no scratching can also easily be fixed. All you need to do is “pop” it back out.
  • A sharp dent, one that is small but has deep divots, can also be fixed at home but may be a bit more challenging. Also, you might not be able to completely repair the damage. While you can try, you may end up needing to take it to an auto body repair shop.
  • Finally, crease dents (long folds that have paint damage) and other serious dents after a fender bender or minor accident will likely require a visit to your local auto body repair shop. Unless you have professional tools on hand and access to car paint, these are dents you won’t be able to fix at home.

Pop Out Dents Using a Plunger

Your household plunger makes for a great dent-removal tool. This method works well for medium to large-sized dents anywhere on the body of your vehicle. Simply push the plunger into the middle of the dent to engage the suction, then pull the plunger towards you. As you pull, the dent will “pop” back out. It might take a couple of tries to get the dent to pop out, but this tried and true method almost never fails. Be sure to use a “cup” or sink plunger, not a “flange” or toilet plunger.

Can You Fix Dents at Home 3 DIY Auto Body Repair Tips to Know - Plunger

Use Boiling Water to Take Out a Bumper Dent

Dents on your bumper or fender can also be popped out by using boiling water. When you pour boiling water on the dent, you’re essentially heating up the plastic making it more malleable. When you do this, it becomes much easier to pop the dent out.

Now, to pop the dent out, reach your hand inside your bumper or under the fender and push the dent out after you’ve poured the boiling water. You’ll need to act fast, as the heat won’t last long.

Can You Fix Dents at Home 3 DIY Auto Body Repair Tips to Know - boiling water

Use a Hair Dryer and Compressed Air on Auto Body Dents

If you’ve got kids, this next tip can be a great mini-science experiment to try out. All you’ll need is a can of compressed air and a blow dryer. Start by heating up the impacted area with the blow dryer. Once the area is hot to the touch, use the can of compressed air (make sure it is flipped upside down when you use it) and spray the air onto the impacted area. When the compressed air comes in contact with the heated surface of the car, it will cause the dent to pop back out.

Can You Fix Dents at Home 3 DIY Auto Body Repair Tips to Know - compressed air

When to Use a Specialty Tool

If you have dents on awkward parts of your vehicle, you might benefit from investing in a specialty dent removal tool. There are a variety of tools online that are affordably priced. Some are designed for specific types of dents, while others are great for general, all-purpose dent removal.

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