Regardless of how careful you are when you drive, unsightly dents will always catch up with your beloved car sooner or later. You can’t always control things like runaway carts, careless road users, and wayward footballs.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a gearhead to get a minor dent off your car.
With a few tools and the right information, you can easily perform an auto scratch and dent repair from the comfort of your home garage. However, you need to be careful not to ruin the car’s paint, especially with aluminum bumpers.
Effective DIY Auto Body Dent Repair Tricks
Next time you dent your car, try these quick DIY auto body dent repair methods.
1. Boiling Hot Water
If you dent the plastic paneling on the bumpers, hot water can remedy the situation. As unconventional as it sounds, pouring hot water on both sides of the affected paneling and then applying gentle force outwards can help reverse dents without ruining the paint or the bumper.
Hot water makes the surface pliable enough to regain its shape with no significant damage to your car’s paint.
2. The Plunger
If you thought the plunger was only used for clogged sinks, think again. This common household tool can also be used to reverse medium-sized dents on your car.
Simply splash some water on both the dent and the plunger, then push and pull until the bumper regains its shape. If you are dealing with a big dent, repeat this several times on the affected areas.
Only use a cup plunger – flange and accordion plungers are not as effective.
3. A Hair Dryer and Compressed Air
These can reverse dents on parts made of plastic. Fire up the hair dryer to the maximum temperature, and heat the damaged area until it’s too hot to touch. Immediately after, spray the area with compressed cold air until the dent pops out.
This method uses basic rules of expansion and contraction. When heated the dented area expands, and the immediate cooling of the compressed air causes a sudden contraction, which makes the dent pop out by itself.
4. Hot Glue, Screws and Wooden Dowels
If your car has suffered a sizeable dent, the safest way you can pop it out without ruining its paint job is to use a hot glue gun, wooden dowels, and several screws.
Simply attach two screws to the side of the wooden dowel using hot glue. Place the dowel on the affected area and wait a few minutes for the glue to dry. Once it’s all dry and somehow sticky, pull each screw out until the dented area is restored to its original shape.
If the whole dent doesn’t pop out in one attempt, repeat the process until the damage is reversed. Be sure to stock enough glue. This method may a need a little bit of patience.
5. Dry Ice
Using dry ice for dents is only effective when dealing with medium-sized dimples. Since touching dry ice is not entirely safe to use, you might want to sport a pair of safety glasses, thick gloves, and tongs for this method.
Using the tongs, grab a block of dry ice and hold it on the dented area for one minute. If the cavity doesn’t pop out when you withdraw the ice block, try it again. Don’t let dry ice stay in contact with your car for more than a minute – it might damage the paint job.
6. A Wood Mallet
If the dent on your vehicle can’t be reversed using the above methods for one reason or another, consider applying some form of pressure from the inside. For larger dents, use your hands, and for small and deep dents, use a wood mallet.
Be careful not to hit too hard as this may damage your car’s body. To be on the safe side, wrap the head of the hammer with a thick piece of cloth to minimize the impact.
7. Pops-a-Dent Kit or The Ding King
When everything fails, try any of these two dent reversal tools. However, be advised that these auto body repair tools may dent your vehicle further when wrongly used.
Their results and customer reviews may not be consistent, but they are worth a shot. Think of them as a last attempt to avoid costly bodywork repairs.
DIY Auto Body Dent Repair Has Never Been This Easy
As a responsible car owner, make a habit of repairing dents as soon as you notice them. Letting them accumulate will only make the situation worse, and necessitate a costly trip to the auto bodywork repair shop.
Also, practice safe and careful driving on the road. As with any other car damage, prevention is always better than repair. Good luck out there!