Fixing car dents

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Dented car
While not all dents can be fixed at home, it is worth a try to save yourself the hassle and expense of taking your car to a body shop
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Explore these methods to fix your car dent.

Nothing is more aggravating than finding a dent in your car. While large dents require professional attention, the good news is that smaller dents can be fixed with minimal time and expense. While not all dents can be fixed at home, it is worth a try to save yourself the hassle and expense of taking your car to a body shop. Coupled with patience and attention to detail, the following tips are all you need to fix your car yourself.

How to Fix a Car Dent    

The tools you will need are available in car dent kits if you do not already own them. For a more advanced handy-person, see what automative machine tools are available.

Before proceeding, wash the area around the dent thoroughly to remove any dirt and debris.

  1. Drill a hole in the middle of the dent or use a hot glue gun to glue a plastic adapter to the center of the dent.
  2. Insert a dent-pulling tool into the middle of the dent or attach the tool to the plastic circle you glued onto the dent.
  3. Pull on the tool until the small dent pops out and the surface appears smooth.
  4. Remove the tool.
  5. Crawl under the car with a metalworking hammer and a dolly.
  6. Carefully bang out the back of the dent until smooth.
  7. Use a medium-grit disc mounted on a drill to grind the paint down to the metal. Extend one inch around the dent.
  8. Fill the hole with body filler and allow it to dry completely.
  9. Gently sand the area with sandpaper. Begin with a 36-grit sandpaper and work your way up to a 120-grit sandpaper.
  10. Use a spray primer to prime the area. Make sure you use a primer especially made for automotive use. Five to six coats will be necessary; allow each coat to dry before applying the next.
  11. Sand the primer using a 600-grit wet-and-dry sandpaper to help remove scratches.
  12. Cover the area with touchup paint. If the finish is not smooth, resand and repaint.

Alternative Ideas

While the above method is the most professional, it's not the only way to go about fixing a car dent. Read on to learn about these lesser-known alternatives.

Dry Ice Method

Dry ice has a much lower freezing temperature than regular ice; placing dry ice on a car dent causes the metal to contract and pop the dent back into place. All that's required is to touch the ice to the dent for a few seconds and repeat until the dent is gone. When fixing care dents, some car fanatics swear by this method while others will argue that if the conditions aren't perfect you can inadvertently cause more damage. Careful research should be done before adopting this method.

Hairdryer and Air Duster

Heat the dent with the hair dryer and then use an air duster to coax it out.

Whichever method you choose when fixing car dents, make sure you have the time and the tools required to complete the job. Fixing car dents properly takes patience and attempting the job without the proper tools can result in more damage only postponing the trip to the body shop and potentially increasing the price you'll have to pay to fix it.

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