Dents in your bodywork can make your vehicle look much older than it is, and as well as ruining the appearance of the car, they can also have a detrimental effect on its resale value.
Having a dent professionally removed can cost a lot of money and often isn’t worth it if your car is not an expensive sports model. However, if you would like to remove one for your own peace of mind, then there are many different methods which you can easily try at home to repair dents in your bodywork.
For large dents:
If you have had a relatively big bump and have a large dent in your bodywork, the most effective way to remove it would be to buy a large dent repair kit. However, these can be fairly expensive and you can replicate the method using a few cheaper household items.
By slicing a piece of wooden doweling (about an inch in diameter) into smaller sections roughly 2 inches long, you can create your own dent removal kit to use at home. Fix screws into the sides of the doweling sections near the top to act as handles. Then use a glue gun to attach the end without the screws to the dent in your car. Attach as many pieces of doweling as necessary to cover the dent, with about a 2 inch gap between each rod. You should be able to get a firm enough grip to pull the dent out by pulling on each rod in turn.
Once the dent has popped out, remove each section of doweling and the glue should peel off without leaving a mark on the paint.
For smaller dents:
There are many different methods that you can try and which one is easiest for you probably depends on what you have lying around your house.
- The plunger method Simply press a plunger around the dent and pull hard to pop the dent out. For small but defined dents this method can work quite well and is very easy to carry out. You might find that you need to pull out the plunger a couple of times in order to fully repair the dent. Coating the edge of the plunger which will make contact with the car in Vaseline will make it easier to remove the plunger once the dent has been repaired.
- The hair dryer method Metal expands and contracts with changes in temperature and this quality can be exploited in order to repair dents in your car’s body work. In order to make this method work as well as possible, you will need to get the metal of the dent as hot as you can and then as cold as you can within a very short time frame. The best way to do this is to heat the area with a hairdryer for a few minutes to get the metal really warm and then to immediately apply dry ice to the dent. The drastic change in temperature should cause the metal to pop back into its original shape.
- The hammer method If you can get access to the metalwork on the other side of the dent, hammering the metal back into place could be the easiest way of repairing your dent. Take a large piece of flat metal and cover it in a cloth to protect the paintwork on the exterior of the car. Place the metal up against the dent on the outside of the car and hammer the dent from the inside. With a few knocks at the right angle, the dent should pop out in next to no time.