There are nearly 6 million car accidents in America every year.
Even a small, non-threatening car accident can be an overwhelming experience to deal with. You may be completely fine, but when your car suffers significant body damage, you have to get it fixed.
As long as you have a good insurance policy, your car repairs should be covered. That said, going through insurance might mean that your monthly premiums will go up in the future. If you want to avoid the hassle, you might consider learning how to fix a dent in your car on your own.
In this post, we’re going to give you a few expert tips for fixing those nasty dents in your car. Dents won’t necessarily keep your car from running, but they’ll make your car look a mess, they can lower fuel economy, and significantly lower its resale value.
It’s always better to take your car to a pro, but keep reading and we’ll guide you on the best way to get those dents out.
What You’ll Need to Fix a Car Dent
Before you can start repairing the dents in your car, you’re going to need a few key items. Sadly, you can’t just fix car dents with household items, but you might be surprised to learn that it’s not going to cost you too much to get the tools for the job.
First, it’s important to take safety into account. Even DIY dent removal has its dangers, so you should never work in your car without safety goggles, mechanic’s gloves, and even safety boots.
In terms of tools, you’re going to need a heat gun or blow dryer, a dent puller, compressed air, and microfiber towels. The easiest thing to do is to go to your local hardware or auto parts store and purchase a dent repair kit.
This should contain a suitable dent pulling tool with different attachments for different types of dents. It’ll also contain a glue gun for dealing with dents in metal.
Certain types of dents can be fixed with things like plungers and a bit of water, while others really can’t be fixed without professional help. Your best bet is to look online to determine whether or not your dent is a DIY job and purchase the dent removal kit if you think you can do it.
When you’re ready, get your car onto a flat surface with lots of space around it. If your garage is too tight, take it out onto the driveway and do the work there.
Repairing Small Dents in Plastic
Small dents in the plastic parts of the body—bumpers, fenders, fascia—are the easiest to repair at home. It’s all about heating the plastic so that it’s a bit more malleable, then popping the dent out from the inside.
First thing’s first, heat up the area around the dent with the blow dryer or heat gun. Once it feels warm to the touch, give your compressed air a shake and spray the dent with the pressurized, cool air.
The dent may pop out by itself, but if it doesn’t, get your dent-pulling tool out. Position the legs over the dent with the suction part in the center, then slowly pull the suction cup out.
Repairing Large Dents in Plastic
For larger dents in plastic, you’ll almost certainly need your dent-pulling tool. The process is basically the same, however. Heat up the area until it’s hot to the touch.
Instead of using the compressed air, position your suction tool over the dent and perform the same action as before. It may not pull out all the way on the first try, so keep reheating the area until you can completely pull out the big dent.
In the process, you may end up creating smaller impressions around the bigger dent. Because you’ve heated the area already, it should be soft enough to push these little dents out with your hands.
Repairing Small Dents in Metal
The process of repairing dents in metal is a bit different than in plastic. For smaller dents, start by wiping the entire area down with your microfiber cloths to make sure there aren’t any particles that could damage your paint.
Heat up the glue in the glue gun and put 1-2 tablespoons of glue into the deepest part of the dent. Attach the dent puller and place the suction cup over the area where the glue is, then leave it for 6-8 minutes—the glue must dry completely before pulling the dent out.
Once you’re sure the glue is dry, slowly pull the suction cup up until the dent is removed. There will be leftover glue, so take your heat gun/blow dryer and heat the glue up so that you can wipe it away safely.
Repairing Large Dents in Metal
For larger metal dents, you need to use a combination of the techniques we’ve discussed so far. You first need to try and reduce the size of the dent, so heat up the area with your blow dryer and use the dent puller.
After you’ve made the dent smaller, wipe it with the cloth to make sure it’s clean. Follow the same steps that you used to remove the smaller dents with the hot glue and the dent puller and you should be dent-free in a matter of minutes.
When a Professional Is Required
Anything more major than a few small to mid-sized dents should probably be repaired by a dedicated professional. A pointless dent repair specialist will have serious tools to smooth car dents so that you can’t tell they were ever there.
Of course, when you go to a professional, you’ll need to contact your insurance company. If you’re worried about the cost, then you need to find quality cheap car insurance. Shop around for a sensible policy and you’ll be prepared for any dent repairs resulting from a fender bender.
Learning How to Fix a Dent In Your Car
Now that you know how to fix a dent in your car, you’ll be prepared for any situation. It can be stressful to deal with car accidents, large or small, but having this knowledge in your back pocket makes it all a bit better.
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