Learning About Auto Body And Paint Projects

3 Ways To Remove Dents From Your Car

No matter how careful a driver you are, sooner or later everybody finds themselves faced with a dent in their car. What many people don't realize is that, while you could take your car to a body shop to be repaired, it is often just as simple--and significantly less expensive--to pop that dent out yourself. Read on to learn three effective strategies for removing a dent from your car.

The Plunger Method

The simplest dent removal method utilizes the most humble of plumbing tools, the plunger. Take note, however, that you'll want to use a sink plunger--and not a toilet plunger--for this job. That's because toilet plungers contain a protruding rubber lip known as the flange. Even when tucked up inside the body of the plunger, this can cause problems in forming a tight enough grip.

The art of plunging out a dent is fairly self-explanatory. All you have to do is press the plunger into place over the dent and gently pull outward. If you're having trouble establishing good suction, try wetting down both the dent and the lip of the plunger.

The Boiling Water Method

This method works wonders as long as your dent meets the following criteria: the dented material is either plastic or fiberglass, and you are able to physically access the inside wall of the dent. If so, run inside and put a kettle of water on the stove. Once it's boiling, head back out to your car.

Have a helper carefully pour the hot water over the dent, while you reach around to the back side and try to pop it out. The idea here is that the heat from the water will increase the plastic's flexibility, thus increasing the ease with which it can be popped back into place. Be aware that you are going to need to work quickly, as the heat from the water will quickly dissipate.

The Hair Dryer And Compressed Air Method

This tactic can be effectively utilized on all plastic or fiberglass body types, regardless of whether or not you have access to the inside of the dent. Begin by blasting the area of the dent with your hair dryer, set on its highest setting. Just be careful not to hold the dryer in front of any given spot too long, as the extreme heat can potentially damage your paint.

Once the dent is good and hot, reach for a can of compressed air--the kind you use to blow dust and debris out of your computer keyboard. Holding the canister upside down, spray the area thoroughly. The idea here is that, having relaxed the plastic with hot air, the relatively colder compressed air will cause it to rapidly contract, thus popping itself back into place.

If you have a more complex or large dent that cannot be repaired through these methods, it is best to take your car into an auto body repair shop.