How To Get A Dent Out Of A Car (4 Simple Methods)
Getting a dent in your car hurts. For us car lovers, it is something just unacceptable. Then there’s the financial part of it! You need to go to the body shop to get the dent out, and that will increase your insurance premium.
But you can avoid that and restore your car to its former glory at home.
Let’s see how to get a dent out of a car at home. Yes, that is possible. You can get that nasty dent out very easily. Just read on and soon you’ll know how to fix a dent in a car.
Before we can get into getting dents out of the car’s body, let’s first see what kind of a dent can be dealt with at home.
What Kinds of Car Dents Can Be Fixed at Home?
Before learning how to pull a dent out of a car, you need to know what dents can be pulled out. Here are the types of dents that you can fix at home:
- If the dent has not damaged the car’s paint, it can be tackled at home.
- The dents which form a big depression on a body panel and not sharp indents can be pulled out.
- If there are cracks on the dented panel, the dent can most likely not be pulled out.
- Very large dents can not be suctioned out.
- If the body panel is made of aluminum, the dent cannot be pulled out in the majority of cases.
With that out of way, let’s now see how dents can be pulled out of a car’s different parts.
How to Take a Dent Out of a Car When It is On a Metallic Body Panel
Before we can start exploring how to remove a dent from a car, we need to know the theory behind it.
How are dents formed?
The sheet metal that makes up the body panels of your car has atoms of the metal in an orderly manner. When the sheet is subjected to an excessive external force, it can result in two things:
- It can displace the atoms just enough to make a dent in the body panels of the car.
- It can displace the atoms so much as to tear the sheet apart.
How are Car Dents Removed?
The aim is to realign the atoms of the metal the body panel is made up of. To do this, you need to apply a force in the opposite direction. However, it must be noted that the metal can be restored only if it is deformed to a certain point. If the deformation is too much, the dent cannot be undone, not at home at least.
DISCLAIMER: These are just some tips that can help you do minor repairs on your car. The actual results will depend on your understanding and execution of the steps. If you are not experienced in this type of work or think that you might not be able to do it the right way, get the help of a professional.
Let’s now see the various methods that you can use to remove dents from your car at home.
1. The Plunger/Suction Cup Method
This is the first trick in the book. Anyone with the least knowledge of cars can tell you this method. Here’s how this works:
- A plunger
- A pair of gloves
- A bit of patience
How to Pop a Dent out of a Car With a Plunger
The method is quite a simple one. You just need to do the following and the dent will pop out like it never existed.
- Push the plunger against the body panel where the dent is.
- Pull the plunger back, making sure there is no vacuum leakage.
- Repeat the process a few times until the dent pops out.
Best Suited For:
This method of removing dents at home is the best for:
- Dents in large flat body panels.
- Dents that form a depression.
- Dents that have not damaged the paint of the car.
Cautions for this Method
- Make sure the plunger is clean.
- If the plunger is leaking, this might not work.
- Be careful when pulling the plunger back.
2. DIY Dent Removal with a Hair Dryer
Metals expand when they are heated. They expand with such a force that it can bend railway tracks. You can use this property of metals to your advantage. Here’s how you can take small dents out of the car using a hairdryer.
- A hairdryer
- A bucket of cool water
How to get a Dent out of Your Car with a Hair Dryer
Here’s the method:
- Turn the hairdryer to maximum heat and aim it on the dented part of the car.
- Heat up the dented panel area and its surroundings for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Cool the part down suddenly with cold water.
- Repeat the procedure 2 to 3 times.
Best Suited For:
This is the best way to pull dents out of a car if:
- The dent is too small to be handled with a suction cup.
- The dent is in an area inaccessible for other tools.
Caution for this Method:
- The metallic body panel can get very hot.
- The hairdryer can be destroyed by constantly running. Stop to give it rest while heating.
- Don’t heat so much as to damage the paint.
3. Use a DIY Dent Removal Kit
You can order a dent removal kit online or buy one at a local parts store. It comes with all the things needed to remove the dent and the instructions. Follow the instructions and do not try to improvise.
One thing to be noted is that you must buy the dent removal kit that is meant for the type of dent your car has.
4. The Primitive Approach – Use a Hammer
It goes without saying that anything wrong with a metallic part can be fixed with a hammer. If you have a dent that does not respond to any other method, the hammer is always an option.
You’ll need to have these things to apply this method to your car’s dent:
- A hammer (appropriately sized for the dent)
- An old towel
- Basic tools like a screwdriver and spanner
How to Get a Dent Out of Your Car With A Hammer
The method is pretty straightforward. Here’s what you need to do.
- You need to have access to the rear side of the panel with the dent.
- Use the basic tools to get to the other side of the dent.
- Wrap the head of the hammer in a towel to minimize the impact.
- Tap the dent lightly with the hammer.
- Keep tapping until the dent pops itself out.
Best Suited For
- Dents that cannot be removed by any other method.
- Dents that are on body panels with easy access to the rear side.
- Large dents.
Cautions for this Method
- Always wrap the hammer in a cloth.
- Do not hit too hard, it can damage the body panel.
- Exercise caution, do not crush your fingers.
That was all about taking dents out of a car’s metallic body panels. What if the dent is on the bumper? You can take that out too! Let’s see how!
How to Remove Dents From Your Car’s Bumpers
The bumpers of most street cars are made of plastic. You can easily undo the dents on these bumpers using hot water. Here’s how it works.
- Pour boiling water on the dented area of the bumper.
- Tap the surroundings of the dent with a hammer lightly until the dent pops out.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, not all of them can be removed. You can remove the majority of car dents if you have the right tools for this.
Not in all cases, but it can. This is especially true if you have an old car or the paint has been oxidized by sunlight and the environment. If you remove the dent carefully, it almost never damages the paint.
It depends on the nature of the dent and the approach you are using to remove it. Generally, an hour is enough for DIY dent removal.
Yes, DIY dent removal kits are effective if you follow the instructions given in them.
No, they need a professional’s attention. New sheet metal needs to be welded and then ground and sanded off if cracks appear on a body panel because of a dent.
Yes, suction cups can be used to remove dents from a car. You’ll need several tries, but it is an effective method.
Yes, it can be. You’ll need some zip ties for that.
It depends on the size of the suction pump you are using. Generally, using the suction pumps used in washrooms, you can easily remove dents up to a foot in size.