The DIY guide to removing car dents

Accidents happen, but if your vehicle has sustained a bit of a bump, you may not want to spend your hard earned cash on getting it repaired professionally. If your insurance policy doesn't cover the damage, you may be wondering if you can fix dents yourself.

The short answer here is “maybe”. Some small car dents can be fixed with a DIY approach, but not every dent can be remedied in this way. This type of damage to your vehicle can be very detrimental to the appearance and value of the car, which means finding an effective fix is very important if you want your vehicle to retain its value. If you're not confident that the DIY approach will work, we strongly recommend bringing in the professionals.

If the damage isn't severe, however, and you're happy to try to fix the problem at home, it's possible to improve the appearance of dents yourself. Please bear in mind that no DIY fix is perfect. Professionals use very sophisticated, precision tools to complete this type of work. Do-it-yourself techniques, therefore, very rarely achieve a 100% perfect result, so be prepared for slight imperfections to be visible, even if the dent is removed.

Ready to try your own fix? Here's how it's done...

Materials

  •  A glue gun
  • A dent pulling kit (or dent pulling tool)
  • A metalworking hammer
  • A drill & medium grit disk
  • Body filler
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Matching body paint


How to fix a car dent

1. Locate the centre of the dent
Find the centre of the dent and apply a plastic adaptor (from your dent pulling kit) to this central spot using a glue gun (these are often included in dent pulling kits).

2. Attach the dent puller
Once the adaptor is securely fastened, attach the dent puller to it. Once in place, start pulling gently to bring the dented portion of your vehicle upwards or outwards (back to its original level).

3. Hammer the dent
With the dented material returned close to its original position, you can begin to gently hammer the surface back into place while holding the dolly firmly behind the dent to prevent any further damage during this delicate process.

4. Grind off the paint
Use a drill paired with a medium-grit disk to remove the paint coating the dented portion of the vehicle, overlapping the damage by one inch to reveal the bare metal of the car. Next, fill the area with body filler before leaving it to dry completely.

5. Sand and prime
Once dry, sand down the body filler with sandpaper, working from rough 36 grit sandpaper, up to far finer 120 grit paper to achieve a smooth finish. Spray the area with automotive primer, applying six coats in total and sanding with 600 grit paper to leave the surface smooth and scratch-free.

6. Repaint the dented area
Find a paint which matches your vehicle's original colour and carefully paint over the primed surface to complete your DIY dent removal.

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