Few things scare car drivers more than getting dents in their cars. Regardless of where the crack is located, dents on your vehicle are very bad and very expensive to repair. Even so, if you are willing to deal with this problem of car repair at home, then you must assess the damage to know what you’re dealing with, where it is, how bad it is, and if the paint is scratched. The best tools and methods you can use will depend on those answers.
Steps to Repair Car Dents
There are a number of ways you can do-it-yourself car dent repairs. Of course, if the dent is large and deep, you may need to call in a professional. However, if your vehicle has not suffered major damage, you may be able to fix it yourself in a few easy steps.
Step 1: Remove the paint
- Start by removing the paint in and around the dent with 24 grit sandpaper.
- Switch to 80 grit best sandpaper for car and sand the entire dent by hand.
- Use sandpaper of the same grit to sand the paint around the edges of the dent and roughen the paint.
- Clean the entire area with wax remover and a clean rag.
- Then wipe with a tack cloth.
Step 2: Mixed filler
- Spread the filling in an S-curve along the stirring plate.
- Then scoop it up and fold it up.
- Repeat this step until the fill has a consistent color.
- Do not mix body filler on a piece of scrap cardboard. Instead, use a mixing board or an old clean cookie sheet that you're willing to throw away.
Step 3: Apply a tight first coat
- Scoop up some of the fillings and press it firmly into the rough metal.
- Spread the filler to create a "tight" coat. This will cause air to be ejected from the scratch and wet the bare metal.
Step 4: Add more filler
- Wipe the thicker layer of "fill coat" filler to completely fill the dent.
Step 5: Sand to shape and glaze
- Use 80 and 180 grit sandpaper to sand the filler to match the body contours.
- Then feather the edge of the fill to the painted edge.
- Next, apply a finishing glaze over the entire patch, then sand with 180 grit sandpaper, then 320 grit sandpaper.
- Spray the patch with primer, then paint.
Note: Keep patches looking fresh with DIY car paint sealant.
4 Types of Car Dents You Can Remove by Yourself
Below is a simple analysis of the common types of dents, which will help you understand and decide whether to repair them.
Hood dents: Just like how to fix car scratches easily, they should be able to be repaired in a simple way as well. Like the roof, though, the hood also has a skeletal structure. Open it and you will easily see this frame. If your indent avoids the cross structure, it should be easy to tape from the inside. But dents like the doors, trunk and hood, and roof may be able to be pulled out.
Dents with creases: If there are creases in the dent, unless you're well-versed in the subject, you may need to see an auto mechanic. With creases, you have to fill in what doesn't come out with some body autofill. You'll also most likely lose a bit of paint, so you'll have to prepare car touch up spray paint in that area too.
Dents in car doors: Usually these are embarrassing things. Meaning you'll have to remove the interior panel from the door if you want to find them. At this point, you run into new problems because the windows and window frames take up a lot of space. If the dent is close to the window frame, you may not be able to do this due to lack of space on the other side. But you can pull it out from the outside without having to go so close as to pull down the inner panel. If the dent is in the middle of the door, almost in the center, you should be able to fix that.
Roof dents: Easy to deal with as long as you avoid bone structure. Your roof is built on a solid platform to ensure rollover safety, but it contains a lot of empty space. Next time you're in your car, put your hand on the headliner and move it around, and you'll be able to feel the difference in the structure underneath.
If you have a particularly deep and large dent on your car, it's unlikely you'll be able to fix it at home. If the damage is severe, you may have to accept that your car needs professional repairs.
But if it's just a small dent, you'll have a better chance of fixing it by following the steps above. While there's no guarantee you won't damage your car's paint, many people actually have had success with these tips.