If your teenager accidentally backed into your sedan or someone left your car damaged in the local grocery store parking lot, it can be frustrating to see the dent in your car that's left behind. While you can always go to a professional auto body repair shop, some dents can be repaired on your own, saving you a good amount of money. If the dent your car has suffered isn't too severe, try these helpful tips to attempt to repair it on your own.
Before you Begin
Take a good look at the dent to see how severe it is. If it looks like something that can be fixed easily, it's worth trying to fix it on your own. However, if you see ripples or bumps, it's best to take it in to a professional. When you're ready to make the repairs, the first thing to do is thoroughly clean the dented area with a dry towel, removing any scratches or scrapes that you can see. Be sure the cleaned area stretches out at least four to six inches past the dented spot. Gather tools in advance so you will be able to easily continue working as you go. You will need a drill, squeegee, sanding block and discs, newspaper, cloth, dent filler, and all materials needed to remove, prime, and repaint the car's damaged paint.
Fixing the Dent
First, you will need to take a plunger and apply it directly over the dent until a tight sealed is formed. Then, using a firm grip pull the plunger towards you. If the dent is mild, this should be sufficient to pop it back out of place and back to its original shape, at least as much as it can be. Once the dent is popped back out, gently sand the area using the sander and discs. Wipe all of the dust off and then apply acetate to the area. This will help remove any stray paint chips and marking so you will have a well prepped area to repaint. Fill in the area with dent filler if there are still gaps, and then use the squeegee to smooth it out. This coat should be about one-quarter inch thick. Allow the filler to cure to your car per the manufacturer's specifications.
Painting the Damaged Area
After you've repaired the dent, it's time to paint the area. Cover the areas that have not been repaired with newspaper to protect them. Apply a spray metal primer directly to the dented area. Let it dry, and then sand it down with a high grit sandpaper. Continue to prime and sand the area until the surface is smooth and suitable for painting. Once it's completed, let the primer dry and then using a matching color, you may paint the dent and apply a clear coat. This process should make repairing your dented vehicle easy to do yourself, but if the dent is more serious, visit a collision shop like Auto Body By Duie LLC.