How to fix car dents

Written by steve smith
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Fixing a car dent yourself saves money, since even minor dent removals can cost £195 or more. It also makes your car look brand new again. If you are planning on selling your car, taking out that ugly dent will also give you a higher sale price. That's even more money in your pocket. If you want to remove a dent the right way, the first step is to get all the right tools, and then assess the best way to pull out the car dent causing as little collateral damage to the steel as possible.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Rounded ball pien hammer or rubber mallet
  • Wood block for leverage
  • Suction dent remover
  • Drill bits
  • Self tapping screw

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  1. 1

    Asses whether you can access the dent from behind. If you can, bang the dent out with a hammer, either a rounded ball pien hammer, rubber mallet or wood hammer. If you can not access it from the back go to Step 2.

  2. 2

    Find the centre of the dent and make a small mark with a pen. Using your eye as a guide, decide if this centre mark will provide enough leverage to pull the dent out without making ripple marks in the steel. If there are many contours to the dent, you might need to drill two holes to pop them out separately.

  3. 3

    Drill a hole into the dent through the steel, then remove the drill bit.

  4. 4

    Screw in a self tapping screw, or a dent removing screw assembly, a 1/2 inch into the dent. Make sure the screw has enough hold to pull out the dent.

  5. 5

    Attach a wire or locking vice grip to the self tapping screw, and pull on the dent. Brace your foot against the car with a block of wood or other material to avoid making another dent. Pull until the dent pops out.

  6. 6

    Feel the dent with your hand, detecting any ripples, or cracks in the paint and rust proofing. Sand the dented area with a grinder down to the metal.

  7. 7

    Fill any holes with bondo using a rubber spatula or scraper. Let dry. Sand the bondo back down to a smooth finish.

  8. 8

    Prime and paint the dented area.

Tips and warnings

  • There are more sophisticated dent removal tools that you can buy in the auto parts store. These tools use a cross brace and a suction or screw tapping centre piece to pull out the dents using a twist-thread centre rod. These cost money however, and are not always effective on dents that are deep and hard to pull out.
  • When you pull on the screw tap, be sure to use the right amount of leverage, pull with your legs and secure the gripping device to the tap if necessary. Always be careful when pulling the dent. Screw taps can break which could cause you to fall backwards suddenly.

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