How to remove a dent in a quarter panel

Written by jeremiah blanchard
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Most motorists at one time or another will have a dent somewhere on their vehicles. Whether from a minor fender-bender, severe weather or a runaway shopping trolley, dents can happen when you least expect it. Typically, many dents are found on a vehicle's quarter panels or doors. You can take the extra time and money to bring your vehicle to an auto body repair shop and wait for it to be finished, or you can do it yourself in a very cost-effective way following a few guidelines.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Dry ice
  • Gloves
  • Towel
  • Safety glasses
  • Household plunger
  • Water

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    Dent Removal with Dry Ice

  1. 1

    Purchase dry ice from an ice vendor near you. Many communities have icehouses or vendors who sell ice to retailers and restaurants. These companies will normally have dry ice available, and you can check online for an ice dealer near you. You don't need much, just about one or two pounds.

  2. 2

    Put on thick gloves and grab a handful of dry ice. A piece the size of the palm of your hand will work just fine. Wrap the dry ice with a small towel or rag tightly.

  3. 3

    Hold the dry ice directly on the dent of the vehicle. Rub it around slowly in a circular motion starting with the centre of the dent. Do this for about 20 minutes or until the metal reacts and the dent pops out.

    Dent Removal with Plunger

  1. 1

    Pour a little water over the dented area on your vehicle, enough to wet the area thoroughly.

  2. 2

    Place the plunger on the dented area and push in to release air in the plunger. Pull out slightly to check that the plunger has made a vacuum tight seal. It should be stuck to the side of the vehicle without aid.

  3. 3

    Pull the plunger off of the dent quickly. This will allow the dent to pop back out into place. You may have to repeat this process for dents larger than the diameter of the plunger.

Tips and warnings

  • Dent removal kits are available at many auto repair stores. These kits normally take care of smaller dents or dings.
  • Dry ice can cause frostbite quickly and burn the skin.
  • Do not touch dry ice with exposed skin.
  • Wear protective gloves and safety glasses when handling dry ice.

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