How to Repair Dents in Rims & Bumpers

Written by joanne robitaille
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How to Repair Dents in Rims & Bumpers
Repairing a dented bumper can be a simple do-it-yourself project. (a car in a car show image by Gary from

No matter how safely you drive, it's not always possible to avoid dents. Taking your car to the bodyworks garage can be very expensive, especially if the dents are only minor. Dents to your car's bumper or rims have the advantage of being located on parts that are easily removed from your vehicle. While these methods will fix the dents themselves, you may need to get the paint on your bumper touched up if the dents are more severe.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Towel
  • Hair dryer or heat gun
  • Dry ice
  • Protective gloves
  • Jack
  • Lug wrench
  • Tire irons or levers
  • Body hammers
  • Dollies

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    How to Repair a Dented Bumper

  1. 1

    Remove your bumper. How your exact bumper is removed depends on the make and model of the vehicle. When taking off the bumper, keep track of where the screws come from so you can put them back properly later.

  2. 2

    Lay the bumper out on a towel so that the inside faces up. The towel will help keep the bumper still and prevent any scratches.

  3. 3

    Heat up the dented area with a hair dryer or heat gun for approximately 1 minute.

  4. 4

    Put on a pair of protective gloves. Place a few pieces of dry ice on the dented section of your bumper. The dry ice will force the bumper to pop back into shape without damaging the paint job.

  5. 5

    Replace your bumper. Be sure to put all of the screws back where they belong.

    How to Repair a Dented Rim

  1. 1

    Enable your car's parking brake. Loosen the hubcap's lug nuts using a lug wrench, but do not remove them.

  2. 2

    Jack up your vehicle so that the tire with the damaged rim is off the ground. Check with your car's manual to find the proper location to place the jack. Remove the lug nuts then pull the wheel free from the vehicle.

  3. 3

    Lay the tire on a flat surface with the hubcap facing up. Unscrew the valve stem and let air out of the tire. Break the bead around the tire by wedging a tire iron or lever under the lip of the tire and forcing it away from the rim. Leave the first iron in place and begin working the rest of the bead off with a second one. Pull the removed lip up over the rim of the wheel, dragging the other side up as well. Use a tire iron to help force the tire off the rim.

  4. 4

    Select a body hammer that best matches the shape of the dent. Place a dolly on the outer surface of the rim over the dent. Tap the hammer against the dent, forcing the metal outwards and into the dolly. The dolly will ensure that the metal doesn't bend too far outwards.

  5. 5

    Replace the tire. Reverse the process you used to remove the tire in order to replace it onto the rim. You'll need to refill the tire with air before it can be reinstalled onto your vehicle.

Tips and warnings

  • Always put on protective gloves before handling the dry ice since it reaches a temperature of -109.3 Fahrenheit.

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