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How to Get a Dent Out of a Car [Without Damaging the Paint]

Last Updated on August 26, 2022 by

Removing a Dent in a Car

As a car owner, there are few things quite as frustrating as finding a dent in your car. Even if you are being as careful as you can, you can’t account for outside forces like shopping carts, falling objects, and people.

Instead of letting that dent have a big impact on your mood and bother you each time you see it, there is something that you can do. Fixing a dent on your own is certainly possible if the dent itself is nothing major.

If it is more than a dent and looks like actual damage, take it to your nearest trusted garage to get it fixed properly. But if it is a small dent, there are a few things that you can do to fix the issue yourself.

Get a Dent Remover

While some household items can be used pretty practically, there are also dent remover tools and kits out there that can help you get dents out without having to create a concoction to do so. Sure, you might have to spend a few bucks, but it might be worth it to avoid the hassle of finding these items and trying the other mentioned do-it-yourself measures.

Dent Removal Tool for Car

These dent removal kits generally involve a suction cup or two which are designed specifically for removing small to medium dents—they are not meant for large dents. These kits are just one available option for people who don’t want the headache of using another of the above methods.

Use a Plunger

If you have never tried this before, it is one of those “eureka!” moments that make so much sense that you will wonder how you didn’t notice it.

With a plunger, you can get small and medium dents out of your car with relative ease. Splash a little bit of water over the affected area as well as onto the plunger itself. This will give the plunger better suction when gripping the dent, allowing you to get it out more easily.

Plunger Removing Car Dent

Push and pull until you notice the dent beginning to move. When it pops out, it should look relatively even with the rest of the car, depending on the size and shape of the dent itself. It is also important to use a cup plunger – the type used for sinks – rather than a flange plunger which is used for toilets.

A Hair Dryer and Compressed Air

This is another method of fixing dents that makes use of everyday household items. This method is generally reserved for plastic bumpers, so keep that in mind. But all you need is a hairdryer and some compressed air, typically from an aerosol can.

Begin by heating up the dent with the dryer. Use the highest setting so there is enough heat applied to the area to have a positive effect. This is done to expand the plastic of the car. When the temperature is hot enough, turn the can of compressed air upside down and spray it over the area.

The compressed air in the can is cold, which will cause the plastic to contract. This will pop the dent out evenly, removing the dent entirely. Stay away from cleaning chemicals when using an aerosol can; a keyboard cleaner is the best type to use.

Hot Glue, Screws, and Wooden Dowels

If you want to get really MacGuyver about it, this is a method that will provide you with customised coverage to get out even the largest of dents. One of the biggest concerns when fixing a dent is that you may exacerbate the dent or take some paint off in the process.

With this method, you need to put screws in each side of the aforementioned dowels and then cover the bottom of the dowels with hot glue. From here, place the wooden dowels glue-side down on the areas around the dent. If the area is large, you will need more dowels.

Dowel for Removing Car Dents

Let the glue dry so the dowels adhere to the surface of the dent. When they have properly set, start pulling each one of the dowels until the dent has popped out wherever you have the dowels. The dent should be gone, and you can use as many dowels as you need to make the dent look as even as possible.

When you are finished pulling the dent out, there are a couple of methods for removing the glue safely. Do not just try to pull the dowels off, as you could pull paint off or create an uneven area where the dent once was. Use rubbing alcohol or heat to dissolve the glue and safely remove the dowels.

Boiling Water

Before going into how this can work on dents in your bumper, it is important to stress that caution and safety measures need to be taken. Boiling water is no joke, and if you get it on your skin, it can do some serious damage.

Having said that, the idea here is that you need to loosen up the plastic. Throw the water onto the dented area and immediately reach behind the bumper to pop the dent back into place. Because of the heat of the water, the plastic should be far more flexible. This is what makes it possible to pop the dent back into place.

Keep in mind that this method will generally work on bumpers and not so much on the body of your car.